Sorrow-Shank is a small double-edged sword similar to a Roman gladius, with no special physical qualities when first examined. Upon further inspection it becomes obvious that the surface of the entire blade is etched with extremely small runes, which are masked by the dull gray surface of the blade itself. It is not clear from what metal the blade was forged. The hilt of the sword has a ridged grip, a simple cross-guard and knobbed pommel. The blade itself is leaf shaped, flaring out towards the middle and then tappers back to a point. Its sheath is made of plain black leather. Physically, Sorrow-Shank was not forged to win awards for its looks.
Sorrow-Shank is a Pact-Weapon. That is, it was forged by a blacksmith who through sorcerous means made an infernal pact, thereby enchanting the blade forever with a dark arcane dweomer.
Item: Short sword (28” in length)
Damage: 1d6 + 3 (see below)
Forged By: Belfus of the Daemon-Forge
- +3 to hit & damage
- Vampiric – upon a roll of 18, 19 or 20 Sorrow-Shank will leach the life-force from its victim and bestow it upon its wielder. Either part or all of the damage dealt is transferred immediately to the wielder’s hit points. (a roll of 18 or 19 = ½, while a natural 20 = All)
- Daemonic Arm – the wielder of Sorrow-Shank will immediately notice a change in the appearance of the arm they wield the sword with. At first small scales begin to develop upon the skin. Within an hour the scales cover the entire forearm, all the way from hand to elbow. The appearance of the arm is altogether reptilian, with the scales having a dark green color and the fingernails morphing into claws. Each time a natural 20 is rolled the arm becomes even more reptilian in appearance. After the 5th natural 20 is rolled the character’s hand begins to develop a 6th finger.
- Willful – though Sorrow-Shank is not an intelligent blade per se, it defiantly possesses willful qualities. If the character tries to rid himself of the blade he must amputate the Daemonic Arm, and also make a save vs. Charisma at a -6 penalty. If the save is failed the arm is still amputated, but the character will feel compelled to immediately begin wielding the blade in the opposite hand.
- No Quarter – another willful side effect Sorrow-Shank has on its wielder is the need to take the life of every opponent. Once the wielder is locked in battle it becomes hard to end the battle without killing the foe. If the wielder wants to spare the life of the opponent a successful Charisma save is required. If the save is failed then the wielder is compelled to finish the job he started…
Note: The game mechanics discussed can be used for any edition of Dungeons & Dragons, but are specifically written for Castles & Crusades. As with most game materials I will present, this article is considered Open Game License (OGL).