This is an artifact found in our current campaign. This object is of major significance to the plot. Skeeve is the current owner, and has researched all of the properties (see below). This object is a sort of puzzle: How can they defeat the Lich without unleashing the various spells upon the populace of the island?
The properties listed at the bottom of the page (they look a bit like magic cards) were actual printouts I gave to Dan as his character (Skeeve) uncovered the various secrets of the orb.
An orb of polished stone with many strange runes engraved into it.
Lawful Good and Lawful Evil characters may not use or study this item.
-3 HP, +3MP is “granted” to the owner of this object.
This object is the phylactery for Mordan the Lich King. Normally this is the container of the Lich’s life force. As long as a lich’s phylactery reamins intact, they will rise again after being defeated. However, this orb seems to have a number of (sometimes conflicting) enchantments which suggest it is more than a “normal” phylactery.
The surface of the orb is covered in many arcane runes and symbols. They are in draconic, infernal, and celestial. Words and phrases intersect in complex ways to form layers of spells and secrets.
The orb seems to drain a bit of life from the owner, resulting in -3HP, while at the same time placing them more in tune to the world of magic. This results in +3MP while they remain the owner of the object. This only applies to users of arcane magic (Wizards, Sorcerers) and not clerics.
The runes and spells contain a great deal of knowldege. It must be studied to learn more. When examining the orb, it is clear there are four categories of study that are possible:
At the outset, it will take only 1 hour of study to attempt to gain a level (and thus earn some knowledge) in a particular area. If you succeed, it will take 2 hours of time to attempt again in the same area of study. So, the length of time required for each attempt is the current level x 1 hour.
To study the orb:
Each level of study will become more difficult as you progress.