Excerpts 07/01/2005

Weapons of Legacy
By Bruce R. Cordell, Kolja Raven Liquette,
Travis Stout

Add depth to your campaign's weapons that will make each PC treasure these items even more! This supplement provides a wealth of information on magic weapons with rich histories. The book includes many predefined weapons, outlining their names, history, powers, stats, necessary rituals for unlocking their powers, and adventure hooks. How the weapons can gain power is discussed, as well as the feats with which they might be used. Also included are discussions of other magic items such as magic armor, rings, and staves. The excerpts below include introductory information, three sample weapons, plus a creature who has some unusual abilities. For more excerpts from this book, check out the June 2005 Preview.

Bow of the Black Archer

Bow of the Black Archer

The Bow of the Black Archer is a plain, unadorned longbow made of solid black wood. Black leather wrapped around the staff provides a firm grip, and even the bowstring has been dyed black.

Nonlegacy Game Statistics:+1 longbow; Cost 2,375 gp. If drow come within 60 feet of the bow, the whispers (see Omen, below) become more frequent and angry, speaking of terrible vengeance on all dark elves.

Omen: Though its appearance is unremarkable, when it is wielded, the bow intermittently whispers softly in Elven (audible only to its wielder), speaking of loss and grief.


Shevarash is the elven deity of revenge and hatred of the drow. Once, he was a mortal elf, famous as one of the finest archers in the world. When drow raiders attacked his village and slaughtered his family, Shevarash foreswore his former life, vowing to never rest until the drow were purged from the world. Shevarash slew many dark elves, gaining infamy as the "Black Archer" in drow folklore, before he was finally captured and slain. Upon Shevarash's death, Corellon Larethian granted him the spark of the divine, transforming him into a minor deity. (DC 15)

After Shevarash's passing and apotheosis, the bow he carried as a mortal was lost for centuries, probably locked away in the treasure vaults of the drow priestess who had killed the Black Archer. Three hundred years after Shevarash was made into a deity, one of his devoted followers, a ranger called Valaderion, began a crusade to recover the holy bow. He followed in the footsteps of his god, venturing into the underground lairs of the drow. Striking from the shadows and never allowing himself to be detected, Valaderion slew every dark elf he came across. (DC 18; Hunter in the Dark)

Valaderion succeeded in recovering the Bow of the Black Archer, and he journeyed toward the surface with it. As he traveled upward, he met a drow woman -- an exile named Kiralasha -- and was forced to cooperate with her to destroy a nest of beholders occupying tunnels they both had to cross. As the pair worked together, hatred gave way to grudging respect, then to admiration, and finally to love. Torn between the dictates of his god and his feelings for Kiralasha, Valaderion decided to return the bow to Shevarash's clerics and retire for a time to consider his path. Sadly, he never got the chance. As soon as he set foot inside one of Shevarash's temples, he was struck down by the deity's wrath, slain for daring to consort with one of the hated drow. (DC 25; Purity of Enmity)

After Valaderion's death, the Bow of the Black Archer was kept safe in the most prominent of all Shevarash's temples, and many clerics and rangers made pilgrimages to see the weapon. Seven centuries later, when drow once again menaced elven lands, Salariel, the high priestess of Shevarash's clergy, carried the bow into battle. With the weapon's help, she led the mustered elven forces to victory but was slain in a battle against a hideous spider demon conjured by drow priestesses.

The Bow of the Black Archer was lost once again, presumably carried back into the dark places of the earth by the retreating dark elves. (DC 31; Legacy of Salariel)

Legacy Rituals

Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of the Bow of the Black Archer.

Hunter in the Dark: You must stalk and kill at least one drow whose Challenge Rating is at least equal to your character level, initiating the conflict without first being detected. Both mundane and magical forms of concealment are acceptable. If the would-be target detects you prior to your first attack, the ritual fails. Cost: 1,625 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy (Bow of the Black Archer).

Purity of Enmity: Echoing the tale of Valaderion and Kiralasha, you have to travel to the ruins of the temple where Valaderion died, which are located in the heart of a primeval forest. There you must perform a three-day ritual of meditation and purification. If you have had any peaceful interaction with a dark elf within the past six months, this ritual automatically fails. Cost: 13,500 gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (Bow of the Black Archer).

Legacy of Salariel: Alone, you must kill a spiderlike demon (such as a bebilith or retriever) and a cleric of Lolth. The demon must have a Challenge Rating of 10 or higher, while the cleric must be 10th level or higher -- an Encounter Level of 12 or more. You can use any abilities at your disposal, but the Bow of the Black Archer is the only weapon you are allowed. Cost: 38,000 gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (Bow of the Black Archer).

Wielder Requirements

Rangers or clerics of Shevarash get the most use out of the Bow of the Black Archer, but any character who regularly battles against dark elves might find this weapon useful.

Bow of the Black Archer Wielder Requirements
Cannot be drow
Base attack bonus +3
Hide 2 ranks
Move Silently 2 ranks
Favored enemy elves +2

Legacy Item Abilities

All the following are legacy item abilities of the Bow of the Black Archer.

Drowseeker (Su): At 5th level and higher, while wielding the Bow of the Black Archer, you can detect any drow within 60 feet, although you must concentrate (a standard action) to do so. The bow ignores any damage reduction a drow possesses.

Eyes of Shadow (Sp): Beginning at 6th level, once per day on command, you can use darkvision as the spell. Caster level 5th.

Longstrider (Sp): At 8th level and higher, three times per day on command, you can use longstrider as the spell. Caster level 5th.

Hidden Hunter (Su): At 9th level, you gain a +5 competence bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks.

Solace from Weakness (Sp): You gain power against the poisons and necromancy so commonly used by drow. Starting at 12th level, two times per day on command, you can use lesser restoration as the spell (self only). Caster level 5th.

Friend to Shadows (Sp): In near-lightless conditions, you can strike with relative impunity and then vanish without a trace. At 13th level and higher, once per day on command, you can use shadow walk as the spell. Caster level 11th.

Shocking Shot (Su): Beginning at 14th level, as a standard action, you can imbue an arrow nocked on the Bow of the Black Archer with electricity. If your shot with this arrow hits, the arrow deals an extra 5d6 points of electricity damage. This ability can be used five times per day, and a use is wasted if the charged arrow misses.

Deny the Demonweb Pits (Sp): Lolth's servants have many powerful allies in the Abyss. At 16th level and higher, you gain a measure of defense against them. Two times per day on command, you can use protection from evil as the spell. Caster level 10th.

Escape the Spider's Bonds (Su): Webs and other entanglements hold no more fear for a wielder of the Bow of the Black Archer. Starting at 17th level, you constantly benefit from the effects of freedom of movement while you hold the bow in hand. Caster level 15th.

Mindarmor (Su): At 18th level, you gain a +3 insight bonus on Will saving throws to resist mind-affecting and compulsion effects.

Fast Movement (Su): Once you attain 18th level, your base land speed increases by 10 feet.

Pierce the Black Heart (Su): You and the Bow of the Black Archer become the ultimate expression of Shevarash's fury. At 20th level and higher, once per day, you can fire an arrow from the Bow of the Black Archer that kills any drow struck by it, as if by a finger of death spell. You must declare that you are using this ability before making the attack. If the arrow misses, the effect is wasted for the day. The save DC is 20, or 17 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 15th.

Table 3-4: Bow of the Black Archer

----- Personal Costs -----
Hit Point
5th -- -- -- Drowseeker
6th -- -- 4 Eyes of shadow 1/day
7th -- -- 2 +2 longbow
8th -- -1 -- Longstrider 3/day
9th -1 -- -- Hidden hunter
10th -- -- -- --
11th -- -- -- +2 drow bane longbow
12th -- -- 2 Solace from weakness 2/day
13th -2 -- -- Friend to shadows 1/day
14th -- -- -- Shocking shot
15th -- -- 2 +3 drow bane longbow
16th -- -2 -- Deny the Demonweb Pits 2/day
17th -- -- -- Escape the spider's bonds
18th -- -- 2 Mindarmor, fast movement
19th -- -3 2 +4 drow bane longbow
20th -- -- 2 Pierce the black heart

Shevarash, the Black Archer

Elven Demigod
Symbol: Broken arrow above a teardrop
Home Plane: Arvandor
Alignment: Chaotic neutral
Portfolio: Hatred of the drow, vengeance, crusades, loss
Worshipers: Arcane archers, elves, fighters, hunters, rangers, soldiers, sorcerers
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, CE
Domains: Chaos, Elf*, Retribution*, War
Favored Weapon: "The Black Bow" (longbow)

*New domain detailed in Chapter 3 of Player's Guide to Faerûn.

Shevarash is a member of the Seldarine, the Faerûnian pantheon of elven deities. He has no realm of his own but often lurks in the rough mountainous regions of Arvendor.

Shevarash is taciturn, violent, and consumed by thoughts of bitterness and revenge. He never displays any emotion aside from anger and a brief exultation or triumph after each victory. The Black Archer has no patience for those who do not share his zeal for vengeance, and he has no interest in moderating his crusade in the interests of peace. After the slaughter of his family by drow, he swore an oath to Corellon Larethian that he would neither laugh nor smile until Lolth and all her followers were destroyed.

The church of Shevarash is small but disciplined, for only through careful planning will the drow be destroyed. The followers of Shevarash are consumed with their quest to root out and destroy the drow and the sources of power of their dark gods. Individual clerics spend their days drilling, designing tactics for warfare in the Underdark, guarding known entrances to the Underdark, and participating in hit-and-run raids and major assaults on drow-held territories in the Underdark.

Clerics of Shevarash pray for their spells at dusk, just before the drow sneak back into the lands of light.

Midwinter Night is observed by the cult of Shevarash in memory of the Dark Court Slaughter, a night of infamy during which drow armies boiled from the Underdark and killed almost everyone attending a meeting between elves and dwarves to renew their alliance. (Shevarash's family was among the casualties of this raid.) On Midwinter Day, those who wish to join the ranks of the clergy are inducted into the faith and shout vows of unceasing vengeance into the night. In honor of Shevarash's vow, they swear never to laugh nor smile until their deity's sacred oath is fulfilled and the drow, along with their dark gods, are expunged from the world.

Shevarash is most closely allied with Fenmarel Mestarine, the elven patron of outcasts and wild elves. Fenmarel petitioned Corellon for Shevarash's apotheosis, and Shevarash spends much of his time in Fennimar, Fenmarel's forest realm. Shevarash has also allied himself with other foes of Lolth as well as deities of revenge, including Callarduran Smoothhands, Hoar, Shar, and Shaundakul. He loathes the evil drow deities, Lolth and Vhaerun chief among them, but is less vindictive toward other evil deities of the Underdark.

See page 130 of the Faiths and Pantheons supplement for more on Shevarash.

Adventure Seed (EL 6)

While exploring underground, the party stumbles across an insane dwarf whose entire clan was wiped out by drow. The dwarf shaved his beard out of grief and left his home to take his revenge upon the dark elves. He slew the members of a small, isolated drow enclave, therein discovering the Bow of the Black Archer, which he took up to continue his quest.

Unfortunately, the bow's whispers have driven Khofar even more insane, and he now attacks any humanoid he meets, convinced each is a drow in disguise. The PCs might gain Bow of the Black Archer by defeating Khofar or by helping the poor dwarf regain his sanity. In this latter case, he gladly gives up "that accursed bow."

Khofar CR 6
Male dwarf ranger 5
CN Medium humanoid
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Listen +9, Spot +9
Languages Common, Dwarven, Undercommon
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14; Dodge, +4 AC against giants
hp 31 (5 HD)
Resist +2 on saves against spells and spell-like effects, stability (+4 against bull rush and trip)
Fort +5 (+7 against poison), Ref +7, Will +2
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Ranged Bow of the Black Archer +10 (1d8+1/×3) or
Ranged Bow of the Black Archer +8/+8 (1d8+1/×3) with Rapid Shot or
Melee mwk dwarven waraxe +8 (1d10+2/×3)
Base Atk +5; Grp +7
Atk Options favored enemy elves +4, favored enemy goblinoids +2, Rapid Shot
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 2nd): 1st -- longstrider
Abilities Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 6
SQ drowseeker, stonecunning, wild empathy +3 (-1 magical beasts)
Feats Dodge, Endurance[B], Least Legacy (Bow of the Black Archer)[B], Rapid Shot[B], Track[B], Weapon Focus (longbow)
Skills Climb +10, Hide +10, Jump +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Listen +9, Move Silently +10, Spot +9, Survival +9 (+11 underground)
Possessions +1 studded leather, Bow of the Black Archer with 13 arrows, masterwork dwarven waraxe

Drowseeker (Su) Can detect any drow within 60 feet by using a standard action. Bow of the Black Archer ignores DR of drow.

Underground Cavern

Stone Columns

Each of these stone columns is 5 feet across and reaches to the ceiling of the cavern, which is 40 feet high. A column provides cover against ranged attacks and can be climbed with a DC 20 Climb check. Despite their appearance, these columns do not actually support the roof of this cavern.

Underground Stream

Khofar has been using this icy stream as his water supply while he camps here. Jumping the rill requires a DC 5 Jump check, while walking across it counts as moving through difficult terrain.


This rocky outcropping is 10 feet off the ground, and it is accessible only by climbing the adjacent stone pillar or by climbing the wall (DC 20 Climb check). The ledge is the location from which Khofar ambushes any creatures entering this cavern.

Khofar's Camp

Remnants of a small campfire and a filthy bedroll indicate that some humanoid creature has been using this site as a camp for several days. The carcasses of several small subterranean animals litter the area, and a backpack containing a spare quiver of twenty arrows, flint and steel, and other sundry adventuring gear rests against the wall.

Recent Excerpts
Recent Articles

About Us Jobs New to the Game? Inside Wizards Find a Store Press Help Sitemap

©1995- Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use-Privacy Statement

Home > Games > D&D > Articles 
You have found a Secret Door!
Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
Email A Friend Email A Friend
Discuss This ArticleDiscuss This Article