Haunted items are magical curios inhabited by a soul, typically the soul of their former owner or someone with a close connection to the item.
The soul has its own thoughts and motivations, and often has unfinished business keeping them tethered to the item.
The soul may communicate with the item’s new owner, empathically, telepathically, or as a manifestation, and may even demand the new owner complete a quest. Characters who help a spirit achieve their goals might lay the spirit to rest, and perhaps increase the power of the haunted item in the process!
Brynjolf’s Collar and Tag
Wondrous Item, Legendary (Requires Attunement)
One of eight pups, Brynjolf was born in the least convenient stall in a wealthy lord’s expansive stables. Being the smallest of the litter, the kennelmaster quickly dismissed Brynjolf in favor of his larger brothers and sisters, handing him off to an apprentice to train as practice.
The slender pup bonded quickly with the girl, and she named him Brynjolf for his brown, wolf-like appearance and her hope he’d someday be a fierce protector. She worked with him daily, between her chores and her own training with the kennelmaster, and Brynjolf shared her straw mattress in the loft where she and the stablehands dormed.
The two were nearly inseparable, and more than once the kennelmaster cursed his decision (though typically with a smile). Soon enough, he begrudgingly admitted that the girl had done a fine job training the dog. After a year, Brynjolf kept pace with his brothers and sisters—though he never quite caught up to them in size—and took part in taking down several large deer on hunts with noble parties.
Then, one hunt went awry. Brynjolf was injured while subduing a twelve-point stag, and an antler pierced his ribs. The stablemaster suggested a blade’s mercy, but the girl refused. She bandaged Brynjolf’s wounds and took him to the stables where she tended him day and night for three days until the worst seemed behind them. Miraculously, Brynjolf survived, though he could never keep up with the hunts after that.
Brynjolf lived to see eighteen years of age. Even when his eyes clouded with time, his fur had gone gray, and his old injury ached in the cold, he remained at the girl’s side, protecting her from predators and loneliness. He saw her grow, marry, and have a child of her own, before one night, warm beside the fire, he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Properties. This faded red leather collar is worn soft with age and adorned with iron hardware. It bears a polished silver tag engraved with the name “Brynjolf.” When attuned to this collar, you gain +2 to all Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks.
Sentience. Brynjolf’s Collar and Tag is a sentient lawful good item possessed by the spirit of Brynjolf, a hunting dog. It has an Intelligence of 6, a Wisdom of 12, and a Charisma of 10. It has hearing and darkvision to a range of 150 feet.
Personality. Once attuned, Brynjolf is fiercely loyal to its new owner. Brynjolf, within the collar, communicates with its new owner through an empathic bond, conveying his wants, needs, and emotional state. He is not bothered by killing prey or those that would threaten his owner, but he does not understand unnecessary harm or cruelty, especially to other animals. An owner who displays too many acts of wanton violence may find the collar no longer functions for them.
Goals. Brynjolf, within the collar, wishes to loyally serve his new owner as he did in life, and wants to experience the joy of the hunt once more.
Protector Wolf. You may satisfy Brynjolf’s goals by successfully partaking in a hunt of a beast. You must be attuned to the collar and it must be in your possession when you partake in the hunt.
Once the hunt is successfully completed, the collar grants you the following additional features:
- Guard Dog. When this collar is in your possession, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks. In addition, you and any of your companions within 30 feet of you cannot be surprised, provided you aren’t incapacitated. If you are asleep, this collar awakens you when combat begins.
- Summon Brynjolf. You may summon the spirit of Brynjolf from within the collar. He takes the form of a slender, brown, wolf-like dog with floppy ears (use the statistics of a wolf). The collar remains around the spirit’s neck for the duration. Brynjolf can understand one language of your choice that you speak, and when he is within half a mile of you, you can communicate with each other telepathically. When Brynjolf is reduced to 0 hp, he disappears into the collar which falls to the ground. You may also dismiss Brynjolf as an action, causing him to disappear. Once you’ve used this feature, you cannot use it again until the next dawn.