Swordtember – monochromatic


This trim longsword sports a blade engraved with shallow grooves along its midrib, and a more rounded than usual tip, along with short quillions tipped with blunt recurved “claws” and a grip composed of alternating plaques of black and white horn pegged into place with brass nails enameled in opposite shade, black against white and vice versa. The pommel is a steel ring, occasionally seen sporting a tassel, a trophy tail, a few dangling ribbons, or other unassuming and fairly random ornaments.

* Magpie doesn’t have to draw blood to wound and confound those feeling its steel. It’s still a sword, of course, and may be used to injure, and grants its bearer a bit of nimble-footed advantage in that regard (+1 to attack); but what it really excels at is wounding perceptions.

By stealing colour.

For every strike taken from Magpie, regardless of actual physical injury (or lack thereof), the victim and all they carry at the time have all their colours drain away. For the next hour they appear in shades of off-white at most, greyer where shadows land — and the victim themselves view the entire world similarly, a bleached existence licked by wan shadowing at best. The experience is unsettling, leaving the victim shaken and more likely to fumble any crucial endeavour (disadvantage on all things).

Magpie’s wielder may choose to prevent the blade from dealing any physical injury from a strike by the sword. Similarly, they may choose to omit the external evidence of Magpie’s colour theft.

* Magpie — originally an unsharpened blade — was forged as a teaching tool. Symbolic of the Empty Totality school’s beliefs in the necessity of learning to see beyond one’s comforting and familiar surroundings, the sword was enchanted by northern school branch’s Forgemaster by request of Lord Midnight Vath, who would drain the colour of those followers who wished to directly understand what disorienting emptiness, and enlightenment, a truly colourless world could bring them.

The sword was stolen in a raid during the Screaming Garden Wars and its subsequent use as — among other things — as a tool of social and political sabotage has been a source of embarrassment for the Empty Totality. The school would give much to have the blade returned.

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