Wand/Staff/ Arcane
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Condition: Normal
ID: 4694


December 28, 2007, 2:55 pm

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Janus's Scythe


Most magical weapons look magical and stand out, Excaliver, Grond and a host of others. This one appears to be a common scythe, but is anything but ordinary.

Full Item Description
A scythe that looks much like a normal farming tool. There are a couple of sigils carved into it and the blade is allways warm to the touch even in winter, but otherwise it does not look very special.

David McCann was a worshipper of Janus, the God of Time, and for many years had lived a quiet, boring but safe life fixing the farming tools of those who harvested the fields of the Laird of Cambain. There were many whispered rumours about the cruelty of the Laird and how he was said to take pleasure in torturing people to death, but David didnt believe them. Like most of the peasants he almost never saw the Laird, who preferred to send out his factors to collect taxes, enforce law and order, and tell those under him what he wanted done. Weapons of war were forbidden to the peasants on penalty of gibbeting, and few minded. The Lairds men kept them safe after all; they did a remarkably good job of keeping the bandit gangs from the other clans away. Of course like anywhere with a large population there was crime, but it was kept at an acceptable level.

Everything changed when Davids sister Sarah was gathering wild mushrooms in the forest, something tolerated by the Laird, when she came across the Laird and some of his friends by chance as they hunted the deer. They decided to have their way with the young girl, and when she objected they stabbed her and left her for dead. But she managed once they had left to stagger back to her brothers house and tell him the news before dying from blood loss. He vowed vengeance against the Laird and called upon his God, who he had served for fifty years, for his help, and Janus is said to have sent him a dream telling him what he would need to do.

First he headed to a small orchard that was owned by the monks of Mathom, the God of Delays the only ones who could avoid paying taxes. It was not that anybody feared them; it was that some bigger thing always came up or some comical mishap would befall those sent to punish the monks. His God protected him from Mathoms influence long enough for him to cut down a small sapling from which he fashioned the handle of a scythe. Swords and the like were grounds for heavy punishment, but farming tools were a perfectly legal and necessary part of life on the farms.

The scythe blade he forged from a small amount of Helspar that he had in his smithy. The Laird had given his smiths a small amount of it to make special items for himself and his trusted friends. He was no trained mage, but he poured his desire for vengeance into the metal and carved a couple of ornate symbols into the handle and it became magic with the aid of his god.

He marched up to the Lairds castle and hacked at the doors, and at the touch of the scythe they crumbled as if they were centuries out. The guards and nobles came to fight him but their weapons crumbled when they met his blade, whilst the cuts that they did manage to inflict shed no blood. He then faced the Laird and sliced him down too, and collapsed panting to his knees. And let go of the scythe. At once he crumbled to dust and small pieces of bone, his body ageing five centuries in as many seconds.

When the scene was discovered, the factors, who acted as the police in the region, saw a rusted open door, dead nobles with rusted broken weapons, their ruler sliced apart, a pile of dust and old pieces of bone, and what looked like an ordinary scythe. They came to the conclusion that eitrher the nobles had slaughtered each other or that a band of assassins had visited. The scythe was thrown into a shed and ended up in the hands of a peasent where it remained for years until he triggered it’s power accidently, causing his seeds to grow at once at the cost of a year of his life.

The new Laird got to hear of it and sent his men and confiscated it, but he over used it in a clan skirmish and was dead within a few years. On his deathbed he managed to tell his son and heir of the dangers that it had. Meanwhile survivors from the skirmish tolds the story from clan to clan until it reached the chill courts of the Litch Lords of the North and the more they heard of it the more they longed for it. Being immortal they had no fears of the side effects.

A small army of Undead sent by the Litch Lord Vargas swept down on the Laird’s castle but never made it, being interuppted halfway there by the Undead of another litch. Both armies destroyed each other, leaving shattered bones and skulls all over the place, as if the battle had taken place weeks or months ago rather then a day ago. The Laird, when he heard of it, had the weapon buried in the orchard belonging to the monks of Mathom, but even His power was only able to hold back the searchers in the short term…

Magic/Cursed Properties

On the face of it, the scythe has awesome powers. By touching the sigils they are activated. Non-magical weapons and armour can be made to crumble to rust when they meet this blade, as well as doors. Slightly magical weapons will tarnish slightly whilst fully magical weapons are protected fully from the effect. Wounds can be made not to bleed and only to ache slightly, and the reaction of most opponents is slowed (which can be reflected in game play by taking a point or two of their dice rolls.)

The price the user pays by activating these powers is that they grow years older every time they are used. It varies, using them in a very small way might just make the user a year or two older, but using them in a big way to slice through weapons and armour willy-nilly is a good way to age decades or centuries in a short time. Whilst the combat is raging the ageing will not kick in, but afterwards if the user drops the scythe it will happen instantly. Otherwise it will happen within a few hours or at the most a few days.

Janus is an unforgiving god, and whoever uses this is using their own ration of personal time to age the thing they are cutting, in effect feeding the weapon with their own life force. So think hard before you use it to break that sword or keep that cut from bleeding. It could be the last thing that you ever do.

Should a lich or another kind of timeless creature find this it would be an awesomely dangerous weapon, able to be used at will.

Plot Hooks

A brave band of PCs must find a way to keep the weapon out of the hands of a Litch Lord for if he was to find it he would be near unstoppable.

Or the PCs are themselves Undead in the service of a Liche, trying to bring it to their fearsome Master.

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Comments ( 2 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Cheka Man
December 29, 2007, 11:59
No votes at all? :(
Voted valadaar
December 29, 2007, 13:39
Okay, so what we have is a weapon created by a god to allow someone to take vengeance on their oppressors. It has a price - it ages the wielder as well as the victim.

Sure, I can go with that - the dangerous weapon of vengeance is a classic theme (or cliche, depending on who you talk to.) The downside of the weapon seems to be compensating for a power which is a bit over the top, and so it is quite extreme.

A couple of comments though, if you are going to include a cultural icon such as Excaliber in your sub, please spell it correctly! Though most of your text was free of such errors, making an error there on a well known item is hard to miss. There are other spelling errors a good spellchecker should find for you. Open Office is a good free one if you don't have one.

You have used 2 different spellings for Lich as well (Litch, Liche). Pick one and stick with it.

In short, Okay item, Okay backstory, presentation needs work.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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