A lot goes into this codex, from many contributors, but I really do think this codex is the bedrock of the Citadel. I've mined it early and often, not least for the concept that it's so much easier to bring even mooks to vivid life if you only have a personality trait or two to ascribe to them. A very worthy '5.'
Extremely evocative, and Murometz's explanation cleared up a couple of my questions, but two things stop me from giving this top rating.
First, why was this thing put in the middle of freaking nowhere? Even presuming the enchanter was cruel, insane and eye-corkingly powerful, this would make ten times more sense in and around some city or land. I'd be happier - and I think it'd add to the evocative text - were the Fountain to be situated among ancient ruins ... weathered down to bare rubble, perhaps, but SOMEthing. It'd set off the Fountain's pristine state all the better, and reduce the probability that the players are going to roll their eyes on realism grounds.
Second, I can't see the payoff. If "only the most powerful of magicks" can break the curse, it's not even that the average party can't handle it, most extraordinary parties can't either ... a killer trap, if you will, without much conceivable upside.
Or YAMW, for Yet Another Magic Weapon.
Truth be told, while I understand that system specifics are out, the sword "burns anyone it touches" how? +1-ish flame damage? Double damage to water- or ice-based creatures? Do things it hits go up in a ball of fire, or are they just seared in some way? (Heck, how do you scabbard it?)
The backstory doesn't quite square, either. If the weapon was promptly lost after its sole owner's death, what former owners? How did it get so many names? If the weapon was lost upon the king's death, wouldn't the king's body itself be there, and perhaps guards or retinue as well?
Mm, a long time since the last vote ... in any event, an awesome quest, which I adapted to be the final adventure for my old Sunday group, which had been the group I started up when I returned to the hobby after an eight year hiatus, and which had run for seven years.
"Qacha’s Neck is not a place for "high adventure". It’s a quaint little town for relaxing and exploring the local culture, nothing more nothing less."
Yep; I've always rejected the notion that everything presented in a campaign must be Strange, Offbeat and Unusual. Sometimes, things are what they seem ... how else do you have "normal?"