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by Jim Bobb

Good morn' to all of ye! Recent events have made mine free time very scant. I've spent weeks travelling across Skothar, searching for a few magical tidbits for an upcoming quest. My patron hath visited me yestereve and set down the path of my near future: to explore the ancient Tomb of a wizard. This, she said, would begin a quest as grand as any that few others have seen in recent decades. She also hinted that my personal vengeance would finally come to fruition, or at least the chance should I survive. I don't know what a tomb has to do with my captured wife, but I am not one to question the ways of Valerias. I feel a renewed surge of energy with this new direction my life hath taken. I write this while in my home gathering the few items of power I've saved over the years for this specific quest. My daughter is apprehensive, but this is nothing new. She worries over the fact that Valerias refuses to answer her communes over whether I will return to her again. I tell her before every quest I take that we make their own fortunes, no matter what the will of those of a higher station desire. Ah, and as well, I leave in the evening with companions I've gathered on the way back: Targus Blackfoot, a Dwarf Warrior; Annabelle Rothbridge, a Human Cleric of Vanya; Uldras the Wanderer, a Mage and Gervus the Hairfoot, a Halfling Warrior. They know we're seeking an ancient Tomb, but nothing more. I'll fill them in later, if need be. One last thing before I lay down for some rest; my blade hath finally revealed itself fully to me! Some months ago I detailed for all of ye what I knew of it, now I shall reveal the rest.

Duross, Silver Sword +3, +5 vs Other Planar Creatures (1d8+3/1d8+5 vs OPC) Duross is a normal sized sword made of the purest silver. Along the blade's length are 2 blood grooves and a pattern of ancient runes inlaid with gold that spell the blade's name. The pommel appears to be a demonic clawed hand grasping a blood stone worth 1,000 gold. I've managed to better place it's date of enchantment closer to 400 BC Apparently, it was created in the Land of the Red Sun by a Nithian who was commissioned by an Oltec adventurer having problems with an Azcan Cleric that had a few planar creatures as servants. How it ended up where I found it remains a mystery, but Duross itself confirmed that it was there for many centuries. The sword has several special abilities listed below, but the most important is the fact that this weapon is of Artifact quality! I know not how a mortal human did this feat, but mayhaps he had the help of an unknown power.

It constantly Detects Danger 15' radius (as the Druid spell) and grants it's user the ability to Read Languages and Magic (as the Magic-user spells).

Against other-planar creatures it inflicts 4x the normal damage (dice damage only, count modifiers after) on evil other-planar creatures.

Duross is an intelligent (12) weapon with a strong ego (24). It hates fiends of all kinds and as can be surmised will try to have it's wielder destroy any it comes across unless the wielder has a plan already in motion for the same purpose. The sword is flexible and tries to not put a worthy wielder in a make or break situation if it can help it. (It remembers all the time it spent trapped on a plane in the lair of an evil creature after its wielder died.) It speaks Nithian, Milenian, Traldar, Dwarf (common), Elf (common), Oltec and Tanagoro.

Duross is Chaotic (good) that will inflict 2d12 points of damage upon any evil creature trying to wield it and force a Saving Throw versus Paralysis or paralyse the creature for 1d6 rounds.

There ye have it, the details I know of this wonder of past ages. I feel weary now, so I shall rest and begin my newest adventure after I rise. With luck, and more than a little skill of mine companions and myself, I'll return to give all of ye details of what we've found. Till then, safe journeys to all!

Arminath Wynter