The hammer had originally belonged to the old deep-king Hjotar's father Dorgen, and was already a masterwork in its own rights. It was enchanted by the rune smiths, to add longevity and to pack a little extra punch. Though primarily a ceremonial weapon, dwarves don't do anything half-arsed, and most traditional dwarven monarchs usually end up on the frontlines anyhow.
Still today the hammer sits with the current deep-king, incidentally also named Hjotar Zan Madroszal.
Dwarves don't really bother with the whole regnal numbers, although the lore keepers still keep track for practical reasons. Nor is the name Zan Madroszal indicative of one unbroken bloodline, it simply means, 'of the mother halls' in ancient dwarven, and every new elected king gives up his house name for the sake of the honorific. Though of course any dwarf worth his salt still keep track of which house holds the current honour. The current deep-king's house name was Harga 'ak Volnir.
The head is made out of gilded mithril and so doesn't weigh as much as a normal hammer its size.
On the back of the hammer's head is an armor penetrating spike, in the shape of a gryphon's beak. The head itself is engraved with one of the sacred runes, that none but a rune smith could decipher.
The shaft like many dwarven tools is not made out of wood but a hard species of giant mushroom, called Ogrogrzyb 'Ogro-Grshib' . The shaft is covered in more mundane enchanted runes to increase the longevity of the weapon, it also holds a dated declaration that this weapon belongs to one Dorgen 'ak Sercwattz.
It weighs in at 3.5 Ib (ca. 1.6kg).
It counts as an artifact, and so its value and sturdiness is through the roof. Like many artifacts, it has developed a semblance of sentience from having been wielded by so many legendary dwarves. This manifests in simple ways; Any feelings typically dwarven like (for instance sense of duty, bravery, stoicism) are enhanced. And any hostile action towards a law-abiding dwarf would result in crippling shame and sorrow. It also doesn't like being wielded by anyone but lawful dwarves (it doesn't like caste-less dwarves either) and will become quite unwieldy for anyone not fitting within those rigid standards. And it hates any traditional enemies of dwarves, like goblins, orcs, giants and drow. It would be willing to make an exception for any wielder who readily rids the world of the enemies of dwarvenkind.
It only communicates through feelings and by resisting owners it doesn't care for, the wielder can however relay their wishes to it. It has no way of perceiving the world outside of the true nature of whoever is gripping it, and the nature of the victims it hits. Its personality is typically dwarven, stubborn and traditional to a fault. It exists only to protect dwarvenkind and to crush their enemies.
Mithril (also known as dwarven silver) doesn't rust, nor does it lose its sheen. The fact that it is gilded makes dust the only thing that could tarnish it, and not in any lasting way. In its normal state it is stronger, or at least just as strong as, steel, yet much lighter. It is a very rare, valuable material and in its heavily enchanted state, it would take something drastic to even dent it.
The mycelium shaft's solidity is similar to a very sturdy kind of petrified wood, with a hint of bamboo in it. The enchantment also adds to this sturdiness, so it isn't likely to break in a hurry.
The hammer holds an enchantment that can be used three times per battle, or three times within a 10 minute period or so. The magic is activated when the wielder mentally relays their wish to use it, but it only works if the hammer is accepting of the wielder.
It consists of a normal blow, that at first seems strangely muted and has no discernable effect. The wielder can target either a foe, the ground, or a wall or some other inanimate object. Once the blow connects, it creates a glowing rune on the target, identical to the ones on the head of the hammer. A second mental command freely given will activate and discharge the rune, to deliver the intended blow as normal.
Once an attack hits, you can choose to activate the enchantment, roll for damage as normal, but don't apply the damage just yet. On the next turn, if you have not discharged the rune, the damage value doubles, on the next turn it triples and so on, for a maximum of five times the damage.
Two rounds after a rune is created (if it hasn't discharged yet), the wielder needs to make a will save on his turn, with a -2 penalty for each rune held. Failure discharges the runes immidiately, a critical failure discharges them without any effect or damage.
On the 5th round after a rune has been created, it reaches the damage cap and will discharge on its own. If this happens to an enemy, it is also stunned until it saves, and all enemies adjacent to the rune bearing target takes the original damage value not multiplied.
This could be used to create an extra powerful whammy, as a trap, in place of an explosive charge, or as a threat. The rune can be dismissed mentally as a free action, otherwise it will fade away after about 5 minutes, or when the hammer is further away from the rune than 90 feet. The rune glows faintly blue in the dark. That light can be dismissed mentally as a free action.
The wielder and the hammer needs to remain within 90 feet of a rune, but they need not be able to see it. You can target multiple foes/objects, or apply several or all runes on one target.
The hammer could be offered as a reward when the party has aided the whole dwarven community somehow. Needless to say, this would need to be something massive, like an all out drow/duergar/purple worm/dragon attack.
Harga 'ak Ukraszlod, one of the self proclaimed caretakers of the now extinct Harga 'ak Sercwattz (the original royal family), have long desired the hammer for themselves. But they would need some scapegoats, and no native dwarf would be foolish enough to attempt the theft, perhaps some adventurer could be swayed by the promise of gold or to own the artifact itself, but of course the hammer would have to be taken to House Ukraszlod first, to remove some harmful runes or some such, oh yes. Of course measures have to be taken so that if the adventurers are taken prisoners, they won't be given a chance to testify. Nor will they ever see daylight again, if they are foolish enough to bring the artifact to them.
Twarz 'ak Ukraszlod – The patron of the house. Black hair and beard, both ending in a braided pony-tail. Deeply set, dark eyes, surly and condescending beyond belief, will leave the talking up to his wife.
Berkrid 'ak Ukraszlod – The matron of the house. Red hair, tied up in a bun. Acts all nice towards the PCs but barks orders to the servants. Gets visibly flustered and annoyed when she doesn't understand or isn't up to speed on a subject. Was once married to a duergar, and still holds many contacts within that community. Though Twarz likes to think otherwise, she is the true leader of the house.
Twerin 'ak Ukraszlod - Their only son. Pomaded and braided slick red hair and beard. Shares few of his father's looks, and neither of his parents sentiments. A lazy, spoiled, coward through and through.
Orinn Walicroz – Of the warriors' caste. The shield master of house Ukraszlod. Dark brown cropped hair and a braided beard. He wields a longsword and a shield in combat. A man of few words, he also serves as the matron's secret bedwarmer. There is a possibillity that he's the true sire of Twerin. Something he is painfully aware of. If given to choose, he would choose the boy over his masters.
Erena Cychanka - The patron's mistress. Blond hair kept in two braided tails. While she holds the tattoos of a caste-less, her position is elevated through her work to preserve the dwarven noble lineage. She has yet to become impregnated though and is starting to get desperate, as Berkrid would be more than happy to see her kicked out to the gutter.
Iacov Dawioka - A caste-less butler. Bald with a grey short trimmed beard. Remains unaware of his employers plans. If he did know, he would probably die opposing them, though he has no combat training.
During the ceremonial breaking of a new mithrill vein, the king's hammer was found to be an elaborate forgery. The true hammer could be long gone by now, carried away by duergar, shapechangers or fomorians, or perhaps house Ukraszlod would know something about it, seeing as they've long been feuding with the current royal house. Anyone willing to return the hammer would be rewarded beyond their wildest dreams. But of course, once the hammer has been found, they could just claim it was destroyed and keep it for themselves.
The hammer is suited for experienced PCs, mid-level range. In 3.5, that would be L.15, in 4E it would be somewhere in paragon tier. If anyone wants some 4E stats for this weapon, I would be happy to oblige.
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