LORE:

In time now forgotten, Devdan-an elder wizard and artificer-formed an alliance with Veysara-an ancient crystal dragon-to combat a great corruption that threatened to enslave their world. The self-proclaimed Destroyer or the Realms, Lord Brax, tempted mortals to their own demise and used dark magic to harvest their souls to strengthen his undead armies. Seeing that Devdan and Veysara were not powerful enough to withstand his corrupting forces, Lord Brax tempted them with a challenge: if Devdan and Vaysara could best him in battle, he would retire his forces and rest for 1,000 years, leaving the realm in peace for now.

Lord Brax was a powerful necromancer, but even more renowned was his martial skills with a scythe. His scythe was enchanted to cut through the thickest of armor and inflict a terrible death curse. Knowing they could not beat him in battle, Devdan and Veysara sought help. Being a devoted man, Devdan prayed to his deity for deliverance. Being a dragon that cared neither for Good nor Evil but only for Order and Justice, Veysara altruistically sought a demonic pact to offer his eternal soul in exchange for the power to defeat Lord Brax.

Having accepted the challenge of Lord Brax, Devdan prepared for the coming battle. Blessed by his deity, Devdan discovered a miraculous spell that would help him create a powerful artifact in time for the confrontation with Lord Brax. He left to share this news with Veysara.

Having agreed to fight by Devdan's side against Lord Brax, Veysara conjured old and forbidden magic. Veysara summoned a demonic figure of great power and sought the power to defeat Lord Brax. Driving a hard bargain, the demon's prize would be Veysara's eternal soul after his death in exchange for power, strength, endurance, and knowledge that (with Devdan's help) would end Lord Brax forever. After the deal was sealed, a veil was lifted off of the demon to reveal the shadowy image of Lord Brax. Having secured Veysara's soul in the bargain, Lord Brax attacked the crystal dragon. Veysara, caught off guard, was struck by the Destroyer's wicked scythe. Even as the painful curse ate at Veysara's flesh, the dragon fought Lord Brax for nearly an hour. Without Devdan's help and with the curse consuming his body, Veysara finally fell in defeat. Lord Brax left the dying dragon in agonizing despair, knowing that the dragon's soul would soon be his to command.

Devdan arrived to find the Veysara's broken, curse-ridden body with only a wisp of life remaining. Veysara spoke quickly and told Devdan what had transpired. Thinking quickly, Devdan used his powerful spell to turn Veysara into a staff with a mighty crystal sword at each end. The two-bladed sword gently hummed confirming that the spell had successfully captured Veysara's living essence in the weapon. Thus, Veysara would live as long as the sword was unbroken, and the wielder would have the power to defeat the Destroyer of the Realms.

The battle raged for an entire week between the powerful wizards when they finally became too mentally exhausted to sling another spell. The battle closed to martial skills where all knew that Lord Brax would easily best Devdan. With the Arbiter in hand, Devdan found himself effortlessly deflecting every blow from the cursed scythe. Sensing that Devdan was his equal, Lord Brax began to fear that while he was tiring, Devdan was only becoming more proficient with his graceful weapon. Pushing himself to his limits, the Destroyer executed a flawless attack that only nicked Devdan's finger. It was enough. The curse hit Devdan like an anvil in the chest. In moments, Lord Brax gained the upper hand. Devdan's strength failed, and Lord Brax charged for the killing blow. With a gust of magic from the Arbiter, Devdan suddenly screamed with such force that Lord Brax was knocked off his feet into the air. Landing roughly with hundreds of lacerations from the force of the wind, Lord Brax recovered to see ... As Devdan held the Arbiter, he became aware that Veysara was ready to use his greatest power. The crystal sword melded with Devdan. His flesh turned into brilliant transparent crystal. He sprouted giant, crystal, draconic wings. His limbs lengthened, and his mouth filled with fangs. Lord Brax was no longer looking at Devdan, the man; he was looking at Devdan, the crystal dragon.

Fighting for his life, Lord Brax took massive blows and scratches that would kill any lesser man. After several minutes of barely surviving, the curse finally caught up with Devdan. Just before Devdan crushed the destroyer beneath his claws, the curse reached his heart. Devdan roared in pain and fell to the ground. His body began reverting back to human form. Lord Brax, with a broken arm, limped over to Devdan's dying body.

The Destroyer taunted Devdan, urged Devdan to try harder, and laughed at Devdan's broken body. Devdan, clinging the Arbiter, knew he would die, but at least he tried.

Veysara whispered to Devdan, "Let go." Devdan released the Arbiter. The sword spun and flew towards the sky! Lord Brax raised a hand to shield his eyes from the morning sun. He spotted the Arbiter as is dove towards him. The Destroyer was too blinded by the sun to react in time, too weak to dodge aside, too broken to raise his scythe in defense. The Arbiter ran him through, pinning him to the ground. The Destroyer of the Realms, compelled by his own magic oath, was banished for 1000 years.

Devdan was buried with the Arbiter. No one knew that they had buried the living spirit of Veysara with him.

ITEM ABILITIES:

The Arbiter grants the wielder the skill to gracefully use it in combat. It also bestows several crystal dragon abilities on the wielder. The wielder can charge his lungs with energy flowing from the blades to issue a devestating sonic shout. The wielder can also communicate empathetically with the trapped spirit of Veysara. If the wielder should fall in combat, the Arbiter will fly and continue the fight on its own. The most powerful ability is that Veysara can possess the wielder, polymorphing turning her into a crystal dragon.

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The Lore of this item opens up a number of possible plot lines. Here are a few that I can think of:

  • 1,000 years is up and the Destroyer has returned. Players must find Devdan's tomb and recover the Arbiter to fight Lord Brax.

  • Followers of Lord Brax have recovered the Arbiter and are attempting to destroy it. You must stop them to prevent future generations from enslavement (or you must try to destroy the Arbiter for an evil campaign)

  • Players find and must destroy the evil scythe (or they might need to recover it for an evil campaign).

  • Players must find the Arbiter and return Veysara home where other crystal dragons can restore his body.

  • The players are trying to recover the spell that Devdan discovered.

Here are the specific game mechanics of the Arbiter using the Pathfinder Role Playing game system.

WEAPON ABILITIES:

(Please note that these stats were designed specifically for a Pathfinder game. Feel free to edit for your game and power level)

The Arbiter functions as a +3 Thundering Axiomatic two-bladed sword (both blades carry the same enhancements). Any lawful character wielding the Arbiter is automatically proficient with it. A spellcraft check (DC 24) will reveal the following abilities; a spellcraft check (DC 29) will reveal that the item is intelligent and lawful-neutral and will reveal the item's powers (but not its dedicated powers). A non-lawful creature will suffer 3 negative levels while wielding this weapon, and a chaotic creature will suffer 5 negative levels.

Brilliant Wall (Ex): The wielder gains the Two Weapon Defense feat.

Crystal Grace (Ex): If the wielder is lawful, he gains 5' enhancement bonus to his base speed, and he may take one additional 5' step at the end of his turn (that doesn't provoke an Attack of Opportunity) provided this doesn't exceed his total movement (this would allow a character to take two successive 5' steps without provoking Attacks of Opportunity or move, attack, and then take a 5' step).

Glassteel (Ex): The Arbiter is made of a mixture of crystal and metal that gives the blades a semi-transparent look, but the blades count as adamantine for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

INTELLIGENT ITEM STATS:

(Please note that these stats were designed specifically for a Pathfinder game. Feel free to edit for your game and power level)

Alignment: Lawful neutral

Intelligence: 14; Wisdom: 18; Charisma: 14

Languages: Celestial, Common, Draconic

Senses (60ft.): Sight/sound, Blindsense; Communication: Empathy; Caster Level: 20th

Item Power: (These are the powers that the wielder can use) Item can fly, as per the spell, at a speed of 30 feet; Magic Circle Against Chaos 3/day; Dragon's Breath 1/day (Crystal dragon: 30' cone of sonic)

Special Purpose: Defeat chaotic creatures (The Arbiter will only use its Dedicated Powers to fulfill its Special Purpose. The wielder cannot access these powers; the Arbiter decides when and how to use them.)

Dedicated Powers: Item can detect any chaotic foes within 60 feet; Wielder gets +2 luck bonus on attacks, saves, and checks; Cast Mark of Justice at will; Cast Form of the Dragon II at will (Crystal dragon: 40' cone of sonic, resist sonic 30, burrow 30 ft., climb 30 ft.)

Ego: 34

Arbiter's Total Value: 523,200gp

Guardian (Su): If the wielder is reduced to 0 or fewer hp, the Arbiter gains the Dancing enhancement and is considered loosed by the wielder for 4 rounds.

DESTRUCTION:

The Arbiter can only be damaged by a roll of a natural 20 on a sunder attempt with a Vorpal weapon. Even then, the Arbiter has a hardness of 25 and 50 hp. It cannot be repaired be any means.