Lifegiver; holy sword of Linn.
Once upon a time this sword may have been a sight to behold, but no more. Rust and decay now tarnish the metal of this forgotten relic, and those who stumble upon it are more likely to toss it than use it.
Linn Lightson breached the doors of the chapel dramatically, opening both doors at once with a bang! All eyes were on him - the terrified and huddled townsfolk regarding him with awe. These were all the people that remained of the entire city; the rest nothing but an undead host scraping at the walls. The holy warrior Linn's shining armor was awash with blood and ichor - he was a figurehead of the resistance against Khalran the Lich; the one who had ransacked the city of Moridon - and had slain many re-animated beasts in the last few weeks. Linn's attacks were a stalling effort more than anything, as the holy clergy of Moridon was constructing a weapon for him. A weapon which took a dozen of the clergy's most devout clerics many weeks of divination and prayer to create and imbue with righteous power. Power to destroy the undead horde which had raped their beloved city. And now, this weapon was complete!
'O benevolant and most holy Linn the Light-Son,' The high priest intoned dramatically, 'We, the holy conduits of the Hullister, great god of light and life, bestow unto you this most sacred sword. Behold, Linn Deathbane, the sword. Lifegiver!' The high priest thrust his hand upward, and a convenient ray of light shone onto the blade of the sword he held, causing it to glint dangerously in the hall.
'Oh most righteous brother, I accept this gift of Hullister and will save this city!' A chorus of cheers echoed from the folk in the chapel as Linn Lightson collected the weapon and turned to walk out the chapel doors and back into the menacing grasp of the city.
And Lifegiver was a most magical sword! Within two streets, Linn found himself accosted by a band of ragged zombies, and a single cleave of this great weapon split them all in twain. But this was not the only power Lifegiver had; for not three more streets away, Linn Lightson was ambushed by a veritable horde of undead flesh and bone. The re-animated horrors leapt upon him before he could raise his sword and tore at his skin and flesh. And the life did drain away from Linn Lightson, and he fell, an empty shell onto the ground. But then Livegiver's name rang true, and with a burst of Topaz brilliance, the life of Linn Lightson was returned and the unholy beasts around him were flung back by its brilliance. Livegiver restored one's very life itself!
Linn Lightson gutted his way through the army of the dead, his exubirent holiness glaiving a path to the tower which Khalran the Lich had taken residence. Truly, Lightson was an avatar of Hullister himself, and he knew it to be so! Linn burst through the door of the tower with his boot and stood proudly in the entrance, brandishing his weapon menacingly before him. 'O most dispicable Khalran, Come forth from your dank hell-hole and face me, Linn LighURK!' The roof above Linn caved in; and then silence.
*Click, click* the bony feet of Khalran clacked on the stony floor as he calmly walked up to the pile of rubble where Linn Lightson lay; only the warrior's sword arm was not consumed by the ancient bricks. Linn Lightson's body squirmed for a few seconds every once in a while as the holy sword continually ressurected him, and then the weight of the bricks crushed the life out from him again. Pondering for a moment, Khalran's bony mouth made a sigh, and then he booted the relic out of Linn's hand. The rubble shifted for a couple seconds longer before Linn Lightson died a final time.
What the hell is the matter with these hero types? Khalran had just seen Linn tear a path through half of his army. What did he think the Lich was going to do, brandish a sword and have-at-him!? No; sensibly, Khalran had set a trap to collapse the roof onto him, avoiding an encounter with that nasty weapon altogether! Humans were always too full of their own self-worth. Khalran tentatively walked over to the sword and picked it up between two fleshless fingers, eyeing it cautiously. Well, this definitely was a formidable piece of arcanery! Now, if only he could make it into something more suited to his own use! Shrugging, Khalran hoisted the blade over his shoulder and took it downstairs to his laboratory. He may as well make something useful out of this embarassment of an encounter.
Khalran the Lich spent some time on the sword, unravelling and corrupting the holy spells and enchantments which were placed upon it. As a result of his tinkering he managed to completely ruin it - hey, he's no blacksmith! - it's edge is now dull, and some inept hammering has put the weapon off-balance. Additionally, it no longer serves as a potent weapon against the undead. In fact, it barely is able to puncture a melon! There is one saving grace - in Khalran's opinion - in that he was able to pervert the 'ressurection' ability, putting a blight on it. Now, any undead foe who handles this weapon will immediately return to life, fully healed back to it's original undead form. Truly a potent ability! But Khalran found another problem; When holding this useless, blunt weapon, his minions couldn't use any actual -dangerous- equipment! The lumbering undead troll which the Lich wanted to utilise the sword's power with would have to go without his massive club!
Khalran prided himself on his problem solving, however, and simply thrust the sword through the troll's midsection, jamming this rusty, rickety sword in place.
Â - Any undead creature who holds onto or is in contact with this sword will immediately be brought back to life on termination. This re-animation effect will happen without limit unless the weapon is disarmed or removed from the creature's body before killing it.
Â - While once, the weapon was gleaming and beautiful, now it is a simple, plain longsword overcome with rust and tarnish, with chips and cracks through it. It truly is a worthless weapon. In fact, it should never be used as a weapon and any attempt to use it should be met with ridicule.
Â - Obviously, this sword in it's original form is simply too powerful for any PC to ever own. Thus, it's corruption is complete; it can never be restored.
Â - The power of this artifact is obviously proportional to the creature the weapon is on (or in). Used on a weak zombie, it is mostly a nuisance, but if used on a powerful creature (such as a corpsemaker) it would create a potentially deadly combination. Unless the PC's are lucky enough to recognize this unassuming rusted weapon and remove it from it's side before doing any slaying.
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? Responses (8)
Interesting. I think the story really illustrates your inspiration: the Grand Hero who comes charging in against the Undead Lord, waving a sword and shouting the names of his gods. I like that aspect, the corruption of (blindly naive) good.
As for its actual magic effects, it seems almost mundane from a necromancy standpoint. But that doesn't bother me much, as I like the story a lot. Khalran seems a very practical sort of lich, which I can appreciate.
A weapon for the Undead.
Could the PCs/villain fix the sword, so that it could be used to kill and resurrect the undead wielder?
I could see how this would be useful (and annoying, from the PCs perspective). The backstory is nice, though getting continuously crushed by a load of bricks would be horrible. I could see sadistic kings using it to torture someone to death, and then repeat...
Why didnt the lich do that to linn?
Why would the lich do that to Linn? The threat was out of the way, and these was no more use for the fellow - let the poor guy die in peace! :p
Khalran is a very understanding undead monstrosity. Some of his motivation for destroying life is simply that he is bored of the stupidity of everyone. He is a problem solver and simply is trying to make the world more efficient.
As for the sword; yeah, it's a pretty straight forward, mundane (and mostly useless from a pc's point of view) kind of object, and that's how I wanted it to be. This item is more about the story; the perverted, wasted result of what could have been a legendary weapon and story, if not for the hubris of man. It's a lesson in humility, and also a vivid reminder that life is not a story book, and things do not always work out for the good guys.
'Evil will always win cause good is dumb.'
A straight up 2nd generation fantasy tool written with self-concious humor and flair. I enjoyed it well more than idea or content alone merited.
This is a nifty item to have floating around.