Reliquary of the Dark Queen
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
Entry in the 2007 Holy Artifacts Challenge
Appearance: A large curved horn with a rough black exterior easily larger then two feet. Hollowed out in order to serve as a receptacle, an ornate stopper affixed with the stamp of the Dark Queen's symbol remains fastened over the opening portion.
History: The horn has served as an important symbol for Takhisis church notably found in the hand of the reigning head or powerful figure. It stood as a powerful symbol of the covenant between Takhisis and her faithful. Her faithful could use it as a focus in conducting holy rites passed on by the goddess in order to secure and bolster themselves against their enemies. Much of these rites have been lost through the intervening years with a few reemerging through examinations of old text or insight from the goddess herself when she deems it necessary.
The most common was the rite of the supplicant in which an individual profess his service and life to the ambitions of the Dark Queen. This rite involved the priest anointing the supplicant with the sacred water held in the Horn to mark his dedication. Becoming a supplicant grants power, but at the cost of freedom and choice. Death is the only manner to those who may seek the renege on their former pledge. All who pledge themselves in this rite must do so willingly and with full awareness of the consequences, but for the faithful of the Dark Queen this has rarely been a problem. The supplicants gain additional benefits from their service for holding the Reliquary in hand, a priest of the Dark Queen is said to channeling her power through all of have undergone the rite.
Another notable rite was the consecration of weapons and armors to the name of the Dark Queen; this allowed the faithful to bolster their arms in the coming battles. The rite was traditionally only used for those notable champions amongst the Dark Queen faithful. It involved using the Horn to anoint the weapon and/or armor requesting the Dark Queen to provide them with greater strength to crush her enemies. Though the blessing typically would fade after awhile, a few special case have had the enchantment remain or even greater effect manifesting witness the Dark Queen's favor on the recipient.
The river of time has claimed from memories and records many of the more dreadful rites used by the Horn, but their effects are still recalled by some. There exists a special rite to grant special powers to champions of the Dark Queen. Other claims the use of it in order to consecrate an area into a powerful site to the Dark Queen. Even some say it is possible to use the Horn to call forth the Dark Queen herself to this world under special and difficult conditions.
It was this notoriety and danger which would prove to be the undoing of the Horn for after the defeat of the Dark Queen in the Third Dragon War, her power base was broken on Ansalon. During the era of the last Kingpriest, the Knights of the Divine Hammer raided a cell of her faithful attaining the Horn for themselves. The Kingpriest proudly present this notorious relic of the Dark Queen in the Hall of Sacrilege till the Cataclysm brought an end to the man's hubris.
Mystery: Though there are those who scoff at the rumors, some say the horn formerly belongs to Sargonnas the consort of the Dark Queen. He removed the horn itself and presented it to the Dark Queen as gift for his consort. Thus the item would be forever be used to bestow the blessing of the Dark Queen to those who recognized her as their superior.
With the fall of the Dark Queen, there are those who whisper the minotaurs seek the item for themselves should they hear word of it. Though whether it is because they consider its existence a blasphemy to their faith or a potent symbol of their deity remains unknown.
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