Rings of the Arch-Heretic (5e Equipment)

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ring, artifact (requires attunement by a creature with ki points)

Few names truly strike fear and disgust into the hearts of a monk like The Arch-Heretic. So infamous are his actions that even speaking the title is reason for immediate disbarment from a monastery, and research into his history is even worse.

The early life of the arch-heretic is unknown, as little has been untampered by historians. It is theorized that, halfway through his career in an otherwise normal tradition, he touched upon some untold kind of vile power. Hiding it, he studied and researched it for years, abandoning the monastery which welcomed him and inventing his own form of martial arts. Untempered by time and discipline, he yet still hungered for power.

Many monasteries have carried relics of power, artifacts which need to be protected from the forces which wish to use them not for their purpose. One in particular held the rings, the names now erased from existence. Through hellish magics, the arch-heretic located and sought after these objects. The world shook for ten seconds as he managed to corrupt them, bending them towards his new means.

These actions labelled him for death. Assembling some of the greatest monks of all time, wielding powerful ki-suppression items, they hunted the arch-heretic to the ends of the earth for twelve years straight, but had not found him yet. However, they had an idea.

During his final act of hubris, the arch-heretic had developed and practiced some of the most vile rituals, made to turn him into a demon lord. But, as the precipice of hours long chanting and sacrifice occurred, and the heretic’s form ballooned into something unholy, an intervention by his hunters finally occurred. Granted both his location and his new true name through a gift by Beelzebub, he sought to settle his score with the heretic who swindled him. As the form of the half-demon heretic broke, a parting “gift” from his once-benefactor was bestowed upon him, his personality shattering into five separate identities, bound unto his rings.

The rings all count as one item for the purpose of attunement, but you benefit from nothing until you are attuned to all five of them. The sentience is everpresent, though.
Random Properties. The Rings of the Arch-Heretic has the following random properties:

  • 1 minor beneficial property
  • 1 major beneficial property
  • 1 minor detrimental property
  • 2 major detrimental properties

Dwindling Self. At dusk, you lose 1 ki point from your maximum. If this brings you to 0 ki points, you instantly die as the rings are all scattered to locations within 3d6 + 4 miles. Nothing less than the wish spell can revive you, after this happens.

Horrid Immortality. While you have ki points, you cannot age, and you regain 2 hitpoints at the start of your turn.

Leech of Life. When you make an unarmed attack against a creature, they take 2d4 extra necrotic damage, and the damage you dealt reduces their hitpoint maximum by that amount. These hitpoints are only returned when greater restoration is cast on them. Using this feature disables Dwindiling Self until the next day. If the creature had ki points, it reduces their ki point maximum by 1, increasing yours by 1. Ki points are only returned after you die.

Cursed. After putting on one of the rings, you must make a DC 18 Charisma saving throw. On a success, you are not cursed, and must remove the ring, or else you must make the save again. On a failure, you are compelled to wear the ring, and seek out the others. You fail instantly if you cannot remove it. Once every day at dawn, you may make another save, removing the ring and this curse if you succeed. The DC increases by 2 for every ring you are wearing, and if you are wearing all of them, nothing short of wish can remove this curse from you.
Sentience. Each ring in the set of the arch-heretic is an individual consciousness, making the set something of a gestalt being with nobody taking the helm. Each at least has a Wisdom and Charisma score of 16(+3), unless specified otherwise. They know all the languages you do, and have a blindsight of 60 feet each. When speaking, only you and the other rings can hear them.
Personality. As each ring is a different being, they are differentiated here. A majority of the time, at least two rings are in an argument, including Krelash 75% of the time. Not all of the rings are always conscious, about 1d4 + 1 awake at any time. As they are beings incapable of sleep, it is only pretending, apparently an agreement settled on by all of them. Trying to “wake up” a ring brings the ire of every ring.

While their individual goals may differ, they do all seek more power, and urge(in the case of Krelash, demand) that you do too.

  • Krelash. It is purely hateful, and while not the most intelligent by far, it seems to dominate most interactions with the others. It pushes you to your extremes of violence, verbally battering both you and the other rings when you go against it. It has an Intelligence of 11(0) and a Charisma of 19(+4).
  • Dan’pher. It schemes, and schemes, and schemes, to unknown ends. While it seems to be supporting, it cannot lie and will admit to simply wanting the other rings dead and gone, which, in it’s schemes, is generally caused by you being dead and gone. It has an Intelligence of 18(+4), a Wisdom of 16(+3), and a Charisma of 8(-1).
  • Quelroht. Speaking only in cryptic passages, it seems to delight in confusing you, even if it does try to help occasionally. While it is essentially an encyclopedia of mortal knowledge, you can never receive a straight answer from it. It has an Intelligence of 17(+3), and a Wisdom of 20(+5).
  • Hurehnerr. It is completely insane, and obsessively tries to lie and trick you. Even worse, it can perfectly mimic the voices of every other ring, if poorly following their mannerisms. It has a Intelligence and Wisdom score of 7(-1).
  • Pharn. It is needlessly enfatuated with random people, creatures, things, or concepts for no clear reason. While this only tends to affect that which it can see or that you speak of, if a monk other than you enters within 1 mile of this ring, it immediately becomes obsessed with them, pointing you towards it. Out of all the others, Pharn is hated the most by every other ring, although it is tolerated when this “ki-magnet” phenomena occurs. It has an Intelligence of 12(+1).

Due to the nature of attunement, unless you become uncursed, conflicts cannot occur, nor can the rings unattune themselves. If causes for these occur, they simply become more and more frustrated with you, and eventually try to force an unnatunement somehow, generally via death.
Destroying the Rings of the Arch-Heretic. The rings can only be harmed by Beelzebub himself. He can also choose to cleanse the rings, obliterating the last pieces of the arch-heretic’s soul, returning them to their original form.

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