Lute of Illiteracy
The hooded figure sat near the fireplace tuning a lute. A few moments later the figure nodded and it seemed as if three members of the crowd moved back a few more feet.
A beautiful tune was played by the musician and there were calls from the audience for another song. The hooded figure played another song, some in the audience knew the words and joined in softly.
Someone in the audience then screamed.
‘I cannot read this map!’ howled a robed monk.
Soon a few others in the crowd began grumbling, unsure of what happened.
‘Let’s get Navnen out of there before they realize what is going on. That illusionist won’t be able to read his spellbook for a few days and we sell that lute as soon as possible,’ Chalk whispered to Valance and Koram.
Spiders began pouring in through an open window. Large, nasty looking spiders. A yokel pointed and screamed as the adventurers jumped into action and retrieved the thief.
An insidious musical instrument that is the bane of many a spellcaster and scribe, the Lute of illiteracy is a magic item that can cause considerable setbacks. It is not considered wise to hold onto this magical lute for too long as many spellcaster would do anything to take this away from any troublemakers.
Benefit: When a tune is adeptly played on this lute (either by a Bard or with consecutive successful Wisdom and Dexterity tests) all within 30′ listening distance (except for the musician) become so illiterate for 1d4 days that they cannot even comprehend maps. Spelling and reading are completely out of the question for the duration of this effect. A Saving Throw versus Spells with a -1 modifier will halve the duration of this ominous instrument.
Usable by: Anyone.