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The Book of Mourning

DC: 24

Physical Appearance: Unlike most artifacts, The Book of Mourning appears as an ordinary songbook with a simple leather bound wooden cover and 84 parchment pages.

Background: From an extremely early age, Sara Uthurbund, demonstrated a prodigious ability to sing and write music. Despite her lack of formal education and money, her amazing talent blossomed throughout her childhood and adolescence until her genius exceeded the brilliance of the kingdom’s greatest musicians. Envious and threatened by the young diva’s remarkable musical abilities, her older but vastly inferior musical colleagues plotted to rid themselves of the upstart composer, enabling them to maintain their lucrative positions within the musical hierarchy. Aware of the king’s private audience with the budding performer to commemorate his 60th birthday, the jealous incompetents devised a wicked scheme. They decided to intoxicate her by presenting her with a potent flask of honey liquor disguised as tea prior to her performance. After the unsuspecting and naïve Sara quaffed the warm, sweet concoction, she experienced an immediate and violent allergic reaction. Anaphylactic shock overwhelmed her frail body, swelling her throat and permanently scarring her vocal chords. When the condition finally subsided, Sara’s angelic voice vanished forever. Distraught by the cataclysmic chain of events, the impressionable young woman fled, unable to console herself from the loss of her precious gift.

Wracked by melancholy and anger, the bereaved musician poured her aching soul onto the pages of her blank songbook, a gift given to her by the king a week before her final performance. As she purged her somber and bitter emotions from her spirit, her resolve for retribution stirred within her. When Sara completed the songbook, she scheduled another private audience, this time with her scheming colleagues. Unapologetic and startled, her enemies gladly accepted her invitation, hoping to ruin her composition abilities in a manner similar to her singing talents. When she arrived for the performance, her audience became fearful and confused.

“How can she sing?” they mumbled to themselves as she held her songbook aloft. “This must be some type of trick. There must be a choir hidden somewhere, perhaps in the balcony.” They scanned the small, crowded hall, but perplexingly saw no one. Then, a wry smile overcame the demure young lady’s face and with a single measure of song, she silenced her critics, permanently.

The Book of Mourning and Sara disappeared from sight more than fifty years ago. The current whereabouts of either party remain unknown.

Powers: The Book of Mourning bestows the following powers upon its reader.

Curse: The Book of Mourning permanently deafens its owner even if she rids herself of the book. Whenever she uses any of the book’s powers, her throat begins to swell causing 1d6 points of subdual damage and preventing her from using the book again for another minute. The book also exacts a physical and psychological toll on its owner, inflicting 1d4 points of Strength and Charisma damage.

Destruction: Placing the songbook at the center of a hive of giant bees destroys the book in one month, provided the book remains undisturbed. A successful Knowledge (Arcana) (DC 35) or (Music) skill check (DC 31) reveals this fact.

Caster Level: 20th

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