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More Holy Swords of the Known Worldby Kit Navarro
From the Alphatian continent to the deserts of Sind, from the island of Ochalea to the Five Shires of the hin, from the Northern Realms to the Fairy Realms, here are five more holy swords blessed by the Immortals Razud, Alphatia, Koryis, Freya, Hel, Khoronus, and Faunus!
Thrice-Blessed Alphatian Sword
Not as rare or shrouded in mystery as other holy swords, thrice-blessed Alphatian swords were awesome weapons highly celebrated throughout the Empire of Alphatia. These wondrous swords were crafted by the largest churches throughout the continent, and conferred to the most pious and most powerful paladins devoted to the three chief Alphatian Immortals: Razud, Koryis, and Alphatia.
Each of these +2 holy long swords is in itself a masterpiece work of art. The craftsmanship is of the finest Alphatian make. The hilt and pommel varies greatly in style, depending on the region of origin and the contemporary fashion, but usually highly colourful and intricately decorated. The blade of a thrice-blessed sword is always of a fabulous iridescent alloy, forged only by the artisan-priests of the Immortal Alphatia. It is this "chromatic steel" that allows for the enchantment of the three divine blessings, for which the swords are named.
The first blessing comes from Razud, the Patron of Self-Sufficiency and Endurance. Once a day, the sword can cast the regenerate spell on the wielder.
The second blessing is ascribed to Alphatia, the Patroness of Pacifism and Artistry. With the sword, the paladin can parry, deflect, or disarm attacks of opponents (as per the Improved Disarm feat). Any non-magical weapon that is parried or disarmed by this sword will instantly disintegrate in a burst of rainbow-coloured energy. Magical weapons are allowed a Fortitude save, adding any magical bonuses to the save.
The third blessing is evoked from the Immortal Koryis, the Patron of Peace. An opponent disarmed or defeated using the sword is placed under a geas of peacefulness towards the paladin, never to attack, retaliate or exact vengeance on the paladin directly for as long as he wields the thrice-blessed sword.
During the Wrath of the Immortals War, the rest of the Known World became witness to the marvellous power of thrice-blessed swords in the hands of Alphatian paladins. But when a paladin fell, his sword lost and fallen into the hands of the unworthy, the sword was reduced to a mere +1 merciful sword. And with the sinking of the Alphatian continent, a thrice-blessed Alphatian sword suddenly became more precious and more sought after in the Known World.
After the war, two such swords found their way to Tredorian, the Alphatian Prince and hostage to Thyatis. He has since awarded these to two Alphatian paladins now in the loyal service of the Thyatian Empire and thus restored the swords to their full glory. A third sword is rumoured to be somewhere in Thyatis City in the hands of the cult of Alphaks. Whether this is true, or a devious ploy of the evil clerics, remains to be seen.
In the Principalities of Glantri (the main enemy of Alphatia during the war) the Council of Princes candidly maintains to have collected a veritable arsenal of these swords from defeated Alphatian enemies, albeit in their diminished form. The Glantrian make no secret that they are kept one of the lower vaults at the impenetrable Tower of Sighs, but of course, they have said nothing whether these swords are actually thrice-blessed Alphatian swords.
Rumours have persisted for years that certain +1 holy long swords are sacred to the Immortal Freya, whose divine mission is to locate heroes for good and even recruit candidates for Immortality. In the hands of a paladin or cleric devoted to Freya, the holy inspirer becomes a +4 holy long sword and is said to be able to grant special abilities to heroes of good, lawful, or at the very least true neutral alignment.
Everyday, the sword can grant upon three heroes a +4 bonus to up to three ability scores. Once a day, the holy inspirer can also bestow on one hero invigoration (the reverse of the enervation spell that adds 1d4 experience levels and other related bonuses). These benefits normally last only one full day, unless these heroes undertake a quest-bestowed by the sword and usually in the service of Freya-for which the bonuses will be sustained until the quest is completed.
In the Northern Realms, there are legends of a heroic godi of Freya who with her holy sword could transform ordinary warriors to champions of good, and who lead her entire party onto the Paths of Immortality-or some say, into the Halls of Valhalla.
A strangely parallel myth is also told in the western realm of Sind. It tells of Prince Rohin, a kshatriya (holy warrior) devoted to his Patroness Parjani and whose sacred khandar (sword) can "transfigure humble men to great heroes" and "grant men of pure heart the realisation of their higher incarnation."
The striking similarities of both tales have lead some religious scholars to identify the Sindhi Immortal Parjani with the Northmen Immortal Freya. But the divergence between these two cultures and the differing accounts of what the holy inspirer sword appears like has lead to much confusion-and high demand for any +1 holy long swords that might possibly be such a weapon.
Sword of Dark Resurrection
As much as the Sindhi people celebrate the holy inspirer of Prince Rohin in myth and song, they also tell a sinister tale of its evil twin-a sword so corrupt in its influence, it damns the soul of mortals, preventing it from achieving Nirvana. The Sindhi name it a sword of dark resurrection.
Such a sword is deceptive in its very nature, seeming like a magnificent, bejewelled +1 holy long sword-save perhaps that it cannot deal extra damage or negative levels towards evil creatures. In fact, when an evil character wields this sword, they will discover its evil nature and the extra 2d6 points of damage it deals to good beings.
The darkest powers of the sword can only be unleashed by one devoted to the wicked Sindhi Immortal Kala, Patroness of Destruction, Death, and Reincarnation (known as Hel to the rest of the Known World). The sword becomes a true unholy long sword with a +3 magical bonus. Once a day, the sword can also be used to resurrect a living creature that was slain with it-but with very dire consequences. Any good being killed by this sword that is raised or resurrected, using the sword or any other method, will be brought back to life with a chaotic evil alignment. It is believed that only Immortal magic or a well-worded wish or miracle can say the damned soul from the dark resurrection.
While swords of dark resurrection are generally unheard of outside of Sindhi, ever since the Republic of Darokin has opened up trade with Sind, the Darokinian Diplomatic Corps has been receiving disturbing reports of thugs and villains in other countries wielding such malevolent weapons of Sindhi myth. As far as Thyatis, the temple of Odin has claimed to have caught one avenger with such a sword, and it is believed the slavers of the Iron Ring in Karameikos are in possession of one. But most disturbing of all to the DDC are rumours that a thug worshipper of Kala has plans to assassinate the heads of the Darokinian merchant houses and then raise them as their evil reincarnations.
The ancient Immortal Khoronus, Patron of Time and History, is widely venerated if not entirely understood, throughout the Known World. His cults and religious orders are often shrouded in mystery, and so is this sacred sword that is held only by the finest paladins of Khoronus.
The holy sword known as the time stiller will first seem like a +2 long sword of speed or a +2 long sword of defending. Should it appear as the former, the warrior wielding it will feel as if his opponents are slowed down during combat, allowing him to attack twice as fast. Should it appear as the latter, the warrior will find that he somehow always manages to avoid attacks just in the nick of time.
When a true holy warrior devoted to Khoronus takes up the time stiller, he will find it having the magical properties of both swords-and more. The time stiller is a long sword of speed with a +2 bonus to attacks and damage, and grants a permanent +2 enhancement to AC. Moreover, the time stiller can cast a 10-foot radius circle of stilled time, where every creature and object is uncannily slowed to half its speed. The circle of stilled time can be called upon only three times a day and can be stopped at will, but its cumulative duration can only total 12 rounds a day.
In spite of the amazing and unique properties of the time stiller sword, very few people throughout the Known World have actually heard or seen such a weapon-except perhaps in one nation, the Five Shires (of all places!). Over pipesmoke and ale, the hin have often told this tall tale of this great paladin from Karameikos or Darokin or Thyatis or Alphatia (depending on the telling) who wielded a time stiller sword against a dervish from Ylari or Ethengar. When the paladin engaged in combat, it seemed as if time would warp and bend, slowing down to let the paladin carefully aim at his foe, then speeding up for his blow to strike with more force, then slow down again to allow him to dodge a blow from the dervish whose whirling was impossibly slow.
It is also told by sailors and sea merchants that in the oriental Kingdom of Ochalea, there is a secluded monastery to the Immortal Kong Ru, where the mystics practice rigorously a strange martial art, both barehanded and armed, wherein all the movements are done in slow flowing motions-but whether this is a natural skill of the monks or a magical effect of a time stiller sword is not understood.
The fact that there is no evidence of the time stiller has lead some sages to believe that the clerics of Khoronus have deliberately kept its existence a secret and diligently removed any records from histories-perhaps because the sword possesses the magic of chronomancy, which even the Immortal themselves are loathe to utilise.
The fey friend is far from being the typical paladin's holy sword that is glorious in its very craftsmanship and resplendent with divine power. In fact, it not even recognised as a holy weapon by religious experts, save for its rumoured ties with the fanciful Immortal Faunus.
The fey friend appears as a fancy rapier, its blade a light copper or bronze alloy, the hilt bejewelled with multicoloured cut glass, and its purpose more ornamental than actually martial. Divinations upon it show varying random results (from faint illusion to strong enchantment) but actually use of the sword can reveal it to be an +1 anarchic rapier. Another fantastic power that the sword's wielder may discover is that the sword generates a 10-foot radius circle of wild magic, where most any form of magic creates a wild surge.
And if that were not disconcerting enough, the wielder of the sword will experience vague little perplexing incidents: a creepy feeling of being watched, seeing tiny sparkles in the air or something move suddenly in the corner of his eyes, childish giggles or whispering voices in the wind, vivid and recurring dreams or a constant sense of déjà vu. The wielder may even lose items (never the sword though) only to find them later, or get lost himself then unexpectedly arrive at the right destination.
All these weird occurrences can be explained by the true nature of the fey friend sword, which can only be revealed by one devoted to the Immortal Faunus. This wild and whimsical Immortal is perhaps the only Immortal of Mystara who consorts amicably with the Fair Folk, and because of this, the divine champion of Faunus who wields this sword will be regarded a special friend of the sidhe, sprites, pixies, pookas, leprechauns, and the rest of the fey creatures.
In the hands of Faunus' chosen champion, the fey friend counts as a +2 anarchic long sword, though it retains the properties of a rapier, with respect to weight and ease of use. (Proficiency, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialisation for either rapier or short sword apply equally.) The circle of wild magic is somewhat suppressed, such that wild surge effects that are directly harmful to wielder (and, unfortunately, only the wielder) are negated.
The fey friend also confers second sight and fey tongue, allowing its wielder to see and communicate with the Fair Folk clearly. Wielding the fey friend sword also grants the wielder three fey favours for every lunar cycle. This means that in three instances where he fails a saving throw, a fey creature may suddenly appear out of the blue and intervene to save him. (For example, if the favoured mortal accidentally sets off a trap, a pooka in the shape of a purple kangaroo will pop up out of nowhere, knocking him off his feet and effectively out of range of the trap.)
The final and most powerful enchantment of the fey friend sword-it is a bane against undead-hints at the possible reason for the alliance between Faunus and the fairies.
It is most ironic that the wild and chaotic worshippers of Faunus are as unlikely to be brandishing rapiers or long swords as they are to become paladins, crusaders or any holy warrior-which logically puts to question who is meant to wield the fey friend. But then, mortal men do not know the logic of Immortals-especially a crazy one like Faunus-any more than they can grasp the peculiar mind of the fey.