Head-Taker (3.5e Equipment)

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Head-Taker: Lady Alvara Murchie led a rebellion against the despotic king of her homeland. The king was capricious, arbitrary, and a true tyrant, often ordering executions on a whim.

The rebels succeeded and placed Alvara on the throne as queen. She ruled well, but sternly, emphasizing justice and law and meting out severe penalties to lawbreakers. Only a few years passed before whispers started the rumor that a throne gained through rebellion could be lost through another rebellion.

The first rebellion against Queen Alvara failed, as did the second, which was planned by several powerful nobles and the queen’s own daughter Nevara. Queen Alvara ordered the execution of the nobles as traitors to the realm and had them hang until the crows picked their bones clean. Rumors abounded—the queen would pardon her daughter, the queen was going to abdicate and name Nevara as successor, the queen went mad with grief, Nevara escaped and was raising another army, and so on. In truth, Nevara was kept under guard in a tower prison. Queen Alvara struggled with her conflicted loyalties. On the one hand, Nevara had rebelled against the realm and should be executed as a traitor; on the other, Alvara found the idea of sentencing her daughter to hang in the public square too painful to contemplate.

Finally, she decided that justice must be done, and she must mete it out. She commissioned a magic weapon for this purpose. When Head-Taker, a +1 keen vorpal falchion, was completed, she called a public gathering. She read the list Nevara’s crimes followed by a summary of the evidence. Nevara did not deny the charges, though she pleaded with her mother for mercy. Alvara declared that for her treachery against the state, Nevara would be sentenced to death. Ordering her daughter to kneel, the queen used the weapon to sever Nevara’s head, and so it gained the nickname “Family’s Bane.” The queen then changed her heraldic sign to a falchion dripping blood and had the weapon hung above the entrance to the royal audience chamber as a vivid reminder of her actions. From that day forward, she ruled in peace, but after her death the weapon was lost.

Caster Level: 18th, Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, keen edge, death spell; Market Price: 72,375 gp; Cost to Create: 36,375 gp + 2,880 XP.

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