Swordtember – royal


Impeccable, this longsword is — flawless edges, perfect balance, graceful ivy-like quillions of silver- and gold-gilt that sweep back into a hand-guard that sports the royal crest amongst its leaves, to match the intricately enameled crest set into the silver pommel-nut. The hilt’s grip is a tight spiral of silver and gold braid.

What really stands out are the flats of the blade: both are polished to a brilliant mirror sheen.

* Landsblood grants prowess and deadliness to its wielder’s blows (+2 to attack and damage), and causes injuries to enemies of the realm to bleed continuously until treated — which cannot be through sorcerous or other non-mundane means.

However, its true purpose is rather different.

Once sworn to the realm, Landsblood’s wielder may peer into the flats of the blade to see across the breadth of the kingdom that is their charge, as if a bird in flight, with awareness of both location and any notable distress, imbalance or building conflict that needs redress. (it does not allow breaching private homes.)

If the ruler deliberately allows their lands and people to fester and fall, Landsblood animates and turns on its former master, flying to attack until death or true repentance or both.

* The origin of Landsblood is lost in royal legendry; the most common tales spin variants of the first ruler, in a fit of bloodied despair, being granted the blade by a manifestation of the Green-Cycle Unicorn in response to an oath to save the people and the land from sorcerous devastation. Darker tales whisper of a bleak black-crowned king shown the error of his ways and bound to shoulder Landsblood and its wise burden.

Swordtember – mortuary

the Graven

The swords collectively named the Graven have no one form in common; they may be long or short, delicate or workmanlike, flamberge or falx, slab-like greatsword or graceful sabre. What they do share is their making.

All Graven are simple, if well-forged, steel blades, unadorned save for an engraved inscription running along one side of the flat. Their hilts are sculpted wood stained greyish, their quillions a simple crossbar, with a plain steel pommel in which a small disc of bone has been inlaid.

* A Graven blade is placed within the tomb. That is its place, as requested by the dead or the ones who buried the dead.

Its purpose may vary, and abilities likewise: some will animate to attack violators of the grave, others give their dead owner animation to do the same; some ward off undead depredations and prevent their owner from becoming one of the unliving.

Some are actually meant to be found, their owner’s last wish inscribed on the blade.

Most Graven will injure even those immune to mundane weaponry; some double their damage against thieves, the undead, or a specific bane requested by the dead or those that buried them. Some may be capable, as noted, of independent fighting at command; they may also murmur or mindstab the departed’s last messages, or allow instantaneous transport to and from the tomb. All will cast wan light when desired.

* The Graven are forged and infused with their magics by the hands of those known, most commonly, as the Order Of Grey Shrouds Of The Final Rest. Dedicated to the will and the quietude of the dead, the Grey Shrouds see to the burial rites of all that request or require them; while not all can or do receive a Graven blade, they do not stint on the basics of funerary necessity, respect and ritual.

The Grey Shrouds are also not well pleased to see a Graven blade carried by the living unless it was meant to be.

Swordtember – gaudy

Pavane, the Peacock Blade

Gold, glitter, and shimmering iridescent inlays. Intricately patterned chevrons of emerald and sapphire and brass rippling down the length of this exquisitely balanced shortsword’s golden blade. A grip of braided green and blue silks beaded with gold; intricately pieced quillions in the shape of feathery fans, frames the last palm’s-span of blade, a counterpoint to the dazzling cobalt-green orb of the pommel nut.

So ostentatious is Pavane, the sword leaves a sparkling trial of emerald blue in the wake of every stab, slash and gesture.

* Pavane is meant to fascinate, to distract, and it performs its task with literally scintillating colours. Drawing the Peacock Blade, or even presenting it boldly, draws the eye of any within eyeshot not deliberately exempted by Pavane’s bearer; all others keep their attention on the sword and its wielder, to the point of attacking the source of their fascination before all other potential targets.

The effect is lost when Pavane is sheathed, its wielder is overcome, or one who is entranced fights off the fascination.

* It has since seen its fair share of flamboyant owners — not least, briefly, the Prism Wyrm Kiritylith — but Pavane’s commission was to the specifications of Golden-Eyed Jarrala, a mercenary bodyguard as famed for his colourful and eye-dazzling accoutrements as he was for being a stone-fleshed wall of warding between danger and those he contracted to protect. No expense, and no show, was too much when he was on the job, be it for a day or a decade.

Swordtember – cephalopod

Ooru, Deepcoil

A strange sort of blade, if “blade” is the right word — thick, and edgeless, with a texture more like violet-blue, sleek leather than any metal, roughly the size and shape of a sabre and mounted in a hilt of black coral faced with mother-of-pearl, its quillions no more than a shelly disc. Not surprisingly, Ooru bludgeons its targets rather than slashing or cutting them; so much like a tentacle frozen in place, it could not have an edge if one tried.

Ooru is oddly warm to the touch, and looks perpetually wet no matter its actual condition.

* Blunt strikes from Deepcoil are one thing, but it’s in the successful blow that the strange sabre’s phantom coil makes itself known — the victim feels the sword actually constrict around them, then release, only for a translucent tentacle of red-violet force to twine fast around them and hold them fast, paralyzed in place for anywhere from one to ten minutes, twice that if unlucky. During that time their vision is clouded by billowing darkness; all is murk and the unknown.

Deepcoil’s bearer may breathe water as easily as air. An interesting side-benefit(?): Ooru may also bestow that amhibious gift on a coiled victim, or not, as chosen by its bearer in the moment of attack.

* Accounts vary when it comes of Deepcoil’s origin. Some day it was crafted as a treaty gift between a lost sea-kingdom and the Knights Of Mercy; some day it was part of the pearlfolk’s royal regalia, never meant for the surface at all. Others still spin tales of a tentacled ruler of the deeps who sundered one of his own limbs to craft the weapon for reasons now lost.

Swordtember – emotion


Relatively unadorned, Bellwether is a well-balanced and often-sharpened longsword, sporting an oaken hilt studded with brass nails to match the the spots of colour on the tips of its backswept quillions. Its pommel is a smooth brass orb.

Bellwether’s one notable physical feature is the inscription engraved onto both sides of the blade: “Temper thyself, or display thine temper.”

* When Bellwether’s wielder is calm, composed, patient, or otherwise unruffled — in a neutral state, one could say — the sword has a golden gleam when swung and inflicts additional damage (as a dagger) that counts as lightning or light/sun damage, whichever would be more beneficial. (for example, undead and demons probably won’t like light, metal-armoured folks won’t appreciate lightning, etc.)

If Bellwether’s wielder is passionate or enraged, the sword erupts in flames, dealing additional damage as a shortsword (fire), but also causing minimum damage to its wielder.

If Bellwether’s wielder is fearful or shaken or mournful, the sword shrouds itself in ice and frost, dealing additional damage as a shortsword (ice), but also causing minimum damage to its wielder.

* Surely one of the more extreme examples of self-inflicted lessons in self-control, Bellwether was commissioned by one Dareth Falconheart some years ago to teach himself not only equilibrium and that self-control, but how and when to harness his wild emotions to his own will.

The “small pains” of the first lesson, and beyond, Dareth considered worth the utility of the second. (other opinions have varied about this peculiar self-sacrificing habit, though it was certainly effective!)

Swordtember 2022 – dragon

Mairi’s Rapier

A slim, elegant weapon, this rapier is forged of curiously cloud-patterned steel that almost distracts one from the sword’s bare core — a sliver of rippled, golden-pink dragon horn that runs nearly the entire length of the blade.

The hilt is braided silver wirework wrapped around steel; the hand-guard is wrought to resemble intricate knotwork, and the pommel-nut is a cloudy bit of rose quartz carved in the shape of a rose about to blossom.

* Mairi’s rapier grants insight to its bearer — while engaged in a duel, physically or otherwise, the one who bears the rapier may intuit one secret or weakness, however fleeting, of their opponent.

The blade pierces dragonscale like paper, ignoring all draconic armour or other defenses. It’s core flashes with pink-gold light when it wounds a dragon of any variety.

* Mairi Dawnfire was an acclaimed duelist, bodyguard for hire and occasional informant of many stripes, known throughout the Five Dukedoms for her bravery, her wit, and her signature flashing blade.

Those who were surprised when, as years wore on, Mairi swore undying loyalty to Duchess Asheya were few; the same cannot be said for the day after Asheya’s death and the grief-fueled revelation of Mairi’s true identity of Mairahiyan, the Dawnwing Drake.

That very evening she passed on her rapier to an admirer and flew eastward, not to be seen again.

Swordtember 2022 – crystal

Petal Of The World

Unusually shaped, truly petal-like, this sparkling, glimmering sword may be encountered in all manner of shapes and forms and sizes — so long as there is similarity to a long, crystalline petal — and no two descriptions are ever alike. And so it should be, as there is more than one Petal Of The World, and all to the good.

From rapiers like lily spikes to broad bastard swords, all manner of blades are found in this peerless, perfectly clear crystal; even an axe or three, a glaive, and broad-headed lances.

Some simply wrap the Petal’s stem-like tang in leather or other material to form a grip. Others mount the blade in hilts plain or precious. It doesn’t matter to the Petal.

* The Petal Of The World doubles its damage against those of truly evil or malign intent; it will cause no harm at all to the truly innocent, skidding softly off their flesh. Its bearer is granted a shimmering aegis against injury (+2 Armour) and may heal up to the Petal’s maximum damage daily, twice this if granted to another.

The true gift of the Petal, however, is this: to grant its gifted bearer a single, selfless wish.

* Not carved nor blown nor forged, a Petal Of The World has only one source: the great World-Heart Blossom, that gleaming crystalline heart of a million million shimmering hopes, deep within the marrow of the world.

If approached with pure and true intent, and the need is great, the Blossom will gift of itself so that its supplicant may gift themselves to others in turn. It cannot be forced, nor bribed, to do so.

Swordtember 2022 – potion

Kalaila’s Fluid

Under most circumstances, this enchantment is a metallic liquid found in many different possible colours (frosted silver, gold, carmine and turquoise-bronze are all common), stored in a bulbous flask of heavily waxed leather or sometimes thick stoneware. The amount of liquid varies, and the stuff tastes salty and oddly citrusy, with a slightly bloody aftertaste.

When in an active state, the Fluid is a sleek organic-looking metal blade — size dependent on the amount of Fluid consumed — all of one piece with hilt and quillions, in the same colour.

* On its own, Kalaila’s Fluid is basically useless (unless one has a use for non-toxic metallic liquid). What one needs to do is drink the stuff down fast; then, at any time over the next 12 hours, one can summon up the Fluid blade through one’s very flesh and be armed in an instant, with no warning. The Fluid will harm targets immune to mundane weaponry, but has no other intrinsic abilities.

If not summoned to the surface after 12 hours, the Fluid forcibly expels itself through the pores, dealing injury equal to twice the damage it would inflict as a proper blade.

* The Fluid was by far one of Kalaila’s most popular creations, and the signature sigil-stamped flasks can be found in treasure hoards, thieve’s packs, noble wardrobes and all manner of other discreet places, as far-ranging as the Blue Forest clear through the empire of Naruste and beyond.

Now, if one found the formula

Swordtember 2022 – skeleton

Irivan, the Bone Cage

Shaped of bone — of what kind of bone, tales differ, though human, immortal and leopard are most commonly spoken of — with the strength of adamantine, Irivan is the pared-down essence of a sword, a wickedly sharp ribbon of pale cream razor framing nothing but a void. The bare bone outline of a blade, pared down to the essential killing edge.

This shade of a slender longsword sockets into a hilt of fused vertebrae, wrapped in soft and slightly fraying white silks; its quillions are slips of bone, almost nonexistent, and its pommel is a simple bone ring.

* Shaped, sharpened and bound by the bone-priests of the Pale Wish cloister, Irivan was commissioned as a token of favour by Soul-Devouring Eshar for their most loyal grave-rose cavalier, Rurien the Ashen. It is possible that Rurien rides still, Bone Cage in bloodless hand, with tales enough to back up the rumours; there are stories, also, of lesser copies of the blade, and these are supposedly hunted down by the wrathful, mourning cavalier.

* Irivan is an enchanted weapon for all purposes, granting increased skill and greater lethality (+1 attack, +2 damage; or equivalent), and, despite its origins, it grants its bearer protection against other death-magics (+2 to tests against necromancy or soul-affecting effects). However, should it deal the killing blow to a victim, that is when the Bone Cage earns its name: the soul of the slain is trapped in the sword’s void, a shimmering roil of spirit essence.

Irivan’s wielder may call on the trapped soul’s knowledge, or their prowess (battle skill, sorceries known, and so forth) seven times before the soul is extinguished. Or, they may choose instead to release their captive at any time, even after inflicting wounds upon that soul. Failing one or the other, the Bone Cage will keep its captive indefinitely.

Irivan may only cage one soul at a time.

Swordtember 2022 – gothic


A two-handed greatsword of massive make, Joyeuse is almost unreasonably heavy.

Its blade is wider than one’s palm and well over an inch thick, shaped like a flattened hexagon in cross-section; both cutting edges are highly polished, as is the chisel-like tip of the blade. The remainder of the sword’s surface, flats and vertices both, are covered in a dizzying array of rows of sunken, arched cells — filled with ornate figures nearly sculpted in the round and framed with stylized foliage — looping volute patterns, and organically branching finials. In contrast, Joyeuse’s hilt is relatively plain, a hexagonal shaft of metal sporting a simple bar for quillions, though both quillions and pommel-nut are sculpted to resemble balls of foliage.

* Joyeuse is an ancient and famed blade, the life’s work of Vorcan Saint-Dove, fourth sorcerer-smith to the Blood Emerald Emperor. The tableaux in the sword’s sculpted cells depict legendry from the Emperor’s nigh-eternal reign: coronation, blood baptism, anointing, war-victories, the slaying of Jairistryx the Scaled Seraph, the conquest of the lands of the Shadowmoon, midnight revelations, and more.

With the shattering of the Empire, Joyeuse was believed lost, though descriptions of a fearfully sculpted greatsword have surfaced over the years, often connected to tales of driven heroism and bloody self-sacrifice.

* Joyeuse grants no new skill at attacking, though it injures creatures immune to mundane weaponry. The sword deals double damage to radiant beings, devils and oathbreakers.

Its intricate sculpture draws the blood and the life from wounds it causes; twice a day its wielder may claim that life as their own, gaining damage dealt as healing. It may also consume its wielder’s life, if desired, converting any amount of life-force (and blood) sacrificed to the blade to twice that in vicious savaging during the next successful strike with the sword.

Claiming Joyeuse for longer than two months invites the invasion of the Blood Emerald Emperor’s shattered psyche into one’s dreams, goading one to save and serve the descendants of those left to the winds when the Empire fell. Communication is difficult; escaping the Emperor’s mad remnants even more so.