This week’s artifact kopesh is again from my Ascendant Crusade campaign, much like the previous two artifacts Wallcraft’s Offerings and Kofek’s Tongue. This weapon is again illustrated by my ladyfriend. You should check out more of her art on her DeviantArt page.
The kopesh is the ancient Egyptian name for a type of sword dating back to 3,000-2,000 B.C.E. The hooked design of the sword was, ostensibly, to allow warriors to grab shields out of their opponent’s hands. The sword was used in the Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 supplement “Arms and Equipment Guide,” as a heavy slashing weapon which could be used for trip attacks. The base weapon is exotic, can be wielded in one or two hands, costs 20gp, deals 1d8 slashing damage, has a crit range of 19-20 and multiplies damage by 2 on a critical attack. This is something of a misrepresentation of the weapon, which had a narrow, light blade. For my own purposes, I combined the more traditional blade design and purpose with the thicker width and high damage.
(Blade)2d8 + 5 (Slashing)(19-20/x2)
1/Day – True Strike, cast by whispering “Blade of mine, fail me not!” This is a free action. The next attack gains a +20 attack bonus, and ignores any miss chance from concealment. (Pathfinder Core Rulebook Pg. 363)
- The blade of Gravewhisper’s Claw has one of the keenest edges ever forged. Not only was the swordsmith a master of their craft, but magical enhancements to further narrow the edge, and protect it from dullness have been cast upon the weapon with the skill of the greatest of archmages. This grants the weapon its additional 1d8 damage die on top of the standard kopesh.
- Aside from the powerful sharpness enchantments upon the blade, Gravewhisper’s Claw also holds an enchantment which causes the edge of the blade to be hot as a blacksmith’s fire. When attacking, Gravewhisper’s Claw is able to ignore up to 8 hardness. This allows the wielder to cut into stone as though it were paper. Even steel provides little more resistance than leather. This bonus does not apply to Damage Reduction, nor does it bypass any amount of Armor Class. It does, however, aid in sunder attempts.
- Anyone wielding Gravewhisper’s Claw gains the Improved Sunder feat if they do not already have it. Sunder attempts attempted by the wielder do not provoke attacks of opportunity, and are made with a +2 bonus. Additionally, the wielder gains +2 to their combat maneuver defense against sunder attempts.
- Gravewhisper’s Claw’s hooklike blade can be used to make a trip attempt. If the wielder is tripped during their own trip attempt, they can drop Gravewhisper’s Claw to avoid being tripped.
- Gravewhisper’s Claw’s hooklike blade can be used to make a disarm attempt at a +2 bonus to the wielder’s combat maneuver check. This is in addition to the +2 granted by the Improved Sunder feat, for a total of +4.
- The first time anyone takes hold of the hilt of Gravewhisper’s Touch, they are immediately affected by a powerful illusion which last several hours for them, but for others appears to last only a few minutes. In this illusion, the wielder experiences the greatest battle the blade was ever involved in: the fall of Niston.
Gravewhisper’s claw is made of polished black adamantine, and inlaid into an ornate hilt of silvery mithril. The grip of the blade is wrapped tightly in red leather–made from the skin of a Balor killed within the realms of the Abyss. A large sapphire is serves as the pommel of the blade, and two thin bands of gold encircle the silvery hilt just below the blade. The blade itself is thicker than the blade of a standard kopesh, and it hooks more sharply at the end. The edge of the blade glows a dull red color, and though it does not burn to the touch, water which strikes the edge instantly turns to steam. In the crook of the blade floats an ancient Negunian rune. The rune is insubstantial, so objects can pass through it as though it were not there. Roughly translated, the rune means “loyalty above all,” with the connotation of strong, even romantic, affection.
When it was created, this blade had another name. It was commissioned by an an ancient king who ruled over the entire continent of Negune from the great city of Oriac, which spanned the entire isle of Argania. The blade was to be given as a gift to the king’s mightiest servant who resided far to the North, who was presently quelling a small uprising there. The blade was sent to the king’s servant’s forward command post by way of a heavily guarded caravan. It was to be the symbol which would carry the royal army to victory against the rebellion.
Unfortunately for the king, a rebel force which had made its way deep into the king’s territory ambushed the caravan, and stole many of its treasures; including the mighty blade. Instead of serving as a symbol of the king’s generosity and his people’s unity, it came to represent the might of the rebellion, and the ability of the people to strike a blow against the seemingly invincible armies which ruled over them. The sword rallied the people to the rebellion’s cause. And though it took twenty years and countless lives, the rebellion overthrew the king and his kingdom.
The end of the war also saw the end of law on the continent. After twenty years, the rebels were ruthless in their extermination of all that their overlords had stood for. The entire city of Oriac was razed to the ground. Its books, its artwork, its many treasures were lost forever. The rebels had come to find authority so distasteful that they rejected the very notion of government. The continent descended into tribalism for centuries, descending eventually into barbarism. For some time the blade would appear here or there for a generation or two, in the hands of a powerful warrior. But it soon became lost.
It wasn’t until several millenia later, after the continent had been re-settled by immegrants from another land that the blade was rediscovered by an Illumian adventurer named Byert Gravewhisper. It had made its way into the bottommost depths of an unexplored crypt within the boarders of the Regalian province of Volpan. He was there with his adventuring party, led by she who would someday come to be known as The Whispered Queen, looking for the one true c0py of The Book of Vile Darkness, bound by Vecna’s own hand. It was easy to spot, for though a thick layer of dust had settled over its entire surface, the red glowing edges burned away any dust which settled upon them.
Byert carried the blade with him through the rest of his adventures. The weapon’s original name and history had been lost to the ages, so he dubbed the blade “Gravewhisper’s Claw.” It served him well as he adventured across the continent, and later as he conquered the continent as a general of The Whispered Queen. It was during this period that he commissioned an enchantment placed upon the blade. A passionate military historian, Byert collected many historical weapons and had them enchanted to allow him to re-live the weapons’ greatest battle in an illusory world.
The weapon remained by Byert’s side until his ultimate demise by the side of The Whispered Queen, over a thousand years after he first took the blade for his own. One of the warriors who defeated the Whispered Queen took the blade as his own for a short time. But shortly before his death, he donated it to the clerics of Byblyx, an order which holds the preservation and sharing of knowledge to be the greatest commandment of their goddess. Since then, the blade has been kept in a museum within the capital city of the new Negunian Republic.