Sebruma the Harp
In ancient times there was a bard called Shandaer who traveled far and wide in
search of talent to learn from. During his travels he would join with other
adventurers so that he could gain inspiration for new songs and to also learn
from any bard who also traveled in the group.
It was while traveling with a group of such
individuals that Shandaer fatefully encountered a terrible demilich.
Shandaer survived, along with a few of his companions; the demilich was slain,
but at great cost. Among those who survived was the party musician and poet
From the hoard of riches was taken a beautiful
harp of cunning design and potent magic. Perceiving it to be of great value,
the members of the party argued that since Shandaer already possessed magical
instruments that this new one should be given to Sebruma. Shandaer rebelled at
this idea, and in a fit of rage he picked up the bejeweled harp and hurled it
at the other bard. Little did he know that the harp was the phylactery of the
demilich, and still deadly dangerous.
In one terrible moment, Sebruma flung up her arm to
ward away the flung harp, but when it struck her flesh became withered and her
soul was pulled into the one of the jewels. Her body fell dead upon the ground.
The rest of the party was stunned, but soon struck out at Shandaer, who then
Shandaer kindled his bitterness against the party
and followed them for a time, until they could not anticipate his return. He
snuck into the encampment and stole away with the harp.
Years would pass while Shandaer became poisoned by
the tortured whispers of the souls trapped in the harp. Turned to evil by the
visions that plagued him each time he caressed the strings, Shandaer turned
to the study of magic, though his passion remained in music. Turning the
harps magic and potency to his own uses, he would then take it from city to
city, meeting with bards of various skill, and draining them of their souls.
In time, the remaining party members and friends of
Sebruma would catch up with Shandaer and in a mighty battle the evil bard was
slain. As he fell dead an angel descended from the heavens and lifted the harp
from Shandaer's rictus fingers, then gestured towards the corpse and a yawning
pit of flame opened beneath it, swallowing Shandaer up.
The angel turned to those who stood there still
and explained to them of the terrible evil Shandaer had done, of all the souls
that now were trapped within the harp. The weapon could be destroyed, but
then the souls would be lost and never have a chance at finding redemption
after being corrupted within the harp. The party agreed that this would be
a terrible thing and so the angel prayed over the harp and granted peace to
the many minds that stirred within.
From the harp then stirred a clarion voice,
rippling over the harps strings; the voice of Sebruma. Speaking to her old
companions, she pronounced a deep desire to continue traveling and to
give back to the world what had been taken away by Shandaer. With Sebruma's
guidance and the songs of the many bards ensnared within, she would remain
a harp and seek to build new schools and institutions where others could
learn the bardic craft. The angel then blessed the harp for her charity
and dedication, granting her powers to assist her in her new quest.
Since then, Sebruma has traveled far and wide
in the world, has been played by many hands, and has grown somewhat
self-centered by her wondrous nature. Though the evil magic of the demilich
was cast away by the angel, thousands of years of existence as a harp has
given Sebruma a certain indifference to all but the most masterful of
musicians. Many schools have been built by her former partners, though
she still quests for new ones to be erected, until one has been built for
each spirit that Shandaer stole.
When played in concert with a bardic musician,
Sebruma improves the effects of bardic songs as follows:
Countersong: Adds a +10 circumstance
bonus to perform checks made to counter magical effects that depend on
Fascinate:Adds a +10 circumstance bonus
to perform checks made to fascinate another creature.
Inspire Courage: Adds +2 to the effective
morale bonus to saves against fear and charm effects, attack rolls, and
weapon damage rolls. At 20th level this bonus increases to +4.
Inspire Competence: Increases the
competence bonus to skill checks by +2 (for a total of +4).
Suggestion: Grants a +2 circumstance
bonus to suggestion attempts, as though the bard was effectively
two class levels higher.
Inspire Greatness: Allows the bard to
inspire greatness in two allies at the same time. Each ally now receives
four bonus hit dice (d10s that grant temporary hit points), a +4
competence bonus to attack rolls, and a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves.
Song of Freedom: Grants a +2 circumstance
bonus to song of freedom attempts, as though the bard was effectively
two class levels higher.
Inspire Heroics: Creatures inspired by
the bards inspire heroics ability now receive a +8 morale bonus to
saving throws and a +8 dodge bonus to armor class.
Mass Suggestion: Grants a +2 circumstance
bonus to mass suggestion attempts, as though the bard was effectively
two class levels higher.
Perform Checks: The harp grants a +10
competence bonus to all perform checks when such checks not used to evoke
supernatural or spell-like bardic powers.
The harp may also be instructed to play
independently. While playing independently the harp can evoke any standard
supernatural or spell-like bardic song. The effects of these songs are
normal for a bard of 20th level and are not enhanced in any fashion.
Sebruma can also be wielded as a weapon, it's
curved edge transforms to become a magically sharp slashing weapon of +4
enchantment. Sebruma is considered a medium sized weapon, fit for a Medium
sized creature to use one-handed. When used as a weapon Sebruma deals 1d8
damage and has a critical threat range of 19 to 20. A bard can wield
Sebruma with ease and is not required to take an exotic weapon proficiency
feat; other character classes must take an exotic weapon proficiency
(Sebruma) feat to use Sebruma in this fashion without penalty.
Sebruma is an intelligent item. She is a
Neutral Good aligned item with an Intelligence of 18, a Wisdom of 10,
a Charisma of 18, and an Ego of 31. Her allegiances are to promoting
music in culture, pursuit of bardic knowledge, and to Good, in that
order of preference. Sebruma speaks Arendish, Arnor, Dezeri, Ilyunaya
and Midden Tongue. She can communicate telepathically with her wielder
and she can read all languages as well as use read magic.
Her special purpose is the education and
advancement of music and song throughout the cultures where her
language is spoken. These are the same cultures which Shandaer
stole the spirits of bards from. Towards this end, Sebruma strongly
encourages her possessor to take on a student, to erect colleges of
music, and to seek out lost bardic knowledge. As long as these goals
are being pursued, Sebruma is a cooperative and willing companion
of her possessor. She will not stand for being set upon a shelf,
being ignored, long terms without being played, or being in the
company of beings which have no appreciation for art, story, and
especially music. If Sebruma feels that she is being ignored or that her
goals are being thwarted then she does not hesitate to exert her will
over her bearer.
Sebruma can be destroyed only by the
building of as many institutions of bardic knowledge as spirits which
were imprisoned in the harp at the hands of Shandaer. When this task
is complete, the spirits within the harp are vindicated from the taint
of evil which was spread by Shandaer. They pour forth from the harp and
fly into the sky to seek their resting place in the heavens. The harp
remains an unintelligent +4 weapon that grants a +2 circumstance bonus
to perform checks by virtue of its construction.
Weight: 3 lbs.