Aura moderate necromancy; CL 12th
Slot none; Weight 5 lbs.
This ancient Calistrian weapon acts as a +1 vicious whip. Once per day when the whip successfully strikes a target, its wielder can have the whip wrap around an enemy’s neck, leaving everything except his head paralyzed until the wielder lets go of the whip or the whip becomes sundered. The wielder can only take a 5-foot step and must remain within the whip’s maximum reach, but the wielder may cast spells or conduct other actions that require only one hand in following rounds. The target meanwhile can only move a maximum of ten feet from their current position and may not take full-round actions. The target takes a 1d6 penalty to his Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution each round. This penalty cannot reduce any attribute to less than 1, and once any of these attributes reaches 1 the target collapses and his body, except his head, becomes paralyzed. While paralyzed in this way, the target retains full use of his senses, including the ability to feel pain, and can speak (including casting spells with only verbal components). At the wielder’s option, the vicious property can also be used on the target every round, causing an automatic 2d6 damage while the wielder receives 1d6 damage in feedback. The whip can be sundered, but the whip regrows to its normal length in one round, the cut piece fading to dust. For such sunder attempts, the whip has a maximum length of 15 feet, 15 hit points, and a hardness of 5. By letting go of the whip, the lash becoming sundered or withdrawing it from your target’s neck (a move action), all penalties the target took from this spell also end.
Vengeful embrace also serves as a stinging whip channel foci, which incorporates a holy symbol of Calistria and counts as a divine focus. When activated, the wielder can expend the power within it to gain a sacred (if activated with positive energy) or profane (if activated with negative energy) bonus on her next disarm or trip combat maneuver with the whip. This bonus is equal to the number of dice the channel energy ability of the wielder has. It remains charged until its magic is used or 1 hour has passed.
Thousands of years ago, just before Earthfall, a small elven town existed in the Verduran Forest, half a dozen miles were Bellis currently stands today. The local clergy of Calistria were influential in the settlement. During that time, the priestesses were evacuating the temple to retreat from the world with the impending Earthfall on its way. The High Priestess and her subordinate went to the vault to take the items with them, but the lesser priestesses was overcome with greed and murdered her fellow in cold blood. For the act of betrayal that had no inclining of vengeance, only greed, Calistria turned the murderer into a crypt thing and bade her to watch over the treasure she vainly tried to steal, never able to take it. Furthermore, Calistria empowered the undead creature with the ability to instantly know her worshipers and provide no harm to them, but punish anyone else attempting entry. To add insult to injury, the high priestess slain constantly haunts the Crypt Thing with pleasurable echos from Calistira’s realm, the Crypt Thing effectively listening to its afterlife. Lastly, she bid the Crypt Thing to follow a prophecy of sorts:
“In time a real adherent to the Book of Joy will come…one who knows the three stings in their deepest meaning. Once they prove that meaning by reversing the sacrilege they have witnessed upon me and placing the favored in my hand, they may have what you never can. Then perhaps vengeance will sated.”
During the group’s search for the wardstones, it was revealed Nessa was the individual the prophecy fortold. Through the assistance of her fellows, she was able to restore the Temple of Calistria’s corrupted iconography and successfully enter the vault and take Vengeful Embrace for her own.
Calistria is a fickle deity, but she does not forget a slight, no matter how small, especially sacrilege. It may take her centuries, but she will have vengeance. Calistria does not forgive, she does not forget, and any evidence otherwise is part of her plan to sting you in the most painful way possible when you least expect it. For her failed priestess, that sting was to be forever damned in undeath, unable to leave her appointed task, despite the prophecy being sated.