Magical Marvels 7: The Son’s Service

Zalekios Gromar's Kukri - The Son's Service. Art by cbMorrieAt long last, a return to my ongoing series of weapons which appeared in my Ascendant Crusade campaign. When this series left off in February, I posted about The Glare of Vecna. Prior to that I posted Gravewhisper’s Claw, Wallcraft’s Offerings and Kofek’s Tongue. All of those weapons, and now this one as well, were illustrated by my ladyfriend. You should check out more of her art on her DeviantArt page.

WARNING: This post covers material which is significantly darker than what normally appears on this blog. I’m not kidding, this gets very grim.

The Son’s Service
Artifact Kukri


PHYSICAL ATTACKS


(Kukri)(Attack) +5
(Kukri)(Damage) 1d4 + 5 (Slashing)(18-20/x3)


SPELLS GRANTED


4/Day – As a standard action, the wielder can ‘cut’ a door in the air with the blade, creating a Dimensional Door which allows the wielder to instantly travel up to 30ft.

1/Day – The caster can spend 1 minute scratching a door into a stone surface. When the door is completed, stepping through it will cause the effects of a Plane Shift spell for 1 minute. The plane the wielder wishes to travel to must be whispered to the blade before the creation of the door is begun. Anyone can step through the door, even enemies of the caster, so long as they do so within 1 minute of the door’s completion.

1/Week – If the hilt of the blade is held so the eyes of the skull meet the eyes of a helpless opponent, then the wielder may speak the trigger phrase “Love is weakness.” When this is done, a brief light will flash in the skull’s eyes. The victim’s dearest loved one must then succeed on a DC: 14 fortitude save against death. On a successful save, they still take 3d6 pain-based damage. When this happens, the victim will hear their loved one’s cries of pain, and suffers a -6 morale penalty to all rolls for the rest of the day. (This is based off of the Love’s Pain corrupt spell in the D&D 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness)

1/Week – If the hilt of the blade is held so that the skull is pressed against the heart of a victim, then the jaws of the skull will bite into the victim’s breast, tearing away a small bit of flesh. The victim will then immediately drop to -8 HP, and stabilize. No saving throw is allowed against this attack, however if the victim is wearing any kind of armor it is impossible. Making this attack in combat is extremely difficult, and works as a melee attack roll made with a -4 penalty. (No weapon bonuses are included in this attack roll, as the attack is not made with the weapon’s blade.) (This is based off of the Stop Heart spell in the D&D 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness)


SPECIAL ABILITIES


  • Anarchic Physical attacks against lawful creatures are made at a +2 bonus, and deal an additional 2d6 damage. (Cumulative effect with Goodbane)
  • Goodbane Physical attacks against good creatures are made at a +2 bonus, and deal an additional 2d6 damage. (Cumulative effect with Anarchic)
  • Ghost Touch Physical attacks deal normal damage against incorporeal creatures.
  • Stolen Youth The wielder’s aging is slowed to 1/3rd the normal rate. Any effects which would magically drain the user’s age are only 1/3rd as effective.
  • Gift of Agony The Intelligence of The Son’s Service suffers constant anguish over the tragedy of its creation. Once per day, it can transfer this pain to a victim through a touch attack, dealing 4d6 damage. If it has been lying dormant for awhile, it may choose to inflict this attack on the first person to pick it up.
  • Bodysnatcher If the blade is buried into the brain of a corpse, then The Son’s Service gains full control of that body, and any abilities it had in life. The blade’s first impulse will be to escape from its owner, and an ego check must be made to command the weapon to obey. Another ego check must be made if any attempt to remove the blade is made.

INTELLIGENT ITEM ABILITIES


EGO 32; INT 19 (+4) WIS 10 (+4) CHA 19 (+4)
Senses Darkvision 120ft, Blindsense, Hearing; Communication Speech, Telepathy
Languages Common, Abyssal, Vasharan
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Purpose The Son’s Service is a psychopath. It is constantly driven to perform vile, and harmful deeds. Most often directed towards lawful, or good characters. It loves nothing more than to be used as an implement of torture and slaughter.


APPEARANCE


The Son’s Service is a Kukri about 4 and 1/2 feet long from the end of the pommel to the tip of the blade. The entire thing appears to be made of bleached white bones. The hilt is made of a series of vertebrae, which end in a pointed pommel. The hilt of the weapon is a very small skull, and the blade protrudes from the crest of that skull. Upon close inspection, someone familiar with anatomy might recognize the blade as a warped rib-bone, which has been flattened and sharpened. Though normally dark, the eye sockets of the blade occasionally take on a faint glow when the weapon is focusing its attention.


HISTORY


The origins of the blade known as The Son’s Service are as dark and depraved as the master it was crafted to serve: Zalekios Gromar.

After the murder of his father, Zalekios was raised by the succubus, Setya. The demon knew how to feed young Zalekios’ psychopathy, and gleefully encouraged him in his childish pursuits of murder and mayhem. As he grew, Setya artfully crafted her Vasharan son into a weapon. A mortal man with all the rage and power of a demon. When he reached maturity, Setya bore for him twin children. One, a girl, she named Reizalla; destined to succeed Zalekios’ as Setya’s agent of chaos. The other, a boy, was sacrificed in a ritual so vile that it tainted the very air around it. Even centuries later, those who unwittingly stumble into the location where the ritual was performed find themselves choking and coughing as though breathing smoke.

The succubus then used powerful magics to twist and reshape the dead child’s fragile bones into a blade. One so strong it could crack steel. She dubbed the blade “The Son’s Service,” and gave it to Zalekios as a parting gift when he went forth into the world to spread chaos and death. Immediately upon accepting the blade, Zalekios could hear it cursing him in his mind. The weapon hated him with a pure malevolence, the like of which has never existed before or since. If it could, the weapon would destroy the father who cavalierly accepted the corpse of his own son as a gift. But it could not. In fact, the weapon could never take any action, or inaction, which would harm Zalekios. Nor could it even attempt to disobey him–such was the curse of the vile rituals Setya had performed.

Zalekios’ created a path of destruction throughout the world for decades. He murdered children or parents, he schemed to topple kingdoms, he did whatever would cause suffering. And always, The Son’s Service was by his side, opening the wounds which fed Zalekios’ blood soaked path. Were it not for the rancour the blade felt for its master, these would have been the happiest times of its psychopathic existence. Eventually, when Zalekios allied himself with The Whispered Queen, there was much less killing to do. She demanded a greater amount of subtlety from her companions than The Son’s Service would have liked.

Many years passed in the Whispered Queen’s service, and Zalekios grew restless. He chafed at taking orders from a woman he knew he could kill, and viewed her goals of bringing order to the world as perverse. But he could not stand against her. Powerful as he was, he knew how fiercely loyal the Queen’s other companions were. Even he would fall before their combined might. He brought to her a compromise: turn her forces on the Abyss. Let him lead her armies against the demon lord, Graz’zt. Zalekios would usurp the Demon Prince, and claim his throne for himself. Once he was a demon lord, Zalekios could spread chaos throughout the multiverse, and would have no desire to meddle in the affairs of the material plane. Besides–he argued–it couldn’t hurt to have a demon lord as a friend.

The Whispered Queen agreed, and began preparing her forces for a march into the abyss itself. The titanic army overran Graz’zt’s outer defenses, and penetrated deep into the demon lord’s Argent Palace. They reached the center of Graz’zt’s power, and with victory within his grasp, Zalekios charged the demon prince. But The Whispered Queen advanced no further. She and her forces stood in silence as Zalekios and those loyal to him were torn to pieces and devoured by demons.

The Queen had taken Zalekios’ advice to heart. It couldn’t hurt to have a demon lord as a friend.

After Zalekios’ demise, The Son’s Service was given to Reizalla for her part in the betrayal. But she found that the blade hated her for being the surviving twin almost as much as it hated Zalekios for being responsible for its existence. And the weapon was not magically compelled to obey her as it had been for their father. Reizalla traded the weapon to a balor, and ever since it has traded hands from one demon to another. Likely it now resides in the treasure vault of one mighty demon or another, yearning to draw blood once more.

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