Postfest IV: Wolf's Bane
Date: Mon, April 04, 2005
Topic: Spells of Oerth
The wolves of the Hornwood have long existed somewhat peacefully with the other inhabitants of the forest, but when the cold face of Luna shines into the blackened hearts of men and turns them to lycanthropy, the land cries out for this abomination to be cleansed. Blidmiad, the Wolflord, is no friend of the werewolves, and lends his power to this strange sword, which exists solely to end the unnatural lives of those fearsome beasts.
Special thanks to Darva Shriver for help with this item.
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
The Hornwood of Geoff is home to a wide variety of wolves and canine creatures, some more benign than others. Over the years, Luna's curse, as the Old Faith druids refer to lycanthropy, has corrupted some of these creatures, as well as the human and demi-human inhabitants of Geoff, causing a scourge of werewolves that troubles the people of the Grand Duchy from time to time.
The druids, ever loyal to the creatures of the woods, and respectful of Blidmiad, their name for the Wolflord (a canine counterpart to Rexfelis, the Catlord), have dutifully fought the werewolf abominations for ages, and created some interesting magic to aid them. The short sword known as Wolf's Bane is one such magical item.
Forged from tempered black iron by the Dwarven smiths of the Crystalmist mountains, Wolf's Bane's blade is set with ancient flan runes that spell out an archaic prayer to Blidmiad. The hilt and pommel are constructed of pieces of the jawbones of wolves, woven together with preserved wolfsbane (the herb) stalks. The sword's scabbard is crafted from sturdy leather clad in Dire Wolf fur.
The sword functions as a short sword +1, +4 vs. Werewolves and also provides the wielder with the effects of a protection from evil spell against any werewolves (only). Optionally, a lawful character who wields the sword may elect to forfeit his attack(s) during a given round to provide all allies within a 5 foot per level radius of him with the protection from evil benefit, again, functioning only against werewolves.
The drawback of this sword is that the wielder may never willingly attack a non-lycanthropic canine creature while the sword is in his possession (whether using it currently or not, if it is carried or worn, the restriction applies) even in self defense. Should the wielder violate this restriction, he is immediately attacked by 1d4 Hounds of Blidmiad (treat as Hellhounds in all regards but alignment, the Hounds are neutral) which appear within melee range of him and automatically win initiative on their first round of combat with him. If the Hounds are defeated, the sword crumbles to worthless dust, but its owner suffers no further ill effects. If the Hounds are victorious, they will use their special ability to cure light wounds on any canines wounded by the offending character and then begin howling hauntingly, vanishing after 1d4 rounds.
Until recently, the sword was in the possession of Chasytha Silverheart, a Sterish Paladin known around Sterich and Geoff for her tireless crusade against lycanthropes, but upon her retirement to serve the court of Countess Resbin of Sterich, Chasytha gifted the sword to Grand Duke Owen, who placed it in a ceremonial vault along with other relics and treasures of the realm. Rumors around Gorna are beginning to circulate however, citing the claim of a nameless Eagle's Talon (the name of the Gorna thieve's guild) thief to have pilfered the sword from its vault and sold it on Gorna's black market.