Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Artifact April #7: Bran's Cauldron [Call of Cthulhu]

[Call of Cthulhu]

This cauldron, recounted in legends as the cauldron of King Bran and later identified with the Holy Grail, is a magical artifact from ancient days.  It is also known as the Cup of Jamshid in Persia and may have been used by Nephren-Ka and his ilk in resurrection rituals.

Carved around its rim is a single sentence, repeated twice, and rendered in various languages; from the top of the rim down, these are Serpent Tongue, Aklo, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Aramaic, Old Persian, Brythonic, and Old Welsh.  In all languages, it reads, "As the Old Ones are bound in deathless sleep, so shall all men conquer death;" a Cthulhu Mythos roll may recognize the Arab's famous couplet, albeit in slightly different form.

This relic appears to be a cooking pot large enough to accomodate a man.  Made of a dull, green metal (a smith will likely assume the metal to be copper, even though the color is off; in truth, the metal is not of this earth, having fallen from the sky in antiquity), the cauldron can bring the dead back to full life and can extend the lives of those who use the pot.  Anyone eating or drinking from the pot will be healed of their wounds; if this is impossible, it will at least stabilize their wounds for a full day.  In any event, the character does not age for a day after consuming food or drink from the pot.  Much like the Food of Life spell, cooking human meat in the pot is much more efficient, preventing aging for 1 month for every SIZ of human meat cooked and consumed.

Likewise, if a corpse is placed in the pot with water and the words around the rim are spoken (in any language; the intent is more important than the actual content), the water will spontaneously boil and the person will return to life as if treated with the Resurrection spell; conversely, doing this while a live person is in the pot will cause the water to boil and kill that person, horribly.  As with the Resurrection spell, being resurrected by the pot costs 1D20 Sanity points.  Likewise, those resurrected by the pot can be destroyed with the Nyhargo Dirge (though their dust can be gathered and boiled back to life or resurrected, as usual).

It is not known whether the cauldron would work on entities other than humans; most likely, it would work only on terrene entities (such as deep ones, serpent people, and sand dwellers), although the reality of this claim is up to the Keeper.  It may only work on humans, or it may work on any species so long as the words are spoken.

Any character going insane from being restored to life almost uniformly gains aphasia as their mental illness, being rendered unable to speak.  Such a character can still understand and write in any language he or she knows.

Boiling a human corpse in the pot to eat is a 1/1D6 Sanity loss; boiling a corpse for resurrection is a 1/1D10 Sanity loss.  It costs no Sanity points to use the cooking pot as a normal cooking pot.

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