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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 Sebruma.
    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 fled.
    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 sound.
    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.