Heart-render and Gutblade

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Shortly after Karsus’s Folly – the destruction and reformation of the weave that ultimately ended the Netheril Empire – the demons and devils engaged in the Blood War took advantage of the subsequent magical turbulence, each crafting a weapon to turn the tide of the war. Heart-render was crafted by the devils; a wicked dagger that could spill all of a demon’s blood in one strike, and Gutblade was crafted by the demons; a vicious shortsword that could sap a devil’s strength to fight.

An unlikely binding

Despite the ongoing war between their wielders, these blades found their spirits aligning whenever they clashed on Avernus – in no small part due their kindred desire to slay their foes – and the demons and devils that fought with them found that they became more destructive when the weapons clashed directly with each other. Ultimately they bonded over one thousand years and the deaths of ten thousand fiends, and to this day are most powerful when wielded together.

Through unknown means the two weapons were banished to Toril, where they have passed through several wielders; sometimes together and sometimes separated, they always find a way to rejoin so they can battle in tandem. Despite no longer being as powerful as they once were when slaughtering fiends on the battlefields of Avernus, these kindred blades now remain amongst the most dangerous on Toril and their wielders will find they still kill with frightening ease.

While inherently evil themselves – caring only for killing – the blades are neither sentient nor required to be wielded by an evil master. Their single-minded desire to slay the living can be fulfilled by any who regularly battle others, whether good or evil – though good-aligned deities will likely frown upon their subjects using them, and their gruesome effects in combat can churn the stomachs of the most stalwart heroes.

Heart-render

Crafted from a single vein of dark adamantine by Bel the Warlord, lord of Baator, Heart-render’s tip seeks out the weakest points on a foe and bleeds them profusely, quickly killing them through blood loss. Furthermore, it can expend its power to violently expunge all the blood from a target, killing them near-instantly.

HEART-RENDER
Legendary dagger (unique)
Requires attunement
Cannot be wielded by good-aligned paladins or clerics

1d4 piercing
Finesse
Light
Thrown (range 20/60)
Accurate. +1 to hit. This bonus raises to +2 at level 9, and +3 at level 17.
Keen. Critically hits on a natural 19 or 20.
Kindred. The wielder of this weapon can always sense the general direction of Gutblade, as long as it is not protected against scrying or divination, or is inside a dead-magic zone. If Gutblade is on a different plane, the wielder instinctively knows which plane.

Blood Spiller. If this weapon critically hits and deals damage to a target that can bleed, that target takes an additional 1d4 necrotic damage as the wound gushes blood. At the end of each of its turns, the target must make a DC 12 + (the wielder’s constitution modifier) consitution save or take 1d4 necrotic damage again. This effect persists until the creature successfully saves against the damage or is healed by any means. This effect does not stack with itself.

Exsanguinate. Only useable when Gutblade is in the wielder’s other hand. When this weapon successfully hits and deals damage to a target that can bleed, the wielder can choose to use this ability. The target’s body spasms violently as blood erupts from its open wounds, eyes, mouth and nose. The wielder chooses a number of dice up to their total number of hit dice. The target takes that number of d8 dice in necrotic damage, with a DC 15 constitution save for half damage. The wielder must make a constitution save with DC equal to the number of damage dice rolled. On failure, and for every 3 points failed by, the wielder gains one level of exhaustion due to the strain this ability places on their heart. This ability recharges on a short rest.

Gutblade

Yeenoghu, the demon prince of savagery, crafted Gutblade from dark steel and the bones of his most hated enemies, imbuing it with his wild strength. Capable of sapping the fortitude of those it strikes, it renders any foe vulnerable to afflictions of the flesh. In addition, the blade carries a unique poison that can inflict untold pain upon any it blights.

GUTBLADE
Legendary shortsword (unique)
Requires attunement
Cannot be wielded by good-aligned paladins or clerics

1d6 slashing, +1d4 poison
Finesse
Light
Accurate. +1 to hit. This bonus raises to +2 at level 9, and +3 at level 17.
Kindred. The wielder of this weapon can always sense the general direction of Heart-render, as long as it is not protected against scrying or divination, or is inside a dead-magic zone. If Heart-render is on a different plane, the wielder instinctively knows which plane.

Vile Convulsion. If this weapon hits and deals damage to a target that can feel pain and is not immune to poison, the wielder can choose to activate this ability. The target must make a DC 10 + (the wielder’s constitution modifier) constitution save or else become incapacitated for 1 minute as it wrenches in agony from the inside. The target can make this save again at the end of each of its turns, with a successful save ending the effect. This ability recharges on a short rest.

Sap. Only useable when Heart-render is in the wielder’s other hand. If this weapons hits and deals damage to a target, the wielder can choose to activate this ability, cursing the target. The target gains permanent disadvantage on constitution saves and checks, and can be cured by the greater restoration spell or any equivalent effect. Only one creature can be cursed in this manner at any time. If applied to a second creature, the previous creature is cured. This ability recharges on a long rest.

DM Tips

  • Have a player find one, but not the other. Do not tell them the other weapon exists or what it is, but indicate that they are drawn somewhere as per the kindred ability the weapons possess.
    • The other weapon might be wielded by a foe that must be killed; or perhaps held by some neutral or good character that must be convinced to part with it; or simply at the end of a dangerous area or series of events.
  • To give the weapons more flavour, consider making it so the attuned wielder does not want to part with the weapons, even going so far as to violently attack anyone that tries to take them.
  • To make them more evil, consider the having weapons give their wielders psychic compulsions to kill others or act more violently.
  • To give the weapons more lore-related flavour, consider giving them some extra bonuses against fiends, or restricting some of their effects to fiends only. This contrasts the weapon’s evil nature with their propensity for killing evil creatures, and can create interesting roleplay amongst paladin and cleric characters.