Swordtember – rot

Prideblight

Some swords are unpleasant necessary works.
This is one of them.

A longsword half eaten through by rust, by its looks — though its ragged blade is deceptively strong — and secured by rough iron nails to a wormeaten, oaken hilt. It does appear to have once had quillions, now broken (or rusted) off. The pommel is a broken stump.

And, when Prideblight is turned just so, an inscription in verdigris and bloody rust can just be perceived on its piecemeal flat: “Show your real face.”

* A strike from Prideblight appears to cause no injury save for a few shallow scorings, easily tended (which is a very good idea anyway, because of its general rust and foulness), a “failure” that may leave its wielder being jeered and mocked. But not for long.

Any arrogant member of high society — or any society, really, if they seek to crush others beneath their boot — callous or repressive nobility, abusers of laws and others of such ilk who receive so much as a scratch from the stained blade find their flesh beginning to look, feel and reek of decay, face and hands first: a progressive, weeping foulness spreading as the days pass that may only be relieved by the afflicted truly making an honest effort — to be a better person.

* Prideblight is a legend whispered of with hope by the downtrodden and terror by its potential victims. None know its creator, nor the identity of the first to wield it — as their face was hidden by veils of wool and bones — nor, truth be told, that of many of that Bleak Laughter’s numerous successors. Prideblight just has a way of appearing, even if it was presumed destroyed, and a breave bearer along with it; and then, once more, slipping away into obscurity to foster silent dread.

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