The Heroes of Westfall
The Blade of Kai-Tan
Powerful Goliath artifact
In its neutral, unwielded form, the Blade of Kai-Tan appears as a well-crafted short sword with a sharp, black blade. The grip is tightly wrapped in brown leather straps and the cross-guard is made to look as though it was carved of solid granite.
However, when being held by the most worthy Goliath, it turns into something different alltogether. Its form can range the gamut of weapons, and tends to transform into the weapon the user is most proficient with. Currently, it is shaped as a Dwarven Urgrosh as it is in the hands of Sid of the Guardian Brotherhood.
As legend tells it, Kai-Tan was the most powerful Goliath that ever lived. Stories abound about his deeds: fighting dragons, killing hydras, defeating beholders. But before all that (if you even believe the legends to be true) Kai-Tan was nothing but a slave.
For thousands of years, the Goliaths toiled under the whips of the giants. They labored hard and long hours and the merciless giants showed no mercy on their smaller, weaker cousins. Despite their larger numbers, the Goliaths lacked the one thing that could unite them and make them throw off their shackles: a leader.
Kai-Tan changed everything. He was tired of being a common beast of burden for the lazy giants, and he stood up to them. The Goliath slaves rallied around him, and together, they overwhelmed the giants with sheer numbers. He was a hero – someone for the Goliath people to really look to for leadership.
When he died, no one knew what to do with his belongings. His sword was given to the Elders of Cragtop to guard, and that has been their sworn duty for the last several hundred years. However, with war stirring, they knew it was only a matter of time before someone came to claim its power.
In the spirit of Kai-Tan the Elders enchanted the weapon, made it so that only the most worthy Goliath could properly use it. In the hands of anyone else it was a trinket. But, in the hands of a worthy warrior, it was a powerful tool for good.
About thirty-three years after the War with the gnolls, the Blade of Kai-Tan chose a most peculiar owner: Sid of the Guardian Brotherhood. No one could argue with Sid’s prowess in combat, but few believed he was truly the best candidate to use the sword, simply because of his reputation as a slacker and a drunk. Nonetheless, it was delivered to Sid by the Goliath So-Tur – the most outspoken of the anti-Sid voices.
Seemingly, Sid proved them correct by misplacing th Blade of Kai-Tan on a mushroom enduced bender, and when So-Tur came back to reclaim the weapon, not only did Sid not knew where it was – he had lost all recollection of ever having it in the first place. So-Tur angrily gave Sid an ultimatum: find the Blade of Kai-Tan and return it in one month, or face the ultimate punishment for losing such a valuable piece of Goliath history.
Sid retraced his steps from a year before, relying on second and third-hand information and learned that he had gone into the Mushroom Caves outside Lost Fort on the same night the Blade was given to him. He and his comrades made the two day trip to the caves to find them overrun with trolls.
They fought their way into the caves and through the trolls to a cavern populated with the native Myconid Farmers. They offered to help the Guardian Brotherhood locate the sword in exchange for freeing them from the threat of the Thing that Burrows, which turned out to be a deadly Purple Worm.
After fighting the Worm, the Guardian Brotherhood was lead to the chamber of the Gauth named Spilth, who readily agreed to give them his collection of shinies (including the Blade of Kai-Tan) in exchange for letting him follow them on their adventures.
Sid is now the owner of the Blade of Kai-Tan, which appears to still be responding to his touch, and has a little over three weeks before he is supposed to meet back up with So-Tur to hand over the weapon back to the Elders of Cragtop.
Update: Sid ventured back to Cragtop, at the behest of the Elders, to deliver the weapon and the town was attacked by a Frost Titan that was searching for the Blade. Sid and some of his crewmembers from the Lucky Lady fought off the Titan, and the Elders realized that the Blade truly was safest in Sid’s hands, and asked him to permanently hold on to it for safekeeping.
OUT OF GAME
The Blade of Kai-Tan was designed to be used as both a MacGuffin for part of my campaign plot and as a reward for the character Sid, who has consistently been one of the more entertaining members of the party.
Basically, whenever I get to a point where Sid would earn a new magical weapon, instead it will be this weapon “leveling up” so to speak. At the moment, the Blade of Kai-Tan is a Jagged Urgrosh, but if Sid decides later he wants to specialize in Greatswords or something, the Blade will adapt and do that.
I’ve always liked the idea of a character having the same weapon for a long time, instead of getting a new shiny toy every couple levels. I loved the ancestral weapon idea in 3.5, and that’s kind of where this idea came from. It’s basically a simpler extension of that concept.