Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Arrows of the Sicarii Jaih

Astra found discovered in a long forgotten temple.
I am the Astrud (Arrow) of Jaih, cast from the Bow, set on the path of Righteousness. - Line 237 of the Sicarii Fragments.

Killers, long extinct, left bare of evidence to mark their existence, the Sicarii Jaih were the adherents of a cult forgotten by the lands that formed them. Bearers of strange swords, these cultists would hold blessed arrows in their teeth as they danced the Tamdallum, their blades flashing to cut down their victims. Jaih was the name of their master, or mistress, the figure's gender appearing to be fluid or the identity held by more than one person. What little is known of their theology is found in remains of the only known text to have survived the ages, all the others seeming to have been destroyed soon after the death or ascension of Jaih. In the text, known as the Sicarii Fragments, the cultists, who called themselves the Sicarii Jaih, saw themselves as metaphysical gardeners whose job was to remove individuals who were marring the splendor of the world. As to how the determined who was a Padma (Flower/Lotus) and who was a Niraana (Weed), is unknown, the Sicarii Fragments are missing the text containing their religious prohibitions and laws. While their history is lost, their arrows, called Astrud, continue to be found in ancient temples and crypts across the world. Due to the quality of enchantments on them, intact Astra remain functional to this day.

Astra discovered in a field of the Shambala province.

Astrud – OSR/AD&D/LotFP
When the arrow is gripped in the user's teeth, it grants a number of abilities:

- AC bonus equal to the user's Charisma modifier, as long as the character is wearing light or no armor.
- Bonus to-hit and damage equal to the character's Dexterity modifier, same restrictions as AC bonus.
- Bonus to movement equal to the character's Charisma modifier times the movement increments used in the game system 5 feet/yards/meters. (e.g. A character with an 18 Charisma would gain 15 feet to their base speed if the game uses 5 foot increments [+3 Ability Mod x 5 feet]) The same restrictions apply to this ability as with the others.

Using the arrow also comes with a number of drawbacks as well:
- The character may only use 1 handed slashing weapons while using the arrow.
- Each time the character receives damage greater than their level (e.g. 5th level fighter taking 7 damage) they must roll under their Strength score on 1D20. If they fail their roll, they drop the arrow and must sacrifice an action to pick the arrow up and return it to their mouth.