Shishi-O, the “Sword of Lions,” is a marvelously crafted katana with a blade of bright, immaculate steel and a gold tsuba (guard) worked to resemble a pair of male lions circling the blade. The hilt is ivory inlaid with more gold, all wrapped in purple silk and capped with a golden lion’s head bearing amethyst eyes and ruby teeth.
Nonlegacy Game Statistics: +1 katana; Cost 2,535 gp. Katanas have the same game statistics as bastard swords. The blade’s roar grants you a +2 circumstance bonus on any Intimidate check made during the same round you draw the sword.
Omen: Whenever the blade is drawn, this lion’s head lets out a mighty roar that can be heard for approximately a quarter of a mile. You can attempt a DC 15 Will save to compel the sword not to roar.
Shishi-O was the katana of the celebrated samurai Yorimasa, who earned it as reward for slaying a demon dwelling within his emperor’s palace. The origins of the weapon remain a mystery, but rumors suggest a court mage or a nature spirit forged it. Tales of the sword tell of the great strength and ferocity it bestows upon its wielder, and some stories hint the blade gave its owners dominion over beasts and birds, or even the ability to transform into a lion to do battle. (DC 15)
In the twilight of his life, Yorimasa witnessed a terrible event. The emperor to whom the aging samurai had been a loyal servant died, and a new sovereign took the throne. The new emperor was a spiteful, heartless man, a tyrant who sought to crush all beneath his heel. Yorimasa, who had been a great hero since his youth, took up the famed Shishi-O and gathered his retainers to fi ght the wicked emperor’s forces. The outnumbered rebels inevitably met their ends at the bridge of Uji, where Yorimasa and his companions made a valiant stand. Yorimasa, maimed and unable to face death in combat, fell on his own sword before he could be captured. One of the venerable samurai’s loyal retainers decapitated him. That noble person, whose name is now lost to time, then threw the head and Shishi-O into the river, so the emperor’s lackeys could not claim the celebrated weapon, nor parade Yorimasa’s head through the streets. (DC 18; Prayer for the Valiant Soul)
Many centuries ago, when the illustrious samurai Yorimasa was at the height of his power, a demon came to dwell in the palace of the emperor. This malign spirit made life miserable for the household servants and courtiers. Finally, the emperor could stand it no longer. He sent for the bravest warriors in the empire to come to his palace and slay the fi end. Of all those summoned, only Yorimasa answered the emperor’s call. Armed with nothing but his katana, he entered the wing of the palace where the demon laired and killed it with one swift stroke. As a reward for this great deed, Yorimasa was granted a parcel of land to rule in the emperor’s name, one of the emperor’s loveliest courtesans, and the mighty katana Shishi-O. (DC 25; Cutting Jigoku)
Unknown to most mortals, including Yorimasa, Shishi-O was forged in the Beastlands in the realm of Karasuthra, the domain of the night-hunters. Its maker is a leonal named Loric, who fashioned the sword as a gift to the mysterious entity known as the Lion General. After the katana was complete, but before Loric could bestow his offering upon the Lion General, a mischievous celestial magpie stole the Shishi-O and fl itted away, singing merrily about how she tricked the great warrior Loric and stole his sword. Loric hounded the magpie for days without surcease, but the massive leonal could not follow the thieving bird through the tiny portals and hidden paths she took. Eventually, the magpie grew bored with Shishi-O and dropped it on the Material Plane. It was found by a loyal samurai and brought to the emperor as a gift. (DC 31; Rite of Contrition ritual)
Prayer for the Valiant Soul: You must travel to the bridge of Uji and offer a ritual prayer honoring Yorimasa’s spirit. This prayer takes a day to perform. Cost: 2,000 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy (Shishi-O).
Cutting Jigoku: You are required to free another individual from any form of coercion or threat from a demon, whether mundane or magical. You can use any means to remove the demonic influence, as long as it is removed permanently. Cost: 12,500 gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (Shishi-O).
Rite of Contrition: Once you discover the dishonorable manner in which Shishi-O arrived on the Material Plane, you have to correct this stain on the sword’s honor. You must travel to the Beastlands, seek out Loric, and offer sincerely to return the katana, apologizing for unknowingly keeping it from its rightful owner. Unless you have acted in a manner unworthy of Shishi-O, it is likely Loric will praise your honesty and bid you to keep his long-lost katana. Cost: 40,500 gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (Shishi-O).
Legacy Item Abilities
Charm Animal (Sp): At 5th level and higher, at will on command, you can use charm animal as the spell. Only one animal can be under the power of this ability at any one time—if a new animal is charmed, the previous target is freed from the effect. The save DC is 11, or 11 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 5th.
Summon Lion (Sp): Starting at 8th level, once per day on command, you can summon a lion as if with the summon nature’s ally III spell. At 12th level, you can instead summon a dire lion as if with the summon nature’s ally V spell. Caster level 10th.
Cat Leap (Su): At 11th level, you gain a +5 enhancement bonus on Jump checks. Glorious Form of the Lion General (Sp): Beginning at 15th level, once per day on command, you can transform into a dire lion as if you used the polymorph spell. While in this form, your claw attacks have the same enhancement bonus and special properties as Shishi-O, and you have full access to the katana’s legacy abilities. Caster level 10th.
Lion’s Charge (Su): At 17th level and higher, you can make a full attack with Shish-O after a charge. You must declare you are using this ability before charging.
Deafening Roar (Sp): Starting at 19th level, once per day on command, you can cause Shishi-O to emit a mighty roar that functions as a greater shout spell. The save DC is 22, or 18 + your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Caster level 15th.