Monday, March 18, 2019

8 More All-Powerful Astras

While the Nine Astras were the first and most well known, many Gods may have created more of the powerful weapons- each Astra never misses its attack rolls and can only be used by the most powerful of characters. Even if found, they refuse to serve a lesser being.

[1] Ribbon of the Summer Day – One Handed Heavenly Ribbon
Damage- 2d4+2

Created by the God of the sun, grass, cool rains, light, and celebrations. It appears as a thin silver rod with a long red and gold ribbon attached to the end. The ribbon is decorated from start to tip in an abstract but accurate map of the celestial realm. The ribbon leaves behind a spectral tail of bright gold and orange light, which burns into your retina if you look at it briefly as though you looked at the sun. This weapon deals either physical cutting damage or fire damage, whichever is more dangerous to the target, slashing or searing as it brushes gently past.

The ribbon is as prehensile as the user needs and can flex and slide into anything a very flat piece of fabric could slide through. It can also act as an average human limb in terms of strength, wrapping around objects and using tools or fighting with weapons if needed, or catching something from falling at a distance. The strength is similar to an average human but the dexterity of the magical limb is arbitrated as +3 to Dexterity for times when it matters. Enemies get -2 to saves when this ribbon is used to grapple or disarm them, moving with divine grace.

By spinning the ribbon it can create waves of heat, light, or flame. Light created by the ribbon can be channeled; long upwards twirls create a cascade of soft light that bathes an area where as fast twirls in a direction creates a light beam that can blind creates or could burn them if they are weak to sunlight, such as a pureblooded orc or vampire. Once per adventure, the ribbon can be spun around to create an orb of burning fire that looks like a miniature sun. It can be hovered in place to create light, attached to the end of the ribbon to turn it into a terrifying flail (dealing 2d10+2 fire damage on hit), or thrown as per a Fireball spell. The orb can last up to a day free floating, an hour as a weapon, but is expended if thrown. If an ice or water spell of at least 3rd level is used on the burning orb, then it is quenched early.

[2] Sickle of the Harvest – One Handed Heavenly Sickle
Damage- 2d6+2

Created by the God of woodlands, harvests, farms, brewing, and the simple life. The sickle appears as though made of bronze, to show humility, with a golden edge and decorations showing wheat and flowers trailing down to its handle. The handle is carved from wood, though the wood is clearly divine in origin as it does not burn or is not susceptible to wood-warping spells. This weapon slashes perfectly in an arc, and its damage spreads to nearby identical targets to the first; meaning that if used to kill a swarm it deals FULL damage to the swarm, chopping in great swathes. However this power also carries over to mirror images, clones, or men dressed in identical dress or uniform, the damage from each attack spilling over to each if they have no uniqueness between them, as though they are but wheat to be harvested.

This Astra is tied closely to the powers of nature- especially plants and even moreso domesticated plants. Grass and stalks of grain will bend towards the holder of the sickle to touch them, but may also help them in danger; the weilder takes no fall damage if they fall into a field of grass or grain, or through any area with enough vegetation to intentionally catch their fall. They can also sink down into the grass or cornrows and disappear, appearing anywhere else in that same field they wish. Wild plants show less respect for this Astra, and as such these powers only have a 50% chance to function. By sticking the sickle into the ground and cutting it, the channel dug will create entangling roots which will stop or strangle the users enemies if they dare pursue him further.

If used to cut bread, crush barely, or otherwise used as a tool in daily tasks the sickle purifies all food created and creates bags of flour from a few grains, or creates a powerful and delicious ale from a weak mixture; camp life is greatly enhanced with the sickle. Using the sickle as a power source, it is also possible for the holder to “bake” simple folk from flour, water, and specially prepared oven, and a few rare and special reagents. The folk are taken from the oven fully formed into the bloom of young adulthood, and while are a bit simple mentally are hardworking, diligent, and good people at heart. Any race can be created using this method, but it may require different materials. Elves require a bit of lavender extract in their bread, and orcs need a little mold.

[3] Trident of Yesterday's Future – One handed Heavenly Trident
Damage- 3d4+2

Created by the God of time, fate, regret, gladiators, and determinism. The trident has a thick, darkly painted shaft with three points. Each point is painted a different color- the paint glows and moves as one observes it. The first point is the spring of youth, which appears as blooming flowers and swaying grass, the second is the autumn of age, which shows orange falling leaves and swaying branches, and the third is the winter of death, which shows falling snow against creaking ice. It is said the trident strikes all three moments of a person's life- and this is not retroactive. It has already occurred. If you strike someone with the trident, a nasty injury they had in their youth was caused by it. If they survive the trident's sting, then another accident in the future will also be caused by the trident, potentially leading to their death. Those killed by the trident's attack are further cursed to one last “hit” in the afterlife, either a great misfortune to their family as they watch on, or to a curse or other problem in the next life they must also face. If a person struck by the trident later on every has just 1 hit point left, they must make a saving throw or else the final point of the trident appears from thin air and kills them, the final blow is finally struck.

The Trident's three points are also not static as they may appear. By striking the bottom of the pole against the ground, the wielder can make the three points stretch out like vipers which seek out their targets, each individual hit dealing 1d4+2 damage, and these points cannot be blocked or dodged except by powerful magic or extremely skilled warriors. Using this ability, the wielder can also wrap up their foes in the long extended metal trident-limbs as a grapple, or to imprison them. Anyone so imprisoned this way can be magically banished to another realm where they are forced to live out a life experience in the past of the weilder's choosing over and over, are stuck in a void in contemplation of their present situation (viewing the world from their eyes and ears as though it was frozen), or they can be imprisoned in the future, dreading an event to come and for time to catch up to them. The most a person can be imprisoned in this way for is a year, but they receive a saving throw each season of time to snap out of the imprisonment.

This Astra has a final power; disjoinment. At the caster's command, the center spike of the trident can be made to vanish to perform some task somewhere else. The trident of the present which is painted as the autumn of age becomes a 1d4+2 magical dagger, which can be ferried into the hands of anyone in the world who needs it at that moment and who the weilder of the trident may send to as a mental command. The weapon remaining is the Bident of Tomorrow and Yesterday, which deals no damage on a direct hit but instead curses the target's past and future as per the normal rules of the trident. The wounds of the trident's points simply don't open up; they remain as scars or in awful suspension for when they open up finally in the future.

[4] Amulet of the Nosight – One Handed Heavenly Amulet
Damage- 2d4+2

This Astra was created by the God of cults, mystic secrets, holy and unholy orders, the hangman, forbidden words, and that which cannot be seen or spoken. The amulet is made of a dark black metal which is very heavy. It has a relief of a hooded figure, with an open hole where the face should be. The figure is balancing several symbols on plates; each one representing one of the true names of the prime elements. The chain that goes around the neck is made of gold, and a jet gem holds the clasp together. The first bit of magic is in this clasp; only someone that is at least level 10 can open it, and even then they must succeed a save if they try. On failed save, they can never again open or shut the amulet themselves- and it must be worn closed around the neck for it to work. Due to its nature, this amulet is said to also be able to be used by Level 10 Sorcerers or Otherworldly beings, not just Fighters can make use of its powers.

When the amulet is held, the user can invoke its powers for several effects. First, it can fire forth a glowing orange and purple projectile akin to a magic missile attack. This projectile cannot be blocked or dodged like a magic missile, but it also sizzles through magical barriers under 4th spell level in power as well. This causes the weapon to do its normal damage roll, as above. This power can be used any amount of times, but takes up a full round to use as if you were casting a spell. Secondly, the amulet can be used to move objects around as though under a powerful telekinesis spell or ability- anything a human could feasibly lift can be moved by this spell at roughly the speed it would take to move the object. You can also blast an object with this invisible force to make it perform an action over a period of time; such as brooms to sweep the floors or spoons to stir the soup, akin to enchanting your housework to perform itself. You can also perform attacks with this, slam shut doors and break fragile objects with invisible rays of force, etc.

The amulet's final power is the sight; if you look through the hole in the center of the amulet you can see all invisible things and beings. This is true sight, letting you see through all illusions, glamors, supernatural forces, creatures from other worlds and their auras of insanity and so on. You can see everything as it is, even things that humans cannot normally comprehend or stand seeing, but you are not harmed by using this amulet's power, your brain simply refuses to process it and you must reconcile that on your own time. If you plug this hole with something and wear the amulet, instead it turns you absolutely invisible and unknowable. Despite being physical present, nobody can acknowledge your existence. If you touch them they may fight back, thinking it is a spirit or spell, but nobody can see or hear you as you become truly alone.

[5] Quarterstaff of the Task-At-Hand – Two Handed Heavenly Quarterstave
Damage- 2d4+2

This Astra was created by the God of slavers, contracts fulfilled, duties, and authority. The staff is made from a piece of cosmic wood, that glows softly and contains faint spectral colors in all of its many grain-lines. In darkness, it can glow as a light source. The ends of the staff are capped in a dark heavy metal, with faint burned spots in the shape of chains, as though chains were once wrapped around them and heated to an ungodly temperature. Whenever this weapon hits, it releases a wave of aura energy showing a suppression and weakening of the struck target's natural numen- their inner spirit as a force of authority in the world. As such, any spells that rely on the caster being in command or control cease to function if cast by someone hit by this staff for the next 1d4 days, as they have an aura of a slave or servant, not a master. The staff can also extend and be used as a 10 foot pole, or attack at a fair distance such as within throwing range at normal damage; the wood of the staff magically stretching to strike or chastise specific targets.

Secondly, instead of attacking with this staff the user may wave it and issue a command. This command must issue a specific task or quest which cannot be an impossible feat or (inherently) suicidal to the questee. The staff binds the person to that quest as per a Geas or similar spell, and no saving throw is allowed to resist this effect. Once the geas is in effect, the user may follow the command only to the letter, and can make a saving throw to make a minor detour or change to the original command- though they are still bound to this task until it is completed. Anyone who finishes this task is rendered totally immune to the power's of the staff, as well as its damage, for a year and a day. As such, most quests given by the staff wielder are incredibly tedious or send the target far enough away they cannot return in time for them to be immune to it.

Finally; the staff conveys an aura of leadership and control. When using the staff to command any force, if it be a military unit, a group of slaves, hirelings, minions summoned by other magic and so forth the staff grants a constant +2 to morale or loyalty checks made by these creatures following the staff user. The staff user can also grant another +2 bonus to specific rolls made if they spend a combat round giving a command. For example, if the staff holder commanded his men to shoot the dragon out of the sky, then they would all receive +2 to hit with ranged weapons. If the staff holder told a group of mining slaves to be careful around the explosive gemstone ore, then they would all gain a +2 to saving throws versus hazards or appropriate saving throw category.

[6] Axe of the Deepest Might – Two Handed Heavenly Battleaxe
Damage- 2d10+2

This Astra was created by the God of far away wild places, the deep oceans, crashing waves, earthquakes, natural disasters and the wildest things beneath the Earth. The Axe has a long golden handle with a huge and heavy two-headed axehead. One side of the axe appears as a crashing wave with “foam” engraved along the edge, and the other is made of a pitch blade metal that has many teeth along its edge as a saw would. Despite their unsual edges, both sides of the axe cut as cleanly as any other razor sharp axe, and are very powerful in combat. The 'wave' blade of the axe has the magically power to carry its killer wedge all the way through the subject it strikes. For instance, striking the base of a massive tree and willing the crack to split the tree from here to the top, or spreading the crack formed by the blow of the axe along the surface of the object. With enough strength this axe could crack open an entire castle tower or wall, the crack carrying itself through the stone like an unstoppable wave. The dark side of the axe head instead creates horrible rends- any wound a living being takes from this side never stops bleeding. The wound cannot be healed except with very powerful healing magic or divine intervention; health from this side of the axe cannot be healed.

Secondly, the Axe channels strength to the wielder. Beyond it's already impressive power, the Axe can be held in both hands, with one end to the ground, to sap the energy from it and transfer it into its holder. Each round this is done, the user gains +1 to his or her Strength modifier and heals 1d6 hit points. All hit points gained this way can exceed the maximum hit point limit of this person and are treated as temporary hit points. The added strength lasts for the rest of the combat; out of combat it lasts about an exploration turn. Using this axe out of combat and the user can essentially gain unlimited temporary strength; enough to pull open a solid gate, crush stones, hold down a huge creature with just a two-finger grip, and so on.

Finally; the Axe can be used in combination with its strength growing ability to allow for impressive leaps. If the user has at least a +4 in Strength total, they can shove the axe under themselves and use it as a lever to fling themselves up; using this they can easily leap tall buildings or across canyons. As long as they hold the axe, a whirlwind forms under them to prevent fall damage unless they drop or lose the axe mid flight.

[7] Crossbow of Chaos – One Handed Heavenly Crossbow
Damage- 2d6+2

This Astra was created by the God of chaos, carrion-eaters, battle rage, seizures, the desert storm, and mutations from a being's ideal form. The crossbow is made of a very lightweight golden metal, and can fold up to be used with one or two hands. The crossbar is gorgeously spun into a pattern, which ends with a small knob that holds the unbreakable metal line, which glows bright yellow when pulled back. The weapon may only fire crossbow bolts, but if enough sand, salt, dirt, sugar, ash, etc. is poured onto the device while cocked, the particles will form into a one use shot. Shots from this weapon do not miss, as with all Astras.

Whenever this weapon strikes a target, the user of the crossbow decides if they take the normal damage from the attack OR if the target must polymorph. If the target polymorphs, they get a saving throw to transform into something useful or adaptive to the environment. If they fail the saving throw, the crossbow user may turn them into anything of HD equal to or less then the target's level+1 or current HD+1. This can be fired at allies to turn them into more dangerous forms, or fired at enemies and turn them into something useless like a flopping fish in the middle of a desert. The saving throw allowed for unwilling targets lets them avoid this, such as turning into a camel and hopefully being able to run away. Targets changed by the crossbow are changed for a year and a day, and their animal lifespan is artificially lengthened to allow them to survive that long, though they will be very very old if their species can't normally live that long until they change back.

The user may also turn inanimate objects into normal animals, but these animals must be 2 HD or less, according to the polymorph rules. For instance, you can shoot at a rock and turn it into any animal you wish, but it favors slower and more heavily armored animals like turtles, according to the rock's nature. These artificially created beings also live for a year and a day, and are loosely bound underneath the user's command when created, and slowly meander away from control over time.

Finally, the crossbow can be invoked to create wild magic. If the crossbow's cord is plucked like a musical instrument, it creates a dissonant ring and a wild magic effect is created. The effect is roughly correlated to the strength of which the string was plucked and/or the user's HD or level. The lightest of notes may cast a 1st level spell or whip up the winds as a minor magic phenomena, where as a deep low note may create a vortex of magic, mutate everyone nearby, or conjure a powerful being from the outer realms. The user of the crossbow has no control over this ability, but has advantage on all saving throws from hazards and beings created by this ability and is never targeted first by beings brought forth by the magic bowstring.

[8] Knife of Gods above Gods – One Handed Heavenly Dagger
Damage- 3d4+3

Nobody knows who made this knife. It's powers are divine, but somehow moreso. Many theorize it was made by the Gods above Gods. The blade's face is beige white, similar to bone, with a unsettling green edge. The handle is carved from this same white material, with thin curves carved in to make it perfect to hold in the hand. It is slightly larger and too heavy then a perfectly balanced dagger would be in the hands of most people; though its size seems to change for whoever is holding it, with the handle extending or thickening to allow anyone to wield. Even for very large beings who hold the knife, it seems like its true “owner” would have a hand bigger then them still, and be just heavy enough for them, as though reminding whoever holds the knife that they are not its master. And scholars fear, truly, that if this knife is merely a sidearm for the Gods above Gods, then their real weapons must be even more devastating and all-powerful.

In the hands of a mortal however, the knife is simply truly feared and very powerful; but not all powerful. It draws power from its wielder, and has more “pull” on its user then most Astras. This Astra is tied to some powers of death and unmaking, as well as corpses and grim, twisted faces. Anyone killed by it has a twisted mocking smile upon their corpse. The first power of this Astra is that it can make any number of attacks against a single target the wielder wants. Each attack must be rolled and has the same chance to hit and damage as all the others, but all the attacks are compressed into a single moment in time; upon being satisfied, the knife lands once and all the other wounds break out upon the target's body at once- based on the number of attacks it could be a few slashes, to cutting them to ribbons, to total destruction of their physical form. The user's mortal frame cannot easily handle this explosion of power, and so there are consequences.

One attack- No consequence.
2 to 12 attacks- User takes 2d6 damage and 1d4 level drain
13 to 50 attacks- User loses -1 HD permanently, along with the above consequences.
51+attacks- User dies

The death caused by this weapon could potentially be averted by a more powerful being, like a God or greater demonic force, but they still suffer greatly from the strain of unleashing such a powerful weapon. Nobody quite knows what would happen, or how it would effect them. While this weapon can only strike a single target when its power is evoked, it can also strike things like inanimate objects or walls, meaning it could be used to destroy them too, it's simply slashes unmaking solid matter.

This weapon has yet another power. By holding the blade up to one's mouth and speaking into it, a warble of power can be heard through the voice, and a decree can be made. The decree must always be a negative, like “none can” or “nothing will”, and cannot be a double negative, like “nothing will not”. The decree comes true for 3d4+3 exploration turns. Depending on how wide spread and powerful the decree is, it may also cause damage or level drain to the user due to the strain. Decrees can be used only once per day, as the blade must recharge its own energy stores as well.

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful, and exactly what I needed for my new campaign, thanks!