Monday, March 23, 2020

The Sword Wife - Nightsky Encounter 15

This Nighsky entry is really just an excuse to post the artwork.

Up until now, I had have in mind that the Nightsky setting would be intended for old school-type rules, but I had resisted actually reference any rules directly in the entries. For, uh, reasons, I guess...

I would probably use it with The Nightmares Underneath but I decided to stat it up using Old School Essentials (OSE) because it would be more braodly useful, if anyone ever actual read this blog. Plus, the conversion to TNU is pretty easy and converting the other way would be marginally more difficult.

This encounter might make it easy for players to acquire some powerful weapons, if they are sneaky, but it would make them kinda a-holes to go around carrying about people who got turned into swords and I'm s
ure you can find a way to make it work in your game. Whatever, I'm not your dad.



The Sword Wife by, uh, me

The player characters come upon a marshy area of the Nightsky, lit by a glowing yellow patch of fungus, reminiscent of a sickly full moon. A crumbling tower is visible in the marshlands, surrounded by swords that jut from the marsh like grave markers.

Wandering around the base of the tower is what, initially, appears to be a woman in the black garb of a religious order, cradling a greatsword in her arms. If the player characters stop to observe her without being noticed, they may see the woman hold the greatsword close--as if whispering to it. If they observe longer, they may see her stoop to bring herself face-to-hilt with one of the swords protruding from the soil and linger a moment in conversation.

Seen from close up, a skull peers out from the shadows of the Sword Wife’s cowl, underneath a golden crown. The skull has no eyes, but the left socket glows with a bright red light, trailing red mould-sweet smoke into the stale air of the marshland. The Sword Wife has no lower jaw, and cannot speak in the conventional sense. She is, however, able to communicate empathically with anyone who gazes into her brilliant red eye. 

If the PCs approach her, the Sword Wife holds out a beckoning hand. Any PC looking into the Sword Wife’s eye will understand that she is making them an offer of marriage. Any PC who takes the Sword Wife’s hand and accepts the offer of marriage is almost instantaneously transmogrified into a sword of exceptional beauty and craftsmanship. The character is now a sentient magical sword, with properties determined by the GM as appropriate to the transformed player character. The Sword Wife will plant her new sword-spouse into the ground of the marsh, and return to moving about the area attending to her partners. 

The player characters may attempt to take a transformed PC, or any other sword in the marsh--they will slide easily from the grip of the wet earth. All of the swords are magical and intelligent. If the PCs attempt to take a sword, other than a transmogrified player character, roll on the table below to find out the identity of the sword.

  1. Jokkel the Wanderer: +2 Short Sword, Int 12, Neutral, Ego 7, Teleportation, Locate Secret Doors, Quirk: Wanderlust.
  2. Iriana the Pyromancer: +1 Flaming Sword, Int 9, Chaotic, Ego 1, Detect Magic, Locate Secret Doors, See Invisible Objects, Quirk: Attraction to open flames. 
  3. Lonely Rom: +1 Short Sword, Int 9, Neutral, Ego 11, Locate Secret Doors, Detect Shifting Architecture, Quirk: Wants to return to his wife who he loves dearly. 
  4. Krogax the Destroyer: +2 Two-handed Sword, Int 7, Chaotic, Ego 6, Extra Damage, Quirk: A thirst for conquest.
  5. Princess Gwyneva: +1 Sword, Int 10, Lawful, Ego 12, Detect Evil or Good, Healing, Target: Chaotic creatures, Quirk: A sense of righteous entitlement.   
  6. Baldyr the Iron Saint: +1 Broken Sword (as a Dagger), Int 7, Neutral, Ego 7, Extra Damage [2], Quirk: A broken spirit, longing to be whole once more.
  7. Duristan Nightraker: +2 Sword, Into 11, Chaotic, Ego 12, Detect Traps, Target: Demonic creatures, Quirk: An unquenchable thirst for slaughter.
  8. Athalan Goblinking: +3 Sword, Int 7, Chaotic, Ego 12, Target: Dwarves and Orcs.

If the Sword Wife catches anyone trying to abscond with one of her lovers she will attack immediately. If no PC accepts her offer of marriage, the Sword Wife will become hostile and will attack at the slightest provocation.

The Sword Wife 

Armour Class     4 [15]
Hit Dice      4* (18hp)
Attacks      1 × touch (transmogrify) or 1 x Two-handed sword (1d10 +2)
THAC0      15 [+4]
Movement      90’ (30’)
Saving Throws   D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (4)
Morale     12
Alignment     Neutral 
XP 125

Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to effects that affect living creatures (e.g. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (e.g. charm, hold, sleep).

Mundane weapon immunity: Only harmed by silver weapons or magic.

Transmogrify: A successfully hit target permanently loses one experience level (or Hit Die). This incurs a loss of one Hit Die of hit points, as well as all other benefits due to the drained level (e.g. spells, saving throws, etc.). A character’s XP is reduced to halfway between the former and new levels. A person drained of all levels becomes a sword of exceptional beauty and craftsmanship. The character is now a sentient magical sword, with properties determined by the GM as appropriate to the transformed player character. 

On death: If the Sword Wife is slain, the spirits of all of her sword-spouses are freed, and their sword forms revert to mundane swords. 

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