Appearance:

This amulet typically takes the appearance of a small ceramic tablet inlaid with a geometric pattern resembling a judge or sitting caricature of a paternalistic death figure. They are blue-green in color and have the sigils picked out in metallic inks. The amulet is roughly the size of four coins and has to be worn about the body somewhere. The most common method is as a necklace, but nothing says it cannot be used as part of a chatelaine, or an adornment to a belt, pouch, or weapon scabbard. When activated, the amulet shatters into dust.

Creation:

A Bitter Strike Amulet is created with equipment basic to a pottery studio and is a twice fired piece of ceramic, once to set the material and the second to vitrify the coloration. The materials used should be of the highest quality, and the reagents required for the proper glazing cost approximately 50 GP. (or an equivalently high, but not out of reach amount for heroes)

The ritual to make one requires eight hours, and a Lawful Neutral craftsman who is a cleric of the Law, or War domain.

Function:

When activated, a Bitter Strike Amulet grants two abilities. The wearer's next non-spellcraft attack has a major bonus to hit (as per a True Strike spell) and deals damage relative to the amount of health remaining to the wearer. The less health they have remaining (aka, the more damage they have received) the greater the damage bonus to the Bitter Strike. When used by a badly wounded person, Bitter Strike can allow them to lash out for three to five times the normal amount of damage, typically allowing them to either win the encounter they are in, or deal so much damage to the foe that it is driven back, or forced to parlay.

A 'True Bitter Strike' is a once in a lifetime event and typically happens when the wearer takes enough damage to kill them. If an appropriate saving throw is made, the mortally wounded character activates the Bitter Strike and deals ten times the normal amount of damage with their final attack, which barring magic, becomes unblockable. Following this demi-god like display of power, the mortally wounded person falls dead.

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