The jewel of everlasting gold is a fist-sized ruby mounted in a bejeweled, rune-carved scepter and held in place with platinum stems. The jewel of everlasting gold was crafted to be the centerpiece of a treasured city and used to summon the city’s rivers of molten gold directly from the Elemental Plane of Earth and to create much of the wealth within the city.
Should the jewel of everlasting gold ever be taken beyond the boundaries of the city it is associated with, it simply disappears and returns to its perch at the city’s heart. Once the city is sealed, the jewel can sense intruders entering the city. When a trespasser is detected, the trap is activated and the city floods with molten gold. This is an automatic response that cannot be stopped.
The jewel also has several additional powers, all of which the bearer knows how to use the moment she touches the artifact.
- Clairaudience/Clairvoyance: At will, the bearer of the jewel of everlasting gold can hear and see what transpires in any part of the treasure city simply by concentrating on the jewel. This power functions similar to the clairaudience/clairvoyance spell but can be used to spy on any location within the city’s confines.
- Continual Flame: At will, the bearer of the jewel of everlasting gold can cause the artifact to burst into harmless flame, as per the continual flame spell.
- Touch of Gold: Once per day, the bearer of the jewel of everlasting gold can touch the artifact to a single inanimate object weighing no more than 1,000 pounds and transmute that object into pure gold. The object retains its basic shape and appearance, but it is now composed of solid gold.
- Elemental Transformation: Once per week, the bearer of the jewel of everlasting gold can transform himself into a Huge fire elemental, as per the elemental body IV spell. The transformation lasts as long as the bearer likes, but she cannot leave the confines of the treasure city while in elemental form. This ability allows the jewel’s bearer to survive the molten-gold floods.
- Summon Wealth: Once per month, the jewel of everlasting gold can summon vast sums of wealth from the Elemental Plane of Earth, in whatever form the bearer wishes. This ability can only create mundane sources of wealth, such as art objects, coins, gems, or even rivers of molten gold—it cannot be used to create items with magical properties.
Because the jewel of everlasting gold contains a portion of the Whispering Tyrant’s malign will, any wealth created with its touch of gold ability or summoned with its summon wealth ability cannot be removed from the treasure city except by the Whispering Tyrant himself. Like the jewel itself, any such treasure taken outside of the treasure city disappears and reappears scattered throughout the city.
In addition, anyone touching the jewel is contacted by the fragmentary intelligence inside the gem and hears disturbing whispers in her mind, urging the character to claim the jewel and swear fealty to the Whispering Tyrant. From that point on, the influence of the jewel is never far from that character’s mind. How this influences a PC is largely up to the GM. Most good-aligned PCs will feel the influence as a nagging doubt, a subtle desire to return to the treasure city and take the jewel in hand again. Chaotic- or evil-aligned PCs may feel much stronger desires—sometimes overwhelming urges to return to the jewel no matter the consequences. These whispering influences can only be completely dispelled by remove curse or similar magic (requiring a DC 30 caster level check).
The jewel of everlasting gold crumbles to dust if thrown into the runelord of greed’s runewell.
Flood of Molten Gold
The treasure city is ringed and penetrated by broad canals of ﬂowing molten gold, 50 feet wide and 10 feet deep. These canals are magically heated to more than 2,000 degrees and submersion in them means certain death for anyone not resistant to heat or ﬁre. Coming within 50 feet of a canal is harmful (1 point of nonlethal ﬁre damage per round) and approaching within 10 feet is even more dangerous (1d4 points of nonlethal ﬁre damage per round and fatigue from heatstroke). Fatigue from heatstroke ends when the character recovers from the nonlethal damage caused by the heat.
Contact with molten gold causes 2d6 points of ﬁre damage per round of exposure, while total immersion in it causes 20d6 points of ﬁre damage per round in addition to continuing damage from the heat. Damage from molten gold continues for 3 rounds after exiting the molten ﬂow but at 50% of the initial damage dealt (that is, 1d6 or 10d6 points per round). Anyone immune or resistant to ﬁre may still drown while fully submerged in the molten gold. The gold ﬂood remains in place for a full 24 hours and then drains, leaving the city incredibly hot and low on oxygen.
The bridges crossing the canals are covered and magically protected from ﬁre (they noticeably lack a coating of gold plate, a clue to the PCs that these bridges might be a safe haven if the city ﬂoods with molten gold).
Should the PCs somehow survive the ﬂood, they now have to deal with 100-degree-plus temperatures for another day or so and breathe the equivalent of high altitude air until the gates of the city are once more opened to let in fresh air. Regardless of who opened them, the stone gates of the city slowly close the moment the city begins to ﬂood, magically sealing when the doors are shut—only the key to the city can open the doors again.
Pathfinder Module: City of Golden Death. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC. Author: Joshua J. Frost.