War in hell

Servants of the Iron City of Dis have access to sophisticated geist-bloomeries and ferric-distilleries. Their dark savants perform experiments unwholesome and unholy, and have an extremely active interest in the course of foreign nations.

They arm their diplomats, bodyguards, spies and soldiers with several types of black-mass-produced quasi-magical weaponry, listed below. These do not count as magical weapons for bypassing resistances — they’re mundane in that sense — but they are magical, and so suppressed in anti-magical environments, and are certainly more expensive than a handaxe from the village smith! Think of them as magical monster attacks at the end of a stick.

Bleeding bodkin: A sticklike razor blade with a hair-width hollow fuller running the whole way to the hilt, this weapon is lanced into the target and then left there, gouting blood. Target takes ongoing 1d10 piercing at start of their turn until they’ve taken 10 total damage from this effect or spend an action to remove the weapon (requiring a Wisdom check with a healer’s kit, DC 12, removes all such flechettes).
This special property is one-use once it hits, even if withdrawn early: the precision capillary action which withdraws for the bloodbank becomes clotted with its victim’s fluids.
A retrieved fully populated (though destroyed) knife contains an ounce of blood; the tip may be used, very carefully, as a fountain pen.
The same technology can be used to manufacture a large, heavy axeblade consisting of a loosely fixed spray of such flechettes — often set at the edge of a battleaxe or glaive. Every hit with the weapon head deposits a few bleeder fragments, as above. However, it’s naturally fragile; it starts at -0 rust counters, but each time the damage die comes up less than or equal to number of rust counters +1, it gets a new rust counter. Destroyed at -5.
A single bleeding bodkin flechette costs 30 gp.
A spray of flechettes costs 300 gp.

Shadowglass: a steel-and-glass triangular blade, polished to the sheen of a dim mirror in bright light. In dim light or darkness, its edges melt away, and it can be used for its primary purpose. If used as a dart under low-light conditions, the target takes 2d6 necrotic damage and loses 1d4 points of strength. Strength loss requires a long rest or a lesser restoration.
Particularly large shadowglasses have been manufactured, the size of a shield and providing an excellent, if slightly funhouse, reflection. They are fragile; breaking one in low-light conditions summons 1d8 shadows immediately, and one more shadow at the end of each round until a 1 is rolled on 1d8, or the fragments of the glass are brought into contact with bright light or holy water. All summoned shadows are immediately destroyed upon either of these events. These devices are given as gifts and placed in embassies.
Shadowglasses of any size do not reflect anything that has touched undead or necrotic energy within the last year, showing instead a cloud of blackness.
A hand shadowglass costs 100 gp.
The shield-sized costs 7500 gp.

Constricting Staff: A dried wormwood quarterstaff with ends shod in iron bands. On any hit, the soft wood instinctively warps and stretches around any creature of up to size large, ruining the staff. Target is grappled (escape DC 14). Until it ends, target is restrained. The staff can be destroyed as per cutting free of a net.
These are used for capture, and can also be manufactured as larger caber-sized weapons for the capture of huge and larger targets, with commensurately higher escape DCs.
A freshly-cut wormwood staff weeps a soporific poison and is best handled with thick gloves. A hit adds an additional immediate contact poison; DC 10 Constitution save or be poisoned for 1 hour; a save of 5 or less resulting in unconsciousness.
A dried wormwood staff costs 50gp.
A fresh one costs 100gp.

Wraith Ash: An extremely potent poisonous paste, a weapon anointed with this deals an additional 4d8 necrotic damage, and DC 14 Con save or reduce max hp by same amount. It can also be mixed with food and ingested, same effects on initial exposure + vomiting, sickened for 1 hour. No additional save.
In either case, a target whose maximum hit points are reduced to 0 rises as a zombie obeying all commands it hears (conflicting orders force later speakers to make a DC 10 Charisma (persuasion) check to replace earlier orders). The victim has access to everything it knew in life but with its newly reduced intellect, may have difficulty in communicating; its tongue blackens and swells (it cannot speak particularly intelligibly), and it doesn’t have enough fine motor skills to write.
A dose of wraith ash costs 500 gp.


About lackhand

I was born in 1984 and am still playing games, programming computers, and living in New York City. View all posts by lackhand

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