Monday, January 10, 2011

Philosopher's Heart

Like I said before, I figure I'll make up for missing last Friday's monster by tossing something completely different into the mix.  So here ya go, a magic item for all those wanna-be alchemists in your campaign.  For bonus points, tell me what happens if somebody eats it.

Philosopher's Heart

No one knows what a philosopher's heart would grow into should the strange seed ever fully germinate.  Some say they are embryonic stars, others that they are the eggs of titans.  More sober-minded scholars say they are simply tools created by ancient alchemists, with no larger destiny of their own.  The seed looks somewhat like a large peach pit with a clingy olive-colored dust lining its crevices, and is warm to the touch.

The dust, if extracted from the seed and mixed with alchemical salt, will grow into a brown mold.  If similarly removed and mixed with blood and ash, it becomes green slime.  More of the stuff will form on the seed overnight, even if the entire surface is cleared.  Using a philosopher's seed for a heart will reduce the cost of creating a golem or homunculus by 500gp, and the construct will have 1d4 more HD than it otherwise would have.

If the seed is kept in warm brine sprinkled with quartz dust for several days, it will begin to extrude spiny tendrils which will grow 1-6 inches (or to the walls of whatever container the seed is in) and stop.  The seed cannot be grown beyond this point by any known means.  The tendrils, however, can be detached and used for a number of purposes.  In conjunction with an entangle spell, a full batch of the tendrils can be  used to create the same effect as black tentacles.  If ground and burned as incense, the tendrils can be used in place of the standard material components of the astral projection spell.  Grafted onto another plant, the tendrils will grow into an assassin vine.

The seed itself burns as readily as any piece of wood, but cannot be destroyed in this way.  Those looking into the heart of such a fire will see a mesmerizing sight as the seed comes to life, twisting and sprouting and subsiding with the entwining flames.  This will continue for an hour if no other fuel is available, leaving the seed looking fresh and green for the next day.  If the seed is cut apart, all but the largest (or, if all pieces are identical, one random piece) will crumble into gray ash.  The one remaining piece will grow into a full-size philosopher's heart in one week.

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