Swordtember – guardian

Eyes Of The Moon

A shimmering silver sword — a silvery longsword, mounted in same, its grip engraved with overlapping scales (or maybe feathers?), its quillions slightly spiraled and capped with small silver spheres, its pommel a moonstone that changes its face as the moon does.

A silver sword just a little awkward to fight with, perhaps, as its blade is loosely, perpetually garlanded in indigo-blue cords and strings of tiny silver bells.

But that’s alright; the Eyes Of The Moon isn’t looking for battle. Not like that.

* Bells and garlands notwithstanding, one can fight with Eyes; there’s no great bonus to gain while doing so, however, as the blade is effectively simply a well-made longsword. It does bypass lycanthropic immunities, that said.

Kept at one’s side is where Eyes Of The Moon belongs, where it can gently whisper advice about one’s situation (it is a wise sage in matters of courtliness, politeness, gift-giving, falsehoods and white lies, and the whims of nobility in general and lunar highborn in particular) and — should its bearer actually be threatened — will animate and attack of its own accord in a nimbus of silver-white, interposing itself to block blows (armour as plate mail) and to disrupt underhanded spellcasting (2-in-6 chance to detect such, attacking caster if possible). Eyes will also watch over a sleeping bearer, hovering silently at times or perhaps murmuring soothing melodies.

* Though the Eyes Of The Moon can and sometimes does relate small anecdotes about former bearers (usually incorporated into its advice), no comment is made about the origin or creation of the sword save for the avowal that it, indeed, stems from the moon itself. The Eyes also retains a lingering affinity for its prior bearers and will absolutely refuse to cooperate with any who have claimed it by simply snatching it from its bearer’s cooling corpse or taken it away from a home — or grave — without cause or negotiation.

Some of the stories swirling around the blade include the exploits of Maruek Lightweaver, a sixth-son who came to carry the sword, the time an assassination attempt at a treaty-signed was thwarted by Eyes and the swift-thinking lady who listened to her blade’s warning, and the snow-silver figure of the Winter Knight, first known to have carried Eyes Of The Moon — and wore the bells in their hair that seem a very great deal like those now garlanding the blade.

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.

Swordtember – fuzzy


Most Greysparks are shortswords — some are daggers — and none have been created, to date, any larger, though the idea’s been bandied around. All bear the same look, more or less: a hilt of porcelain over hardwood, slim and sporting the merest hint of a guard or shoulder, a smoothly grey-gold glassy dome for a pommel-nut, and a slender twin-edged blade that tapers to a fine needle tip.

A blade that is — or at least looks — perpetually vibrating, so finely and so fast that the shape of it looks to be blurry and indistinct around the edges.

* Surprisingly, perhaps, touching a Greyspark’s shivering blade is not a surefire way to lose a finger. In fact, the sword can cause no harm at all to anything of living tissue or organic nature, or even more esoteric beings such as elementals. (It does tickle, though.)

However, wielding such a blade against any form of clockwork, constructs, or otherworldly metallic- or otherwise-forged entities is a whole different story — against such mechanized foes a Greyspark inflicts double damage and forces its victim, for its first successful wounding, into a shuddering halt as its internals stutter and glitch, losing its next two actions.

Some Greysparks also ignore mechanicals’ armour as well; or, more commonly, can cast a sizzling sparkbolt one to four times a day, dealing normal damage as a ranged attack up to 60′.

* All Greyspark blades stem from the same source: the hidden foundries of the Grey Guild, who fight from shadow and fen, alley and market, against the creeping tide of the Steel Wave March that the Emperor of Porcelain and Steel sends across portal after gleaming portal to harvest the land and its people. The Guild has found weaknesses in the warbling warrior constructs, and they gladly share with any who join the fight.

Swordtember – volcanic

Exile’s Fury

A stone sword. A shortsword of broad black basalt, to be precise — blade, grip, and quillions all shaped from one chunk of sooty black stone and ground to a deceptively velvety polish. The grip of Exile’s Fury is frequently wrapped in various softer materials; ragged linen, worn plaid wool, leather braids, or — in one notable anecdote — the shimmering hide of a strange jewel-bright lizard of some unknown type.

Beyond its changeable wrapping, the only mark to blemish the matte black of the sword’s surface is the roundel scratched into the butt of the grip where a pommel would be, a circle surrounding a shape variously described as a teardrop or a talon.

* Exile’s Fury cleaves its targets with the weight of stone and stubbornness (+2 to damage) and injuries normally-immune targets, as well as ignoring all magical or spiritual defenses — spell armour, enchanted protections, and the like simply don’t exist for it. Only solid, physical, mundane armour will do.

When wielded against an individual who has specifically wronged its bearer, or a member of an organization that has done the same, Exile’s Fury erupts — the basalt blade seems to liquify as the sword becomes a gout of roiling magma, and all injured by it while in this state take double damage and are struck by a soul-searing terror, their mind’s eye filling with all the misfortune the sword’s bearer experienced at their hands (or believes that they have).

* Equal parts personal exorcism, rage incarnate, and an exemplar of patient craft-sorcery, Exile’s Fury was created by the “rogue” hermit-saint Blind Spring Faith after he was driven from his loose confederation of huts, cells and winding paths for a corrupting ritual he did not actually take part in. Faith fled to the burning wastes of the Black Tableland and, surviving, learned to fight, and to channel his new hate, and to avenge his honour and those who had died — then passed the sword to another, in the aftermath, for his own exile was ended.

Swordtember – monster

Pearl Diviner’s Claw

The soft nacreous sheen of this scimitar-like blade looks almost like an enamel or stain, but no — it is part of the blade itself, a feature of the Claw’s draconically-worked steel. Pearl Diviner’s Claw is also a blade and only a blade, the tip wickedly sharp, the butt ending abruptly in a short blunt wedge capped with silver. There is no hilt, no grip of any kind, and no proper tang on which to mount one.

* Pearl Diviner’s Claw, once claimed by a new owner (by touching at least three drops of blood to the butt of the blade), will hover and bob silently around their person, following the motions of a limb if its owner so desires and otherwise hanging in a neutral position, tip downward. At will, its owner can direct the blade to fly and slash at subjects within comfortable melee range as if a scimitar in addition to any other allowable actions that they may have.

Four times per lunar cycle, the Claw’s owner may trail a blood drop on the blade and ask a question or seek to identify an object or being, and the answer will shimmer to the surface of Pearl Diviner’s Claw.

* It’s a strange world out there, sometimes; and what could be stranger, to some, than a dragon that wanted to be a duelist? But that is exactly what Curacivatha The Ocean Jewel wished, and so that was exactly what he did — forging the Claw from sunken steel and his own blood and venom, according to enchantments he saw in pearl-sent dreams.

A dragon’s paw may be unsuited to to sword, but a dragon’s mind can wield any blade. The Ocean Jewel insisted, after all, on fair matches.

Swordtember – noodle

Anvi’s Clever Flick

Well, this one is a bit different.

At rest, Anvi’s Clever Flick looks like an unassuming rapier. An ornamented — or ornamental — rapier, to be sure, with its silver handguard pierced so delicately it looks like lace, its dainty and useless-looking quillions, and the multicoloured glass finial it calls a pommel-nut, a riot of whirling colours in the shape of a tapered teardrop.

Then the Flick is, well, flicked through the air by its wielder and suddenly it is a snaking ribbon of rapier blade —

* Designed to confound and startle, as well as extend reach, Anvi’s Clever Flick will, once an encounter or engagement, cause any opponent unfamiliar with the blade to lose their next action as they stumble to a confused mental halt.

Anvi’s is a sneaky sword, capable of magically extending when swung (or even just vigorously, dramatically pointed) up to 30′ feet away in a supple arc of shining steel. The wielder of the Flick can dictate the path of the rapidly-flicking tendril; attacking at a distance, snaking around obstacles, and similar are all simple gambits. Needless to say, shields are useless against Anvi’s Clever Flick.

Worse, the flickering blade is ribbon thin and razor sharp; wounds continue to bleed freely until treated (minimum damage every action until healed or mundanely bound).

* Some things are enchanted as experiments; such is the case with Anvi’s Clever Flick. Anvi Firecracker’s attempt to create a magical sword that could fission into a blossom of flying, spiderwebbing metallic wires may have failed (for now), but the Clever Flick still turned out to be interesting, quirky and at times hilariously useful. Gifted to the swordmaster Tanton Phayar, it upset many a challenge until folks grew wise to the sword and its trick.

Swordtember – morbid


Is Tany a sword? Sword-shaped, certainly, more or less: a “blade” of vertebrae, their processes sharpened; quillions and handbasket of jawbone fused with ribs; a rust-brown grip entirely too warm and accommodating; and — most prominent of all — the swollen adamant egg between hilt and spine-blade filled with bloody fluid, tangled veins and a slowly beating heart.

Tany murmurs loneliness. Won’t you help? Please won’t you help?

* Attacking with Tany inflicts unnatural terror on any living creature struck — even plant life will curl up — leaving them fleeing and hiding for safety wherever they may, until the fear passes (test 1/hour). There’s a price for that, though. Tany’s bearer must fight off the mental backlash (dagger damage) as Tany fights back — and fights for a home.

What Tany really wants is to be driven to the quillions through a living body (best attempted on an unmoving target, but one can improvise). Doing so explodes Tany into a torrent of fluid and bone as the heart in the egg forcibly implants itself into the victim and brings Tany with it. The wound closes over with a lacework of splintered bone … and Tany looks back at the now former bearer of the blade.

What she does depends on a great many things.

* The sword Tany will not, or cannot, surrender details of her origins. Sometimes, even his assumed gender changes; species is never divulged, though humanoid of some kind might possibly be inferred. From Tany’s wistful whispered pleas can be gleaned the work of a death-forger, a lord of the grave; is this Tany? Is Tany a student? A victim? Is it all a tale?

Tany does have necromantic knowledge and will mournfully murmur anecdotes about many unliving and diabolical things.

Tany just wants to live.

Will you help?

Swordtember – iconic

Crown Of Glory

No two descriptions of Crown Of Glory involve the same type of blade — longsword, hanger, rapier, sabre, shortsword; dagger, cleaver, even a scribe’s trimming knife if one account is to be believed. But they all bear the same features in common: not a blemish on the blue steel blade, a grip of goldenoak plates pinned with nails capped with ivory, and on the low dome of the pommel, a glittering enamel inlay of a ring of golden flames.

* Crown Of Glory takes on whatever physical form is best suited for its owner, whether that be greatsword or carving knife. No matter its shape, it grants the ability to injure subjects immune to mundane weaponry to go with its sorcerously keen edge (+1 damage).

Carrying Crown Of Glory bolsters its bearer’s valour; they are immune to unnaturally inflicted fear and other mental and emotional compulsions.

When the time comes to lead, to share that valour, when its bearer steps up to the task, is when Crown Of Glory wakes up. When its bearer so proclaims their defiance, leads companions against the odds, exhorts people to bravery — then the blade’s magic erupts in a corona of brilliant, warming gold, surrounding its bearer with the phantom banner of rippling sunflame and a ghostly, towering representation of their ideal self calling all to action. So long as Glory’s bearer moves forward with their conviction, they are at advantage for their next five significant actions (or saves, or tests) and all allies within 100′ radius share in the psychic protections granted by the sword.

* The original form of Crown Of Glory was a bastard sword, the pride and joy incarnate of the hedge knight Amaryllis Sornyai. Sornyai led the beleaguered villagers and artisans of the Windshorn Borders against the depredations of the Bone Sphinx Auf-Nun, and again to stand against the blandishments and threats of the encroaching Duchy of Roatrix. Before her last charge, Sornyai had the Crown’s awakened magics altered to allow the sword to change physical form, specifically so that whoever came after her could make the full use of the blade.

Swordtember – nordic


A broadsword, well-worn and equally well maintained despite the tiny nicks in the blade and the scarring across the burnished oak of its heavy hilt. Waycutter sports stout, blocky iron quillions and its chunky hilt is nailed with the same, with a simple iron pommel-nut; in the furrow of its blade are chiseled a string of runes proclaiming the ocean, the craft of craftiness, the glories of both, and the sword’s own name.

* Waycutter is an excellent sword, and virtually immune to damage (which begs questions about the nicks it bears), but other than the ability to harm those immune to mundane weapons it offers no further benefits in battle. Actively bearing the blade confers a more subtle benefit: the ability to roughly gauge the value of any trade good, gift or plunder, even to the benefit of more than one party should Waycutter’s bearer wish it.

But the true worth of the broad blade is greater still. At a command, wordless, Waycutter will transform from sword to trimmed and sea-worthy longship fit to carry up to a score of travellers or warriors, and their cargo, holding this shape until commanded otherwise or until its bearer draws their final breath.

* There have been many Waycutters over the generations, or so it seems; enough sagas to suggest a small fleet of such grey-winged sword-ships. Or perhaps only one, or maybe two, famous blades. Who can say? Most tales do agree, however, that the first and finest was crafted from the iron bones of a smith-wyrm and quenched in an ice-witch’s foam-flecked harbour by the battlepriest Ironheart as a gift to the long-gloried Ingvi, the Storm Wave’s King.

Swordtember – musical


Slim for a longsword, Elegy is also quite a well-trimmed weapon — its bronzed quillions curve in gentle scrolls, its pommel is a bronze pinecone, and its hilt is fluted segments of cedarwood pegged with gilded nails.

For all that, it is still the blade itself that is most remarkable. One flat is blackened with niello picked out with gold and silver musical notation, the other left plain save for a gilded inscription: “What is taken must be remembered, no matter the kind, no matter the life.”

* Light in the hand, Elegy sharpens the wits as well as its wielder’s prowess (cannot be surprised in combat; +2 to attack).

Any sapient creature felled by the sword becomes the subject of a ghostly, unstoppable song that commemorates the fallen’s actions in life; the notations for such a song then appear on Elegy’s blade and haunt its bearer for the next 24 hours. Even if not otherwise recorded the deeds shall be sung at least once.

If Elegy’s bearer drops more than one foe, the blade will work through its subjects in sequence and unceasingly until all have been sung.

* For good or ill, Elegy has changed hands many times since its forging as a tool of memory in the face of atrocity by the song-witch Lestral. Its original purpose was to bring swift death to those who had no other means to voice their lives (the extreme dubiousness of the method used has been a source of philosophical debate; many believe Lestral may have been an adherent of the Beloved Oblivion Rest sect); it has been used to brutally reveal true evil, to shock its bearer into laying down all arms, and to perform mass acts of terrifying protest since, among other things.