Thursday, August 15, 2019

Blade of the Black Pyramid & Left Hand of Abaddon

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Within the libraries, vaults, and trophy rooms of Goatheart Castle, Prospero the sorcerer hoards many artifacts of singular magic and alien provenance. One of his most prized possessions is a large chunk of ancient amber the size of large man’s torso. Suspended within the milky orange stone the scaly red hand of a demon clutches a black sword of unknown metal. These are the Blade of the Black Pyramid and the Left Hand of Abaddon.

Blade of the Black Pyramid

The Blade of the Black Pyramid (also known as Khaturial-Xuuth, Sword of the Bleak and Inevitable Overlords, or the Gateway to Suffering) is a short-bladed sword with a downward curve, similar to a Greek kopis. It is made from a single piece of matte black metal, etched with adamic script that reads “By your soul are legions made.”

The Blade is a small weapon that normally inflicts 1d6 damage. In the hands of a chaotic character, the sword does 1d8 damage. Against lawful targets, the sword does 1d10 damage. Chaotic characters add their Charisma modifier to their attack rolls with the Black Blade, in addition to their Strength modifier. A chaotic spellcaster can also place one spell (of any level) into the sword to store for later use. You can cast spell from the Blade, even if you aren’t a spellcaster. 

If you try to use the Blade, and you aren’t chaotic, you must make a saving throw vs death or take 3d6 damage (half damage on a successful save). If this damage kills you, you are burned to ash and your soul is destroyed. 

If you are chaotic, you can handle the sword safely, but the hilt brands your hand with adamic script that praises the dark glories of the Bleak and Inevitable Overlords.

If you are so branded by the Blade (whether you still possess the sword or not) you will dream of the Black Pyramid every 1d4 weeks. Under a red sky, black stars weep tar across a desert of teeth while the Black Pyramid rises from a forest of alien bones. Reality bleeds where the pyramid’s point tears lose the scab of reality. The voices of the Bleak and Inevitable Overlords ooze like an infected wound, dripping poison in your ear. “You. Are. The. Gate.”

Then you wake up. Make a save vs polymorph. If you fail, an astral parasite attaches itself to your aura. Over the next 4d6 weeks, this invisible and etheric plasmoid will feed on your soul and grow. Your Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma modifiers instantly drop by 2 each. Your Strength modifier increases by 2. You must eat three times as much food during this period, but you do not dream of the Black Pyramid. A Dispel Evil spell has a 50% chance of removing the astral parasite. 

At the end of the 4d6 weeks, at a time the GM determines to be the least convenient for you, you vomit a fully formed demon out of your mouth. This process takes 1d6 rounds, during which time you are wracked with pain and cannot take any actions. This violent oral expulsion inflicts 1d4 damage upon you for each level you possess. Your Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and strength modifier instantly return to normal. 

Roll up the demon’s stats as if created by the Summon spell, with Hit Die equal to your level (minimum 1). It is unbound, but is not immediately hostile to you. Your companions and bystanders are a different matter. The demon will wreak havoc for 1 round per HD and then disappear in a cloud of opium and brimstone. If the demon is not slain before it returns to Hell (and you are not dead), you gain 100xp for each point of damage you suffered while vomiting it up. 

1d4 weeks later you dream of the Black Pyramid again.

Left Hand of Abaddon

This is the red and scaly left hand of a demon, along with half the forearm. It smells of vinegar and has glossy black nails and golden rings which cannot be removed. You can chop off your own hand and replace it with this. It will instantly stick to the stump, like Manglor but better.

Once so bonded, you can use the Left Hand of Abaddon to safely pick up items with curses triggered by alignment (like the Blade of the Black Pyramid) regardless of what your alignment might actually be. 

The Hand also lets you access several powers. Activating a power causes you 1d6 Charisma damage each time. The GM should roll and this damage in secret, so you never know how close you are to 0. How NPCs react to you should give you some clue, though. 
This Charisma damage can only be healed by killing humans. You regain 1d3 CHA point per human you kill (you must strike the deathblow) regardless of level or Hit Dice. The GM also keeps this total secret, but they will tell you when you’re back to your normal score. 

If using the Hand’s powers brings you to 0 Charisma, your soul is sent to Hell and your body is immediately transformed into the new body of Abaddon (a Pit Fiend). Abbadon will be happy to be returned to the mortal world. In his infernal mercy, he has a 4-in-6 chance of letting any of your present companions leave without a fight. Then he’ll get down to some important demon work. 

Powers of the Hand (each use costs 1d6 Charisma)
  • Blast a fan of flames 20’ long in a 90’ arc, doing 1d6 damage per Charisma point lost. Targets can save vs Breath for half. 
  • Cast Charm Person. Target has a penalty to their save equal to the Charisma lost. 
  • Your next attack has +1 to hit and damage for each point of Charisma lost. 

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