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Anima Engine

Wondrous item, artifact

This great contraption seems to be an endless series of winding tubes, glass spheres, metallic and crystal structural beams, and even more exotic materials fused into an icosahedral shape. The facets of the engine cascade with electrical and eldritch energies. Roughly 40 ft. in diameter, the engine is a marvel of craftsmanship for its sheer size alone. Surrounding the base of the structure are nine box-like containers of various sizes.

Aside from its size and obvious power, the most frightening aspect of the anima engine is what it is able to do. The engine captures the latent soul energy of any being dying within a 1 mile radius. This energy is stored in the engine and may be used to fuel both arcane and divine magic. Souls are not immediately used by the engine; they are stored within the machine’s power reservoir until they are needed. Characters with stored souls may be resurrected until their soul has been converted to magical force.

The limits on what can be accomplished with the anima engine are unknown. In addition to passively collecting soul energy, the anima engine may be used to actively drain a target of their animating force. The necromantic power of the engine is strong enough that if a target is placed in one of the sarcophagus-shaped containers surrounding the engine, the target’s soul is torn from the still living body. This process of draining splits the victim into two parts: soul energy, captured in the engine, and a soulless husk of a still-living being.

The anima engine has 9 receptacles encircling its bulk: 3 Small, 3 Medium, 2 Large, and 1 Huge. Each of the receptacles can receive an appropriately-sized occupant, and a smaller subject may be placed in a receptacle one size larger than it is.

Targets subjected to the anima engine suffer the effects of losing their soul, but retain most of their abilities. Their memories are intact (a tormenting reminder of their former lives), but they follow the orders of Orcus implicitly, not as automatons but as fully capable beings.

Currently, there is only one being in the multiverse that knows the proper way to use the anima engine, the diabolic archwizard Glazerel. If the anima engine falls into your control, it can be controlled with a DC 30 Intelligence check, and you can loose some of its energy upon the world.

Failure indicates magical backlash (a defense mechanism constructed into the engine by Glazerel to prevent him from being replaced). You are targeted by a disintegrate spell with a saving throw DC of 17, and anyone within 30 ft. of the engine (including you) is hit by arcs of electricity for 31 (9d6) lightning damage (no saving throw).

Should you manage to successfully harness the power of the anima engine, you may duplicate any one spell (divine or arcane). Note that once you determine what the engine is, and how it works, actually using it is an evil act. If you are a good cleric, you lose the ability to cast spells for 1 week; if you are a good paladin, you are stripped of your abilities until you atone.

The anima engine currently stores enough soul energy for 2 successful magical effects before new subject must be placed in the receptacles.

Destruction. If Orcus is ever placed in the anima engine, it ceases to function.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Rappan Athuk © 2018, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors Bill Webb, Clark Peterson, Skeeter Green, Tom Knauss, Lance Hawvermale, WDB Kenower, Casey Christofferson, and Greg Raglund; based on the original creation of Bill Webb.