Sleep, hero, and dream of another you...
The Amulet of Pau'rel is the only known remnant of the spellcaster Pau'rel
, known for his great prowess with mind magics and enchantments. It drifts from place to place, never appearing on the same continent twice in a row, seemingly moving once its curse has completed on its previous wearer. It has some sort of indiscernible link to the Cult of the Wondrous
, who obsess over the necklace's prophesied 'heroes'. Their involvement raises questions as to the truth of Pau'rel's character as he was known to be an ineffable, if mad, and kind old man in life, with no cultist affiliation.
The amulet grants a passive +2 profane increase to intelligence and charisma when worn, though this bonus may only be considered permanent after it has been worn for 24 hours. The bonus cannot be improved through any standard crafting. The necklace holds no magical benefit for any who cannot sleep.
Its true effects begin to manifest when the bearer first falls asleep. Though the first night seems to have no effect, in actuality, the necklace spawns a clone of the wearer in what it determines to be the bearer's final resting place at that time. Whenever the bearer falls asleep after this first time, they will awaken having gained memories from their clone - without being aware that said memories are anything other than distant dreams.
For the first few weeks, the clone will remain in their earthen grave, struggling to break free with what little strength they have. They generally escape at the end of the third week. As soon as this escape has occurred, the bearer will begin to change in the daylight hours - the first observable factor of something being wrong with the necklace. As they step into sunlight, their skin will begin developing a coating of gold, fleck by glittering fleck. This may not be noticeable at first, but after a long period of time in the sun, should become apparent. This coating similarly affects the clone.
By the end of the fourth week, the accursed twins will be completely gold even if they remained in darkness for the entire week. This is also when the next step of the Amulet's power will kick in. The pearls clustering around the gemstone will begin to emit a soft glow, barely there unless examined in pitch black, as a sign of this new stage. The clone is generally the first to learn of what the true effect is as they wander alone: each of their hands can now produce a beam of energy. Positive energy for their left, and negative for their right.
It is this that seems to set off hidden divination alarms owned by the Cult of the Wondrous, because the clone will soon find themselves embraced by the masked cultists as a prophesied hero amongst mortals. There is no disagreeing with the cultists: attempts to do so result in agreement being forced through enchantment magics, which the necklace does not protect against.
Though the original bearer has made no such agreement, and barely remembers the clone's acts, they are of one soul. The binding claims them both, as does any other contract made by the bearer.
As the clone lives, and as the cultists guide them to murder their perceived foes, the amulet begins to twist the mind of the original bearer. Life seems plain in comparison to the whispered dreams that linger at the edge of their vision. They separate from their fellows, hiding secrets and seeking thrills to bring some spark of adventure back into their life.
However long it takes, it's the first kill that jolts the Amulet into reacting. A death to bring to light the reality of their other life. The amulet burns against the bearer's throat, searing its arcane sigils into their skin with the stench of burnt meat penetrating the air. The difference between the distant memories and the life they know they've lived becomes hazy; becomes indistinct.
A soul cannot live as two shards torn and regrown. The bearer and their clone inevitably meet in a violent clash, spurred on by the necklace both wear. The victor is not spared: they owe their service to the cult that one half of their self swore themselves to. They are lead downwards to the Throne of Prophecy, and the necklace is lost.
It never remains lost for very long, always turning up in old temples and tunnels where any adventure could stumble across it...