Previews06/02/2005


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Desert Wind

This slender and graceful scimitar is crafted of shining steel, lustrous ivory, and polished gold. Its hilt is set with brilliant blue sapphires and fiery red rubies. At first glance, the weapon appears to be nothing more than a showpiece, a gaudy bit of belt-jewelry for a foppish noble. Closer examination, however, reveals the blade's perfect balance and keen edge, as well as a grip wrapped in wire -- it will not slip in a hand slick with sweat or blood.

Nonlegacy Game Statistics:+1 scimitar; Cost 2,315 gp. On a successful attack, Desert Wind deals 1 point of fire damage in addition to normal damage.

Omen: When you grasp the hilt of this weapon, you feel a soft, warm breeze, scented with the smells of date palms and exotic spices, as though wafting from a desert bazaar. Only you feel this breeze, which might cause an occasional ripple in your clothing or through your hair. It has no other effect. The blade grows very hot when wielded in battle, glowing red or even white.

History

The general design of Desert Wind suggests that its creator hailed from one of the great, semimythical cities of the southern deserts. In these metropolises, all citizens know powerful magic, and genies walk the streets alongside mortals. The communities are presided over by powerful caliphs and emirs, who rule with iron fists hidden within silken gloves of courtly intrigue and duplicity. Desert Wind was surely designed for such a wealthy noble, for no mere soldier could afford the finery of a blade such as this one. The fact that the scimitar is functional and beautiful shows that its owner was a discerning warrior, not one who carried a sword only for show. The dual themes of fire and air, reflected in the jeweled inlays and the gold embossing on the blade, hint at a possible supernatural origin for the sword, perhaps tied to the stories of the genies that dwell in the desert cities. (DC 15)

Desert Wind was commissioned by the emir Rashid ben Daoud, a wealthy and powerful merchant lord of the southern wastes. Rashid built his empire not on such paltry, mundane goods as gold and silver or exotic silks and spices, but on rare and precious spell components and magical artifacts from across the planes. Rashid compensated extraplanar adventurers amply for the retrieval of body parts from exotic outsiders, material from distant planar locales, and other rare sundries for which wizards were willing to pay a high price but unwilling to risk their own necks. Given the nature of his business, it is unsurprising that Rashid made several powerful enemies who would have delighted in the emir's death by slow torture. Naturally, Rashid hired the finest bodyguards that money could buy and filled his home with enough magical wards and traps to protect an entire lost city. On top of these precautions, in case all his defenses failed and his person was directly threatened, Rashid commissioned the forging of Desert Wind by an efreeti weaponsmith called Haqim. With steel mined from the Elemental Plane of Earth and a forge flame born on the Elemental Plane of Fire, Haqim created a magnificent scimitar, for which Rashid paid handsomely. (DC 18; Rite of the Flame)

Rashid received his sword, marveling at its razor sharpness, perfect balance, and near weightlessness, but still he feared the coming of his enemies. He then took the scimitar to a djinni of his acquaintance, a sorcerer named Malaq, to whom Rashid had sold many rare and valuable artifacts. Rashid asked Malaq to lay spells of protection and sureness in battle into the blade. He asked that the weapon defend him from all assault, that it ward against the presence of those from beyond this world, and that it be able to strike down his enemies, slicing through them as a bird cuts the air with its wings. Malaq took the sword and examined it, and though he saw from its construction that it was the work of the hated efreet, he agreed to the emir's request. With a coin made from a stone, a song stolen from dirt, and a knife from under the hills, Malaq wove his most powerful spells into the sword. The steel practically thrummed with power, scarcely able to contain the sorceries placed upon it. When at last the casting was done, Malaq swore that he had never performed such mighty magic and that Rashid was surely as safe as any man could be, with his protective wards, his capable bodyguards, and his sword crafted and ensorcelled by genies. Rashid took the sword and felt the awesome power singing within it. He paid generously for it. (DC 25; Rite of the Clouds)

Though Rashid now possessed the finest sword among all the lords of the desert, this fantastic weapon was also his greatest folly. So much of his fortune had Rashid spent upon Desert Wind that he had no more money with which to pay his adventurers for their discoveries. With no remuneration forthcoming, Rashid's suppliers turned elsewhere to sell their goods. With no rare and powerful spell components to trade, Rashid had no money to pay his guards and servants. They all left him. With no servants to maintain them, Rashid's magical wards faltered and expired and his traps rusted and rotted, becoming useless. Soon, naught stood between Rashid and his enemies. With nothing to hold them at bay, the outsiders from whom Rashid had profited began to close in on him. Desert Wind, once meant to be Rashid's last line of defense, was now his only protection. Mighty though the scimitar was, and skilled as Rashid was with a blade, he could not stand alone against his adversaries. He ran. The life of a pauper did not agree with Rashid, however, and he found he was incapable of earning coin to pay for his keep. At long last, he was cornered by agents of the devil prince Glornoth the Maleficent and dragged shrieking into the Nine Hells. Popular tales recount his fate. Rashid was daily torn apart by devils harvesting his flesh, only to be rejuvenated each morning to suffer the same fate again. Of Desert Wind's fate, no fable speaks. (DC 31; Rite of the Pauper)

Legacy Rituals

Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of Desert Wind.

Rite of the Flame: Since Desert Wind was forged in the fires of the efreeti Haqim's home plane, you must thrust the blade into a source of blistering heat, letting the metal grow white-hot before removing it. You must then allow the blade to cool, putting it back into the flame when the blade dims to its normal color. This cycle must be repeated without interruption for 24 hours. Blazes originating on the Elemental Plane of Fire are sufficient for this task, but on the Material Plane, only molten lava is hot enough to serve. The scimitar isn't harmed by this treatment. Cost: 2,000 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy (Desert Wind).

Rite of the Clouds: You are required to climb to the peak of a tall mountain (at least 7,000 feet) with the sword. At the peak, you must light a great fire and burn incense pleasing to the creatures of the air. Cost: 12,700 gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (Desert Wind).

Rite of the Pauper: You have to correct the mistakes Rashid ben Daoud made in the creation of the sword. This requires you to set aside one-quarter of all monies and valuables you collect for one month, vowing never to spend that sum frivolously. You must then travel to the beggar's quarter of any large city. Cost: 40,500 gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (Desert Wind).

Wielder Requirements

Any martially inclined character who prefers a light, quick weapon benefits from Desert Wind.

Desert Wind Wielder Requirements

Base attack bonus +3

Weapon Focus (scimitar)

Table 3-12: Desert Wind
Personal Costs
Wielder
Level
Attack
Penalty
Save
Penalty
Hit Point
Loss
Skill Point
Loss
Abilities
5th -- -- -- -- Desert child
6th -- -- 2 -- Fiery slash 3/day
7th -1 -- -- 3 Dance of flame and wind +2
8th -- -1 -- -- Desert draw
9th -- -- -- 3 +2 scimitar
10th -- -- -- -- --
11th -- -- -- -- +2 defending scimitar
12th -- -2 -- -- Howling wind 3/day
13th -- -- -- 3 --
14th -2 -- -- -- Dance of flame and wind +4
15th -- -- -- -- Fan the flames 1/day
16th -- -- -- 3 +2 defending flaming burst scimitar
17th -- -- -- -- Dance of flame and wind +6
18th -- -- -- 3 +3 defending flaming burst scimitar
19th -3 -- -- -- Dust of the desert 1/day
20th -- -- -- 3 +4 defending flaming burst scimitar

Legacy Item Abilities

All the following are legacy item abilities of Desert Wind.

Desert Child (Su): The wielder of Desert Wind takes to the heat of the desert days and the bitter chill of the desert nights as though born to it. Beginning at 5th level, you constantly benefit from the effects of an endure elements spell. Caster level 5th.

Fiery Slash (Sp): At 6th level and higher, by slashing the blade in a broad arc in front of yourself and speaking a command word, you cause it to spray a fan of flame, as with the burning hands spell. You can use this ability three times per day. The save DC is 11, or 11 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 5th.

Dance of Flame and Wind (Su): At 7th level, Desert Wind grants you a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity. This bonus increases to +4 at 14th level and to +6 at 17th level.

Desert Draw (Su): Starting at 8th level, you are treated as if you possessed the Quick Draw feat when unsheathing Desert Wind.

Howling Wind (Sp): At 12th level and higher, three times per day by forcefully pointing the scimitar in the desired direction, you can use gust of wind as the spell. The save DC is 13, or 12 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 5th.

Fan the Flames (Su): Beginning at 15th level, once per day by placing the tip of Desert Wind into any flame, you can use fireball as the spell. The fireball explodes from the tip of the scimitar, and you are unharmed by the resulting fire damage. The save DC is 14, or 13 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 10th.

Dust of the Desert (Sp): At 19th level and higher, once per day when you issue the command word and gesture with Desert Wind, you cause its tip to emit a thin green ray that can destroy one creature utterly, as the disintegrate spell. The save DC is 19, or 16 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 15th.

Adventure Seed (EL 5)

After obtaining an ornate, obviously magical scimitar (Desert Wind) at a bazaar, the PCs are approached by a giant figure swathed in dark brown robes. The being offers to buy the sword for 25 percent more than the characters paid. If they refuse, or try to haggle the price higher, the creature becomes bellicose, threatening them in colorful invective with a dozen horrible, eternal tortures. Upon any hostile response, the figure casts off his cloak, revealing himself as a djinni. He then tries to take Desert Wind by force, retreating only if reduced to fewer than one-quarter of his total hit points.

Djinni: 45 hp (see page 114 of the Monster Manual).

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