Breath of Zehir
Darkskull of Naki
This goblin skull is covered in scrimshaw and seems to dim the light around it.
The Darkskull is a wondrous item with the following power.
Power (Encounter – Illusion): As a minor action, you cause all active light sources within 10 squares of you to be suppressed until the end of the encounter. Light sources activated after you use this power function normally.
A dockside slave in the stinking little port of Hulburg, Naki was press-ganged by pirate raiders in need of a new cabin “boy.” The butt of a thousand cruel jokes, she became the target of unceasing bullying. Then on one raid she was injured by a foe on a ship the pirates pillaged. When the moon next came out, she changed into wererat form, and those who had bullied her the most paid with their lives. Her status among the pirates changed completely as a result, and she became a full-fledged member of the crew. In spite of her sudden elevation in status, she still harbored a poisonous hatred for her former tormenters. When chance opened the way soon afterward, she betrayed them all to the hangman for a very large reward.
Naki realized that piracy was a trade she had learned well and was well suited to. Once she had gained some control over her new state, she returned to the sea. She used her reward money to commission the building of a swift, lean predator of a ship-the Sable Drake-and recruited a crew from among her own people. Under her sharp and pitiless eyes they learned, made way for more apt pupils, or died. Naki was usually fair, and never purposelessly cruel. Her crew respected her abilities and wisdom and were very loyal; they also feared her greatly. New recruits were eager to join, for her crew had prospered over the long years of successful raiding. Her marines, much better equipped and trained than the average goblin, formed the Sable Drake’s primary combat force.
Her ship, stained a dull black to blend in with the night, was heavily modified for her purposes by skilled and greedy artisans. During her eight years as a pirate captain, she fought many battles and plundered more ships than she could tally. One key secret to her success was information: She had spies in every port. Naki liked to know the crew and complement of any ship she attacks and never tangled with a force she didn’t think her crew could handle. The rumors whispered in the din of raucous portside taverns were that the Sable Drake is a devil ship, capable of exploits no other ship can equal. All agree that seeing a black shadow of a ship slide out of the night, demonic captain at the helm, is a nightmare from which there’s no waking… until about six months ago, when the Sable Drake disappeared.
The end of Naki’s career in piracy came when she gained too much attention from a higher power; specifically, Balnartorrimar, an adult blue dragon who considers the Moonsea his domain. In broad daylight, miles from any port, Balnar soared down out of a clear sky like a bolt from the blue, and with breath, tooth, and claw, massacred Naki’s crew. Her ship was gifted to one of Balnar’s favorite associates, a dragonborn pirate named Stavros Twotalon, and she and the survivors were sold into slavery in a market in eastern Erathis Watch.
During her brief captivity, Naki used her shapechanging abilities to escape her bonds, rescue the remains of her goblin crew, and flee to the sewers. Naki succumbed to her wounds not long after, and in a bizarre act of reverence, the creatures she rescued ate her body “to gain her power” and set up her skull in tribute. The goblins and hobgoblins who cannibalized her of course contracted lycanthropy and set up their own camp, while the bugbears who subsist on rats and refuse live in another area. This act of being consumed by the very goblins she had helped free cursed her remains into the Darkskull.
The enchanted skull claimed by the EDGE and returned to Balnar as a gift, and as a result the party now counts the blue dragon and his retainer as allie.