Tuesday Magic Item – Scepter of Unending War

23 October, 2018

An ugly sceptre for ugly magicVoddick finished oiling and cleaning his war axe. “I am so very tired of dealing with the unliving or having to mutilate the corpses of our enemies.  Honorable warrior deserve better.”

“You will have to take that up with their ruler, them seem very uncompromising about pursuing the war to the bitter end,” said Gollaon sewing up a tear in his cloak.

“I would be happy to,” said Voddick taking a practice swing.  “If we can get through the army of living and unliving guard, through the castle and whatever death traps are waiting there.”

“I suspect we could get our employer to back such a raid.,” mused Gollaon.

“Better than this slog through blood and rotting flesh.”

Scepter of Unending War

This scepter is not a pretty decoration of royalty but a rod of roughly forged iron, said to be iron mined in the underworld and forged with dragon’s fire and quenched in the blood of innocents.  However it was made, it contains powerful enchantment and necrourgic magics of the most fell nature.

Its least power is that it acts as a +3 heavy mace in combat that bestows a negative level when it deals a critical hit, the wielder gains temporary hit points equal to half the damage the scepter inflicts, that stack with themselves, lasting for one minute.  One day after being struck, subjects must succeed at a DC 18 Fortitude save for each negative level gained or any such levels become permanent.

Anyone who swears loyalty to the scepter’s bearer is bound by a geas to keep that oath but they gain temporary hit points equal to their level that last five minutes whenever they kill an intelligent being on orders of the Scepter’s bearer (this includes killing in war).  Additionally, if they are slain by violence when under the effect of the geas, they will reanimate as undead, usually as a zombie but occasional other forms are created, and try to continue acting on the last order given to them (until the scepter’s bearer give them new instructions).

If the bearer is killed while still in possession of the scepter, they will transform into some sort of undead and all of the undead created by the scepter will stop whatever they are doing and move at top speed to gather around the bearer’s new form.  However, all living being are free from their geas binding them to the scepter.  If the now undead bearer of the scepter is then destroyed, the undead it created are freed from servitude and are likely to cause further problems.

The scepter can only be destroyed by the rightful successor to the ruler who possess the scepter taking it, renouncing war as an instrument of policy (binding them with an irrevocable geas) and breaking it.  Doing so ends all ongoing effects of the scepter, undead deanimate or discorporate, and oaths are unraveled.

Aura overwhelming necrourgy; CL 21st; Weight 2 lbs.

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item, artifact (requires attunement)

First and third through fifth paragraph as above.

Its least power is that it acts as a mace with a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this weapon and the versatile quality and the wielder gains temporary hit points equal to half the damage the scepter inflicts, that stack with themselves, lasting for one minute.  On a critical hit, it inflicts an additional 3d8 necrotic damage (not multiplied by the critical hit).

Notes: For the penultimate item, this item came to me as sort of item a campaign could be built around.  And items that create the unliving are always thematic for Halloween month.

The image file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (to whom it is attributed). This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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