DCC Donnerstag: The Rickenbastard, a Holy Weapon of Lemm the Killmaster

Of all the Metal Gods, one stands apart as nearly a force of nature. Unstoppable, insatiable, Lemm the Killmaster traverses the celestial realms, doing as He wills, taking no prisoners and using the cosmos as He sees fit. During the course of His eternal debauch, Lemm has wielded many weapons, usually axes, and perhaps the best-known of these is the weapon known as the Rickenbastard. Until recently, the Rickenbastard was lost to time, a loss attributable to a schism in the early generations of Lemm's priesthood. Several weeks ago, however, the Rickenbastard was recovered from the ruins of a lost temple by a schlub of an adventurer known only as "Pitstain."

The Rickenbastard

The Rickenbastard is a great axe of a red-brown, gold-like metal. Its blade is engraved with a leaf-like motif and appointed with golden inlays and hardware such that the parts that aren't the reddish, brownish metal gleam in stark contrast. The engravings wick blood away from the blade and, when enough of it pools up amongst the leaves on the blade, the axe unleashes its greatest power (though theologists speculate that other "potent fluids" such as strong spirits might have the same effect).

The Rickenbastard has a strong personality, and whether that personality influenced Lemm the Killmaster or whether Lemm the Killmaster defined that personality is a matter of some debate among the priests of the Metal Gods. Whatever the case, the Rickenbastard is strongly Neutral, owing no allegiance to Law or Chaos, nor permitting its wielder the same. Should the axe be possessed by a Lawful or Chaotic being, they lose 1 point of Luck per day for three days, then 1 point of Luck per week thereafter. Anyone reduced to 0 Luck by the Rickenbastard has had their soul destroyed by the blade and dies, their soul claimed by the domain of the dead. The axe is intelligent (Int 12) and functions in all ways as a battleaxe (d10 damage, 2-h only) +1 that communicates its desires to the wielder through Empathy. The Rickenbastard has the following Banes: Wizards (+2 total attack bonus vs. wizards), Clerics (Berserker fury when facing clerics; see page 368 in DCC Core Rulebook). In place of an attack, the wielder may strike the ground to create a resounding boom of thunder, causing all enemies within 40' to take 1d8 points of sonic damage (no save).

If the Rickenbastard deals 20 points of damage within a single day and claims the life of at least one creature, the wielder may burn a point of Luck at increase the axe's enchantment bonus to +2. Should this come to pass, however, the wielder immediately begins to experiences urges similar to those of Lemm the Killmaster. When presented with the opportunity to indulge these urges (the opportunity to kill a foe, to drink to excess or to bed someone, for example), the wielder must make a DC 15 Will save to resist the urge (the wielder may also burn 1 Luck to resist the urge should he so desire). If the wielder ever goes a week without killing something with the Rickenbastard or fails to indulge in "Lemm's urges" at least once per week, the axe loses this additional enchantment and returns to acting as a +1 battle axe, but will never again be able to increase the enchantment to +2. Such is Lemm the Killmaster's distate for the "weakling" wielder that never again shall he attain such a perfect union with the blade.