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    The Black Banners of Nerull
    Posted on Tue, August 03, 2004 by Farcluun
    BusterBudd writes "“...and upon a field, dawned with death, the foul wind stretched the black banners of Nerull. Three banners of doom for three sons of gloom; Fear, Death and Defeat. Sorrow to any Kingdom’s fate; foolish and unfortunate enough to cross the Black Banners.”
    From the Chronicles of Ocaric.

    An awesome trio of Evil for any campaign. Warning, these items can be very powerful with a sprinkle of DM inventiveness.

    The Black Banners of Nerull
    By: BusterBudd
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    The Black Banners; ancient, evil, and awesome artifacts spawned during Nerull’s ascension to becoming the God of Death. The actual creation of the Banners is lost, however ancient Flan text hint that the secret may lay hidden in a lost tomb somewhere secure in the Land of Black Ice.

    Three Banners, one for three of Nerull’s sons; Fear, Death, and Defeat, there true names only known by the high priests of Nerull, guarded in the teaching’s of the Dakcoux Compendium of Nerull. Together the Banner’s bearers and the undead hordes that are slaved to them are almost undefeatable.

    A Black Banner

    •The shaft, 12 ft tall, is constructed of an unknown petrified wood, with the strength of adamantine.
    •The base and top of the shaft are drawn to fine, sharp points;
    •Radiates evil in a 500 ft radius.
    •Good aligned characters must save vs will power DC 15, or flee.
    •The banner itself is of a plain black, unknown silky material, 6 ft wide by 8 ft long. It seems to absorb daylight and dims surrounding light (within 120’ feet. Base save DC 20 - mends itself);
    •All undead within 500 feet of the banner, are slaved to it;
    •The shaft gains a +4 to all other saves, with the Banner gaining a +2 to fire, +4 to all other saves;
    •Becoming Regimental and disciplined, all types of undead gain a plus 10 to turn effects, gain an additional 3d8 hit points, and AC is adjusted by + 2, within its scope of influence; and
    •Three taps of the shaft’s base against the ground, resurrects any undead slain/turned within its sphere of influence within 1d4+1 melee rounds, appearing within 10 ft of the banner (consecutively filling around the banner, 10, 15, 20 ft, etc..).

    The Bearer of the Banner

    •gains an immunity to turn effects;
    •an additional 6d8 hit points;
    •AC is adjusted by + 4;
    •a +4 to all other saves;
    •Should the bearer of the staff be living, a saving throw (fortitude DC 35) is required, failing subjects the PC/NPC to become a servant of the staff. Slaying the PC/NPC only progresses the transformation to become a undead slave to the banner (upon death, acquiring the equivalent of living HP as negative energy HP plus the 6d8 hp);
    •The bearer also becomes Lawful Evil, obeying the will of the banner; and
    •May attack with the Banner, inflicting 1d10 points of damage, which channels half of the hp to the bearer, for a minimum of one hp.

    Each Banner has a special property as well;

    •“Aura of Fear” 120 ft radius, DC 25, for the Banner of Fear;
    •“Sphere of Pain” 60 ft radius, DC 25 or 2d4 points of damage, for Banner of Death (Undead are not affected); and
    •“Sphere of Evil” 120 ft radius, Good aligned PC/creatures are -2 to AC (they glow within the dimness cast by the Banner, making them easier to hit), for the Banner of Defeat.

    This based on singular ability of the Banners. When all three Banners are within 500 ft of each other all bonuses are raised by a factor of one per Banner. Truly a bane to a Cleric or Paladin of good faith.

    The destruction of any one Banner releases a powerful wave of energy, all within 500ft, save verses fortitude for half (DC 25) or take 10d10 +10 points of damage. Anything within 30 ft of “ground zero” is disintegrated, no save.

    The Banners were defeated in a great battle of good and semi-evil vs evil undead (living evil was threatened and decided to defeat this greater undead evil). Separated and hidden across the lands of the Flanesse, these horrible and awesome banes to the living are sought by liches and lords of the undead realms. Mainly a historical background for my Greyhawk campaigns, with one being found every now and then. :-)

    My most recent campaign “A Bard’s Hymn” saw the destruction of the Banner of Fear at a great cost to the party.
    Related Links
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    Most read story about Arcana of Oerth:

    The History of the Tapestry of Ruin

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    Re: The Black Banners of Nerull (Score: 1)
    by Tedra ( on Tue, August 03, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Really excellent items, with a fatastically wicked feel, imagining the three of them together on a huge field of battle. I use 2e, so would you mind my converting them backward, well, attempt to convert them for possible use in a future campaign of mine?

    Re: The Black Banners of Nerull (Score: 1)
    by Ludovico on Wed, August 04, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Excellent artifacts. Some pretty scary stuff. But what is the connection between the Banners and the Land of Black Ice?

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