I found our sword-demon a short distance from camp, sitting atop a low stone wall from which he could watch the entire valley. The ruins below were by then cloaked in shadow, save the remaining belltower.
"What do you make of it?" I asked him.
"I've seen two war-wights in the last hour, or the same war-wight twice. They're getting antsy."
That itself wasn't surprising news: Linus and Berenike had estimated the same when they did their scouting run during the safety of daylight.
"Do you think it will be a problem?"
"Not if I get to 'em first." His head swiveled like an owl's, bright teeth gleaming. "If it's just the one, or two on their own, no trouble for you lot. But, could be that there are more of them down there, or a graveraiser leading them. Then it'll be plenty of trouble." Swivel back to watching the valley, gold eyes aglow in the dying sunlight. "For you, of course. If they get to you first. I don't think they will."
He left the "because I will have already killed them" unspoken, treating it as a given. Such was the way of a sword-devil. I gave him my assent and left him to his business - he had told me enough.
As I walked the path back to camp, I caught traces of singing from behind me, accompanied by the steady punctuating rasp of a whetstone."Awé dékapitoré, tu joyeu dé bastardé Mor."
Third of the nine ranks of devils, and the most common to be seen outside of a diabloarium. Their domain is violence by means of sharp edges, and their home is the Flensing Tower.
Sword-devils are driven above all by their desire to master the
blade-arts, compete against their kin, and usurp their father-mother
Azazel, megaduke of bladed instruments. This makes them remarkably
straightforward among devils, as they have long understood that humans
are good at inventing opportunities for violence without any effort on
the devil's part. For this reason they are commonly found in the company of soldiers, cutters, and venators.
Their skin is typically grey or blue, and their eyes white or gold. They tend towards glee in their work, and either sleepy indolence or jittery impatience when there is no violence to be found. They do not hate. They will fight anything, but adore fighting particularly skilled or novel opponents. Better yet, other sword-devils.
Bound By Rules - During character creation, the players should decide which one of them is the bearer of the contract. This character can be the original summoner, or might simply be the person who the contract was passed to. Contract scrolls might be found as treasure out in the world (an excellent way to introduce a replacement character mid-session).
Live By The Sword - Sword-devils cannot die. Not properly, at least. Should they lose all their HP, they will dissipate into a roiling cloud of oily smoke. They may be resurrected from any corpse human-sized or larger (erupting from it in a most impressively gory display) through a magic user casting their contract scroll, using either spell dice or a spell slot of level = the sword-devil's hit die.
No Shield Shall Stop Me - Your attacks against non-supernatural
entities ignore AC bonuses granted by armor. Armor will reduce damage by
1 (light), 2 (medium) or 4 (heavy) instead.
The blade-arts work like magic dice - you get a d6 for each level up to 4. You may roll any number of these during your attacks, choosing effects from the below list in any combination. Dice devoted to one effect cannot be used for another. Dice that come up 4+ are removed from the pool until after a long rest.
Backfoot Style - A sword-devil's base AC is 10. They will gain +2 for each unburnt blade-die they currently have at their disposal.
- Gain +[DICE] to hit
- Deal +[Sum] damage
- Teleport within [SUM] x 5 feet (line of sight) to make an attack as bonus action
- Gain a specific damage type (auto burn die)
- Gain an additional attack (auto burn die)