A moon heart is a blue or pearl colored crystal copy of a human heart, though some non-humans can use them as well. It feels much heavier than an actual heart and is slightly larger in size than one might expect.
Associated: Lhankor Mhy
Friendly: The Invisible God; (Red Goddess?)
Enemy: Kyger Litor & all the other Gods of the Uz
Hostile: Orlanth; Cults that hate or forbid sorcery
Among sorcerers and the Uz, the hearts are well known. Currently there are two blue and two pearl hearts in the possession of individuals. It is rumored that there are red hearts as well, where the moon dust is a gift from the Red Goddess herself, but this is unconfirmed.
Legend tells us that a sorcerer by the name of Shien Two-Tongues found a tablet with the ritual instructions written into the hardened clay, Shien, who was no friend of trolls, took this as a sign and made the first Moon Heart. In time the Uz hunted Shien down and shattered her heart, but not before she taught the sorcery to her apprentices. It is always written on clay tablets because the it is said that the magic of the ritual is too heavy for any kind of parchment or other material.
To begin with a character must be a sorcerer and have mastered the Darkness, Air, Water, and Death runes. The Moon run may be substituted for any of these. Once these are mastered and a copy of tablet is found, the sorcerer needs a shallow cave on a clear sky. In addition, a bowl of moon dust is needed and the head of a troll killed less than an hour before. The moon dust is placed into the mouth of the troll and the mouth is sewn shut. Once night falls and a moon is in view,, with some of the moonlight touching the troll head, the sorcerer casts Create Moon Heart, expending 1 point of POW and 2d6 MP. Assuming all goes well, in the morning the head is placed on an iron plate and left out in the sun until the next evening. Then the head is cracked open to reveal a Moon Heart.
To use the item, the person wishing to implant it in their chest must sacrifice 1 point of POW and succeed in a CONx5 roll. Failure means the Moon Heart has rejected you and you must wait 2d4 days to try again. Critical failure means instant death as the Moon Heart devours your heart. Success means the user's heart is destroyed and the Moon Heart becomes their new organ.
One must be a sorcerer to make a Moon Heart, but anyone can possess and use it.
Possession of a Moon Heart is a bit of a mixed bag. The abilities it grants are:
For 1MP, the character can create a small moon above their head that acts as a torch. This lasts one hour.
For 2MP the character can avoid sleep and feel refreshed, allowing them to remain awake for a full day. The character does not dream that day (obviously).
The Moon Heart provides 1 point of armor for the Chest region of the character
If the character is poisoned or drugged or diseased, they can cleanse themselves of these effects before rolling on the resistance table by spending MP equal to the POT of the Poison, Drug, or Disease
However, there are a few downsides as well.
If using the heart to stay awake, the character must get actual sleep 1 day in every 4 or they risk the Moon Heart taking over their sleep cycle. If the Moon Heart is used in this fashion four days in a row without normal sleep, the character must succeed in a POW x 5 roll or the Moon Heart will keep them awake all the time, spending 2MP at sunset without the character's permission. Lack of dreaming will eventually have a debilitating effect on the character, driving them mad.
A troll or trollkin will instantly know that the character possesses a Moon Heart. They will at best have nothing to do with the character and more likely attack them on sight.
If a character has a Moon Heart inside of them and is ever Impaled (special) in the Chest region, they must succeed in a CONx3 check or the heart shatters and they die instantly.
If a character with a Moon Heart dies of other means than impalement to the chest, the Moon Heart works its way out of the body in a few, bloody, minutes and sits there waiting for someone to pick it up.
Possession of a Moon Heart is desirable for some, but the opportunity cost may be high for others. Possessing one of the clay tablets with the spell on it is another thing entirely. Prices range into the thousands of Lunars.