Weapons Against the Darkness


Weapon Materials

MaceCold Iron

It is best not to tangle with the spirits of nature.  They are powerful in their domain, with great resistance to magic, and are nearly impervious to normal weapons.  Still, sometimes fighting is the only option, or the only way out!  Weapons forged of cold iron are able to harm nature spirits and other fey.  Any weapon which would normally be forged of steel could instead be forged of cold iron.  Cold iron weapons always cost at least twice as much as their normal counterparts.





dw5-shu-wei-yan - CopyAlchemical Copper

Gaki are the spirits of very wicked people who got away with terrible crimes.  At death, instead of moving on, they return to this world to wreak havoc. Gaki spring from nothing, forming bodies that resemble animated corpses.   They feel no pain, and wounds from normal weapons do them little of no harm.  These fearsome spirits could wade though the defenders of a village, unharmed by wounds that would kill a man, killing themselves with impunity.  But just as weapons of cold iron can harm nature spirits, gaki have a weakness as well.  The smith-priests of Yunshan’s many shrines and monasteries long ago learned the secret of forging reasonably  strong weapons out of a copper based alloy.

Weapons of alchemical copper overcome the damage reduction of Gaki, as well as several other less known creatures.  Weapons forged like this take a -1 to their damage rolls.  Alchemical copper is soft, so it is not fit for long, thin weapons like long swords or katana.  Such weapons break on an attack roll of 1.  For this reason, most copper forged weapons are usually spear heads, daggers, axe heads, maces, and other weapons which will not typically be likely to break or bend.

Alchemical copper weapons cost 4 times as much as their regular counterparts.








Alchemical Silver

Lycanthropes and shapeshifters heal so quickly, that wounds from normal weapons are gone moments after they are inflicted.  These nearly invincible creatures cannot heal wounds made by silver weapons.









Weapons made of jade are effective against demonic and underworld creatures.  They also work against celestial spirits as well. The secrets of forging jade weapons are tightly kept by those few smiths who know how to do it.  Player characters may not craft jade weapons.  Nor are jade weapons normally sold.  Jade weapons are considered precious works of art, and important weapons against evil.  They are most always magical in nature, and they almost always have a name, and even fame.  Jade weapons are not anonymous in the way others are.  Each one has an owner, and a previous owner, and those who pay attention to such matters keep track.  A stolen jade weapon will be hunted down, if not by its last owner, than by those who wish to have it for themselves.





 Weapon Enchantments

FuLengsSwordJade Fire

Jade Fire is a special enchantment that leaves a magical weapon wreathed in flickering green flames.  A weapon so enchanted is bane against all creatures of the spirit sub type.  It is the ultimate demon hunters’ weapon, and a rare prize.  A Jade fire weapon’s bonus to hit is counted as 2 higher vs spirits.  So a +1 Jade Fire sword would be +3 vs spirits.  In addition, the Jade Fire does an extra 2d6 damage vs. spirits.  Spirits include: gaki, yorie, ghosts, nature spirits, celestial spirits, demons and underworld creatures and most intelligent forms of undead (but not mindless automatons who are merely animated or liches).  It’s important to note that Jade Fire does not overcome damage reduction/jade, though the extra 2d6 damage usually makes up for this.  So the Ultimate demon hunter’s weapon would be a jade weapon, enchanted with Jade Fire.

It’s important not to confuse jade weapons, with those that have the “Jade Fire” enchantment.  A weapon need not be made of jade to have the Jade Fire enchantment, infact, the vast majority are not.  The flames of a Jade Fire weapon shed light as a torch, and can be mentally suppressed or reignited as a free action



Kito TaishanHeavenly Fire

Heavenly fire is another special weapon enchantment unique to Yunshan.  Heavenly fire is the same bright Yellow fire that Kito Taishan is able to summon on his weapon.  It is said to carry the fury of heavens judgment down to earth! A weapon sheathed in Heavenly Fire does an extra 2d6 damage vs creatures with a chaotic alignment.  This extra damage only effects chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, and chaotic good beings.  In addition, heavenly fire specifically overcomes the damage reduction of gaki and underworld demons.   Only priests of Yunshan’s great temples know how to enchant a weapon with Heavenly Fire.  Such weapons are not to be in the hands of those outside the temples, and if this knowingly happens, they will be hunted down to no end!  There are a few Prestige classes unique to Yunshan, such as Disciples of Shui Khan, and Arbiters of Chu Jung, who gain the ability to summon Heavenly Fire upon their weapons as a class power.  This is considered a heavenly blessing, and such individual will not be hunted down by agents of a temple for using it.



l5r__shiba_ryuba_by_anthonyfoti-d3fvtc0Bane (undead) Weapons

These weapons glow and spark like molten metal when used against their chosen foe. Weapons which have the Bane ability vs undead do extra damage against gaki, yorie, and many types of evil spirits and undead.  Such weapons are a boon in the fight against evil






BladeofLostGodsGhost touch Weapons

Ghost Touch tend to have a light blue or purple sheen to them that softly glows in the dark.  Such weapons can strike incorporeal targets, and are great against yorie, ghosts and all types of apparitions and ethereal based creatures








Blessed Sword

Holy Weapons

These weapons are prized among good aligned heroes.  Holy weapons are always beautifully crafted and have an otherworldly metalic sheen and glint to them.  Holy weapons overcome damage reduction/good, and do an additional 2d6 damage to creatures of evil alignment.








Defenses against the Dark Spirits

download (1)Watchskulls

In Yunshan skulls do not hold the same dark symbolism of death like in the west, rather, they are seen as a symbol of the dead at rest, and watching over the living.  It is said the spirits of the dead can enter their old skulls and look through the eyes to check on the world any time they wish.  So the skulls of the dead are not viewed with a since of the dread. They are symbols of protection from loving ancestors.  Physical reminders that the dead are watching over the living, always seeking to give their blessing.

When they can afford it, the people of Yunshan will have the skulls of important ancestors specially treated in a temple and then dipped in precious metal, usually copper, but occasionally silver or even gold.  The skull is them openly displayed in the household as an item of magical protection against bad spirits.  Nearly every family has at least one skull over the mantle place.  Families which have been around a long time, or have great wealth will have many.  When a family has few they are kept in the most important parts of the house.  When a family has many, they are hung up around the eves of the household about 10 ft. apart, forming a continuous line of watchers to keep evil spirts away!


Game Effects:

Whatever the effect, watchskulls are only effective when in the possession, or at/in the household of a relative of the diseased.  When an evil spirit comes within 10 ft. of a watchskull it emits a soft, barely visible radiance that floods a 10ft radius around the skull.  This aura is continuously in effect in the 10ft radius, and effects evil spirits instantly. The effects depend on the type of skull. Yorie, Gaki, and most underworld spirits have an intense aversion to watchskulls.  They may approach them, but they may never physically touch them or cast a spell that specifically targets them.  There is no actual effect if they do make physical contact with a watchskull, it’s simply they will never attempt to do so of their own will.


The invisibility powers which all yorie, gaki, and many demons possess are instantly rendered powerless.  Such beings become instantly visible to the naked eye, and in fact become wreathed in a copper colored glow that effects them as a faerie fire spell.  Note, the skull suppresses the invisibility, not dispels it, so such a spirit leaving the glow of the skull would become invisible again.





In addition to losing invisibility, all evil spirits within the soft glow of a silver skull gain a silver aura which nullifies their damage reduction, rendering them completely vulnerable to normal weapons while in the area protected by the watchskull.  Note, the aura does not affect incorporeal traits so there is still a 50% miss chance in the case of incorporeal spirits.  Also note, if the evil spirit leaves the area protected by the skull, its damage reduction returns immediately.



download (2)Gold:

The most powerful of all, gold watchskulls rob evil spirits of all the power mentioned above.  In addition, the evil spirit is totally cut off from its profane sources of power as a golden radiance surrounds and begins to burn away its very existence!  Evil spirits effected by a gold watchskull lose use of all of their magical and supernatural abilities.  This is suppression, not a dispelling effect, so they can once again immediately make use of their dark powers if they leave the radiance.  In addition, such spirits take 1d6 damage at the start any round they begin within the skulls radiance. There is no save against this damage


t1Watch Lanterns

These are magical lanterns, often trimmed in gold and hung with silken phylacteries and Jade ornaments.  Each one is a unique creation, a work of artistry and holy power.  These potent magical defenses are mobile, and effective no matter where they go or who wields them, so long as they stay lit.  In civilized lands there are men who own such lanterns, and offer their services as guides to anyone who wishes to travel at night.  These lantern men, not to be confused with night watchmen, often know something of how to battle, or at least avoid the evil spirits in their home areas.  They offer up their services at a high price, to those who cannot wait until morning.  In large settlements the lantern men form their old guilds, and might be a reliable source of information about the local spirits.

Each Watch Lantern is unique, with its own set of protections.  Watch Lanterns shine bright light in a 30 ft radius that illuminates invisible and ethereal creatures so long as they are in the glow.  Watch Lanterns usually have several other protective powers which are always active when lit, and effect the area in a 30ft radius.  Protection from evil, repel vermin, invisibility to undead, and alarm are all common enchantments, but many variations are possible.




These are large holy symbols made of precious metals.  While watchskulls are usually used to protect households and buildings, sigils usually serve to provide a barrier around much larger areas like estates, towns, or cities.  A lone, single sigil, possesses little power, but when placed in a continuous ring with other sigils, a protective barrier which extends into the spirit world is created.

Copper sigils

Copper sigils hang on posts around the outskirts of towns like Fanlu, which are lucky enough to have the protection of some shrine or temple.  Shrines and temples are the only ones who know how to make these sigils and they do not hand them out lightly. Gaki and lesser nature spirits cannot enter an area protected by copper sigils.

Silver Sigils

These sometimes line the outer courtyards of temples and shrines, you have seen them protecting the courtyards of the House of pacified Shadows. You know not what protections they offer.

Gold Sigils

You have seen them hanging in the audience chamber where you met The Keeper of Pacified Shadows.  You have no idea what they do, but they must be very important and powerful.


Demon Dust

Demon dust is a mix of pulverized copper, silver, gold, and rare salts mixed with just the right amount of powered priest, quite literally the dried out, powdered flesh of a priest who died in battle with an evil spirit!  Demon dust comes in wax sealed bamboo cylinders about the size of a stick of dynamite.  The cylinders are covered in inked ruins to preserve the power of the mixture.  It can be used in several ways:

A barrier

One tube of Demon dust can be carefully used to enclose (4) 5ft squares in any shape possible, so long as they are connected.   This takes 4 full rounds and requires enough care that it provokes attacks of opportunity.  An area so enclosed is effected as if a gold watchskull were active.  Any creature that would be effected by a watchskull cannot disturb the dust.

A weapon

A character may douse an area with demon dust, filling it with the potent powder.  This requires a full round action to uncork and dust an area with the demon dust.  A 10ft. sq. area is filled with a cloud of the substance.  This 10ft cube must be touching the square the user is in, either by corner or face.

Any demon or evil spirit in the area the round it is dusted is immediately rendered visible and may not use its invisibility abilities again until the next day.  In addition, the creature takes 6d6 damage, no save, no spell resistance.

A cure

Some Undead and demons infect their victims with supernatural diseases or poison.  A tube of Demon Dust can be vigorously rubbed into the wounds of a character stricken by such an attack to give the victim a second chance.  As a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a character may treat the wounds of another with Demon Dust.  Immediately the wounded character takes 2d6 damage as the potent mixture burns away the infected flesh…one should know, a person already grievously injured may not survive the treatment!  At the beginning of the treated character’s next round they are allowed to re-roll a failed saving throw against the poison or disease with a +2 bonus.  If failure occurs the Demon Dust failed.  If successful, the results of the last failed saving throw are reversed.  In the case of disease this usually means the afflicted individual is cured. In the case of poison the damage done by the most recent failed save is revered, whether the damage is primary or secondary.