The floating skull had eyes of red flame and trailed black flames when it moved around inside a fixed sphere with a 10 ft (3 m) radius. The caster could choose the center of the sphere to be a point 105 ft (32 m) away (even farther for more experienced casters). The image was intangible and the flames were not real. The skull moved at fairly rapid pace and was highly maneuverable.
The message to be delivered and the conditions necessary to trigger the message and the tongue of flame were set at the time of casting in a manner similar to a magic mouth spell. The instructions could be complex and could be different for the message and the flame attack. The message had to be no greater than twenty-two words in length and could not be a magical incantation. The tongue of flame could shoot from the mouth of the skull for 10 ft (3 m) and it was 1 ft (30 cm) in diameter at the widest part of the cone. The tongue of flame was real and could ignite flammable materials or burn flesh.
This spell required only verbal and somatic components. Part of the verbal component included the message of up to 22 words and the specific instructions for triggering the message and the tongue of flame.
Priests of Cyric used this spell to create the illusion that the Mad God was present at a ceremony or other event in order to fool, frighten, or inspire the faithful. The flame attack was used to ignite funeral pyres and to burn enemies.