Campaign Components: 3 Holy Avengers Ready For Your Campaign

Weapons of mythic power infused with the very essence of goodness, holy avengers are among the most powerful magic weapons.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

 

The iconic image of a paladin standing alone against a horde of devils, sword raised to strike down his enemies, is a powerful one. I’ve played several paladins in my gaming career, but I’ve never been lucky enough to own a holy avenger. Of course, all my paladins greatly desired such a blade, but despite hearing rumours or several it was not to be. (Perhaps all my GMs enjoyed toying with me).

I’ve talked before about why you should design unique treasures for your campaign, and the same is doubly true for legendary items such as a holy avenger. Thus, find presented below three holy avengers suitable for immediate insertion into your campaign. Use the descriptions below as a starting point; adapt and expand upon them as you see fit, so they add depth and flavour to your campaign.

Retribution

Runes of goodness etched into this sword’s blade and picked out with electrum speak of judgement on all evil doers. The sword’s oval pommel is plain and unadorned, but seemingly crafted from some type of magically harden glass.

  • Wielded Power: The sword is enchanted with fragments of celestial power. When wielded in the defence of good, the murmur of angels praying fills the air.
  • Background: Retribution was once wielded by an angel. When the angel fell in battle against the vampiric balor Gahlgax Atarrith, the sword was lost. Centuries later it was recovered from Gahlgax’s lair by Eyvald One-Hand who gifted it to his son, Singasven. Singasven was a fledgling paladin who wielded it for a time before he too fell, slain ignobly by goblins while he slept. Since then the blade has passed through many hands.
  • Rumour: Retribution is cursed. Any who wield it are doomed to a pointless, wasted death.

Amare

Suffused with a soft, pale lavender light, the blade seems to writhe with shifting, serpentine patterns. Its pommel has been forged in the shape of a clenched fist clutching the holy symbol of a powerful lawful good god.

  • Wielded Power: When Amare injures an evil-aligned target, the light writhing about the blade briefly wreathes the target in (harmless) light.
  • Background: Forged in the southern jungles by a coutl artificer, Amare has ever been in the vanguard of the struggle against evil. Amare was gifted to Adalhard Kochel – an unlikely champion of good who started his career as a pirate. He carried the sword until his death when his ship sank in battle with a colossal sea serpent. The blade has recently return to the lands of men in the hands of the righteous Lothair of Trond. Lothair was last seen leading his retainers into the Forest of the Grey Spires late last year. His fate, and that of Amare, is unknown.
  • Rumour: Forged to combat the machinations of the serpentfolk, Amare has additional powers that only affect serpents and their ilk. The sword is sentient and forces its wielder to slay such foes.

Eirmalae

This glittering, highly polished sword reflects all nearby light sources. Forged of mithral, it is incredibly light and easy to wield. Incongruously, scorched and tattered black feathers decorate its scabbard.

  • Wielded Power: Blood, ichor and the like do not stain this blade; any such contaminant simply slides straight off.
  • Background: Countless foes of good have fallen before Eirmalae’s might. Forged centuries ago by the legendary paladin-hero Aevar the Hunter it is said the blade has never failed its possessor. Aevar himself died peacefully of old age and the blade remained in his family for generations. Eventually, none of his descendants possessed a heart pure enough to call forth its special powers and so Eirmalae was relegated to the family vault from which it was eventually stolen by thieves who did not know its true power.
  • Rumour: Eirmalae was forged from the mithral plate armour of a fallen antipaladin. It has ever been an implacable foe against evil. Something of the fallen villain yet lurks in the blade, however. It is said the blade absorbs the blood of those it slays.

Submit Your Own Holy Avenger

Why not add to the list above by posting your own holy avenger in the comments below and help your fellow GMs add unique, flavoursome weapons to their campaign today!

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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16 thoughts on “Campaign Components: 3 Holy Avengers Ready For Your Campaign

  1. Candace

    This blindingly polished sword reflects all nearby light sources and magnifies them ten-fold. Forged of an as-yet-unknown metal, it has zero weight and is completely unencumbering.

    Wielded Power: Stealth and other such maneuvers are impossible while wielding this sword. The sword is mildly intelligent and can have conversations with its owner (Int score 9). The sword can strike against ethereal and other insubstantial foes as if they were physical beings, and the target’s AC is considered to be reduced by 5. Once every one hundred years, Candace grants its wielder the power of the spell Wish (see Player’s Handbook), at the culmination of the spell’s effect, Candace will teleport to a random tomb somewhere else in the world–to be found and used by another warrior of good.

    Rumour: This sword’s reputation for casting miracles is well known, and it is erroneously believed that mere possession of it will grant the user said power. Ancient wars have been fought over it, and although many have possessed her, few have lived long enough to be granted the miraculous power contained within.

  2. The Fideius Vigilate is a long sword composed of purest mithril. Celestial runes decorate the blade and glow with a silvery-blue light. The cross-bar curves into quillions at the ends and is set in the center with a silvery-blue palm sized stone that glows with the same light as the runes on the blade. The stone and the insets are believed to have come from a fallen star.

    The sword was forged a thousand years ago by a human weaponsmith whose craftsmanship had attracted the notice of the celestial being known only as Veiranour. Veiranour approached the smith and challenged him to create a sword that would make the gods weep at the sight of it.
    The smith traveled for many years and faced countless perils to acquire the materials needed to meet Veiranour’s challenge. He traveled to the cursed city of Arr’Akari to find an ancient vein of purest mithril that had been lost since the city’s fall. Veiranour allowed the smith to hear rumor of a fallen star that had made landfall on an island in the Maelstrom Sea. The smith took passage on a ship only to be lost in the maelstrom. Through divine providence or sheer luck, the smith found the island where the star had fallen. The savage giant inhabitants of the island had seen the star’s fall as a sign from their barbaric gods and had turned the star into a shrine. The smith used all his cunning to trick the giants into believing he was an emissary of their god and while they were preparing to feast him, he carved off bits of the star and escaped back into the maelstrom.
    Once he returned to the mainland, the smith discovered to his dismay that one hundred years had passed since he had begun his journey. All of his family had passed away and the smith had nothing left but the challenge of Veiranour. The smith’s tears infused themselves into the mithril as he forged the finest blade he had ever made. Seeing his dedication to the challenge he had accepted, Veiranour blessed the smith and declared the blade to have no like in any of the realms. The smith departed the world to take his place in the celestial forge at the right hand of the Forge God.

    Fideius Vigilate has served many warriors of the cause of good since then. Its purity is particularly baneful to the undead and to those who have broken their oaths of fealty to the cause of good (i.e. blackguards, anti-paladins, etc.). The last wielder, Oran Stormbane, used the blade to defeat the undead army of the vampire lord Radu Vecchios and save the city of Palaras, but after this stunning victory, Stormbane succumbed to his wounds.
    The current whereabouts of Fideius Viglate are unknown, but rumor has it the blade was taken from the battlefield by servants of Vecchios and now rests in an honored place in the Vampire Lord’s gallery as a tribute to his great enemy.

  3. Holy avenger Sword

    Sanguis Drago Prime

    This slightly curved blade seems to be forged from mother of pearl. When it is held by person of pure intent and goodness, iridescent sigils of blessing glow along the cutting edge, while shadowed images of slain evil adorn the blade.

    WIELDING POWER: When Sanguis Drago Prime slays a strong evil, an image of the entity gets etched onto the blade and then absorbs a passive strength from the evil for the wielder’s benefit. When the blade get a new wielder the images disappear from the blade’s surface and the benefits from the killings are lost, then the blade needs to be “engraved again” with new owners triumphs. Dragon-kind feel a confusion when the blades are near causing mistakes in battle.

    BACKGROUND: When the great red dragon, Triskadeska, was finally defeated; three swords were forged from her bones and tempered in the breath of the Platinum dragon. When the three blades were used together evil quickly fell, dragon-kind fell easiest to the blades. Tiamat, the Chromatic dragon, ordered the swords to be found and destroyed. Over the centuries two of the blades have indeed been destroyed and the search for the last of evil’s bane is still going on.

    RUMOR: The Sword’s blade has never been fully covered with images, no one knows what might happen, speculation is that a blessing from the Platinum dragon will be bestowed upon the wielder or Tiamat will be summoned for a final battle.
    A remnant of Triskadeska may still be in the blade causing a mishap or the wielders just get nervous as the blade gets covered causing a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Hope you like this. IT was fun creating this blades history, even though it might be a better sword of slaying.
    Jay

  4. HUMBLED

    Wielded Power: This sword normally has the appearance of a well-used longsword with pits and rust blotches that will not come off. In the hands of a paladin in good standing, the sword transforms into a beautiful weapon with an everbrite mithral blade and a pommel bearing a symbol of a god of good etched in sapphire, however only the innocent and those with true seeing can see the sword in this form. All others see the sword in its humble form only (including the wielder), the only clue to its divine essence being the surge of power the paladin feels as he wields it.
    Background: Humbled started as a normal longsword carried by Garruth the Helpful, a paladin who had taken an oath of poverty. He never looked to have flashy magical equipment or kept wealth for himself, counting on the church and helping his fellow beings to provide him with what he needed. His faith and devotion led to his god bestowing all the power that Garruth had foresworn into his blade turning it into a holy avenger. Knowing that if Garruth knew of the blade’s abilities, he would instantly donate it to the nearest church, the god made the blade match Garruth’s humble appearance to all but those that it helped. Garruth finally fell helping to evacuate a city being destroyed by an earthquake and his sword and other belongings were lost amongst the rubble.

    Rumors: Those who wield this blade, whether they know of its true power or not, are cursed to die while helping others.

  5. These swords are terrific – any of them could form an awesome legend for a campaign. They are so much more than a “boring” holy avenger. I hope people reading this thread take and use them in their campaigns. Thanks so much for contributing!

  6. SHINE:
    Provided the user is of a GOOD alignment… Shine is an extrordanary Nut/Good SUNBLADE (Hand-and-a-half bastard sword) that wields as a negative 5 sword ageist good appoints. It offers no adjustment positive or negative verses any neutrally aligned target. and is a PLUS 5 weapon when apposing evil.
    The weapon will glow or flame on the command of it’s wielder, and speaks the tong of elves

    • SHINE was original comprehend for his half elf daughter by the eleven lord Tam.
      Centuries ago the elf lord Tam took shelter at The Gray Dragon Inn for the duration of a particularly nasty blizzard… Months after he had moved on, one of the human serving wenches bore a half elf daughter, whom she named Veranda. Who in turn grew to become an adventuring warrior.
      Eventually Veranda and her companions stumbled upon ‘The-Machine-Of-Lum-the-Mad’. As a result of the parties interactions with this device Veranda lost much of her sight. and spent several years in a (permanent?) twilight.
      It was for this reason the Sunblade was commissioned to illuminate the world for Tam’s child.
      Unfortunately Veranda’s sight continued to deteriorate and the woman was ‘forced’ to take training in the Martel art of ‘Blind Fighting’. and for many years was known as ‘The Warroress in Black’. and with the assistance of Shine became a champion of several worthy causes.

      • Rumor:
        It is rumored that shine will sing elfin marshal songs in battle, giving it’s user a form of ‘sonar’ awareness of her surroundings.