The Sword of Kas

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)   The Sword of Kas   Two-handed sword.png
Base item two-handed sword
Damage vs. small 1d12 (1-12)
Damage vs. large 3d6 (3-18)
To-hit bonus +1d10
Bonus versus
Weapon skill two-handed sword
Size two-handed
Affiliation
When carried

none

When wielded
When invoked

none

Base price 15000 zm
Weight 103
Material gemstone

The Sword of Kas is an intelligent artifact weapon that appears in EvilHack. It is chaotic-aligned, and its base item is a two-handed sword made of gemstone.

Generation

The Sword of Kas is always generated in the possession of Kas within Vecna's Domain. It cannot be wished for; if left in bones, it will revert to a 'mundane' gemstone two-handed sword.

Due to its generation method, it does not increase the artifact count for purposes of wishing.

Description

The Sword of Kas has a +10 to-hit bonus and is permanently coated in poison, dealing extra poison damage against monsters without poison resistance; it also deals double damage versus cross-aligned monsters and liches, and will deal three times the damage when used specifically against Vecna. While wielded, it grants stoning resistance and sets the wielder's strength to 25 - it is additionally bloodthirsty similar to Stormbringer, meaning that you will attack any monster you walk into while wielding it.

Strategy

The Sword of Kas is often a vital part of most players' kits for dealing with Vecna - keep in mind that lawful characters take alignment penalties for using poisoned weapons, while Priests of any kind suffer a -30 to-hit penalty from trying to use it on top of potentially angering their god.

A character capable of defeating Kas is one that has usually completed their quest - in the event you are lawful and have not yet done so, it is usually best to refrain from wielding the Sword on anything more than a very-sparingly basis.

History

The Sword of Kas was first introduced to EvilHack in version 0.7.0, added alongside Kas as part of the second of three commits related to Vecna's Domain.[1][2][3]

Origin

In the Greyhawk setting of Dungeons & Dragons, the Sword of Kas was given by Vecna to his then-right-hand-man and most trusted lieutenant, Kas the Bloody-Handed; Kas would later turn against Vecna and (temporarily) destroy him using the sword. As details of Kas's service and subsequent betrayal vary with the edition, so too do the origins of the sword: In the 1st edition's Dungeon Master's Guide, Vecna only procured the sword for his chief lieutenant; one telling in much later editions has Vecna creating the Sword of Kas himself and imbuing it with a "portion of his consciousness". As alluded to by the encyclopedia entry, some sources indicate that Kas may have been goaded into betrayal by the whispers of the Sword itself.

Regardless, the Sword is is consistently tied to Vecna and his other relics, specifically Vecna's hand and eye. Both relics and the Sword were the only remaining objects in the area after their fight, with Vecna destroyed for the time being and Kas being flung across many Planes by the resulting destruction. Its appearance, properties and hit dice have also varied between editions - the Sword as it appears in EvilHack is something of an amalgamation (e.g., the 25 strength comes from the +10 strength bonus it granted to the wielder in 3rd Edition).[4][5]

Encyclopedia entry

Kas and the Sword share the same encyclopedia entry:

Kas the Bloody-Handed was the most trusted lieutenant of the
despotic lich Vecna, and wielder of the Sword of Kas.

After many years of loyal service to Vecna, Kas eventually
betrayed his master. It is said that the sword itself whispered
to Kas, convincing him to slay his master and usurp his power.

References