Someone over on the Dungeon world Discord Server wanted help with a magical item to give their Paladin of the Phoenix God. They wanted an item that in essence, was a phoenix, and at the end of its life cycle would turn back into ashes until its wielder committed a paladin-y act. So, i wrote this up and figured it could be reworded to fit just about any god of valor or healing:
The Rising Phoenix
This legendary artifact is a gift from the phoenix god Alar to his most devout servant. It can change form depending on how its wielder most needs it.
When you will The Rising Phoenix to change form in order to better protect someone else, roll+WIS. On a hit, choose the form below that you need the most; the Phoenix changes to take the shape of that form. Additionally, on a 7-9, gain 1 Ashes. With each Ashes gained, the Peonix becomes closer to the end of its life cycle.
Form of the Claw close, two handed, +2 damage, divine, 2 weight
In the form of the Claw, the Rising Phoenix becomes a weapon that fits the nature of the wielder: greatsword, waraxe, spear, or staff. Whatever weapon it takes the shape of, it glows red and gold with divine flames. Those without Alar’s blessing find it unbearable to hold or even carry, and Alar’s enemies find it unbearable to merely gaze upon. Should the Claw be used for a deed other than smiting the wicked, it immediately renews its cycle, as an egg.
Form of the Wing +2 armor, divine, 2 weight
In the form of the Wing, the Rising Phoenix becomes a shield in the shape of a phoenix’s crossed wings. It has the ability to protect its bearer and anyone they stand in defense of from harm. Weapons carried by the foes of Alar that strike it are destroyed. Should the Wing be used for a deed other than defending the defenseless, it immediately renews its cycle, as an egg.
Form of the Tear divine, 0 weight
In the form of the Tear, the Rising Phoenix becomes a salve, glowing golden with the radiance of the morning dawn. Spreading it upon a wound, no matter how grievous, immediately heals the sick of 2d4 HP and cures all debilities. In time, it could be used to reattach or even regrow lost limbs. When used on a corpse whose soul is not long lost from this world, it will raise them anew with 1 HP at the cost of gaining 1 Ashes. Should the Tear be used for a deed other than healing the virtuous or the defenseless, it immediately renews its cycle, as an egg.
Form of the Egg divine, 2 weight
Whenever the Rising Phoenix’s life cycle renews, it becomes a large egg, about the size of a person’s head, that shimmers with all of the colors of the sunrise. When its bearer performs a truly selfless act or desperately requires its help, the egg shall hatch and immediately become the form most needed of it.
I figure it gives the paladin plenty of options to choose from, as well as an epic and cliffhanger-like move to serve their god. It also gives the GM a really interesting way to use up their resources by giving the item more Ashes when they deal a particularly brutal strike or take a particularly gruesome blow.
As far as how many ashes it takes to renew the life cycle (someone asked about that), intentionally left that open ended so that, on a miss, you could say “well, you had acquired 4 Ashes, so the artifact is tired and needs to recharge for a bit”