A good solid item with a good back story and reason for being.
What is the failsafe that is mentioned? And is it actually dampening the effects, sucking some of the spell being cast on the wielder or is it simply draining the wielder? Those two things were a little unclear to me.
For a holy item crafted by the members of a theocracy the moral compass of the gods and the relationship of the divine to the item rarely comes into this story. I dislike the focus on "spells" when discussing divine intervention, but I get the idea behind the item,
"it improves the wizard who wields it but makes the wizard vulnerable to the divine powers of the gods. " For an item that puts game mechanics first and foremost, it is just okay, not worthy of "fabled place in history"
Well done! There is both an item and a plot here though, you might want to consider making the bow into a sub of its own. If you do not I will not hold that against you. There always is the chance of two mediocre subs instead of a good one.
Over to the content; How do we kill these undead? Did I miss that, or are they just generic zomies? I like how the submission flows trough relatively big chunks of text without bogging down and I liked the plot itself.
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Was this intended for a homebrew, or are you GMing in another setting? One last nitpick. You mentioned ghouls, I thought ghouls are alive, not undead?
Again pretty standard stuff, item of great power and evil falls into the wrong hands, there is a red herring and the heros must do battle with the villain wielding the item....but wait all is not as it seems the villain has been altered by the item to become a super villain!!! A classic really...
But again startibartfast you have done it with style. Well done.
This was quite an interesting read. I think I'll have to work this into one of my games some time. Some of my players have a habit of solving enigmas earlier than planned, so I'll probably add a few more red herrings to throw them off Rothsherion's trail.
Perhaps a band of thieving vagabonds outside of town who were slighted by Ivan, and love to play music?