The Scythe of the Reaper (3.5e Equipment)

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.

The Scythe of the Reaper: Wa, the deity of Balance and Completion, is a lesser god known only to the enlightened few who walk the path of neutral alignment. The established church of Wa no longer exists due to other churches actively campaigning to eliminate them.

Several hundred years ago the elders of the church became fascinated by the concept of death. They expounded upon and tried to better understand death. For the church, death was the great equalizer, the natural and logical conclusion to life.

Other churches confused this preoccupation with death with a fixation on the dead. The distinction the followers of Wa made between these concepts was significant in their minds; they viewed the undead as wholly wrong and unnatural. Unfortunately, word of their worshipping death became rumors of their raising an army of undead. To good-aligned churches this was the sin of sins, and they began a protracted campaign to eliminate and ruin those of Wa.

During this crusade, rumors persisted of a terrible creature that would appear and defend the hallowed ground of the Wa’s temples. It was said that the blackcloaked figure would wreak certain death upon its foes and that its blade would strike true despite a paladin’s armor. This nemesis earned a dreadful name, which still frightens men to this day: the Grim Reaper.

Like many old tales, this one is grounded in truth— more truth than many would care to remember. The elders of the church of Wa created a set of weapons that was meant to deliver certain death. The set was originally created as a manifestation of the perfect tools of death, but later became instruments to defend the church. Each set contained four individual items that confer additional powers when brought together, and that each contain a curse that weakens any person that touches them who does not follow the path of true neutrality. The total number of weapons that were created is unknown, as is the number that remain. Some may exist in secret temple vaults of faiths that participated in the crusade against the Wa. A complete set consists of a cloak, a belt, a necklace, and a scythe. There are also rings that are part of the set but do not grant additional powers when used together. The black cloak is known to be a powerful cloak of resistance that disguises the wearer; with a complete set it provides a large deflection bonus as well.

The belt is made of chain and bears a small hourglass. It allows the wielder to become ethereal, and when part of a complete set the bearer can use the hourglass to scry.

The necklace is made of bone, set with a large fire opal. It makes the wearer magically silent, and as part of a complete set it gives the wearer a powerful frightful presence ability.

The ring emanates an aura of consecrate, the wearer is under the effect of an invisibility to undead spell renewed each hour, and the wearer cannot be turned into an undead creature while the ring is worn.

The Scythe of the Reaper is a +5 scythe that in the hands of a true neutral wielder also has the ghost touch ability. If wielded as part of a complete set, the bearer may use it to smite enemies in the manner of a paladin, except that any non-neutral alignment (chosen when the smite is invoked) can be the subject of the smite. The smite is +4 to hit and damage. If the target is not of that alignment, the smite has no effect but is still used up for the day.

The scythe bestows one or more negative levels on any wielder who is not true neutral. The wielder gains one negative level if her alignment is one step away from true neutral (such as neutral good or lawful neutral), or two negative levels if her alignment is two steps away from true neutral (such as lawful evil or chaotic good). The negative level remains as long as the weapon is in hand and disappears when the weapon is no longer wielded. This negative level never results in actual level loss, but it cannot be overcome in any way (including with restoration spells) while the weapon is wielded.

CL 15th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must be true neutral; Cost 35,318 gp + 2,800 XP; Market Price: 70,318 gp

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