|Greyhawk magic item|
|Druniazth, as depicted in Dragon #294 (2002). Art by Richard Pace.|
|First appearance||Dragon #294/ Living Greyhawk Journal #10 (2002).|
Druniazth (DROON-ee-AH-zzth) is a magical bastard sword nicknamed the "Claw of Tharizdun," and is one of the more powerful artifacts associated with that deity. Druniazth exists solely to serve the Dark God, in spreading his worship and freeing him from his imprisonment. The sword serves as a type of window into the god's soul, and it is through this power that Tharizdun tries to obtain his freedom.
Druniazth appears as a plain and simple bastard sword, but is forged from ruinite, a mysterious purplish-black metal. Excepting the strange patterns appear to shift and whorl across both blade and guard, the weapon bears no other decoration. The blade of Druniazth is wider than most bastard swords and it constantly emanates cold--wisps of fog drift from the blade's surface in non-artic conditions, and the sword seems to drink in heat and light (both of which dim or lessen in its presence). Rounded, thumbnail-sized knobs mark the ends of Druniazth's guard. The sword's tang is wrapped in black, tanned leather--believed to be an addition made by one of Druniazth's mortal owners. The rounded pommel of the sword twists and locks in place at the end of the tang, which hides the tang nut.
Druniazth acts as a +5 frost bastard sword of wounding. A non-evil creature struck by the weapon must make a successful Will save (DC 33). Success results in burning chills that impose 2 point Dexterity reduction, and a -4 penalty on skill checks, ability checks, and attack rolls for one hour. Failure results in the wounded individual falling into a catatonic slumber for one to six weeks. The victim cannot be awakened during this time, and suffers horrid nightmares and apocalyptic visions of Tharizdun's return. These visions haunt the victim for the remainder of his life, leaving him fatigued each morning upon awakening up every morning until the effect is removed by a miracle or wish spell. Given that the sword's goal is to spread the Dark God's influence, the wielder cannot use the weapon to harm or attack a victum sleeping under the blade's influence.
Any non-evil individual wielding Druniazth gains four negative levels. These levels persist for as long as the weapon is held and vanish when the sword is no longer wielded. These negative levels do not result in actual level loss, but cannot be circumvented by any method (including restoration spells) while the weapon is held.
Druniazth corrupts any non-evil user to the cause of Tharizdun via emphatic suggestions, the slow poisoning of the soul, and subtle nightmares. Roughly one to four weeks after the wielder first comes into contact with the blade, he becomes neutral evil (no saving throw). Alteration in alignment is both mental and moral and the changed individual thoroughly relishes his new outlook. Only a miracle or wish can restore one's former alignment, but the affected individual has no desire to return to his previous alignment. If the character is of a class with an alignment restriction, an atonement spell is also required if the curse is to be overcome.
The sword's first appearence on Oerth was more than eight hundred years ago, no later than circa -210 CY. Baron Lum wielded a sword in combat against the Ur-Flan sorcerers of the Bonewood that matched perfectly the description of Druniazth, but he lost the weapon during the fray. This was many years before the Baron discovered his infamous Machine. He spent his remaining years attempting to recover Druniazth, and the search for the blade slowly drove him to madness.
Druniazth changed hands many times through the centuries before being cast into Rift Canyon in the early 100's CY by an unnamed female wielder who wished to end the blade's influence upon her life. The sword remained in the canyon for many decades until being found by illithids, who bartered it to drow merchants sometime in 233 CY. The drow caravan was attacked and destroyed at some unknown place in the Underdark between the Rift Canyon and the Crystalmist Mountains. At this point, the sword passed from living memory.
In the mid-570's CY, a party of adventurers recovered the blade from a buried temple of Tharizdun located in the Jotens. The blade then passed from the adventurers to various tribes of hill giants and ogres in Jotens until 591 CY. That year, the sword resurfaced in the city of Dyvers in the possession of an assassin named Kerrab, who was in the service of Iuz. Kerrab was killed by the city watch, and the weapon was set aside for further investigation, given its strange appearence. Regrettably, one of the guardsmen handling the sword, a half-elf named Nizar Drav'va, was converted to the Dark God's service through Druniazth's influence. The cretinous Drav'va stole away with the sword and began to travel overland to the Kron Hills, uncertain of where he was bound or what was seeking. The whereabouts of both Drav'va and Druniazth remain unknown.