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!
Oryn Trexellior/The Trexellior Ebony Walking Cane
Equipment (Cane), Legendary (Requires Attunement)
This antique walking cane is made from a dense, black wood polished to a high shine. It is capped with a curved, silver fillagree handle shaped like the head of a snarling white dragon. Though the handle is slightly marred by tarnish, the cane itself seems to have withstood the passage of time otherwise unscathed.
This elegant cane once belonged to Desmond Trexellior, a high elf of privileged station and a well-regarded family name. He and his younger brother, Oryn, shared a stately home, and enjoyed the lives of wealthy, eligible bachelors. The two were as close as brothers can be, sharing in each-other’s victories and failures, always open and earnest with one-another. Then, as these tales often go, fate interfered. The two fell in love with the same woman: the beautiful Rowan Elderbrooke.
The two brothers wooed Rowan with the full force of the Trexellior charm, aided by their family’s deep coffers. Their once-friendly competition soured with the realization that only one brother could have her in the end. When Rowan chose Desmond, Oryn flew into a rage and attacked his brother. The two fought fiercely, until Desmond struck Oryn down, hitting him in the temple with the head of his walking cane.
Desmond mourned his brother, and never quite forgave himself for his death. In fact, until the day he died, Desmond insisted he was being haunted by his brother’s ghost, though no cleric could ever detect the presence of a spirit in the house. None, however, thought to investigate the cane that struck Oryn’s death blow, a cane Desmond refused to ever let out of his sight.
Properties. This elegant cane is made of polished dark wood. The silver handle, shaped like the head of a snarling white dragon, is cold to the touch. When attuned to this cane, you gain a +3 bonus to Charisma checks.
Sentience. The Trexellior Ebony Walking Cane is a sentient neutral good item possessed by the spirit of Oryn Trexellior. It has an Intelligence of 15, a Wisdom of 16, and a Charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to a range of 120 feet.
The item can speak, read, and understand Common and Elvish, and can communicate with its wielder telepathically. Its voice is smooth and cultured, with a clipped, upper-class accent.
Personality. The cane is smooth-talking, charismatic, and patient. It can coach its wielder on matters of propriety and courtly customs, and knows extensive details about noble elvish houses and lineages (though that information may be out of date).
The spirit of Oryn has a strange gap in his memory. He doesn’t remember how he came to be in this cane, nor does he remember any of his prior wielders. Details about his life are hazy, though he remembers three things clearly: He is a Trexellior, he had a brother named Desmond, and he loved Rowan Elderbrooke fiercely.
Goals. Oryn, within the cane, wishes to fill in the gaps in his memory. You may do this by researching Trexellior family history, speaking to those who remember the family, or tracking down Desmond and Rowan’s descendants.
Tempered Charm. When you restore some of Oryn’s memories by fulfilling a memory trigger (listed below), you can unlock additional abilities tied to the cane. To fulfill a memory trigger, you must be attuned to the cane, and it must be in your possession when you accomplish one of the following.
Oryn’s Memory Triggers
The cane has three memory triggers. When the wielder fulfills these triggers, Oryn’s spirit within the cane regains some memory and the wielder gains access to a new ability. The three triggers:
- Learning about Oryn’s death.
- Learning about Desmond & Rowan’s marriage and their fates.
- Meeting a Trexellior descendant.
When one trigger is fulfilled, you gain advantage on Intelligence (Insight) checks when attuned to the cane.
When two triggers are fulfilled, you can use the cane to cast charm person (DC 17) once a day. Once you have used the cane in this way, you cannot do so again until the next sunrise.
When all three memory triggers are fulfilled, the full weight of Oryn’s memories rush over you both. Make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw. On a success, you keep Oryn’s rage and grief from overwhelming you. On a failure, you are overcome with despair and fury. You attack any creature around you indiscriminately. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of your turn, ending the effect on a success.
Once all of Oryn’s memory triggers are fulfilled and you have succeeded on the Wisdom saving throw, the cane grants you the following additional feature:
Into the Light. You can use an action to attempt to delve into the mind of a thinking creature within 30 feet of you that you can see. Your target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, you can view a single memory of your choice. The memory can last no longer than 10 minutes, though you experience the entire memory in seconds, with vivid detail, as if you were the target. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this feature. You may use this feature a number of times equal to half your proficiency bonus rounded up. Once you have expended all of your uses, you must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
1 thought on “Haunted Items: Ebony Walking Cane”
I would add 1 thing, after the cane is attuned the owner won’t let it out of their sight (call it a minor curse).
If Orym had the ability to move as well it would make it creeper. Either being able to Fly/Hover(only the cane) like a Ghost or Misty Step(again only itself) like a high elf. That way it’ll always be near the welder whether the PC wants it there or not, treat it like an affectionate cat 😸.