Seven Swords of Sin Edit
Ancient Thassilon was not ruled by wizards and spells alone, for even the runelords had their martial champions. Also known as the Alara'hai or the Seven Blades of Conviction, the Seven Swords of Sin were the weapons of those champions, assorted blades imbued with the deadly might of the schools of magic that dominated Thassilon.
The following introduces all of the Seven Swords of Sin in their fully awakened states, along with details on their first wielder, the blade masters who served as the first champions of their respective runelord masters and from whom each blade takes its name and imbued intelligence.
Asheia, Sword of Lust EditArtifacts & Legends
Aura: Strong enchantment
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 6 lbs.
Accepting the burning blade intended for her champion, Runelord Sorshen strode directly into her harem and buried it between the legs of her least favorite consort. To the hundreds of shocked courtesans remaining, Sorshen made a simple promise: whoever returned the cleaned blade to her in her private chambers would be deemed her most devoted servant and gain the honor—among others—of being named her champion. Shouts and shrieks followed the runelord from her seraglio. Few survived that night, and none save one were fit to please their mistress in the aftermath. When they emerged from the royal chambers days later, Sorshen dubbed the exotic swordswoman Asheia her champion.
This beautiful blade is a +5 flaming longsword. While bearing the weapon, the wielder is immune to all enchantment effects. Any creature that casts an enchantment spell upon Asheia's wielder is led to believe its spell or effect worked as normal and that the sword's bearer is under its control, allowing the wielder to deceive his opponent if he so chooses (and doesn't give his enemy a reason to believe its magic failed). Whenever Asheia strikes an opponent, the target must succeed at a DC 20 Will save or fall under the effects of a charm monster spell. Only one creature can be charmed in this way at a time. If another creature becomes charmed by the sword, the first is freed from this effect. If the sword instead scores a critical hit, the target must succeed at a DC 25 Will save or be affected by a dominate monster spell.
Baraket, Sword of Pride EditArtifacts & Legends
Aura: Strong illusion
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 2 lbs.
Runelord Xanderghul had intended to personally wield the blade crafted by his servants at Runeforge. For weeks he studied the weapon, and though he would never admit a personal failing, he found his martial skills lacking. For a time he sought to further ensorcell the blade to allow it to wield itself, or create a simulacrum swordsman to wield it, but ultimately he settled on enslaving a peerless creature to serve as his guardian. The runelord conjured a princess of the ghaele azatas to his court, and for years subtly courted her while wrapping her in a phantasmagoria of masterful illusions and deceptions, twisting her perception of reality until she accepted the runelord as her master. Baraket rose as one of the most unlikely of the runelords' champions, a deceived celestial being whose consciousness lingered on even after she was slain over a century later by the agents of the empyreal lord Chadali—emissaries attempting to liberate her.
Although known as the Sword of Pride, in appearances, Baraket is nothing more than an elegant basket hilt seemingly made of glass or highly polished crystal with no blade, as the deadly length of this +5 spell storingspeed rapier is invisible. Baraket grants its wielder a +5 bonus on Bluff checks made to feint, so long as his opponent cannot see through invisibility. Additionally, on a critical hit, the sword casts weird upon the target and all of that creature's allies within 30 feet.
Chellan, Sword of Greed EditArtifacts & Legends, Rise of the Runelords—5th Anniversary Edition
Aura: Strong transmutation
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 25 lbs.
Senses sight and hearing (30 ft.)
Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 10
Communication telepathy Languages Common, Thassilonian
Lesser Powers 3/day—create food and water, cure serious wounds, endure elements
For centuries the transmuters of Shalast idealized the arcane pursuit of transfiguring lead into gold. Upon unlocking that secret, they sought even more challenging and dangerous transformations, among which was the quest to turn gold into living flesh. Presenting their master with the petrifying blade they'd created, the arcanists of Runeforge included a second wondrous gift, a woman of living gold they called Chellan. She excelled at all things—art, dance, song, magic, swordsmanship—and it seemed fitting that she would bear the blade that birth from Runeforge made her sibling. But Chellan's time proved short, and after 5 brief years of reducing the enemies of Shalast to rubble, her unperfected animating forces dissipated—all except for those vestiges of calculating fanaticism that imprinted upon the blade that came to bear her name.
Although made of gold, Chellan functions as an adamantine weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness. Chellan is a +5 keen scimitar, and its density allows it to damage foes as if it were one size category larger than its actual size. It can be properly wielded only by characters with a Strength of 18 or higher—all other characters must either wield it as a two-handed weapon or take a -2 penalty on attack rolls with the weapon.
Whenever Chellan strikes a foe, the target must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or be slowed as per the spell slow (CL 16th). If the sword scores a critical hit, the target must succeed at a DC 25 Fortitude save or be turned into a crystalline statue, as if by flesh to stone. Characters turned to crystal by Chellan appear to be made of ruby, diamond, or some other valuable gem, but are in fact merely colored quartz oflittle value to looters.
Fanatical in the extreme, Chellan seeks to force its wielder into serving Karzoug and furthering the runelord's goals. To enforce this purpose of their existence, it can use its intelligence and special abilities to aid and manipulate those who think to wield it.
Karzoug can destroy the sword of greed merely by commanding its destruction with his voice (a free action for the runelord).
Garvok, Sword of Wrath EditArtifacts & Legends
Aura: Strong evocation
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 10 lbs.
Garvok was merely the first wielder to be cremated by the blade that took his name and consciousness. A particularly brutal member of the Shoanti caste, he was granted the weapon crafted by the evokers of Runeforge and, to display its might to the Runelord of Wrath, entered the arena of Xin-Bakrakhan. Facing wave after wave of soldiers, Garvok was finally brought down not by the spears of his foes, but by the explosions of his own sword and the resulting collapse of the royal arena. When the sword was dragged from the rubble, drops of Garvok's blood still boiled upon the blade's shattered edge—a fitting christening for the sword of wrath.
This scarred piece of crimson stained metal functions similarly to a +5 returningthrowing greatsword. Instead of the normal benefit of the throwing weapon special ability, Garvok can be thrown with a 25-foot range increment. Additionally, whenever Garvok strikes a foe, the target must succeed at a DC 20 Reflex save or take an additional 5d6 points of fire damage. If the sword scores a critical hit, it explodes in a fireball centered on the wielder's opponent. All creatures within the fireball's 20-foot-radius spread—including Garvok's wielder and allies, if within range—take 10d6 points of fire damage (DC 25 Reflex for half). The wielder has no control over the sword's eruption and cannot prevent it from exploding. The sword returns to its wielder's hand, fully reformed, just before the beginning of his next turn.
Shin-Tari, Sword of Sloth EditArtifacts & Legends
Aura: Strong conjuration
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 2 lbs.
When the conjurers of Runeforge presented Runelord Ilthyrius with the blade he had bid them create, he immediately ordered their executions. The tales he had heard of golden weapons and fortress-leveling might far exceeded the stunted short sword his lazy wizards had presented to him. Unable to enter Runeforge himself, he unleashed a contingent of xill raiders into his own servants' midst, and bid the alien warband's leader personally gut his lead arcanist with the disappointing blade. The xill did as commanded, but in wielding the weapon, discovered the extent of its remarkable properties. After carrying out their murderous rampage, they reported their victory and the versatility of the extraordinary sword their leader had come to call Shin-Tari—the Quicksilver Talon. In a rare display of thanks, Runelord Ilthyrius commanded the new conjurers he installed at Runeforge to etch the blade with images of their slain predecessors, whose collective intellects had take up residence within the sword.
A scene of imperial decadences depicted in fantastically fine etchings—which seem to change upon each consideration— covers the surface of this +5 short sword. Every time Shin-Tari successfully damages a creature, it gains the bane weapon special ability, with the target's creature type being its designated foe. This additional weapon quality actives after the weapon first strikes an opponent, granting additional damage to subsequent attacks but not the first attack.
The bane weapon special ability persists for the rest of the day, or until the sword strikes a foe of a different creature type. Additionally, whenever Shin-Tari strikes a Large or smaller foe, the target must succeed at a DC 20 Will save or be affected as per the spell dimension door. This effect functions as the spell, but Shin-Tari's wielder determines where his opponent is transported to, and the destination must be within the wielder's line of sight. The wielder cannot teleport an opponent into a space occupied by another creature or a solid object. Only one creature can be affected by this ability each round, and the target can act as normal on its next turn. If the sword scores a critical hit, the target must succeed at a DC 25 Will save or be affected by the spell teleport. The sword's wielder determines the destination, which must be very familiar to him.
Tannaris, Sword of Envy EditArtifacts & Legends
Aura: Strong abjuration
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 7 lbs.
One of the early bearers of the title Runelord of Envy, Runelord Tannaris sought to master every pursuit he applied himself to, harboring vicious jealously toward experts of fields he'd not personally conquered. Unwilling to let the skills of others exceed him in any capacity, Tannaris sought to prove his bloodline's endless potential, and upon having his first son left him in the care of Edasseril's most talented weapons masters. Raised to be a champion of envy—and a strong host for Tannaris's consciousness should such ever be needed—the child, named Tannaris as well, grew along the paths the runelord dictated, becoming both a phenomenally skilled warrior and devoted bodyguard to his father, eventually accepting his lord's newly crafted dispelling blade. Yet for all his son's talents, Runelord Tannaris could not share in his offspring's accomplishments, and grew resentful of his skills. Finally the runelord attempted to murder his son, but Tannaris the swordsman was prepared. Expecting his father's betrayal, he was able to catch the runelord off guard and instigate a lengthy battle that left both slain. Yet one consciousness remained, trapped within the blade of the champion of envy, though it remains unclear whether it is the intellect of the fallen soldier or the scheming mind of his runelord father.
A purely cosmetic magical effect causes the elegant blade of this +5 defending bastard sword to cycle through distinctive colors and textures, making it appear to be crafted from massive pieces of gemstone, coral, or precious metals. When used to augment the wielder's Armor Class, the sword's enhancement bonus does not cease augmenting attacks and damage. Additionally, whenever Tannaris strikes a creature under the effects of a spell, the target must succeed at a DC 20 Will save or have the highest level spell currently affecting it instantly dispelled (as if by the spell dispel magic; no additional dispel check is required). This ability has no special effect on summoned creatures or persistent spell effects. If the sword scores a critical hit, the target must succeed at a DC 25 Will save or have all of the spells currently affecting it dispelled (as per the spell greater dispel magic; no additional dispel checks are required).
Ungarato, Sword of Gluttony EditArtifacts & Legends
Aura: Strong necromancy
Caster Level: 16th
Weight: 8 lbs.
With the completion of their work, the necromancers of Runeforge set forth for Xin-Gastash amid a contingent of their most potent—and conspicuous—undead attendants. While skirting the northern ridge of the Kodars, the necromancers fell under attack by savage northland barbarians aided by ferocious white dragon twins. Few of the wizards survived, and those who escaped lived only long enough to report to Runelord Goparlis the loss of their masterpiece and the name of the blood-haired barbarian dragon master: Ungarato. Runelord Goparlis sent a legion of his finest soldiers in pursuit of the blade, and when they fell, he sent a contingent of slaves and necromancers to reanimate their bones so they could march on. Ungarato's forces struck like axes of glacial ice—lethal, but melting away after every attack. The runelord spent much of his remaining reign pursuing Ungarato, but never captured the savage warlord or laid hand upon the blade crafted for him. Goparlis's distraction and obsession eventually cost him his rule, when his apprentice, Krune, betrayed him and took up the mantle of Runelord of Gluttony. Soon after Runelord Krune's ascension, Ungarato sought to meet with the new tyrant. Exposure to the twisted energies of the evil sword, the endless assault of Goparlis's magic, and his own drive for vengeance against the runelord—who for so long had harvested the northland tribes as materials for profane experiments—had warped Ungarato. Upon a chariot pulled by twin skeletal dragons, Ungarato revealed that he had fallen years ago, but conviction and rage had restored him as a graveknight. The warlord offered to trade his Thassilonian blade for Goparlis's body, so the northlanders might have a trophy of the tyrant's fall. Although impressed, Runelord Krune proposed a different exchange: his predecessor's corpse in exchange for the blade and Ungarato's service as his personal champion. The graveknight accepted and took the fallen runelord's body north. When he returned, he did so at the head of an army of his kinsmen, who to show their devotion had sacrificed themselves upon his blade so they might follow their master even in death. Centuries later, when Ungarato finally fell—bearing with him a portion of his master's final creation, the Gluttonous Tome, amid the ruin of Thassilon—his essence and devotion passed on into the foul blade that now bears his name.
This +5 ghost touchvicious falchion has a misty, ethereal quality that makes it appear to be spectral in nature despite being perfectly tangible to the touch. Anytime Ungarato's wielder takes damage from the weapon's vicious special ability he adds an amount equal to that damage to his next attack roll. Ungarato faintly glows a sickly, unsettling green anytime there is an undead creature within 50 feet of the wielder. Whenever the falchion strikes a foe, the target must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or take an additional 1d6 points of damage, which the sword's wielder gains as bonus hit points that last for the next hour. If the sword scores a critical hit, the target must succeed at a DC 25 Fortitude save or be slain outright, with half of its remaining hit points passing to the sword's wielder as bonus hit points. Any creature slain by Ungarato—either as the effect of a critical hit or otherwise—reanimates as a juju zombie1d4 rounds later under the control of the sword wielder. The sword can control up to 32 HD worth of juju zombies in this way. If this amount is exceeded, undead are released from control as per animate dead.
Despite their broad range of differences, the Seven Swords of Sin share a variety of powers.
The Alara'hai were crafted to serve the runelords of Thassilon. In modern times, however, these runelords lie dead or dormant. With no lords to serve, the weapons of their champions lie dormant as well, reducing each to a +2 weapon with the noted weapon special abilities (those detailed on page 469 of the Core Rulebook) but no other properties. The only way to awaken one of the blades is to restore its runelord master to active life or have some other legitimate ruler take up its master's mantle (the weapon determines what is considered legitimate). The swords can detect such restorations and flare to full power immediately, demanding their wielder seek out the restored runelord and swear eternal fealty.
In addition to the unique powers possessed by each blade, every one of the Alara'hai is a sentient servant of a runelord. Fanatical in the extreme, the swords seek to force their wielders into serving the lords of Thassilon and furthering the ancient empire's goals. To enforce this purpose of their existence, each can manifest as a lawful evil intelligent item with 18 Intelligence, 25 Ego, telepathy, senses up to 30 feet, the ability to speak and read Common and Thassilonian, and the ability to cast create food and water, endure elements, and cure serious wounds 3 times per day. These properties only manifest while the sword is active, however.
Each of the Seven Swords of Sin can be destroyed merely if commanded to break. That command, however, must come from the rightful runelord of the nation and school of magic associated with the blade.
The Seven Blades of Conviction share a common creation, forged in the arcane crucible known as Runeforge at the height of the Thassilonian Empire. With the empire's destruction at the start of the Age of Darkness, the Seven Blades of Conviction were lost. In modern times, some of the blades—now more commonly known as the Seven Swords of Sin—have resurfaced, typically in close proximity to Thassilon's ancient borders, though some may have wandered much farther from their fallen homelands.
Those who seek out the Seven Swords of Sin adopt the power of Thassilon, but also the potential to share in its grim end.
Return of the Runelords: Although significant weapons even when dormant, the swords reveal their true power only when active, states that require the reawakening of Thassilon's infamous runelords. Either dead or locked in the grips of millennia-old dormancy, these runelords number among the most ingenious villains ever to walk the face of Golarion, and even the most selfish of the Alara'hai's wielders seek to awaken these archmages—even if only to empower their weapons. However, the swords also serve as a warning of the runelords' restoration, with an awakened Sword of Sin presaging a far greater threat.
Slave of Thassilon: Any creature who wields an awakened Sword of Sin constantly runs the risk of being dominated by the intelligent weapon. For many characters, a Sword of Sin is only a boon if two runelords are awake and the blade is being employed in one's battle against the other.