Magical Marvels 8: The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams

The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams, as painted by Daarken for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game High Resolution
The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams, as painted by Daarken for the WoWTCG

Once long ago, an evil wizard summoned a demon into the world, intending to use the demon’s grisly might in a nefarious scheme for power. The wizard’s plans were foiled, however, by a daring paladin who had hunted the wizard for weeks. She assaulted his sanctum, and he bade his demon to attack her while he fled. The battle between the paladin and the demon was fierce, but ultimately the paladin was victorious. She swung her greatsword down into the demon’s head, lodging it so tightly between the beasts eyes that she could not pull it free. Not wishing to allow the wizard to escape, the paladin drew a short sword, and ran after him. Whatever happened to her and the wizard is unknown, but there is no doubt of this much: she never came back for the sword.

Normally when a demon is slain on the material plane, their soul fades away, and is reformed anew within the Abyss. But the greatsword lodged within the demon’s brain was powerfully enchanted. Among many abilites which it granted its wielder were spells to seal evil, and to prevent travel between planes. And though the blade now had no wielder, these magics none the less prevented the demon from returning to its home plane. Trapped within a dead body, all the fiend could do was dream.

For centuries dreams of slaughter and chaos unparalleled dominated the demon’s half-conscious mind. Over the ages, the flesh of the demon rotted away, leaving naught but bones, the blade, and the pulsing brain in which the greatsword was buried. The dreams of the demon began to corrupt the blade, sapping at the purity of the paladin’s weapon until none remained. When the greatsword was finally recovered by an adventurer, over 700 years after it was placed there, it had become a fully evil thing. And as the demon’s soul fled back into the abyss, it took some small comfort knowing its centuries of imprisonment had produced an item which would sow chaos among mortals.

The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams is unique among weapons, because in order to access its full potential, it must have two wielders. When in the hands of most people, the blade appears to be a bright shade of blood red, and grants the wielder abilities very useful to physical combat. When in the hands of a caster able to cast 5th level spells or higher, the blade’s color takes on a purple hue, and the wielder gains access to a completely different set of powers.

The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams (Warrior’s Blade)
Artifact Greatsword


PHYSICAL ATTACKS


(Blade)(Attack) +4
(Blade)(Damage) 2d6 + 4 (Slashing)(18-20/x2) plus Curse of Horrid Dreams


SPELLS GRANTED


At Will – Dimensional Anchor, cast by holding the blade so that the hilt faces towards the target. When the command word “You will not flee.” is spoken, red and black tendrils of light emerge from the crossguard of the blade, enveloping the target and creating a barrier around them which prevents planar travel according to the rules of the spell as written on page 270 of the PFCRB.

1/1d4 minutes – Bestow Curse, cast by tilling the target “You will X,” where X is a word or phrase which represents the curse. To use the examples given in the PFCRB, if you wish to decrease the targets wisdom by 6, you might say “You will die a fool,” whereas if you wished to give your target a 50% chance to take no action on their turn, you might say “You will falter before my power!” This ability otherwise follows the rules and limitations laid out on page 247 of the PFCRB.

3/Day – Hallucinatory Terrain, cast by twirling the blade in your hands (requiring a dexterity score of at least 10 to accomplish) and saying “Battle amidst a demon’s dream.” The only terrain which this use of the spell can create is a hellscape, battlefield, or other place a demon might dream of. It otherwise functions as the spell on page 293 of the PFCRB, as cast by a 12th level caster.


SPECIAL ABILITIES


  • Psychic strike – 5/day, the wielder of The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams may channel the power of their own horrid dreams into their attacks. By dwelling on a horrifying dream which has plagued them in the past, they can add their wisdom score to both their attack and damage rolls for that round. Use of this ability must be announced prior to the attack roll being made. Psychic strike does not function on any foe which cannot feel fear, such as a foe which is mindless, or a construct.
  • Curse of Horrid Dreams – Anytime a target takes damage from the Greatsword of Horrid Dreams, they must succeed on a will save (DC: 14 + the wielder’s wisdom bonus). This curse has no effect on its own. However, in order for most of the Caster’s Blade abilities to function, the target must already be afflicted with the curse of horrid dreams.

APPEARANCE


The most obviously unusual feature of The Greatsword of Horrid dreams is its length. The blade is a full two feet longer than most greatswords. Furthermore, it appears to have been made from stained glass, and is even partially transparent near edges. A quick test will reveal, however, that the blade is as strong as adamantium, and as sharp as a razor. While in the Warrior’s Blade state, the entire sword–blade, hilt, crossguard and all–are different shades of blood red which shift and move across the surface of the weapon. It is important to note that despite its obviously magical appearance, the blade emits no light whatsoever.

The Greatsword of Horrid Dreams (Caster’s Blade)
Artifact Greatsword


PHYSICAL ATTACKS


(Blade)(Attack)+1
(Blade)(Damage) 2d6 + 1 (Slashing)(19-20/x2)


SPELLS GRANTED


At Will – Dream, Cast by whispering the name of the person which you wish to send to, this spell functions as written on page 274 of the PFCRB

1/Day – Nightmare, Cast by opening a small wound on the blade’s edge and whispering the name of the person which you wish to cast the spell upon. The spell functions as written on page 316 of the PFCRB

1/week – Gate, cast by crying out in a booming voice “Ready the path to glory!” This version of the spell can only open portals to the Abyss, which remain open for as long as the caster concentrates on them. Otherwise it functions as the spell found on page 288 of the PFCRB.

3/day – Phantasmal Killer, cast by telling the target “Your very nightmares themselves serve me!”  The spell functions as written on page 319 of the PFCRB.


SPECIAL ABILITIES


  • See Cursed – At any time while holding the Greatsword of Horrid Dreams, a caster able to cast 5th level spells or higher can close their eyes, and see the face of each person afflicted by The Curse of Horrid Dreams in turn. The face is shown in real time, but the image includes no audio or background. So it is possible to tell if the victim is alive or dead, awake or asleep, etc. But little more information than that can be determined.
  • Insomnia – By concentrating on anyone afflicted by The Curse of Horrid Dreams for 1 hour, the caster can prevent the victim from sleeping for the next 24. Insomnia can be used to cause severe fatigue in victims, but never death. If the victim would die from lack of sleep, then the magic of the insomnia effect is broken.
  • Dream Invasion – By concentrating on a sleeping victim afflicted by The Curse of Horrid Dreams, the caster can observe that victim’s dreams. The ability of the caster to interpret those dreams depends greatly on how well the caster knows the victim. If they are complete strangers, there is a 30% chance that the caster will be able to determine any relevant information about that person. For acquaintances that chance rises to 50%, for people who are known well such as friends or rivals the chance increases to 60%. For close friends or family members, the chances increase to 70%.
  • Horrid Dreams – By concentrating on a sleeping target, the caster may enter their dreams and torture them from within their own mind. Functionally this ability works like the Phantasmal Killer spell, save that the caster themself is the object of horror, and the spell can be cast from any distance so long as the target is afflicted by The Curse of Horrid Dreams, and is asleep. The victim is entitled to a will save against the caster (at a -2 penalty) to disbelieve the illusion. If they fail, they must succeed on a fortitude save or die from fear. Even if this fortitude save is successful, the victim takes 3d6 damage, as well as losing 1 point of wisdom permanently.

APPEARANCE


The appearance of the Caster’s Blade is identical to that of the Warrior’s Blade, save that the color changes from shades of red, to shades of purple. The purple coloring of the blade is depicted in the artwork above.

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