Shay-Keded, The Cursed Kopesh
The Shay-Keded, or “Sand-Slaughter” is a magical kopesh hailing from the forgotten deserts of Nehekhara. The blade steals the life-force of its victims into potent magical energy for its wielder. However, it holds a great curse that backlashes the wielder if the magical energy absorbed by the blade is not spent…
The Shay-Keded, or “Sand-Slaughter”, was created by a fanatical death cult (a sub-sect of the Mortuary Cult of Nehekhara) called “The Warriors of Endless Time” millennia ago. The purpose of the blade was very simple, however. It was created to destroy.
The Shay-Keded is on inspection a crudely beaten bronze kopesh (an ancient form of sword, similar to a backwards sickle) with embossed hieroglyphics down its length. Despite its dilapidated appearance, it has a wickedly sharp edge that shows no signs of it even having been sharpened.
The blade lacks a crossbar, but around the hilt is woven was appears at first to be dull leather, but on closer inspection is flayed human skin. Worse still, when holding the blade by the hilt, one can feel a dull pulse coming from the flesh bound around the base.
For those who can read the ancient Nehekharan text, it tells of its purpose and its perceived destiny:
“Shay-Keded was born in fury and ambition and shall die in the heart of its truest master.”
(One could adapt the blade to hail from any ancient civilisation, however, one influenced by Egyptian culture is most fitting.)
The Shay-Keded has a magical vampiric ability in that it feeds off of the life-force of its victims, fuelling the magical energy of its wielder.
In mechanical terms, should the blade deal at least 1 Wound to an opponent, then the wielder gains +1 to their Mag Characteristic during their next round of combat. Should they not cast a spell during this following round, the bonus Casting Dice becomes a Chaos Dice that remains (and is stackable with other Chaos Dice produced through other means and as a by-product of this ability) until the next sunrise.
In terms of fluff, any wound caused by the Shay-Keded seems to bleed sand for a few moments before acting as a normal wound (that is, by releasing blood). Any limb or body part cut off with this blade shatters into sand when it hits a hard surface. This is also the case for items held by the victim (although magical items are unaffected). Items of Best Quality are not destroyed on a roll of 6+ on a d10, and are merely reduced to Poor Quality. These items appear to have weathered many hundreds of years in an instant.
(One could adapt the abilities to give a bonus to casting rolls in the following turn, but then count as a casting penalty if not used immediately.)
Crafted by the Warriors of Endless Time, the blade was eventually taken up by one of Vashanesh’s lieutenants, a vampire of considerable skill himself. When, however, Nagash the First Necromancer fell after his vampire servants rebelled, the blade was whisked away north, to await the return of Vashanesh.
However, those who bore it away eventually doubted the return of their lord, and held close to the blade, keeping it as an heirloom for the master of their house, which they named House Vasilikov in the local Kislevite fashion of the North.
The Vasilikov family eventually settled in the doomed city of Praag, and have since ruled over their little slice of the underworld of that wretched city with an iron fist and the bronze Shay-Keded.
(One could adapt the history to be that after a great calamity the blade was secreted away to be returned to its old master. However, the custodians of the blade became jealous and refused to return it once their master returned, and have since held it.)
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? Responses (12)
I never played Warhammer, but i like the style of this blade. Good names, good details, good stuff.
Thank you :)
In my opinion, Warhammer evokes such awesome ideas that, after reading through some of the books, any GM should be brimming with stuff like this!
Plus, the beauty of it is, the setting is so hard on players that they eventually kind of 'look forward to' the next exciting way you will almost kill them all :P
I strongly urge you try WFRP 2nd Edition.
Warhammer is indeed inspiring.
Welcome to the site, a good first submission :)
Will vote later.
You had me at "You can feel the grip pulse".
I was then fully yours when the wounds bled sand momentarily and, if severed, shatters as sand. Great details and those sold me on it. The stats and such, while distracting, were easy to flow right through to see the beauty (ugliness?) of the ideas.
Awesome first sub!!
Thank you very much!
I didn't know whether to put the stats in there, but I thought if I left them as simply explained as possible, they wouldn't be too intrusive. Glad that paid off :)
Definitely looking forward to submitting more, and I certainly have a lot more Warhammer inspired (yet, ultimately, setting neutral stuff) all ready to go.
And it's stuff like this that remind me of why I love the flavor of the WH settings, it's a well crafted sub with a very good backstory.
Thank you, that is a massive complement to me :)
I just hope my players feel the same sense of 'Warhammer-ness' when I run games :P
This will be perfect for the new campaign I'm just getting off the ground (Ancient Near East -ish.) I like this new take on the vampiric weapon trope and the description makes it very unique and cool.
I too like the flavor of WH. Even though I am only mildly familiar with the system, I regularly raid the sourcebooks for ideas (I am currently "plaguing" the party with Skaven and my Chiros sub was partially inspired by the Vampire Counts.)
I did get tripped up a bit by the stats. I could gather the meaning of most by context, but I don't know what Chaos Dice are or how I might translate that into my system of choice. More system neutral description would be much appreciated.
Overall this is an excellent first sub. Welcome!
Glad to be of service :) And thank you!
I have to check out the Chiros sub then, as I love WH Vampires. They are just so much more evil and insane than any other vampire lore I can find.
Sorry about the stats... Basically, Chaos Dice increase the chance of spells going haywire, whilst not in any way adding to the casting. Normally, you cast magic by rolling a dice pool and adding up the numbers. If the numbers pass the target number, you cast the spell. If you get any doubles, triples, etc, then you get a miscast. Chaos Dice only count towards getting doubles, etc, but not towards the total target number.
Hope that cleared a little up.
An excellent first sub. Welcome aboard!
Neat. I've always has a soft spot for the khopesh, and remarkably usable weapons of less suitable materials. Flavor is good, names are great, history is fun. Solid.