Deathless, Longsword of Necromancers (3.5e Equipment)
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This amazingly well balanced longsword has an opaque blade that feels constantly cold to the touch, as if it sucked out light and heat from its surroundings. The blade is sharp enough to cut through bone as if through butter, and is adorned with odd necromantic runes all the way to the tip. The guard looks as a human femur, and the handle looks like a skeletal hand waiting to be stretched, closing over the hand of its wielder with a firm grip that is probably the most unnerving thing about it.
Nonlegacy Game Statistics
+1 longsword; Cost 4500gp. Wielder is under the effect of a constant undetectable alignment as the spell and gains a +2 bonus to checks against being disarmed.
Omen: You don’t need to eat or breathe
Asmond Accussa was the second child of a noble family in the city state of Sbastia, a Magocratic state where the spellcasting elite dedicated their daily lives to the study of the magical arts, seeing those under them as either test subjects or pawns, and the natural laws as oddities, at best. As such, the cycle of life and death meant little when weighted against the power that came from sheer arcane might. Necromancy, was just another tool his fellow countrymen used on their continuous quest for further magical prowess, to the point where undeath, specifically Lichdom and vampirism were seen as the logical, sensitive choice for any true practitioner of magic who did not wished to be bothered by things as mundane as aging or death. Eventually, this custom of the spellcasting nobility became so widely accepted that mages increasingly younger began embracing it, and even non casting members of society were “gifted” with it after particularly worthy deeds.
Why be an old, withered corpse on a grave or an immortal being that is little more than skin and bones with a few random hairs over a mostly dried-up skull, when you could be an eternally young, handsome immortal hero crackling with arcane prowess? Having grown up in such an environment, life and death were mere technicalities for the city youth, and they where fast and ready to dispense either with a casual attitude. Concerning oneself with other beings lives and dignity, or speaking fondly about things like true love or the beauty of nature where merely personality disorders in their eyes, classical of those without the means or the understanding to truly appreciate the gifts of the magical arts.
Thus, the latest fashion in his times was for young casters like himself to embrace immortality at an early age and wear it openly at social events, either at day or night. As such, items which increased and made obvious both your arcane might and undead nature where highly prized by the elitist youth of the city. This was once of such items, a fine sword crafted by young Asmond for his personal use. (DC 15)
However, Asmond was different from his fellow countrymen, and not only by the uncanny prowess of his magical arts. He had seen enough of the world on his formative years to decide he enjoyed the beauty of life, the warmth of the sun on his skin and the company of attractive members of the opposite sex as much or more as the feeling of eldritch might flowing through his being as he used a powerful spell, and had already decided that he not only enjoyed living life, but he also that he disliked the idea of turning himself into some undead thing walking around with no further purpose but to learn his next spell and gain a new bit of insight into the arcane. Whatever doubts he may have had where finally dispelled when on a mission for his homeland, he spotted for the first time the beautiful young woman that would become his dream, a red headed beauty slightly younger than himself, pride of her noble family and the most beloved maiden of her city, a girl that needed merely to casually walk past in order to steal the heart of a careless young Asmond. She was, however, from a rival city-state, and her own philosophy on life could not be more different or even opposite to his. Where he had learned about the benefits of undeath, she had learned respect for the cycle of life, where he had learned to think of others in terms of servants or competitors, she had learned to care, and where he loved her and the vitality and life she represented, she held nothing but disgust for the pale young mage and his necromantic homeland. For the first time, young Asmond was faced with a dilemma, should he use his considerable gifts to charm the maiden? Would that not be just a form of enslavement, her “love” for him just a form of illusion, turning the life loving young woman into just another empty conquest, a name to add at the bottom of the page that was the list of his previous achievements? For once, he decided he wanted a woman to love him not as product of arcane coercion, but as the result of her own free will. But how do you go about wooing a maiden, the likes of every single young hero and champion in the land had gone after unsuccessfully, when the greatest effort on seduction you have done until now was the casting of a spell?
First of all, no undeath. He wasn’t sure about many things, but he knew enough about the people outside his own to know that the very idea of a romantic relationship with an undead creature was considered a horrible aberration, which was a problem since it was what society demanded from him on his homeland.
He did his best at taking up the façade of undeath, keeping Deathless always by his side, and acting out as a true agent of his people on every task he was given. To his great happiness, he managed to attract the attention of the woman he adored, and joined her on many adventures, his knowledge about undead, their weaknesses and strengths proving a boon to their career as adventurers. Little by little, the new found warmth of love finished convincing the young master mage not only of the error of his countrymen beliefs, but he also actively began speaking to his countrymen about it, even going as far as publicly admitting that he was no undead, but a warm, breathing living being. Sadly, his was a minority opinion, and his family did the only thing that a sensitive, decent Sbastian family of high and noble station could do, they ambushed him and arranged for him to be affected by vampirism.
(DC 18: Necromantic Might or Beginning of Despair)
Asmond was not just a bookworm mage, he was also widely known for developing his own spells and finding new ways to interact with the necromantic arts. Allowing himself to be affected with vampirism, he had already planned ahead and developed a cure for himself, once again resuming the ruse of his undead nature. Sadly, his façade was not as strong as it had been before, and after a few years he found himself fleeing into the night, trying to escape a powerful party of undead casters, including several vampires and at least two liches, all of which were of course powerful casters. They finally caught him on the ruins of a forgotten dwarven city in the eastern mountains, a place reputed for having been decimated by a undead plague, cornering him and beginning a war of attrition against the mage by sending after him hundreds of the undead creatures already in the city while they continuously took turns at bombarding him with spells until he had little more but his sword to defend himself and finally taking him prisoner. They were already aware of his ability to cure vampirism, so this time they forced him into Lichdom, a condition that had never before been reversed, before abandoning him, exiled. He nestled himself on the abandoned city, at the time infected with hundreds of monsters and creatures. It took him about a month to clear the place out, leaving the undead in place to keep intruders away while he began looking for a way to abandon Lichdom, something that had never been attempted before.
(DC 25: Immortal Mage or Alone in the Dark)
In the solitude of the underground ruins, he lost track of time, pursuing his cure trough experimenting with the many kinds of undead already present in the city, discovering ways to restore them to life, reputedly resurrecting the whole city after a millennia since its falling. The recently revived dwarves hailed him as the hero that had rescued them from a worse-than-death fate, and allowed him to remain between them while he looked for a cure for himself, usually turning would-be invaders into mindless undead that aided themselves to the defense of the city, eventually boosting its defences with hundreds of orcs, troll and ogre zombies and skeletons that he needed to continue his research. Being their saviour, the dwarves had nothing but admiration for Asmond, and his fame grew enough to reach the ears of his beloved.
The fiery haired maiden had grown into a powerful adventurer by her own right, and soon made way towards the revived city on her own, making it to him and demanding that he saw her. Asmond couldn’t bear to let her see him as he was, but she was as stubborn as she was brave and beautiful, purchasing a home in the city right across his secluded lab, and not only waiting for him to come out, but actively trying to go in, regularly braving his traps and defenses (which soon where replaced with powerful but nonlethal wards) day after day, week after week, and year after year. In this manner, time passed, and Asmond grew amazingly learned not only in the ways of necromancy, but also in the arts of abjuration and the creation of magical wards. Finally a quiet night decades after her arrival to the city, his beloved passed away from natural causes, and less than an hour afterwards Asmond stepped out of his lab, proudly proclaiming he had found a cure, just to find her lying on her bed, still waiting for him. It was then that, according to the friends that were present at the time, he confirmed them he had indeed found a cure, walked back into his lab with the body of his beloved in his arms, and closed it down with every ward he knew, and according to some, took out his phylactery and smashed it with Deathless.
The dwarves made a life like statue of the two lovers the way they remembered them, a fiery beauty full of youth and vigour, and a wise young mage dressed in the clothes of a traveling adventurer. How Deathless abandoned the lab is something the dwarves don’t know, and they swear they have never allowed anyone to break into the resting place of their saviour.(DC 31: The Champion or Descent into Darkness)
User Skill Check Save Caster level Spell Slot Abilities Level Penalty Penalty Penalty Loss 5 --- --- --- --- DeathMask 6 --- --- --- 1st 7 --- -1 -1 --- 8 -1 --- --- 2nd Master Wizard I 9 --- --- --- --- Pleasure or Pain 10 --- --- --- 3rd 11 --- --- --- --- 12 --- --- --- 4th Master Wizard II 13 --- --- -2 --- Bliss or Agony 14 --- --- --- 5th 15 -2 --- --- --- 16 --- --- --- 6th Master Wizard III 17 --- --- --- --- Eternal Life or Final Sorrow 18 --- --- --- 7th 19 --- --- --- --- 20 --- --- --- 8th Master Wizard IV
Three rituals are required to unlock all of the abilities of Deathless; the sword is a dual legacy weapon, existing in a state of flux between necromantic powers and the forces that oppose them. Thus, each ritual has two aspects. You must decide which of these to develop whenever you perform a legacy ritual. Your choice cannot be changed retroactively, but you can choose a different aspect when undertaking a new ritual.
Necromantic Might or Beginning of Despair: To perform Necromantic Might, you must create and control at least as many undead as you have character levels. Beginning of Despair requires that you destroy a group of undead with a combined CR at least equal to your own character level, using Deathless as your only weapon. You can still use any other magic item, spells or special abilities you possess.
- Cost: 4,500gp.
- Feat Granted: Least Deathless (3.5e Feat)
Immortal Mage or Alone in the Dark: To perform Immortal Mage, you must use the spell Create Greater Undead and animate a powerful undead creature to serve you. To perform Alone in the Dark you must spend at least 3 nights alone on a dungeon infested with undead. Survival is not a requirement to perform Alone in the Dark successfully.
- Cost: 12,500gp.
- Feat Granted: Lesser Deathless (3.5e Feat)
The Champion or Descent into Darkness: To perform The Champion, you must animate and control a group of undead with a combined number of Hit Die equal to twice your character level. To perform Descent into Darkness, you must travel to the city where Asmond spent his last years and make a public vow to use the powers of necromancy only for the good of others in the presence of a dwarven officer and at least twenty other witnesses.
- Cost: 40,000gp.
- Feat Granted: Greater Deathless (3.5e Feat)
Wizards, sorcerers and clerics are most likely to use Deathless.
Deathless Wielder Requirements: Ability to cast 3 different necromantic spells Base Will saving throw: +3
Dual Legacy Properties
At each level where two abilities are listed on the table, you gain the ability associated with the ritual path you’re following but not the other ability. The first ability is associated with the embracing of necromantic powers, while the second ability is associated with the destruction of evil undead. If you change paths midstream, all abilities change to match your new outlook.
Deathless Legacy Abilities
Deathmask (Su): At will, you can make yourself appear cold and pale as an undead creature, and while under this effect mindless undead do not attack you unless you attack them first. You can dismiss this effect as a free action.
Pleasure (Su): Whenever you score a critical hit with a melee attack against a living foe, you do so in such a cruel manner that the foe is also shaken for 1 minute. This is a mind-affecting, fear effect.
Pain (Su): While holding or wielding Deathless, you can detect any undead within 60 feet, but you must concentrate (a standard action) to do so. You ignore any damage reduction of undead when attacking them (either with Deathless itself, any natural weapon, or any other weapon you may also be wielding, as long as you also wield Deathless). Deathless also gains the Bane (Undead) special ability (see page 224 on the Dungeons Master Guide for details on the Bane ability).
Bliss (Su): Whenever you score a critical hit with a melee attack against a living foe, you do so in such a gruesome manner that creatures within 30 feet that are allied to that foe are also shaken for 1 minute. This is a mind-affecting, fear effect.
Agony (Su): By directly attacking their link to the negative energy plane, you can score critical hits against undead with any natural or manufactured weapon as if they where normal creatures, as long as you do so while also wielding Deathless.
Eternal Life (Su): At will, you can alter a spell that deals damage so that any living creature that could normally be raised as a zombie and that does not possess more than double your Hit Die, if slain by your spell, rises as a zombie under your control at the beginning of your next action. Even if you kill several creatures with a single spell modified with the Fell Blast ability, you can’t create more Hit Dice of Undead than twice your character level. The standard rules for controlling undead (see animate dead, page 198 of the Player’s Handbook) apply to newly created undead gained trough this ability.
Final Sorrow (Sp): Twice per day, you can use Destruction as the spell. Caster level 17, the DC is 23 or 19 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher.
Master Wizard (Su): While you are holding, carrying or wielding Deathless, you can prepare or cast double your normal number of arcane spells per day, as though wearing a ring of wizardry. At 8th level, this ability affects all your 1st level spells, at 12th level it also affects all your 2nd level spells, at 16th level it also affects all your 3rd level spells and at 20th level it also affects all your 4th level spells.