In the days of the Suloise Empire, the clergy of Lydia were generally a peaceful bunch, tutoring children in their letters and numbers, instructing young bards in the arts of music, and undertaking other such peaceful and pleasant tasks. But like every thing from the Empire, even the peace loving clergy of Lydia had a grim, unpleasant aspect.
In service of their goddess' Daylight aspect, a faction of her church known as the Sun Maidens had the thankless task of working with like-minded clerics of Wee Jas for one solemn purpose, hunting and destroying the undead. One such Sun Maiden was a young lass from Zinbyle named Mikarli, of the relatively unimportant Lerara noble house. Mikarli took great pride in her work and ensuring the safety of her city from the dark children of the night, and somehow managed to stay cheerful and keep a song in her heart through it all. For 40 long years Mikarli of Lerara performed her duties, growing in esteem in her church, but always refusing changes in duty that would take her away from her appointed task of fighting the walking dead. Her face showed a few more lines, and her bright coppery red hair had faded to a dull sandy pink, but her cheerful smile and hearty laugh stayed with her until she picked up her spear to seek out a unique manner of undead said to be luring young bards to their death near the town of Zeltra, a days ride to the northeast in the Crystalmist foothills. The beast she encountered was at first impression a beautiful young suel maiden, with an angelic voice and a skilled lute hand, but once Mikarli refused to join her foe in a song, the undead monster showed its true nature, and began tortorously extracting her soul through the songs in her heart. The Lhiannan Shee left her to die clutching her spear amid the brush and trees outside of Zeltra. Though she had bravely fought hundreds of undead in her career, and protected the lives of thousands of her peers, Mikarli wept and begged Lydia's forgiveness for her failure, pleading with her goddess to not be cast into Beltar's pit for not fulfilling her duty to her people.
Mikarli's cries that evening did not go unnoticed, and Lydia felt a deep wrath growing within her at seeing her most faithful and selfless servant humiliated and left to die. She began to sing a song of mournful rage that echoed through the walls of her palace and resonated all the way down to Oerth, where the divine melody infused Mikarli's spear with the might of Lydia herself. Mikarli sensed the presence of her goddess and struggled to her feet, stumbling into the woods after her foe. Hours later, Mikarli came upon the Lhiannan Shee in another clearing, draining another young bard of his songs and his life. She let loose a tearchoked cry of sorrow and fury, and drove her spear into the creatures chest, destroying the fell beast instantly.
Upon her return to the house of song, the temple in Zinbyle which she called home, she recieved a vision from Lydia in the form of a song in her dreams telling her to bestow her spear on the most worthy successor, for it was her time to join the endless dance in Lydia's palace. She did so, and ascended to her goddess' side. Her spear, now known as the Lightbringer, remained, and stabbed its way into the legends and history of the Suloise people. _________________ What would Raxivort do?<br />
Lighbringer is a gorgeously crafted spear, with a shaft of deep red gnalwood ( a tree whose wood becomes hard as steel when slowly baked over a fire for days, once common in the Suel Basin, but now thought to be extinct on Oerth due to the Rain of Colorless Fire) with a polished steel spearhead with gold inlaid etchings of whimsical patterns. The weapon feels pleasantly warm in the hands of a Lawful creature, growing to uncomfortably hot for nuetrals, and glowing with an intense red heat when held by an chaotic creature that causes 1d4 points of damage per round held (save vs. rod/staff/wand for 1/2 damage). Any undead who willingly picks up the spear must make a save vs death ray or be instantly and irrevocably destroyed. If an undead creature is somehow coerced or tricked into picking up the spear, the saving throw is made with a +4 bonus.
In addition to being a +4 spear, Lightbringer has the following abilities:
The weapon constantly emits the equivalent of a Light spell, this cannot be turned off or cancelled by mortal magic. The light effect ignores any normal or (mortal) magical effects that would bring darkness into the area of effect.
When held by a Lawful character, the spear can be willed to begin singing loudly and clearly in the voice of its original owner, haunting wordless melodies that enact a Cause Fear (as the reverse of the Remove Fear spell) effect on any undead creatures, or chaotic spellcasters, including Magic-Users, Elves, and Clerics, but not Mystics.
Once per day, any Lawful creature weilding Lightbringer alignment may invoke a Protection from Evil effect (as the cleric spell).
When weilded by a cleric of Lydia, the spear grants a +2 bonus to all attempts to turn undead.
The only known means of destroying Lightbringer is to bury it in a coffin also occupied by an undestroyed undead creature for 1 year, upon which it will crumble to dust, losing its magic forever. _________________ What would Raxivort do?<br />
Note that the powers of this spear have been modified from their original appearance in the Suloise Relics: Lightbringer article here on canonfire, which was written for D&D 3rd edition, to allow the item to fit more easily into a Classic D&D game. _________________ What would Raxivort do?<br />
There are nice details in the spears's origin story. Seeing *any* use of Lydia -- such an easy goddess to ignore -- is good. The reference to Beltar is interesting, and the suggestion that even Good Suel gods might send their clerics there for failure is telling and intriguing. The tenuous tie to the Lerara also helps tie the spear to the setting.
One minor quibble -- what stats would you use for a Lhiannan Shee? The only stats I've ever seen were in an old DRAGON magazine, and that monster was no match for a high-level cleric worthy of a minor relic.
I feel I was a bit generous with my rating on this one, as I didn't mark it down for 3E game mechanics. The description of the spear is mired in them.
As for the Lhiannon Shee, I haven't converted her, since there hasn't been one in my campaign yet.
In my 2e game, I used the Lhiannon Shee write up from Ravenloft (one of the RL monster compendiums, cant recall which of the top of my head) and applied the Monster of Legend 'template' from planescape, creating a unique, but very powerful monster.
And yet, one is left to wonder what became of the spear since? And how has the story of the spear been preserved so well, for this information to be passed ultimately into the hands of our players?
The Spear was customarily granted to the ranking cleric or paladin of the Sun Maiden order in the town of Zeltra before the twin cataclysms. After that it was lost to history until recent years when Yeoman expiditions into the desert rediscovered the ruins of that town. Alfirin Owen, a Lydian paladin from Sterich, heard rumors of the discovery and gathered a party of adventurers to aid her in going to reclaim the relics of her faith's temple in the city before looters could despoil it. To make a long story short, she eventually recovered the spear after passing tests of faith and courage, and brought it back with her to Sterich.
During the war she fought bravely against the forces of the giants, most notably at the doomed Last Stand at Istivin just before that city fell. After that she spent the war in and around Flen, working the morale of the troops with her songs and stories of glory and triumph against all odds.
Alfirin is now a close advisor to Marchioness Resmond and is working diligently to rebuild the country and personally investigates any reports of the restless dead within Sterich's borders.
The story of the spear and all of its bearers is part of the Lydian faith's canon, and is passed down through the generations through poetry, prose and lyric. Most Sheldomar bards versed in ancient history and Suloise culture know one or two songs or stories of the spear and its history.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises