FtA: Oathbreaker, The Sundering Breath (New magic weapons)

Came up with a new magic item while reading the old Judges’ Guild adventure “Zienteck”, when considering ways to fix a rather boring weapon tucked into an interesting place. The second pair of weapons (Oathbreaker) were the sidearms of one of my Vampire: The Masquerade characters ages ago, herein modified for D&D/LotFP. If you’re interested, it’s got the basic Vampire stats afterward.

The Sundering Breath:
Created by a former Cleric to aid him in unmaking the Golems and other Things given Unlife in his maddened experiments. He would eventually be consumed by his belief that all Men drew breath stolen from He That Is, weakening the font of force from which all Clerics draw their power. The fallen Wizard would embark on a one-man Crusade to return himself to his former Grace and power by uncoupling the Spirits stolen to craft the Unliving, and rejoin them to the true Breath. That he did so with a stolen spirit speaks volumes of his corruption..

The Breath is a heavy and inelegant Crow’s-beaked warhammer. It is faintly transparent, and the inscribed pattern of golden Kabbalistic runes and precisely-positioned number tables seems to writhe in the hands of its owner. It does only half damage (1d4) to any target that is not imbued with an Animating Genius. When it is used to smite Things so imbued (including, but not limited to: most Undead, Soul Gems, Phylacteries, Golems, and many magic items), the Sunderer has a cumulative 10% chance per purposeful blow of breaking its enchantment. Be wary, however, as the force(s) released may not be especially friendly. It can only strike corporeal things, but this includes binding circles/fields or the like which are currently containing a living or Unliving spirit.
Items of Angelic and Demonic magic are immune to its effect, as are certain types of naturally-occurring Undead; only those made with stolen or bound life force or spirits are vulnerable. Elemental spirits are freed but not destroyed.
The Sundering Breath may also be used to cure a victim of possession – but the target must be struck with the hammer, and with full intent to harm (normal attack roll, and 1d4 damage per blow). Mortals slain by the Sunderer may not be reincarnated, resurrected, or reanimated through any means short of direct Divine intervention (id est, not a Cleric saying “can you do a brother a solid”, but YWH Himself shoving a metaphorical finger up the corpse’s nose).
If a character successfully frees a spirit or Genius with nowhere to go, it will haunt his dreams until guided to the proper Reward.

Oathbreaker:
These ancient weapons are said to have been forged in the fires of the wars against Cain’s Brood, seen the battles that threw down Enoch and Nod. The Man who carries them is a Pariah, a kingbreaker, destroying falsehoods and truth alike in his wake.

Stats, LotFP/D&D:
The Oathbreakers are a pair of ancient, unbreakable bronze short swords, each marked with an indecipherable rune that causes revulsion in all who view it. Its pommels are unlovely chunks of a plain, gray stone indelibly stained with blood, supposedly cut from the weapon of the First Murder. Each sword calls out to its mate: when owned for one full week, the bearer will become consumed by visions and dreams. At first, these will be from the point of view of the owner of its twin, or from the twinned sword itself if it is unowned. Eventually, the character will begin to have visions of flying to the area in which the sword can be found, or the dying dreams and days of its last owner. The owner will also see the Mark of Cain (the same as on the sword-blade) branded on the forehead and right hand of any being who has killed another in anger and with intent. This latter power is shared with anyone touching any piece of the First Weapon, whether deliberately or accidentally.
The blades do 1d6 damage per round, per Small weapons; dual wielding the blades uses the normal rules for your edition (in my case, roll twice for damage and pick the best). Against any creature which has the Mark of Cain, however, they ignore all special defenses, including incorporeality, the need for cold iron or silver, the requirement for certain “plus” ratings, etc.
If invoked, by crossing both blades before the face of another being and speaking the phrase “I give you Freedom” in Enochian, all magical or divine enforcement of oaths they have sworn will be severed. It also dispels many curses, at the GM’s discretion. Finally, a character who is carrying or owns either blade becomes unable to take any enforceable oath for any reason; they will be overcome by chills and nausea, and their tongue will cleave to the roof of their mouth, rendering the character dumb for 1d4 rounds. Likewise, no other being may swear an oath to the owner of either of the swords.
(They can wound, but not kill, Cain himself. Yes, this came up. No, I will not explain how.)

Stats, oWoD: 5-point Artifact. Does one die of Aggravated Damage for each point of True Faith the wielder possesses to anyone who has committed murder, in addition to its normal damage. When crossed, and the formula is uttered, all Blood Bonds owed by anyone who views them are dissolved

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  1. John! You’re not dead! (And that’s good). Your comment on Judge’s Guild triggered a sad recent memory – I discovered a few weeks back that David Sering passed away at age 67. He was one of the founding members of Judges Guild, the guy Marc W. Miller was thinking of when he wrote up the ‘Jack of Trades’ skill in Traveller, designed the ‘S’ Type Scout (who didn’t play in one of those?) and a good friend to a young man in his early twenties back in the 1980s.

    I met him when he was in the Navy, a WT1 serving on the USS Midway over in Yokosuka. I was on the USS Lockwood at the time, and spent most of my spare evenings at the Yokosuka Fleet Lounge playing RPGs. He showed up and played with the rest of us. He was a whiz with topographical stuff – he could whip up a drawing and with scissors, turn it into a 3-D construction in nothing flat. He took a seabag I gave him and turned out a ‘hobby bag’ for me, using nothing but scissors and kevlar thread. I used that bag for years to carry around my various chain mail projects, books, walkman, tapes, instant coffee and cup, you name it.

    I tried to get in touch with him in the past few years, but he, like a lot of guys of his generation, just did not have much of a web presence. I still have pictures of him here at home, along with Traveller-themed patches he sent me from the Philippines when I moved to my first shore-duty station at Sandpoint in Seattle.

    Hope you and the sweetie are doing well. I have not done much gaming this year, mostly because I am doing other things and haven’t the funds. My son comes home from college every now and then and we go blasting through the local shops playing EDH. I refurbish old NES game units (recapping, etc) for the Belfair shop and am currently planning to build several control line airplanes over the winter months. Right now I am setting funds aside for Christmas, getting the house ready for winter (cord and a half out back, baby!) and wrapping up the summer projects. Soon it will be time to clean the gutters of leaves and give the car and truck one last wash and wax. I already planted tulip bulbs for next spring, got one more bed to plant and that should do it for this year.

    Write when you get the chance. I never see you on Messenger anymore, but hey.

    Regards,
    Steve

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