More Arre Obscura: This is the story of a powerful artifact that was a central part of an older campaign. It is one of the first levelling items that I ever made. Date shows October 2000. This staff has been wielded by three PCs (IIRC) over the years. It certainly survived its last PC bearer. And I know where it is at this moment in this campaign…
Edited for reasons, most stats left in for infotainment only. It was originally stated out for AD&D, and there was a 3.5 version somewhere (maybe?). It has not been stated for 5th. What do you do with a powerful artifact that actually fufilled its original purpose?
I think that this is the first time the vast majority of this has been seen by players. Except for the actual game stuff told way down at the bottom there.
The Story of the Staff
When the Dragon of the Loch completed his training in magic, he began to craft the weapon that would be the retribution of Dragonkind against the Oracle. He traveled to lost city of Cradok-Mar, and retrieved from his Grandfather’s remains a bone. He began to shape it with the help of the greatest craftsmen of the Dwarves, Humans and Elves. When it was fully fashioned, the mightiest of all the mages of the Children assisted him in enchanting it. A hundred years of work produced a staff of the utmost exquisite quality, and fearsome power. After all was complete, the staff’s personality surfaced. It called itself “Orathac,” meaning, “vengeance is at hand” as translated from the Noble tongue of the Dragons.
Orathac exists to destroy the Oracle. Like the Dragons, Orathac is very patient, to a point. Many have carried it over the centuries. The first was the greatest mage of the Children, Bagheera. He tutored Orathac in the use of its powers. Together, they explored the planes. They fought alongside the Azer against the tyranny of Kossuth. Bagheera died during the taking of the gates of the City of Brass. The great Warlord of the Azer Delferro wielded Orathac for a time. When it became apparent to Orathac that Delferro had no intention of wielding it against the Oracle, it chose another. Delferro was found dead in his private sanctum, the staff that he was never without missing.
The staff has since surfaced a few times over the years. It was wielded by the wizard known as Master on Oerth, until such a time came for them to part. Both the Grey Man, and the Brightson had opportunity to wield it and passed on it. Some who have carried it had no idea of what they held. Others were driven to madness, drunk with power. It has recently returned to the world of its creation, for its time is at hand.
Powers and Abilities
Orathac is a LN entity (Ego edited out, but damn). It has complete mastery over its powers, and can access any of them at any time it may wish to, regardless of its wielders intentions, unless the wielder is mighty indeed. As it has total control of its powers, it will sometimes keep its potential from a new wielder, parceling out its powers a little at a time. It will occasionally choose a new keeper. Since the old one is often reluctant to let it go, Orathac must exercise itself occasionally. It has slain previous wielders more than once, and has no qualms about doing so again in order to fulfill its purpose.
It appears to be a white staff, about 6 ft long, made of bone and covered in very exquisite silver filigree work. Silvery blue light traces the filigree work along the entire length of the staff. It stands out in a crowd.
Examination of the filigree work will reveal two things. First is that it is constantly changing. Second is the history and powers of the staff will only be revealed and made available after the filigree has been examined. The examiner will actually “see” the events of Orathac’s past (i.e., its association with Bagheera, and his death during the taking of the gates).
Orathac’s maximum potential when used as a melee weapon makes it formidable indeed. It is potentially a +5 weapon that can inflict 3-18 per attack. Once every 5 rounds it can strike for an additional 3-36. This damage is inflicted in an area 15’ around the wielder. Everyone within the radius takes the damage except for the bearer of the staff.
Orathac is indestructible.
Orathac allows its wielder to comprehend and communicate in virtually every language. Written languages are translated for the wielder. Spoken languages are translated telepathically in the mind of the wielder. As the wielder speaks, the staff will either translate for the listeners by “vocalizing” or via telepathy.
The staff confers the powers and abilities of a Staff of the Magi, not including the retributive strike. The protective properties of Orathac have a +5 potential, and its properties as a weapon are as detailed above. Orathac is not a charged item. It taps directly into local ley lines for power. It has a large “reserve battery” for times when it is impossible to tap ley lines. In these situations, it will usually cease to function, using its reserves to sustain itself.
Orathac has the powers of a Staff of Command. In addition to the regular types of control allowed, Orathac’s influence reaches reptiles and Dragons as well. Dragons are not allowed a saving throw against Orathac, though magic resistance does apply.
Orathac exists to destroy the Oracle. It also bears a very strong resentment towards the Nemesis in general, as well as all of their works. Orathac has a 99% chance of detecting anything of their handiwork. It will alert its bearer to the presence of the Nemesis or their handiwork via telepathy. If the face of a powerful Nemesis threat, it is not so subtle. It will flare up in a bright silver blue light, instinctively raising its defenses for battle. Servants of the Oracle have a 10% of detecting it as a threat. Oracle will attempt to strike almost immediately. The thing is easily detectable by the Nemesis. It brings discomfort to them, and their servants. They will either attempt to steal it, or destroy it, depending on the situation. Orathac will not tolerate being stolen by the Nemesis.
This is new stuff, based on actual events from older campaigns:
After it returned to Arre, it found a bearer dedicated to the cause of destroying the Oracle. This bearer was a sorcerer of great power named Bastion. Bastion wielded Orathac in the Sanhedrin prison that held Karamaka against the agents of the Black Council that sought to free her. It was at this battle that the Orathac first came into contact with the Nemesis artifact known as the Shenshe Matrix (I will probably post something up about this sometime. Maybe.)
The Shenshe Matrix was claimed as a prize by one of Bastion’s companions, the gnome illusionist known sometimes as Schmik. Both artifacts were aware of each other, and sought to use their wielders to destroy the other.
Orathac was still seen in the hands of Bastion at the climax of the Oracle War, when he and his companions were seen entering the “temple” in Griffon Heights thought to house the physical form of the Oracle. Schmik was part of that group too, as was the legendary dwarven Paladin Coron, Knight of Three.
It is believed that Bastion was most likely the being that wielded Orathac against the Oracle, destroying it. The status or actions of the Shenshe Matrix during the final assault are completely unknown.
The ultimate fate of Bastion and the rest of his party is mostly unknown. It is thought that they were sucked into some kind of rift that was opened by the discharge of magical energy when the Oracle was destroyed, and scattered across the various planes and dimensions.
Orathac was not destroyed in the battle with the Oracle. When it surfaced again, it was very different than its earlier appearance. When once it was gleamingly white, it was now a burnt cinder, held together by who knows what. The silver now dull and tarnished, only the smallest pinprick of light to be seen.
It was last held by Schmik, who also still “held” the Shenshe Matrix. The two artifacts waged a constant war with Schmik as their battlefield. Schmik was cared for by the being sometimes known as “The Benefactor,” until such a time that he regained some level of control over his own actions.
He was last seen in the vicinity of the Dungeon of Graves, north of the Shieldlands.
At this time, there are no plans to introduce Orathac into the current campaign. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now this is just being posted for a little bit of fun.
House Rules, World Building, Questions, all go here.
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