[This post is a response to the open call for minor artifacts and relics on Jeff’s Gameblog. I think I may have ignored some of the important instructions, but I enjoy how this one and the others turned out, so if Jeff can’t use them, I still like them. -StU]
When Sir Twembly (called “Backslider” by many, but seldom to his face) took the oath of the paladin, leaving behind his less savory ways, he was concerned that he might, well, backslide. He comissioned a cleric to create a scabbard that would, in his words, “keep me honest.”
When a sword is placed in the Stalwart Scabbard, the scabbard has control over when the sword can be drawn. The scabbard will not release the sword for use against a Lawful/Good (as appropriate for your setting or campaign) opponent, and will instead Curse its bearer if he or she insists on entering combat with a such an opponent. When in the presence of Chaotic/Evil (again, as appropriate) creatures, the scabbard will instead demand that the sword be drawn and used, and will grant the bearer who does so promptly full access to the powers below. If the bearer resists the scabbard’s compulsion, the scabbard will cause him or her to experience weakness, pain, and nausea until the sword is drawn and used (the pain will stop, the sword will be usable, but the user will not have access to the Stalwart Scabbard’s powers). Unaligned or neutral opponents will not provoke the scabbard one way or another.
It should be noted that the scabbard is an alignment absolutist. It will not permit the bearer to draw against a Lawful/Good creature even in self defense. Similarly, it will try to compel the bearer to attack Chaotic/Evil beings even when such an action is tactically, politically, or otherwise unwise. Those who know the full Ballad of Twembly Backslider can tell you how that worked out for Sir T. in the end.
2 X I (two minor benign powers)
2 X II (two major benign powers)