[OSR] Chalices of Robbed Health

The following is a free example of the content of Gregorius21778: Examples of the Dark Arts

There are dark legends about nobleman who dabble in witchcraft and turn hospitality into an act of most foul treason. According to those, the Chalices of Robbed Health are a set of drinking vessels whose appearance are not known, but their true purpose is.

Chalices of Robbed Health [Magic Items]

All of them were hexed by a magician who sought a life eternal. The chalices are presented to  guests during a banquet and filled with wine. If the host calls out a toast on good health and knows about the secret of these chalices, everybody who responds to this toast will shorten his or her own life, much to the benefit of the host.

Every guest responding to the toast must pass a Saving Throw vs. Magical Device. Those who fail will have their life span reduced by one year and the life span of the host will be increased by one year. Those who (unknowingly) attend to banquets and gatherings of host with a set of the Chalices of Robbed Health will find themselves wither away long before their time while the host seem to defy age with ease. And it is said that if somebody who responded to the toast dies a violent death between the next sunset and the next sunrise, the life of the host will be prolonged by all the years of that the victim would otherwise have had.

(Additional; non-included material): The Chalices of Robbed Health make for a wonderful McGuffin.

  • the characters are send to investigate the happenings in a certain part of the kingdom where all of the noble families are found to grow ill and tend to die an early death. All of them…. ?
  • during their journey the characters are invited into the manor of a friendly noble, so that they can dry their clothes, have their horses shoed and strengthen themselves with a proper meal their gratiouse host provides to them.
  • Lord Olmarek has gone mad! So the servants of his household claim after they ran into the village at night and hammered at all the doors of all the houses. He has killed all his guest, nobles like himself, after a feast he gave this very evening and now slaughters the household! Can and will the characters seize the situation and hunt down Lord Olmarek (who fleed with a few trusted henchmen after the deed, only taking his treasure chest and a horse along to start a new life elsewhere)?

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