This broken sword hilt was owned by Alfred Dreyfus and was imbued with the power to drown a person in seawater for being untruthful.
(Excerpts from Wikipedia page)
Alfred Dreyfus was a French artillery officer of Jewish background during WWI, whose trial and false conviction in 1894 on charges of treason became one of the most tense political dramas in modern French history. Known today as the Dreyfus Affair, the incident eventually ended with Dreyfus' complete exoneration.
On January 5, 1895, Dreyfus was summarily convicted in a secret court martial, publicly stripped of his army rank, and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island in French Guiana. Following French military custom of the time Dreyfus was formally disgraced by having the rank insignia, buttons and braid cut from his uniform (being literally stripped of his rank) and his sword broken.
Dreyfus was imprisoned on Devil's Island for 10 years and the only way anyone could escape from the island was a 9 mile swim across the ocean to the mainland.
Will cause the enemy of the holder to drown in salt water if they are being untruthful. To affect a person, the holder must shine light reflected from the hilt into the eye of the victim.
The effects will not set in until the victim tells a lie, then the victim's lungs are suddenly filled with seawater (Including sand).
The effects of the sword hilt can be temporarily negated with a Silver Necklace from the Atacama Desert Mines; the Atacama desert is the driest place on Earth and can evaporate the water the sword hilt creates.
This artifact was first discovered when a lobbyist in Washington D.C. began coughing up water and subsequently drowned. The medical examiner found that the lobbyist's lungs were inexplicably filled with water, salt and sand.After Pete and Myka arrived, a Missouri senator and a real estate investor also drowned from the effects of the artifact. During questioning by the Warehouse agents, a reporter began drowning as well. She survived due to the intervention of the agents and the use of Silver Necklace from the Atacama Desert Mines. It was discovered that all the victims affected by this artifact were part of a political scandal and conspiracy a year earlier. The previous summer, a senator's aide had mysteriously disappeared and the reporter who was affected by the artifact received a tip from the real estate investor that the senator, Dean Kelman, had been seen partying with the missing aide at a hotel pool. The reporter turned it into a scandal and began printing stories detailing the affair Dean Kelman was having with one of his aides. The scandal cost Kelman his marriage and his job, and he ultimately committed suicide.
However, the scandal was entirely false, a fabrication invented by Kelman's political rival. Senator John Wilton paid off the real estate investor to say he saw Kelman having an affair, then paid the reporter to report on the scandal in order to drive Kelman from his political office. Additionally, Wilton paid Kelman's aide to go into hiding in order to make it appear as though Kelman had killed her. Wilton never wanted Kelman to kill himself, he just wanted Kelman to lose his job. All of the people that were affected by Dreyfus' hilt were part of the conspiracy.
Dianne Hewlett, John Wilton's former chief of staff, who also part of the conspiracy, couldn't stand the guilt she felt after learning of Kelman's suicide. After discovering the artifact, she decided to make amends for her share of the scandal by killing everyone involved in the conspiracy, including herself.