Yiyik, an archmage from Sughd, was fond of two things above all others: smoking and cruelty. He created a giant hookah with which to combine them.
The hookah itself has a large basin some four feet in height and eight in diameter; unlike other hookahs it is rather squat in shape, with its large charcoal burner plate being four feet in diameter but extending upwards only one foot. The basin is made from blue amber; the plate and burner are burnished bronze. There are four gold figurines at compass points at the top of the basin; one a tiger, another a dragon, a third a yak and a fourth an ape. From the mouth of each extends a hose with which to inhale.
Yiyik's Hookah can be smoked with ordinary tobacco and water. But if a living thing is sealed within the bowl, it causes magical effects; the creature begins to slowly dissolve in the smoke filtering downwards [losing one hit point per inhalation], and its very essence is sucked out through the hoses and into the lungs of the smokers.
This has three effects. First, it allows those inhaling the smoke to have access to all the captured being's memories and experiences. All secrets are rendered knowable to those smoking its essence. Second, it allows the smokers to steal the captive's magical knowledge. Any spells that the captive has memorised at the point of dissolution are then memorised by the smoker, who can cast them as usual that day in addition to his or her daily allotment of spells. (They are forgotten at the stroke of midnight.) Even non-mages have access to this effect.
Thirdly, the hookah slowly kills the unfortunate victim, who gradually withers and fades into liquid and smoke.
The hookah can only be opened from the outside.
Monday, 19 October 2009
[Inspired by something Alexis put in the comments to yesterday's post.]