For a warrior his sword is his life. Often one can hear many fencing instructors and sword masters go as far as to claim that a sword is the warriors soul; a swordsmans ability and character are reflected in his sword.But like all men are not noble and good, so it is with swords. Some blades carry an ill reputation and bring harm to their wielders.
Such is the story of these notorious weapons that most people would be unwilling to know the true nature of these instruments of death. And as some of these people represent powerful, religious organizations they might be even less inclined to learn the truth why these weapons are of such ill repute, and why some people might have had an interest in promoting the emergence of such reputation.
Full Item Description
The Anklar Smith Family made mostly Claymore and great swords. They all have the family sigil in their hilt which is the Sun Hawk. These swords are all excellent craftmanship and were once preferred among generals and nobles.
According to old journals and taxation records the Anklar family was forging weapons as early as the two hundred years back. Naturally the weapons of the time were cruder and did not exhibit the traits the swords of future generations would. But from what can be gathered from sources of the time Anklar weapons were considered
endurable and well-balanced even then. All went well for the Anklar family and their blades, but it was not meant to last.
A school was closed down for inappropriate theological doctrine by the church. The students and scholars rioted in protest. A teacher and his wife were in the crowd when the Grand Priest ordered the templars to quench the riot. His wife died under the boots of the Templars before his eyes. Seeking revenge for his wife the teacher sold his horse and all the books and tomes he had been able to take from the College and with this money he was able to buy a genuine Anklar sword. When the priest was having his next public sermon the vengeful teacher was in the audience; he had hidden the claymore under his heavy cloak. At an opportune moment the teacher brandished his sword, attacked, and blinded the priest with a deep wound across the eyes. Before he was able to deliver a killing blow though, templars killed the man.
The teacher was a slender academic man who had neither skill with a sword nor experience with weapons of any kind. Yet he was able to blind and almost kill one of the most influential priests in the Kingdom.
When it was discovered that the claymore he had used was a Anklar blade rumours spread like wildfire that because the unskilled was unskilled and weak it must had been the sword itself that had thirsted for Grand priests blood. It is widely believed that this sword was the first sword
destroyed by the priests of when the edict to ban all Anklar blades was passed.
Henceforth all swords and blades forged by the Anklar family are considered illegal within the Kingdom. Any person in possession of such a sword is ordered to immediately relinquish their weapons to the nearest authorities. Furthermore, all citizens are hereby ordered to notify the authorities immediately when learning of a whereabouts of an Anklar sword. Failure to comply with this edict will be met with most severe judgement for heresy.
This edict, which is printed above, banned the Anklar family from forging any more weapons, and their smithy was torn down. Also, anyone was forbidden to carry or wield a Anklar blade of any kind. Punishments for failing to comply with this edict ranged from severe flogging to burning at the stake.
The Real Deal
What really happened? Many people within the church could have believed that the blade blinding the Grand priest was indeed cursed. But why condemn all blades made by the Anklar family? Corruption is the answer. As simple as that. The Anklar Blades were rising in popularity and a noble family had investments in weapon smithies all over the Kingdom. Except the Anklar smithy, they would not be bought off. As punishment and as a way of ridding themselves of competition they seized the opportunity and fuelled the Church’s rage. Hinting that the Anklar family were cursing their blades. Combined with bribes it worked. The blades were banned and the smithy put down, what happened to the family itself no one knows- they simply vanished. If priests in the church knows the truth today is uncertain.
The priests has striven hard to eradicate these weapons from the lands. A set of very strict measures has been developed to ensure the proper destruction of the blades. These measures must be followed every time such a sword is found. To destroy the weapon’s "evil and corruptive influence a priest must perform the following rite. First of all, when a Anklar sword is secured it should be kept in its scabbard at all times. Also, the sword and the scabbard should be covered with a black cloth until it reaches the nearest Temple.
Once there, two High-Priests should be present at all times during the following Rite of Purification and Destruction; no-one is to be ever alone with such an "instrument of evil". The Rite begins with the removal of the black cloth and the scabbard. Then the sword is rinsed with water to wash away any blood. This purification also symbolizes the washing away of the sins committed with the blade.
Then the sword is placed on an anvil. Next, a weaponsmith with a stout heart and purity of spirit is summoned. In the presence of the priests the smith removes the hilt from the blade, breaks the blade in two and finally melts all the metal into one lump. Once the lump has cooled it is taken to a segregated piece of land that has been previously purified with prayers and salts. There the lump is buried. Finally, the priests and the smith ritually wash their hands and feet and then pray together in silence to cleanse their spirits.
Of course, there are also those who believe that such items should not be destroyed but studied to better understand them and their evil. Such individuals quickly attract the attention of witch hunters though. Some nobles also find Anklar blades to be suitably eccentric for collectors items and are willing to pay handsome amounts for a genuine piece.
Anklar swords are not cursed nor are they magical. They are just quality weapons that have a bad reputation. And it is this reputation that might affect the wielder. If the person wielding the blade does not know that he is actually wielding such ill reputed weapon the Anklar acts in his hands just like any other quality sword. But men are often gullible and the mind can deceive itself.
Therefore, if the person knows that he is in possession of a "cursed" Anklar he believes that he is indeed wielding a sword that will bring him bad luck. Furthermore, if his opponents know that they are facing an enemy who is armed with a cursed blade they will become bolder and more confident in their abilities.
The Mystery- The PCs are stopped at the city square where watchmen are conducting a search. They want to see everyones swords and confiscate all weapons that look suspicious to them in any way. To any inquiries the sergeant will tell them that according to rumours there is a Anklar blade somewhere in the city. Soon after this incident the PCs are approached by an elderly man who claims to be a collector of antiques; he would be willing to pay them handsomely if they could bring him the rare Anklar blade. Who has the blade, and why? And why does this collector want it so bad?
The Duel- A dispute has arisen between two noble families. They have agreed to settle the matter with a duel both sides using champions to represent them. One of the families hires the PCs as extra protection for his champion until the day of the duel. The champions sword is secretly exchanged for a Anklar blade before the duel. The champion wins using the cursed sword. The truth about the blade is discovered after the fight. If word gets out the nobles reputation will be ruined and he might face the pyres. The noble holds the PCs responsible and demands that they find the real culprits or he will have their heads. The PCs must find the guilty person before the truth is revealed. All evidence points at the other noble family but the real culprit is the noblemans own son.
The Stupid Twist- If the GM has used the Anklar Blades in a plot and they are aware of the truth, you could twist the deal a little- It was a cursed sword after all. I will leave that entirely up to the GM.