Saturday, January 3, 2009

Seven Days, Seven Blades of Luck - The Sword of Rotten Luck

Nondescript in every way. This sword is common, plain, boring. It is likely to be picked up, stuffed in a backpack and forgotten. Any description is meaningless as it can change form and besides talking about the sword is nearly impossible (see below).

The owner of this sword has rotten luck. Chamber pots will be emptied on their head, it will rain when they travel, their horse will throw a shoe, ships they are passengers on will wreck in storms, important possessions will get lost or stolen, taverns they visit burn down, and so on. This rotten luck is chronic but with a very definite limit. The owner will not die, nor will they starve, suffer grievous injury, or come to any permanent ill. The sword prevents mortal or maiming harm from any source befalling its owner. However, it will accomplish this miraculous feat in the absolutely most rotten way possible. This protection does not extend to the owners companions or innocent bystanders but the owners rotten luck does.

In addition, the desires and goals of the owner will generally be fulfilled if they aren't in conflict with the sword's nature of protection and rotten luck. For example if the owner desires to reach the capital they'll be captured as galley slaves, shipwrecked, suffer various hardships on Isle of Madness, get teleported into a battlefield and finally be thrown in the capital's dungeon as spies.

As part of preventing harm and providing rotten luck the sword will not allow itself to be given away or abandoned. It will, somehow, quickly arrive back into its owner's life. It might be possible to destroy this sword. But the consequences of unmaking such a powerful artifact are troubling to consider.

This god-forged weapon is virtually unknown. Part of its protective power prevents knowledge of its existence from spreading. The sword's appearance is whatever it needs to be at the moment. It can shape change at will, even into seemingly sentient beings and can disappear entirely. It is omniscient, omnipotent and can work as subtly or as directly as required. It is in a very real sense the DM.


[From the series Seven Blades of Luck and examples of Magic Items Should be Magical. All seven blades were once part of an article I submitted to Fudge Factor a sadly defunct e-zine for FUDGE.]

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