This Blog 2019, Goals and Grommets

Inspired by the 2019 goals post over at Charles's Dragons Never Forget Blog, I figured I would do the same thing. 2018 right around ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sword of Stone and Blood (A rare cursed sword from my AD&D game.)

      I was flipping  though and old game notebook from an old AD&D game I had found up in my attic the other night and I came a crossed the description of a cursed sword and a paragraph of where it had come form and where it had gone.

That was my habit at the time, if I made an item I wrote a quick blurb about who made it where it came from and how it  ended up where ever it was when the players might find it, I'm glad I had all that creative  energy back then because I don't think I have it in me to be so thorough anymore.

I thought this sword was particularly nasty sounding, so I wrote it up a bit more completely.
Perhaps some one could find a use for it in their games.

I was thinking,
Having a string of murders that can be traced to some poor soul holding this sword could make a for an interesting Jack the Ripper style murder mystery plot.

The Story of Mailik and Hyrum:
     Seven skeletons of seven priests each with a silver dagger sprouting from the back of its neck hunched over the stone box. The inches of dust laid crossed everything in the room like a shroud; it was obvious we were the first to see this scene in a very long time. I told Hyrum not to touch anything, I had seen him eyeing the dagger, but it gave me a bad feeling. Looking into the stone box I saw a pile of dark brown and red dust covering a short sword. I brushed away to ancient dust and carefully removed the blade mindful of any movement or lines that might be attached. The swords blade was pale white as if made from ivory, the hilt a cold blue-black metal the pommel was carved into a human hand holding a rough hew grey stone, the balance was perfect as fine as I had ever held.

The next thing I remember I woke covered in blood, Hyrum laid dead next to me, horribly mauled, disfigured. I knew I had done it, I have no idea why, I had known him for years, but the blade was still in my hand, bathed in blood and it seemed heavy so very heavy, I could barely shift it.
Then nothing but a blur, the blade let me see my first victim because I had known him, he was a friend and I think it had to be that way. That was a year ago, but from then on I stalked the night killing for the blade feeding it, more animal than man.

Now here I lay, spent, exhausted, nothing left. I wish I had never seen that tomb, never touched that sword, but it’s too late. I have no idea how many people I have killed, no idea how many lives I have ruined. I deserve this fate.

Three weeks ago the clouds lifted as if from nightmare I woke, huddled near a river bank dressed in rags, stained with dirt and blood, the taste of  the gods know not what in my mouth, the sword in my hand. It had released me, I don’t know why, I don’t care. I walked to the falls near Avreth and cast the blade into the spring torrent, it was the last of my strength and I hope that accursed thing is washed to the sea. No one should have to live as I have.

Then I wondered, and you found me here, I can wander no more, I can take no food, while my mind is finally clear my body has given up. I will die here today, resting against this tree looking out over this glade. I do not deserve burial; I offer only a warning, if you find the sword I spoke of leave it where it lay. Take your leave and go pray to whatever god you make your peace with, and never return.

Sword of Stone and Blood
(or Lephrith's devil fang blade)

Cursed Short sword:

Brief: A pale blade made of an unknown material similar to ceramic, a dark forges steal hilt, a pommel carved into the figure of a man’s hand holding a lump of granite shot through with red quartz.
Damage 1d6 / 1d8

Attack bonus Variable, see below (damage and hit)
Cursed: The sword has an insatiable thirst for human blood.

When a person first holds the sword they must save Vs spells at -3. Every time the sword is drawn thereafter the character will have to repeat the save versus spell without a penalty.

If the save passes the person will simply get a strong feeling of foreboding. 

If the save fails the character will fall under the spell of the sword and viciously attack the person nearest to them.

The victim of the curse will go on to attack and attempt to kill another victim each night.
During this time the sword is completely in control of the wielder, allowing them just enough autonomy to hunt for food, and scavenge together enough resources to barely stay alive. 
The sword will often drive them to other violent and evil acts, such mutilating their victims and acts of cannibalism.

These unfortunate victims usually take to the forests and stay concealed during the day, emerging at nigh to kill for the sword, regardless of class a victim will take to a savage life of banditry using stealth and surprise to coldly murder unsuspecting victims.

  • Each consecutive night the sword is granted a kill, it’s to hit and damage bonus goes up by one, until it reaches a maximum of +6/+6.
  • At +6/+6 any one wielding the sword may make 2 attacks per round, and will grant the wielder a +3 to their strength and dexterity attribute. (In effect they become a murder machine driven by the swords blood lust.)
  • Each night the sword does not taste blood the bonus drops by 1.
  • Each month a victim is under the swords curse, the victim permanently looses 1 Constitution.
  • When a victim has run out of constitution, its body is too broken down from living under the curse to be of any further use; the sword rejects its host and breaks the spell. A victim in this condition will die 1d4 weeks after the spell is broken.
  • If the sword is forced from a victim the victim must save vs. death or die, if the save is a success the spell is broken.
  • If the victim is killed so be it, the sword will wait to be handled again.
  • A person that can trace his or her heritage directly back to Lephrith may wiled the blade and while still being driven to kill as often as possible, will maintain their faculties while gaining the  bonuses the sword provides.

Last know location:
The Sterrwalk River.

(None of this will mean anything to readers not playing in my ad&d2nd game, sorry
Taken from an old notebook in the attic, probably around 1996-2001? not sure. Some minor edits were made, just because.)

During the first wars of Ordouth there was a leader of a division of scouts in the Ourdouth army known as Lephrith of shadows.

Lephrith lead his men into the caverns below the Iron Spine Mountains in an attempt to find a new passage into Aleria, and a means to surprise their enemy. Under the mountains the troop of scouts found no passage. They found the dark creatures from the depths. Haggard by the underdark denizens, the survivors managed to escape after fellingl a great beast of war that had been driven before them.  Lephrith Had a blade forged from the tusk of the mighty beast.  The resulting blade instilled in Leprith such a blood lust that he lead his men on a swath of mindless pillaging, murder and destruction, so horrific that the whole of Aleria’s force was turned against them. Leprith was renamed "The Leprith Crimson," as he pushed deep into Alerian territory spreading fear and death before him.

Leprith and his men were crushed by the Alerian force after pillaging and raising the city of Careth.
His body and his blade returned to Orduth by some straggling survivors The priests of Orduth took Leprith and his sword high into the Ion Spine mountains where they dug a tomb an and sealed them away after committing to it a blood ritual binding the sword to the tomb, and unknowingly starving the sword of blood for centuries, effectively damming any future mortals who touch the blade.

An explorer named Mailik latter found the blade while looking to loot the ancient mountain tombs. The curse led Mailik on a killing spree that lasted a year, which only ended when Mailik was near death. The sword was cast into the Sterrwalk River, and has not been seen since, but these kind of things have a way of resurfacing.

Ceramic sword by Gustaf Nordenskiƶld Fits the description.

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