Articles Tabletop

Dead Sea Almanac – May 3, 2019

The Blade of the Shadow, City of Echoes begins in earnest, and a tavern brawl delays the departure of Commodore Jack Shepard.

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The Shadow’s Blade

Few items in the vault evoke unadulterated evil the way the Blade of the Shadow does. Born of the dying of a soul and fed by their collection, the blade’s sentience is the screams of a thousand anguished souls, desperate for release from agony. Its hiss is the whisper of the wraith that wielded it, the thirst of a thousand slaked cuts and the flow of precious life. Entrusted to us by Shadow himself before his disappearance, this is one artifact we will never sell.


Shadow’s Blade is an ordinary greatsword, but you may give it to your players as a +1/+2/+3 weapon as appropriate for their level.


Crazed Thirst

Shadow’s blade is a cursed item that prevents its owner from recovering hit points via normal means. The wielder recovers no hit points at the end of a short or long rest and cannot be healed magically. Instead, they heal for one-half of all damage dealt by the blade. This healing can overheal the wielder and grant them temporary hit points up to one-fifth of their maximum health, which last indefinitely or until they are no longer attuned to the weapon.

The Fading

Over time, Shadow’s blade begins to transform the wielder into a wraith. Wraiths are undead and incorporeal but may be harmed by normal means. They are resistant to non-magical bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage, but are vulnerable to fire and radiant damage. The dungeon master determines the rate and degree of fading. All wraiths are evil in alignment; the dungeon master should also determine the rate at which the character’s alignment shifts.


The blade of the Shadow may be used to desecrate an area. Once per day, the owner may drive the blade into the ground, producing an area of thirty-foot radius that is considered magically desecrated. The dungeon master determines the exact effects of this desecration, but at a minimum it can be detected by the Detect Evil and Good spell and causes chills in characters of non-evil alignment who dwell there for any length of time.

Soul Capture

Any sentient creature slain by the blade is prevented from passing normally into the afterlife; instead, their soul is trapped within the blade in an eternity of agony. Creatures with particularly strong resolve may be able to communicate with the blade’s wielder despite the pain, and indeed the sword harbors at least one such spirit, known as Light, who guides the wielder through their transition into becoming a wraith and who claims to have been slain by the original Shadow, her partner.

Vestige of Souls

Once per day, the wielder may slam the sword point-first into the ground and release the spirits trapped within for a brief period of time – no more than fifteen minutes. During this time, every spirit in the sword is free to come or go in the immediate area of thirty feet in every direction. The spirits remember everything that happened to them before their death and everything they have consciously witnessed while bound within the sword. In particular, Light will have seen everything the wielder has, and will be more than willing to discuss it with them.


Once the sword has dealt damage to a creature, the wielder always knows the general direction and distance of that creature while it still lives.

A Story From the Frontier

According to the Magnificent Malfavhar, a party of heroes he has been tracking recently set foot into the mysterious City of Echoes, a location of great mystery rumored to be located in the Siblings. Malfavhar says that so far the heroes have done not much other than to get to know each other, but he informs us that he will keep us posted as to their activities through the magic means of scrying.

New Campaign: City of Echoes

That’s right, folks – City of Echoes had its session zero and is ready to begin in earnest. Tune in next week – we’ll be live either at five-thirty central or six central, depending on when our schedules allow, and will run for approximately three hours. The players and I are all pretty excited, and we’re looking forward to sharing the journey with you!

In Other News

  • Commodore Jack Shepard claims two of his sailors have not returned to ship after shore leave; Captain Dalton promises a prompt investigation so that he can get underway in his search for the elusive Captain Clarke.
  • A tavern brawl broke out last night at the Icefire Dragon, a reputable midtown establishment not normally known for such quarrels. A party of rag-tag adventurers is thought to be to blame, and Captain Dalton seeks any information leading to their arrest for fining and restitution.
  • Malfavhar and Melinda have announced that they are willing to work together for the sake of the Almanac and the heroes who read it, some of whom Malfavhar says are quite important to the future of Ilea.

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