A dagger with an 8-inch blade and a bronze handle with a copper spiral inlay for grip.
The origins of this blade go back many years. It once belonged to a simple shoesmith who carried it for protection. His wife was an overbearing woman who slept around and abused him verbally, both in public and in private but he was a coward at heart and never stood up to her. Sometimes when he was alone he would clutch his dagger in his hand and think of doing horrible things to his wife with it, of torturing her slowly to make her pay for all the bad things she'd ever said and done to him. In the end, his wife killed him with the help of his own brother. They pawned off many of the poor shoesmith's old possessions, including his dagger. Since that time it has passed from hand to hand, no one possessing it for more than a few months at a time, all falling victim to it's deadly curse.
The dagger is infused with all the hatred and rage of the shoesmith. It is capable of inducing only the tiniest of injuries (never more than a few hit points) regardless of how much force is put behind the blow. Any cut it makes is razor thin and any stab wound is only a prick, but these wounds cause the victim agonizing pain.
Once the owner makes the first wound with this dagger, they will find themselves overwhelmed with the urge to use the knife on someone again. Men, women, children, animals, it doesn't matter. Just as long as it bleeds. If there is no one nearby, the owner will begin to cut themselves until they find someone else. After a few weeks of this, most people become gibbering madmen, kidnapping people and torturing them to satisfy the hatred of the dagger.
Attempting to take the knife away from the curse's latest victim will send them into a frenzy that only death or repossesion of the dagger will appease.
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? Responses (16)
This is a real nice item with a great story line behind it. The pacifist blacksmith being abused and murdered makes for a great reason the dagger does the things it does. Were the blacksmith's wife and brother having an affair, or was it just convienant to off him for the money? And how long do the victims stay in agonizing pain, and do the possesed people suffer the pain when they cut themselves, or is that just to feel some pain?
A good item and solid contribution. It fits any setting, by adding a believable bit of horror. It is well written, unique, and has a solid back history. Two thumbs and a tail up for you and this post.
When playing with this item you need to build up the 'horror' aspects. If you could easily detect magic/ cursed item, then its effectiveness is lost. Have it play outside the rules. The GM should only 'arrange' for it to fall into the hands of the better role players. For they can play out the giggling descent into madness to make this item so very interesting.
Thanks Agar and Moonhunter.
To answer a few of Agar's questions:
Was the shoesmith's wife and brother having an affair? Or was it a murder of convience? Likely both.
The pain: The pain lasts as long as any normal pain from such a wound would, the only difference being the pain suffered is magnified. This applies to the person possessed as well. They feel just as much pain but are simply unable to stop themselves from continuing to hurt themselves.
There could be a way to end its curse:
- bringing the wife and brother to justice
- or merely killing them with the knife
It may have some indication of who it belonged to. But if they both died long ago...
Calm people would naturally resist it better. But those that are angry at someone, particularly cowardly, or abused victims, may find the dagger a good help. Would the curse force them to harm others, or could they finally overcome their fears and strike? In theory, they could be unaffected by the curse, and let the dagger go. Unless they harm someone else, of course...
It is such a short, but excellent example of a truly magical item. One of the submissions that shouldn't be forgotten.
This item is really good. A bit short I think, but really good.
Maybe go into a little as to why they got married at all, and anything else that would be interesting.
I would give it a 5, but it is a little short for a post deserving of a five, so I give it a 4.5. On the Edge of Greatness!
Organized crime might find this useful.
A very simple story and idea, yet brilliant! I like the background and the curse. But I especially love the fact that it never delivers large amounts of damage. I can get a great visual of a cursed character wandering the streets, covered in superficial cuts from head to toe, with bloolust in his eyes.
A short and simple sub, one of those short but memorable ones.
Not to mention endless ways to involve the PC's with this rather nasty item.
A short, simple but complete sub with logical, coherent links between the item's origin and its properties.
Scary item with a good backstory. The PCs might be the ones who have to stop a mysterious serial killer, or end up with the blade themselves. When they want a magical weapon, this bears a heavy prize.
I like the mild horror factor. For some reason I have minor trouble accepting that the rage of a cobbler who eventually killed his wife could make such a curse as this one, but such is the way of magic.
I agree with Dozus. I'm not seeing what everyone 'loves' about this. A dagger of painful wounding with a back-story that *almost* fits, then we fast-forward to 'gibbering madmen'.
Friday the 13th horror, and almost a Garage Sale From Hell item, apart from its obvious utility as a weapon. In any case, it could be the start to a murder mystery, though I expect it would be a fairly short one due to its effects.