Swordtember 2022 – mythological

Arete

A strange inexplicable sabre, heavy-bodied, almost a stereotypical scimitar but far far thicker across the spine of the thing; not of any metal or even porcelain, but rather a strange horn-like substance all the colours of carnelian and amber and blood, honed to terrible sharpness and tipped with a point sharp enough to pierce the soul. A great raptorial claw, mounted in ancient bronze and wrapped in yellowed linen embroidered with strange and undecipherable glyphs.

* Arete injures beings immune to mundane weapons, but provides no further bonuses to basic combat. God-beasts, demons and beings of heavenly descent are at disadvantage against Arete’s bearer, exhibiting an unease that they refuse to explain or elaborate upon even if pressed.

One who claims Arete catches constant glimpses of a world that was — fallen kingdoms, lost ecologies, impossible structures, unknown beasts — and, more terribly, more wonderfully, of a war that tore heaven asunder and wrenched open the underworld.

One who could make sense of these visions, or match them to extant locales, could find glory, ascension or damnation — or all three.

* What, or who, could have left Arete behind? It is not crafted, save for its mountings; it appears natural, if such a word can be used for such a thing. Did that which left this great talon behind do so by choice, by design? Or was Arete a trophy, perhaps of that all-sundering armageddon?

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