ZEITGEIST Where Would You Put the Six Blades of Srasama? [SPOILERS]

SanjMerchant

Explorer
So, in the published adventure, you see one in the Vault of Heresies, you can potentially get one out of a memory event, and it's mentioned (in passing) that Asrabey's sword started out as one of Srasama's.

So that's three (though, one of those is a duplicate created by abusing the Arc of Reida). Where would you put the other three (four?), if you had a player who, say, decided to make it their life's mission to collect the things?

A lost dragon hoard in Ber, buried under an avalanche? In some top secret storage facility in Shale, where it's ostensibly being examined by top men? As the personal weapon of an eladrin matriarch, a symbol of her authority? In a Danoran antique weapon collection, its magic suppressed, making it appear to be an ordinary (if exquisitely made) sword? The subject of crazy magical experiments in Nalaam? Being used to heat a house in Drakr?
 

arkwright

Explorer
I personally chose to explain it that Srasama was able to create duplicates of her blades when wielded. Thus the first blade is also the second (in her hands), the third the fourth etc.
 

Adslahnit

Explorer
Where is it stated that Asrabey's blade started off as a sword of Srasama? I gave Asrabey the sixth blade of Srasama, keyed to the crone, in my game regardless.
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
I like the fact that not all of them are available. But your suggestions are all good.
True, there's something to be said for conservation of detail. But I also enjoy speculating when an author hands me incomplete information, and the results of any such brainstorming are potentially useful to someone if either they or their player(s) want to add "find all of Srasama's blades" in as a sidequest.

I personally chose to explain it that Srasama was able to create duplicates of her blades when wielded. Thus the first blade is also the second (in her hands), the third the fourth etc.
Well, you do get more than one that shows up in the adventure, and their canon names (and I'm pretty sure your players would have no way of knowing this unless you just straight up told them) are "the First Blade of Srasama" and "the Third Blade of Srasama" (note that the second is skipped).

EDIT: Wait, I just realized, I think you meant that 1, 3, and 5 exist independently and 2, 4, and 6 only pop into existence when she picks up the odd-numbered closest-without-going-over sword.

Where is it stated that Asrabey's blade started off as a sword of Srasama? I gave Asrabey the sixth blade of Srasama, keyed to the crone, in my game regardless.
There's a sidebar titled "High Level Equipment" that appears next to the encounter with him and the Duchess at the end of Adventure 1, which says of his sword: "Normally a +3 Flaming Longsword, the vekeshi blade wielded by Asrabey Varal is a potent artifact, recovered from the death of the eladrin goddess Srasama." (emphasis mine)

Also, I'm curious what powers and abilities you gave to the one Asrabey had, since it seems you overwrote his original sword.
 

Torquar

Villager
There's a sidebar titled "High Level Equipment" that appears next to the encounter with him and the Duchess at the end of Adventure 1, which says of his sword: "Normally a +3 Flaming Longsword, the vekeshi blade wielded by Asrabey Varal is a potent artifact, recovered from the death of the eladrin goddess Srasama."
The bold section appears to have been clipped from the Pathfinder and 5e versions.
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
The bold section appears to have been clipped from the Pathfinder and 5e versions.
Weird. When in the past I've compared the Pathfinder and 4E versions, the only differences I found were strictly mechanical (a save DC in one is an attack vs. whatever in the latter). Occasionally something in Pathfinder explaining "Yes, this doesn't follow The Rules, but there wasn't a way to build this character that was strictly compliant, so just go with it," but the differences always related to the nuts and bolts of running the game. But that High Level Equipment sidebar is entirely absent from the 4E version.
 

Adslahnit

Explorer
The confusing thing here is that Asrabey's sword is arguably weaker than Cula Ravjahani's sword, which goes up to reach 3. Since both are labeled as "Vekeshi blade," and Cula's blade is described as "composed of fire that has been kindled for five centuries since the death of Srasama," does that mean that Cula Ravjahani is, in fact, a wielder of a blade of Srasama?

And why is Cula Ravjahani's Vekeshi blade "pledged to defeat the infernal tieflings," with a critical damage bonus against tieflings, demons, and devils? I thought that tieflings had nothing to do with causing the Great Malice.

In any case, for my version of Asrabey, I changed his sword to the sixth blade, which I figured would deal acid, necrotic, and psychic damage. Yes, that is a distinct step up from fire, but I preferred the more deathly and entropic theme.
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
I guess that leaves enough ambiguity that you'd be well within your rights as a DM to say that one, the other, neither, or both are originals wielded by Srasama.

Their Pathfinder incarnations are as follows:
  • First Blade of Srasama: +1 flaming transformative mithral longsword, with a few fairly niche bonus powers
  • Asrabey's Sword: +3 flaming longsword, with a "special" that's basically a stronger version of transformative (as I read it, normal transformative can't give you reach like Asrabey's sword can).
  • Cula's Sword: +2 transformative native outsider bane longsword, plus some fire resistance
So (at least in Pathfinder) the only one officially and explicitly labeled as one of Srasama's swords is actually the weakest of the three!

It's only the Third Blade of Srasama that really stands above the others (+5 defending guardian igniting merciful transformative mithral longsword, plus a few small niche bonuses)

Since the Third Blade is the one you can get via the memory event (if you even think to grab it and you pass the check necessary to hold onto it as the memory fades), you could take this as evidence the power of the blades has faded over time. So while the Third Blade is what it was like immediately after Srasama died, the other three are what they're like after five hundred years, with the magic that created them slowly fading and decaying over that time.

As for why Cula's might be Tiefling-bane even if it was a blade of Srasama, Srasama's last act was literally to create the tieflings as a big old f-you to the Clergymen who set her up in the first place. Seems plausible that, in her dying moment, some of that rage and hatred imprinted itself on the swords which were, in some sense, part of her (they did spring into existence as part of the Sacrament, after all).
 

Adslahnit

Explorer
I can buy the logic that the blade being more effective against tieflings is due to misplaced and outdated enmity towards the original Danorans responsible for the Great Malice.

But why demons and devils?
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
I can buy the logic that the blade being more effective against tieflings is due to misplaced and outdated enmity towards the original Danorans responsible for the Great Malice.

But why demons and devils?
Well, the Clergy started out as an insurrection against a nation ruled by fiends. Yes, it's called the Demonocracy, but it's also implied a lot of the founders were former members of the Golden Legion, which seemed to be from the Devil side of that arbitrary divide (they've got erinyes and horned devils as of Chapter 12, for example). So I figure part of why she turned the Clergy hierarchs into tieflings (which is to say, partially fiendish people) instead of, I dunno, pillars of salt or something is because she wanted to show them what they were on the inside: oppressive and cruel fiends, just like the ones their ancestors had overthrown. So, even in this setting, the similarity between a tiefling and a fiend is more than just cosmetic, and the blade attacks the fiendish part of their natures.

At least, that's what my headcanon justification for that little detail is.
 

Adslahnit

Explorer
What makes you say that the founders were former members of the Golden Legion? Ashima-Shimtu, for example, is a demon and not a devil. There is little saying that only the Golden Legion and the Gidim invaded the Waking back in the days of the Ancients.

Indeed, the Ancient history appendix says, "From across the multiverse came savage demons, titanic dragons, the angels of numerous gods, and many more, all trying to claim their own territory."
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
What makes you say that the founders were former members of the Golden Legion? Ashima-Shimtu, for example, is a demon and not a devil. There is little saying that only the Golden Legion and the Gidim invaded the Waking back in the days of the Ancients.

Indeed, the Ancient history appendix says, "From across the multiverse came savage demons, titanic dragons, the angels of numerous gods, and many more, all trying to claim their own territory."
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply they were the sole founders, but I could've sworn there was something somewhere that suggested some Golden Legionnaires got stuck on this side of the Seal and teamed up with other miscellaneous fiends to start the Demonocracy. But maybe that was just me inferring more than is there.

(FYI, this is also where I assume Linia the angel came from: once a traveler from goodness (heh) knows where who happened to be on our side of the Seal when it was put in place.)
 

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