Campaign of the Month: March 2013
Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age
Sword of Broken Angels
The sword of a fallen angel of justice
Item Type: Weapon (1-handed broadsword)
Property: +1 to hit and damage per tier. Switch to dealing negative energy damage or back again as a free action. As a quick action, switch to holy damage or back again.
Quirk: The character frequently feels intense moments where they desire to kill something. The more intelligent or powerful or closer to the wielder, the better. It may be a cold dispassionate urge or a terrifying bloodthirsty rage. In addition, nearby living creatures occasionally feel an unthinking sense of fear or anxiety with no noticeable cause. (Yes, this item has a Quirk which applies to the owner and nearby people)
Dark Addiction. After the first time a character uses the Sword of Broken Angels, they become unable to relinquish possession of it willingly; only death or an Icon-level ritual can break the magical addiction.
Soul Drain – For each enemy slain by the Sword of Broken Angels, the wielder gains 1d8 hit points (2d8 at champion tier, 4d8 at epic.). Any HP the character gains beyond their maximum disappear at the end of the battle.
For each battle the sword is drawn and it does not slay at least one enemy, the wielder loses 1 recovery until the next full rest (2 at epic tier) to a maximum of half their total recoveries. Alternatively, the wielder can lose 1 recovery’s worth of HP instead.
Mooks only count towards either part of Soul Drain if the wielder either kills half the group or kills the last of the group.
Ancient Knowledge – The Sword of Broken Angels is an intelligent weapon and possesses a great store of knowledge. Once per day, the wielder may deal damage equal to a basic melee attack to themselves or an ally (this damage may not be reduced in any way) and gain a +5 bonus (per tier) to any knowledge-related check they make.
A Terrible Justice – The crit range for the Sword of Broken Angels increases to 19-20. In addition, for each enemy slain during a battle the crit range increases by 1 to a maximum of 15-20. Mooks only count towards this power if the wielder either kills half the group or kills the last of the group. Lastly, on a natural 1-5 miss, the crit range reverts back to 19-20, though this may be increased again.
Scream of the Fallen – Recharge 16+. This power may be recharged no other way. Once per day as a standard action, make the following attack against up to 3 nearby enemies. +12 vs MD. On hit, the enemy is at a -2 to all attacks (save ends) and -2 to all defenses (separate save ends) and is Vulnerable to the wielder’s attacks (third save ends). On a natural 20 attack roll, these saves are hard (16 or more). But for each miss, one nearby ally takes the penalties instead.
Everybody knows, or at least claims to know, where the first of these black swords came from. In long ages past, an angel of justice was expelled from the heavenly planes because they had become so unceasing and so unyielding in their efforts to root out evil and darkness and chaos that they became little different in actions than the dark creatures they fought. This angel (and some say, their allies) landed on the world with their wings broken and their once-shining swords blackened. Angry and feeling betrayed for what they felt was merely doing their duty, the angel nevertheless did not give up on his task. The evils and chaos of the world were visited and struck down by what some might say is an even greater evil.
Nobody knows what happened to the angel. Some say he was killed. Others say that as the angel was on the verge of defeat by some ancient horror, they put their soul into their sword so that they might fight on again in the future. Whatever the truth of things, the sword has an intelligence and personality that is frequently disturbing. The sword is helpful and very polite, but also has an undeniable hunger for blood and battle as well as a dry and dark sense of humor. It refers to itself as C’rle or occasionally “the Black Blade”, but will not talk about itself in any other way. It does seem to possess a great knowledge of matters arcane and historical, though there is a price to pay for accessing it.
Whatever the story, the original sword or swords have been copied through the years. And though every arcane smith or enchanter has attempted to create a version of the sword without the pitfalls and the intelligence, not one attempt has succeeded. Every copy of the sword retains the same dangerous powers, the same terrifying drawbacks, and (most worrying of all) the exact same intelligence and personality. Some scholars even insist that it’s not a copy of the sword’s intelligence, but something more like a collective intelligence. Every Sword of Broken Angels is mentally connected to every other Sword of Broken Angels. This makes an already disturbing magical construct even more scary.
The Sword of Broken Angels is known by a number of different names, including C’rle, the Black Blade, the Drinker of Souls, and Stormfury. The crossguards and hilts on these weapons are almost always unique, but the blade itself is always the exact same. It is made out of a shining black metal which seems similar to adamant, but is not the same. Seemingly inside the blade, glowing red lights dance like lighting in a thunderstorm. Observant and patient scholars have noticed that these lights often form runes and sigils of light for the briefest of moments, but nobody has yet deciphered what they mean or even what the script is. Whatever they may be, the sight of the blade brings out an almost primal fear in all living creatures and even mindless undead creatures seem to hesitate upon seeing it. Even when sheathed, the sword makes nearby people anxious and nervous even if they don’t understand why.