Excerpt from
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.

Exordius

Exordius

Exordius is a vicious longsword with a blade of dull, pitted black metal and a hilt of magically hardened obsidian, set with a large ruby in the pommel. Inscribed into the blade are runes and sigils of evil power, though these seem unusually faded and worn.

Nonlegacy Game Statistics:+1 longsword; Cost 2,315 gp.

Omen: When Exordius is wielded in battle, tendrils of pure, white light stream from the blade and the jewel in the pommel. Their radiance is surprisingly soothing to good-aligned creatures. These tendrils grow larger and brighter as the sword's powers increase.

History

The ancient lich-king Raumos forged Exordius for his chief lieutenant, the death knight Darnag. The blade was a weapon of soul-searing evil. Darnag ultimately used the sword to overthrow Raumos and set up his own kingdom, tales of which are still used to frighten children into good behavior. Darnag himself disappeared a few centuries after overthrowing Raumos. He was never seen again. (DC 15)

Darnag was actually vanquished in battle by a young human woman named Eyria, a paladin of Pelor. Eyria is renowned in the history of Pelor's church for her piety and courage, and though she was slain in battle with the death knight, even in her own destruction she was victorious.

Exordius stole her soul and absorbed it, but the sword was unable to destroy her wholesome essence. Eyria's faith infused the weapon. Darnag was then burned to ash by the touch of his own blade -- Eyria's purity destroyed him. (DC 18; Sanctification of Darkness)

After Darnag's destruction, he and his sword were entombed in a grand mausoleum constructed by his loyal servants, who were unaware of the presence of Eyria's soul inside Exordius. For centuries, the paladin's spirit struggled against the evil inherent in the blade.

In the quiet darkness of the tomb, Eyria's spirit was overwhelmed. Unable to purge the unholy magic from Exordius, her soul fell dormant and passed into a deep torpor. (DC 25; Alone in the Gloom)

Many centuries after Exordius was interred in Darnag's tomb, an adventurer named Aedwar (also known as He of the Steely Heart) discovered the tomb and began exploring it. His excavations triggered the tomb's magical defenses, and Aedwar was cornered by over a dozen guardian demons at the death knight's sarcophagus.

With no other weapon at hand, He of the Steely Heart snatched up Exordius and wielded the evil blade against his fiendish attackers. The strength of Aedwar's determination, along with the destruction of so many demons, caused Eyria's spirit to stir into wakefulness once again. With Aedwar's help, the paladin was able to banish the evil of Exordius's sinister magic once and for all. (DC 31; Banish the Abyssal Brood)

Legacy Rituals

Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of Exordius.

Sanctification of Darkness: You must perform a ritual of purification upon an evil magic item (any item that has a spell with the evil descriptor in its creation prerequisites) worth at least 1,500 gp. This ceremony involves bathing the item in holy water and chanting prayers to a good-aligned deity for 10 minutes. The process destroys the sanctified item. Cost: 3,000 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy (Exordius).

Alone in the Gloom: You are required to seal yourself in complete and total darkness for 24 hours.

Usually, this ritual is performed deep underground. The rite is ruined by even the tiniest bit of light shining through a chink in a window or under a door. Cost: 12,500 gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (Exordius).

Banish the Abyssal Brood: In a single encounter, you alone must slay one or more evil outsiders with a total Encounter Level of at least 15. Exordius is the only weapon you are allowed, but you can use any spells or innate abilities you possess. Cost: 40,500 gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (Exordius).

Wielder Requirements

Most wielders of Exordius are paladins or militant clerics, but any good-aligned character who meets the requirements and desires more divine power benefits from carrying the sword.

Exordius Wielder Requirements
Base attack bonus +3
Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks
Any good alignment
Ability to turn undead

Legacy Item Abilities

All the following are legacy item abilities of Exordius.

Soul's Guidance (Su): Even though the soul of the paladin Eyria is not fully awakened, her subconscious can subtly guide your hand in battle.

Beginning at 5th level, once per day as a standard action, you can grant yourself a +2 luck bonus on attack and damage rolls for 3 minutes, but only while wielding Exordius.

Will of Two (Su): When your psyche is assaulted, Eyria's formidable willpower bolsters your determination and strength of mind. At 6th level, you gain a +2 sacred bonus on all Will saves.

Eyria's Piety (Su): Even as the sword draws upon your spiritual energy, it magnifies your ability to turn undead. Starting at 10th level, you turn undead as though you were two levels higher in the class that grants the ability.

Awakened Soul: When you attain 12th level, the soul of the ancient paladin Eyria awakens fully, transforming Exordius into an intelligent item. The blade has an Intelligence score of 10, a Wisdom score of 18, and a Charisma score of 18. It is lawful good. Exordius can communicate audible speech, though it speaks only Common, and it can communicate with you telepathically.

It perceives its surroundings within 120 feet with darkvision, blindsense, and hearing. The sword has Eyria's 10 ranks of Knowledge (religion). Exordius's Ego score is 13 + its enhancement bonus (a total of 16 at 12th level). If any greater abilities are awakened, the Ego increases to 17 + enhancement bonus.

Inner Strength (Sp): At 13th level and higher, once per day as a swift action, you can use cure serious wounds as the spell on yourself when holding, wearing, or wielding Exordius. Caster level 10th.

Dismissal (Sp): Beginning at 14th level, once per day when you issue the command word and gesture with the item, you can force a creature to return to its native plane, as the dismissal spell. The base save DC is 16, or 14 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Add your character level to this number and subtract the target creature's HD to determine the final save DC. Caster level 10th.

Soul's Sacrifice (Su): Though Eyria's soul was the only one to survive being absorbed by the evil of Exordius, she was certainly not the only spirit captured by the blade. The essences of other unfortunate victims reside within the ruby on the sword's pommel, now little more than nonsentient bits of spiritual energy.

These souls have no mind or will, except for an instinct to escape the sword in any way they can.

Thus, at 16th level and higher, whenever you are targeted by a death effect, one of the trapped souls surges forward and takes the effect for you. The death effect frees that soul to travel to its properly appointed afterlife. Besides Eyria, twenty-five souls are trapped in Exordius. Once they have all been freed, the sword loses this ability. The only way to recharge this ability is for you to willingly let your own soul enter the weapon upon your death.

Mantle of Sacred Protection (Su): At 18th level, you gain spell resistance equal to 5 + your character level.

Table 3-18: Exordius

----- Personal Costs -----
Wielder
Level
Attack
Penalty
Save
Penalty
Hit Point
Loss
Abilities
5th -- -- -- Soul's guidance
6th -- -- 4 Will of two
7th -- -- -- --
8th -- -1 -- +2 longsword
9th -1 -- 2 --
10th -- -- -- Eyria's piety
11th -- -- -- +3 longsword
12th -- -- 2 Awakened soul
13th -2 -- -- Inner strength 1/day
14th -- -- -- Dismissal 1/day
15th -- -- 2 --
16th -- -2 -- Soul's sacrifice
17th -- -- -- +3 holy longsword
18th -- -3 2 Mantle of sacred protection
19th -- -- 2 --
20th -- -- 2 +5 holy longsword

Adventure Seed (EL 5)

While exploring the crumbling ruins of an ancient temple, the party comes to a large iron door inscribed with many sigils of binding and warding. Behind this door is the crypt of Aedwar, He of the Steely Heart, which also holds Exordius. The bearded devil Charenthoth is also trapped within the mausoleum. The infernal creature came to the Material Plane under the misguided belief that Exordius was still a powerful tool of evil. Much to his surprise, he detected the faint aura of good from Eyria's soul. Disgusted that the weapon had been so polluted with holiness, he prepared to leave the crypt.

While he was distracted by the sword, however, the clerics who built the cathedral were able to trap Charenthoth in the tomb. If the PCs open the tomb's magically sealed door, the devil assumes the characters are the insolent mortals who first trapped him on this plane and attacks. If reduced to less than one-quarter his hit points, Charenthoth attempts to flee and return to the Nine Hells.

Charenthoth, Bearded Devil: hp 45 (see page 52 of the Monster Manual).

Aedwar's Tomb

Sarcophagi

These stone coffins are covered by heavy granite lids carved with effigies of the priests buried within them. Inside each coffin are a silver holy symbol (25 gp) and a gold-and-crystal vial of holy water (50 gp).

Aedwar's Sarcophagus

This coffin is larger and more impressive than the others, set on a dais with two steps leading up to it. The lid has been broken, and half of it lies smashed on the floor nearby. Inside the coffin, resting on the breast of the skeleton within, is Exordius. With the exception of the sword, everything in this coffin has rotted into uselessness.

Dark Reliquary

A niche in this wall can be located with a DC 20 Search check. Inside this recess are various items the priests of old considered too dangerous or blasphemous to be allowed to remain in the wide world. Several moldering copies of the holy canons of various evil faiths rest within, as does an amulet of death's calling. This amulet is a perfect candidate for the Sanctification of Darkness ritual (see above).

Amulet of Death's Calling

This amulet is made of pale alabaster, carved into the likeness of a small gong or bell with a skull motif sculpted on the face. It is usually worn on a fine chain of steel that has been blackened as though by a tremendous fire. Once per day on command, it allows the wearer to use death knell as the spell.

Faint necromancy; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous item, death knell; Price 2,160 gp; Weight 1 lb.


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