Urlfire was a lich from the time before the Great War, believed to be over a thousand years old at the time of his destruction. Though his existance was revealed a mere 50 years before his eventual demise, it is believed he was behind several major disasters in the centuries before the War of the Scaled Horde. During the height of his power, Urlfire had legions of undead at his command. His power was such that many called him the "King of the Undead".
It was during this time that he created this evil relic, as a means of augmenting his powers. However, when he was defeated by a large band of sturdy adventurers some time later, many believe his soul became trapped within its dark, crystalline interiors. From that time forward, the relic has been known as the "Heart of Urlfire".
The current location of the relic is unknown. It disappeared with the death of the lich, and is rumored to have been hidden by one of the members of the adventuring party that defeated him. Various sources point to the possibility that it may be hidden in a sealed chamber somewhere under the ruined city of Tymor Keep. So far (or is that thankfully?), all who have hunted it have met with disaster.
The relic is powered by the souls of the damned, and those who were unfortunate enough to cross Urlfire's path. The magic of the relic is so strong that it has a constant crimson glow in its center, and its magic aura can be felt by any spellcaster with 5' of it. Attempts to detect its alignment easily reveal its Lawful Evil nature.
The relic can cast up to 18 levels of wizard spells per day at the will of the user. Using the relic to cast a spell does not require spell components, but does require that the user physically touch the relic. The user can cast any spell normally available to a wizard of the same level, subject to DM approval. All spell affects are based on the character's highest class level (2nd Edition), or the character's total level (D20 systems). Necromantic spells cast from the relic function as though cast by a Necromancer specialist. The selection of available spells is up to the DM, but are usually limited to spells that are available to Necromancers.
Each use drains the relic of 1 charge per spell level. If the relic does not have enough charges to cast the desired spell, it will drain 3 hitpoints from the user for every charge required. These hitpoints can be healed normally with magic and rest.
The relic naturally recharges at a rate of 6 charges per day, so long as there is at least one living thing (plant/animal) within 60 feet from which it can drain energy. Ill effects from this draining show up with continued exposure. Plants wither and die after two weeks. People and animals become increasingly tired and/or sick, temporarily losing 1 point of Constitution for each full week of exposure.
Victims drained in this way can recover 1 point of lost Constitution each full week they go without exposure, or 2 points if they have complete bedrest during that week.
The relic can be actively recharged, but only by evil characters. The relic can be used to drain 2d6 hitpoints from a victim. A successful Save vs. Spells (2nd Edition), or a Fort Save (DC = 10 + hitpoints drained), halves the damage.
If the victim fails their save, half the drained hitpoints become permanently lost. The same victim cannot be drained more than once a day. The relic gains 1 charge for every 3 hitpoints drained in this manner. There is no known limit to the number of charges the relic can store.
Any victim slain by drained hitpoints have a 5% chance of becoming an undead creature for every hitpoint drained. Victims slain by drained constitution have a 10% chance of becoming an undead for every point of constitution drained. These undead fall under the control of whoever posesses the relic, or they may become free-willed if no one possesses the relic. Undead created by the relic have the same number of hitdice and skills as they had in life.
If the relic has not already claimed a potential host, anyone who touches or attempts to use the relic must make a successful Save vs. Paralyzation (2nd Edition), or a Will Save (DC 18), to avoid falling under the relic's influence. This save is required each time a person touches or uses the relic, until the relic finds a host.
If they fail the save, the afflicted person becomes the relic's host, and will refuse to give up the relic or allow anyone else to come near it, protecting it at all costs. A "remove curse" or "dispel magic" spell will entitle the afflicted person to another save attempt. Anyone who successfully makes the save cannot be affected by nor use the relic for at least 1 full day.
Each week that the person is under the relic's influence, their alignment shifts one position toward Lawful Evil, in addition to the constitution drain from exposure. If the person remains under the relic's influence for 3 or more weeks, they cannot be freed from the relic's influence short of a "Wish" or "Limited Wish". The relic will continue to drain the person until they are dead.
If the person is freed from the relic's influence before they are completely drained, their alignment will return to normal at the rate of 1 alignment shift per week. Likewise, they will recover lost constitution as any other victim of the relic.
Urlfire's spirit is currently housed within the Heart, waiting for the chance to possess the body of a powerful user. Should the current host of the relic ever be slain by the relic's draining abilities, there is a 5% chance per level (or hit-dice) that their body will become the new vessel of Urlfire's spirit. If this happens, the relic consumes what remains of the owner's soul, and releases Urlfire's spirit into their newly undead body.
He can only be expelled from the new body during the first 24 hours after being released. After that, he will be at full strength, with all the powers and lust for power he had before.
As a powerful relic, this magical item cannot be destroyed by normal means. In this case, the relic must first be drained of all its charges, and anyone still "possessed" by the relic must be freed or killed. Urlfire's essense must then be temporarily expelled from the relic at which time it can be struck with a Sunblade or other powerful weapon inbued with holy power.
Both the weapon and the relic will be destroyed in the process, and will liekly cause an explsive backlash of magical energy, known as a Retributive Strike.
Once completed however, without the power of the relic to sustain him, Urlfire's spirit will wither and disperse.