Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lord's Blade

The Lord's Blade - for its original name and wielder have been lost to time - appears to be a bastard sword of good quality, inscribed with runes the length of the blade along either side of a deep blood groove. The cross guard and pommel seem to be plain, unadorned brass, the hilt wrapped in plain leather the last time this sword surfaced. Closer examination by a competent smith, however, reveals that the blood groove is, in fact, no such thing. While most weapons of this type are constructed of a single bar of steel stock formed into a blade and sharpened, this blade is constructed by 6 thin strands of unalloyed iron welded together and overall clad in a hardened steel jacketing. The result is a bastard sword weighing a full 20% more than a typical blade (12 pounds instead of the typical 10 pounds), but which is of exceptional balance and craft. The runes are deeply incised and no scholar has yet been able to translate them without the aid of magic. If a suitable spell is utilized, they can be translated thus: By this symbol I swear this oath, and by this blade I maintain my oath, that leadership is service.

If subjected to a detect magic spell or effect, the weapon radiates a strong aura of magic of indeterminate type. All efforts to elucidate the abilities of the weapon - whether by Identify or Legend Lore spells, or by some other method - fail unless the oath is taken. If someone capable of wielding the blade holds it in both hands and, under the blessing of a Priest of either Light or Dark, speaks the oath, that person will become bound by the oath and all powers of the Lord's Blade will be apparent to him.

*First, due to its exceptional balance and craft, the speed factor is reduced by three whether wielded one handed or two. Further, the sword has a saving throw of 5 against all types of normal physical damage whether due to extreme stress, fire, lightning, and etc. Extremely powerful magics can overwhelm this. Both of these bonuses are inherent to the blade itself and are not magical.

*During combat, it functions as a +2 weapon in all regards.

*In the hands of an acknowledged leader (whether a king, emperor, baron, or merely a mercenary captain), the sword confers a +4 bonus to Charisma. This bonus does not affect the physical appearance of the wielder (i.e., it does not make them handsomer), but improves their ability to command and influence those around them.

The Lord's Blade, while certainly a very powerful magic item, is a tremendous curiosity throughout Thylia, for though its oath would appear to be at odds with an evil world view, it will serve an evil warrior as faithfully as it would the staunchest Paladin. It is believed in some circles that the weapon possesses some level of intelligence or ego, though this has never been proven or even evidenced. Currently, its whereabouts are unknown.

3 comments:

  1. A well conceived and balanced item.
    --Very nice. Thanks. :)

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  2. I love magic items that carry a cost or bond like this. What happens if the character doesn't uphold the bond?

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  3. Haven't decided what will happen if the bond/oath is broken, if anything. Sometimes, just the hint of something is enough to scare folks, even if there's nothing there at all.

    I am leaning, though, towards having the sword be fully sentient and, if one were to break the oath, would slowly work its tendrils into them until they either fulfilled it, or until it had complete control of them.

    Over all, the weapon is neutral. It neither knows nor cares about ethics and morality. It only cares that the oath inscribed upon the blade is upheld once it is taken.

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