This game takes place in New York City and centers around an artifact known as the Sword of Masayada. This sword was unearthed in Israel a few years earlier by an American Archeologist named Dr. Samuel Arbrige. The sword was named for the strange hebrew word written on the hilt which translates "Burden of Knowledge" and an unknown set of Cuneiform on the blade. Since it's discovery the sword has been carbon dated and the results came back inconclusive as to the exact age of the weapon. Up until a week ago the sword was in a collection of weapondry on display at the New York Museum of Natural History. That is until a group of unknown thieves broke into the museum and left with the collection. This has baffled the police as the thieves gave no sign of entering or exiting and were not recorded on the surveilance cameras, even though the alarms still went off.
A few days later an antique dealer disappears without a trace. In the dealer's store are most of the swords in the collection. However, a few of the swords are still missing; the Sword of Masayad is one of them. Along with the swords, the police also a missing a journal of an eqyptian archaeologist. The Journal detailed several of the archaeologist's finds, including a tablet that had writing on it that he had never seen before. He published his findings as a new form of Cuneiform with ties to Hebrew, but he was laughed into poverty. The archaeologist apparently sold all his belongings before finally giving up and ending his own life. What is so special about the journal is that it is needed to use the sword. The archaeologist had translated a good deal of the tablet and his research is recorded in this journal. In order to use the sword the bearer must know what the writing on the blade says.
The game is based around the PC's search for the thieves, the recovery of the sword and possibly the usage of it. The villains in this can be anyone that the Gamemaster feels fits the mood, but I suggest that this be an involved plot with several princes in it. Some of my initial thoughts are that servitors of Asmodeus are involved (someone on the police erased the video surveilance files at the museum), Nybbas (the media coverage of this has been extremely thin), and Valefor (the thieves were experts at what they were doing).
As far as how the characters come to be involved in this is up to the Gamemaster. However one thing that I have detailed is exactly what the Sword of Masayada does. This is all detailed below.
It is uncertain when the Sword of Masayada first came into being. The carbon dating done on the sword detail that it was created aprox. 500 BC but this is extremely untrustworthy because they came up with several conficting dates. The sword is three feet long from hilt to tip, with an additional foot for the grasp. The blade itself is fairly wide, similar to a broadsword blade. Needless to say this is a large weapon. In corporeal combat this weapon has a power of +5 and an accuracy of +1. It does not rust and can only be destroyed by taking 15 hits from a single strike. However it's combat abilities are not why most seek to find it.
The sword is the only known item to possess the Songs of Knowledge. These songs (perhaps created by Yves) are very powerful and a possessor of the sword is a formidable foe indeed. The sword is also a reliquery which can store up to 10 points of essence but can be used only by the sword. Each sunrise the sword gains one point of essence but an additional point of essence can be gained if it is in a museum or library at dawn. Needless to say it was fully powered when the thieves stole it.
The Corporeal Song of Knowledge allows a user to know the exact location of a specified individual on the corporeal plane. The sword however has to have made contact (touched, hit, held, etc.) with this individual within the last 168 hours (7 days).
The Ethereal Song of Knowledge allows the user to peer into an individual's mind and see their worst fears and upmost desires. Like the Corporeal Song, the sword has to have made contact with this individual with in the last 168 hours as well as the individual must be within 10 ft of the individual when this Song is used.
The Celestial Song of Knowledge allows the user to alter an individual's experiences and knowledge. This song can be used to make an individual forget about something, remember it differently or totally alter their perception of an event. The song functions like the previous two except that in addition the sword must make contact again with the individual for the song to be used. The individual is allowed a Will roll in his/her defense. If it succeeds, his memory is intact, and the user of the sword cannot try again for (individual's will) in hours. If it fails, then the memory of the individual is at the whim of the user.
Essence Requirement: 2
Degree of Disturbance: the Check Digit plus four.
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