Tuesday Magic Item – Jacob’s Knife4 February, 2014
The young ruffian with a jagged knife would not be a consideration, by he moved . . . oddly. Jerkily fast one moment and then still the next. But more importantly, there was something in his eyes, he was looking for a fight, looking for blood.
“My friends, leave him, we have no quarrel with this young man,” I said, confidently, my hand resting on the hilt of my sword.
“But . . ” spluttered Sir Rogirick, my charge and my burden.
“There is nothing to gain from conflict,” I said, tossing a silver star to the young man. “Please, sir, buy yourself a drink with our complements and apologies.” I drew Rogirick back from him with my offhand, waiting to see what the knifeman would do.
He caught the coin and snarled. “Well, yes. Go! You are not wanted here.” His stance was still aggressive and he was poised to strike. We backed away, Rogirick almost tripping over the cobbles stones.
We rounded the corned and he did not follow. I heard that the young man killed another man that night in a disputed over spilled beer. I felt certain it would not be the last body he left behind.
This dagger appears crudely made with a roughly finished angular blade and an unornamented handle of leather wrapped bone. However, it is very well balanced and exceedingly sharp.
It can be safely used as a +1 keen dagger but it wants to be used as so much more.
If the knife’s owner wants to initiate violence, they gain access to the Improved Initiative and Quick Draw feats. On a critical threat -before rolling to confirm- the wielder may choose to inflict an additional 1d4 points of electrical damage on the target at the cost of taking one point of damage themselves (this damage cannot be negated); if a critical hit is confirmed the target must make a Will save (DC 17) or be slowed for 1d4 rounds and the wielder is hasted for the same length of time. If the target is killed by the critical hit, the wielder is automatically hasted for four rounds.
Once the wielder of the knife has stolen someone’s speed, they desire to do so again becomes intense. After the first time, the knife can be still be cast aside without lasting consequences but using it again binds it to the wielder. The knife must be used to kill at least their Hit Dice in living creatures each week, for each day beyond that, the owner takes one point of Dexterity damage (manifesting as tics, twitches and loss of muscle control) that cannot be cured until the owner uses the knife to kill. Once the power of the knife has been accepted discarding it does not free the wielder from its curse.
Aura moderate necrourgy; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 22,302; Weight 1 lb
Craft Arms and Armor, bestow curse, cat’s grace, haste, slow, vampiric touch; Cost 11,000 + 302 for the knife
Notes: Using the theme of the month of curses, I wanted an item with a useful power but a cost. It strikes me I had seen the “you slow down, I speed up” mechanic somewhere recently but I cannot remember where, but whoever came up with it, great idea!
Image from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and is in the Public Domain.