The stories tell that Skolithros, a powerful mage and Master of the Inner Circle, traveled from the Isle of Wizardry to Gorias to search among the ruins of the city of the gods for forbidden artifacts from the age of legends. He found what he was looking for when, after great hardship and peril, he came to possess the fabled Golden Skull of Hel.
The legend of Skolithros has become a cautionary tale among the treasure seekers of Gorias, for the Golden Skull, which bestows the powers of life and death upon its master, exacted a terrible price upon Skolithros in exchange for ultimate power: it consumed his soul, sucking it from every fibre of his body, but left him alive albeit completely insane.
Some witnesses claim to have encountered Skolithros, and say that he bears the Skull still, clutching it tight in his bony grip, conversing with it in tones first loving then hateful. The survivors of such encounters recount that the twisted creature is utterly capricious, granting boons to some and destroying others, without rhyme or reason, even turning the power of the Golden Skull on insects that crossed his path.
Such fanciful tales may be the lurid imaginings of travelers overwrought by the foreboding atmosphere of Wenlock, or simply fabrications calculated to wheedle free drinks from credulous listeners. Nonetheless, while the legend is not accepted whole cloth by the many world-wise adventurers that frequent the Faggot, neither are they entirely discounted, and canny travelers would do well to steer clear of solitary strangers muttering to themselves in the Forest.
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Armour Class: 0 Special: see below
Hit Dice: 17 Move: 12
Attacks: Touch HDE/XP: 20/4,400 xp
Skolithros casts spells as a 17th level magic user. Additionally, his touch can cause paralysis with no saving throw, and mere sight of him can cause paralysis in any being of 4 HD or less.
Skolithros possesses a Staff of Wizardry and the Golden Skull of Hel
Golden Skull of Hel
This artifact is imbued with power of the Norse God of Death, and bestows upon its wielder the ability to take or give life. Once per day the skull may be used to instantly kill any creature that fails a save versus Death. For each sentient creature so destroyed, the skull gains one charge. The skull may also be used to bestow life, allowing the wielder to cast Resurrection once per day. It is much harder to bestow life than take it, however, and Resurrection drains ten charges from the skull; the God of Death will have his due.
So long as Skolithros's soul resides within the Golden Skull he can never be permanently slain. Even if his body is utterly destroyed, such is the force of his malignant will that his corporeal form will slowly reintegrate itself over time. Only by destroying the Golden Skull can Skolithros be truly killed. If separated from the skull, Skolithros can sense its direction and distance, and will never cease his hunt to regain it.