A mated pair of nefarious blades
In our first instalment, we’ll take a look at Hither and Yon, a mated pair of blades possessing a powerful punch and a dark past.
Hither and Yon were commissioned a century ago by one Elbrolac, a cold, ruthless assassin for hire operating from the free city of Port Jansor. Elbrolac, known also as Jansor’s Scourge, slew no less than three score minor nobles and well known politicians during his short but pestilent career. In what some posit a bid to incite war with neighbouring Nadoria, Elbrolac was hired to commit a wave of politically motivated slayings in which he wielded Hither and Yon with a deadly efficiency that culminated in the bold murder of Port Jansor’s popular Lord Mayor.
The assassination incited unanticipated outrage, and Elbrolac, who sought to flee Port Jansor, was foiled through the renewed vigour of the local constabulary and his betrayal by other underworld figures who believed that Jansor’s Scourge had finally gone too far. Within a week of the Lord Mayor’s death, Elbrolac was rooted out and summarily sentenced to death. The Silent Square within Port Jansor’s Founding District is so named for Elbrolac’s execution, for while he was set on a pyre fuelled by Elemental flame, he uttered not a sound of protest, spite, or agony whilst he burned, instead fixing his gaze firmly upon a rising sun of full, radiant glory. Elbrolac’s ashes were left to wash away in the rain, and his fearsome blades were sequestered in the City Treasury.
During a robbery some 25 years ago, the blades were stolen—amongst other treasures—by what most believe to be remnants of Elbrolac’s now dormant sect. No account of their use has surfaced, and their present location is today unknown.
Appearance and Powers
Hither is a short sword +2 with a worn handle and nicked blade that radiates a faint crimson light when foes of the wielder are within 50′; its leather scabbard, worn and cracked, bears an Auld Common runic inscription: “Outward from Within doth this Death-ward blade flow.” Yon is a throwing dagger of returning +1 that, as its companion, appears well used, but returns unerringly to its wielder if an intended target is missed. These respective powers function if either blade is possessed. If a thief of any alignment owns both and draws them in combat, the thief gains a +1 “to-hit” bonus on any backstab attempt as well as a +1 AC bonus from the automatic parrying effect of either blade in motion.
The twain blades Hither and Yon may spawn any of the following adventures:
- Elbrolac’s sect is still active and indeed possesses the blades; it is possible that an encounter with the sect features the twain. If the PCs run afoul of the sect, it is certain that Hither and Yon will be used in an attempt on their lives, which may grant witness to some measure of the blades’ powers (whetting, no doubt, the appetite of any PC thief).
- News that one of the PCs owns the pair reaches Elbrolac’s sect, which sends out some muscle to reclaim the blades. If these thugs are defeated, the sect sends progressively stronger bounty hunters to divest the PC of the pair.
- One of the blades is stolen or lost, and the (N)PC owner naturally wants it returned (since both are required for full effect). While the PCs are hunting for the missing blade, the original thief attempts to steal the other.
- The (N)PC owner of the blades is losing sleep, haunted by nightmares populated by the spirits of those slain by Elbrolac. At first, no obvious connection between the nightmares and the weapons exists, but the longer the owner possesses and uses the blades, the more alarming the dreams become. Eventually, the owner sees sad and angry spirits during waking hours, suffering constant torment until the blades are either destroyed or the spirits are mollified.
- As above, but the nightmares feature Elbrolac, who disapproves of the current owner. The nightmares and visions stop only after the PCs find the Elbrolac’s tomb, constructed in the sewers beneath Port Jansor’s Silent Square by loyal sect members after Elbrolac’s execution. Of course, Elbrolac’s undead form must be defeated to stop the visions.