“It has been said that I am a heartless mistress. They cannot understand that we are engaged in a war with no armistices, and no truces. Victory will only be accomplished when Evil is totally eradicated. This will take a long time, has taken a long time, and the cost has been great in lives, pain and sorrow. No effort, no investment, is too great, if Good prevails and Evil fails. Those who serve me pay an extreme price, but some have achieved an aspect of immortality, for a man or woman lives forever, when achievements become the thing of legend, forever told, and sung by bards. Some of those, in truth, remain nameless because they died in struggles so epic that none survived to chronicle the saga.
The name of my first companion and follower has long been forgotten, to all but me. He, a Paladin who served the God of Light, became a force to be reckoned with. He and I fought our way far into a demonic plane, battling the infernal horde, to the very throne of their Demon Lord. There we fought, without regard for pain or time, until we emerged victorious. The blood of that Dark Lord awakened in me a realization of my purpose, and drives my obsession. To many, I have become fanatic, thirsting to bleed dry the hordes of Evil, cutting and slashing their bodies, tearing out their throats and hearts, inflicting pain as repayment for their horrible deeds, and for the misery they have forced upon others.
The years have passed; thousands of foes have fallen. Often, only I remained to strive onward in my quest. I have not forgotten a single one of my followers, or their deeds. I grew and became stronger with each one, driving them to achievements they never dreamed they were capable of. Some joined me as weaklings, requiring me to serve as teacher, master and lord. Some resisted my leadership, requiring me to break their spirits and reform them anew, as true warriors in the battle against Evil, forcing them to continue when near death from exhaustion, their spirits clinging onto the hope I shared with them. Some proved to have minds of such strength that I could not overcome. With them, I forged a bond, a spiritual contract to work together.
One bloodline has followed me through several generations. Their blood is fierce, their minds and wills strong. They have become indomitable oppressors of Evil, working with me and preserving me from loss. One member of that family and I, press onward now. He came upon me when he was a stripling; often he has wished that, he never laid eyes on me, or never took me to hand. Once he felt my power course through his veins he could not forsake me. We have become as one, our wills and strengths intertwined as we have grown and become great. He accompanied me as we marched toward the Doom at Dreadpeak.
He learned of a portal to dark realms where demons dwell and would destroy it, but his intestines were seething and if it were his will, he would have disposed of me and returned home to his family, hearth and home. He knew that would not remove the great Stigma of Amenorian, the stigma that will remain with him to the end of days. Fatigued and worn, he dragged me onward toward apparent doom. Through swamps, over mountains, through the burning hell of deserts, we forged onward. Against all odds, ignoring hunger, thirst, pain, we forced forward. The goal was ahead; there were monsters to slay, demons to gut. We were driven, obsessed with vengeance.
As we approached the mountain, it vomited forth a great evil horde that poured down its sides like molten lava. He entered battle; thinking “Only here, am I at peace!” Singing his death song, he began to rend and slay the foul creatures, feeling the familiar lust flow from me into his body, granting him the power to see this task through.
I am Amenorian, the Blade of Hope, and an Artifact of Legend! I have lived for thousands of years! I am his mistress, and together we will prevail, even though he dies. This horde is here to die, mine to kill!
The longsword’s blade catches the light and seems to glow with celestial light. Her handle and crosspiece wound with the purest gold, the blade appears as though she radiates her own warmth and holy aura.
HISTORY AND LEGEND
The holy blade, known as Amenorian, was forged in the celestial furnaces to battle the forces of evil. Many have heard the name of Amenorian in legends and many adventurers have lost their lives in a fruitless search for her location. Many prophecies and old legends surround her fate. In that ancient lore it is said, that Amenorian can only be wielded by those that are good and pure of heart.
Handed down by the celestials in ages past, “The Blade of Hope”, as she came to be known, has passed through many hands. She was forged and passed to mortals to turn the tide against the demons and devils that had come to the prime material plane. Ancient texts foretell that only someone who takes it to a holy place, and meditates with the blade, seeking her powers to fight evil, can bond with her.
Fighting back demon hordes is the purpose for Amenorians creation. The celestials that created The Blade of Hope could not foresee the result of placing the blade in human hands. She was given first to a Paladin of a long forgotten god of light. That nameless paladin took up the blade to combat true evil. He did better than predicted and took his holy war into a demonic plane and confronted its Lord. The paladin and the Demon Lord clashed, their battle lasting for hours, until finally, the paladin stood victorious over uncountable dead demons and their Lord. Legends and ancient lore say that when Amenorian tasted the blood of the Demon Lord, she truly awakened, and forever afterwards, thirsted for the blood of demons. Before that fated day Amenorian was only a tool, a weapon to be used for good. Upon awakening, she became aware of herself and of her wielder. The paladin was the first to become enthralled by the stigma of “The Blade of Hope.” He fell years later in the depths of the earth and Amenorian vanished from history for untold years, some historians say for thousands.
The last known wielder was Emery Valash, who found the blade as a youth. He carried the blade to a great city to study lore and legends about artifact weapons. After a decade of study, he learned that what he held was, in fact, the celestial blade Amenorian, The Blade of Hope. Through further study, with the aid of divination, he learned that any that who wielded Amenorian would see hope in even the most dire situation. He realized this was a curse in disguise and he swore never to let the weapon use him as a tool to fight evil, and would not suffer to allow her to enthrall anyone else, and thus Emery Valash became the first Steward of Amenorian.
After several decades, Valash eventually fell victim to the blade’s power. He was near the end of his years and had prepared his son to become the next Steward of Amenorian. The descendants of Valash have been the sole possessors of the blade since then. The Valash Family seeks to fight evil, without letting Amenorian’s will assume control of them. In the Valash family histories of the sword, much can be discovered; Amenorian carries stigma so powerful that she can cause the wielder to march into the depths of hell to destroy evil. The blade believes that her entire creation and reason for being, is to destroy demons, devils and other evil outsiders. This power has corrupted some members of the Valash family, but they have always been able to recover the blade. The current locations of Amenorian and a living member of the Valash Stewards of Amenorian are unknown.
INTELLIGENCE AND PERSONALITY
Amenorian is fully sentient, although her strict adherence to her own code to destroy evil almost makes her seem empty and hollow. She can also see and hear, although she lacks other senses.
She also has a great deal of religious knowledge as it pertains to angels, celestials, and the religions that worship them. Along with this knowledge, she knows ancient history very well, especially in events that she was involved in.
Amenorian is a fierce opponent of all that is evil, fearless and willing to sacrifice anyone and anything for the greater good of the universe. Her greatest ability as she sees it, it the ability to look past life and see the immutable laws within her being to protect the greater good at all costs.
POWERS AND SPECIAL ABILITIES
Amenorian is forged from a steel called Cold Iron, a metal that many demons and devils are vulnerable to. This special metal allows the blade to slice through the hardened skin of greater demons.
Amenorian radiates massive holy energy and it is this that truly injures and destroys her opponents. This energy is easily sensed by evil creatures from some distance away. Evil creatures have no problem tracking Amenorian, so long as they are only a day or so behind. Creatures that are attuned to sensing good can usually sense her impending doom hours ahead of her arrival.
The two powers above are the only two powers she has when she is first found by a wielder pure enough to use her. After going through a bonding process they are able to connect with her, entwining their souls forever.
Amenorian will only accept a wielder, pure of heart that has committed no evil act. Usually, this wielder is chosen during adolescence or young adult. Amenorian can telepathically contact those able to wield her from about 10 miles away. She will her chosen wielder and guide them on a path of purity and martial training. Then when she thinks that her chosen one is ready, she will make her location known and call the individual to her.
Bonding with Amenorian requires that the new chosen wielder take her to a holy site that has existed for at least 1,000 years. Here they will bond over the period of a few hours, they will emerge cursed and blessed at the same time. Bonding with Amenorian causes her need to destroy evil to be passed to the wielder, a wielder that does not follow her cause will slowly die. Such is the route to the greater good, she will use one to save many.
THE TRUE POWERS OF AMENORIAN, SWORD OF HOPE
Once bonded, Amenorian grants her wielder with a feeling of hope in even the most dire situations. This makes the wielder fearless, but what it also does it makes it impossible for the wielder to flee once they have begun fighting, they will fight to the death for they see a glimmer of hope no matter how dire the situation.
Amenorian pulls at the very soul of her wielder granting several more powers, granting them to the user as he becomes more experienced and as their bond grows stronger. The first of these powers is the ability to cause massive damage to devils and demons, other evil creatures are not effected by this power. The blade slices through a demon or devil as if they were mortal flesh and blood, the effects on the demon are vicious and brutal.
Also, twice per day Amenorian grants her champion to imbue themselves with holy wrath, nearly doubling in size. When they use this power they also radiate a holy aura that most lesser demons will flee from.
After Amenorian and her champion have been bonded for some time a change begins to overcome the wielder. The wielder begins to show signs of celestial bearing. The champion is granted near angelic abilities. These abilities range from being able to create daylight to striking evil down with great power. The champion also gains an immunity to disease and becomes resistant to evil spells.
Once this transformation is complete, the character radiates a holy aura when a demon or devil come near.
Most demons and devils would rather flee than face Amenorian and her champion. At this point the champion has most likely gained the attention of Hell and whatever other worlds these demons and devils are coming from.
After a great deal of time, even more powers become available to the wielder. These powers come at a very high cost. Amenorian’s overbearing need to destroy evil wears at the wielder’s very soul (See Stigma)
Amenorian’s champion rarely lives to the point of living long enough to see the rest of the powers that Amenorian is capable of granting.
After years of fighting side-by-side the bonding is nearly complete. When the champion is facing impossible odds and nearly defeated he may reach into Amenorian and draw the Resolve to continue. This power allows the wielder to continue fighting even when he should be dead. This power begins regenerating the champion’s body at a rapid pace. Granting massive physical power during the process. This power only lasts for five minutes at what time the champion will collapse.
The two final powers only come to those that have bonded completely with Amenorian, suffering her powerful Stigma (See Stigma). The final two powers are actually one power, the ability to release built up holy energy in either a burst or channeling it into a strike. The burst goes in all directions like a holy shockwave, while the strike just channels extreme holy energy into the blade, dealing massive damage to evil.
THE STIGMA OF AMENORIAN
The stigma of Amenorian are curses that affect the wielder from the moment he bonds with it.
The Hope Stigma: The wielder will stand before impossible odds, believing that good can never be defeated and that he will prevail. He may have a choice before combat begins, but once he is dedicated to an action, he will follow through to the end. There is always hope. This first stigma has been the downfall of nearly all the wielders of Amenorian.
The Eyes of the Beholder: The second stigma comes after some period of bonding. The wielder becomes beautiful in the eyes of the good and horrific to those of evil. This is a supernatural effect. Some powerful can see through this powerful effect. This will cause good people to want to be near the person and evil to want to destroy them. In some cases an evil creature will see a beautiful thing that they want to destroy, instead of the being looking horrific. the wielder will always be taken in a negative light to those that are evil.
Amenorian and No Other: After being together for some time the wielder will use no other weapon, unless prevented from using Amenorian in some manner. This includes bows and other missile weapons, even if that weapon would serve a better purpose.
The Hatred: After a little more time together or some battles together the sword begins to force the wielder to kill demons and devils. The wielder must kill one demon or devil per week. To refuse or be unable to carry this out, even if Amenorian has been lost will result in losing part of ones very life force until able. The character literally must feed on the dying energy that these evil creature give off upon death. To not feed is to die sooner or later.
Riches to Rags: Amenorian forces a Vow of Poverty upon the wielder. Anything of value will crumble to dust or rust in hours. Equipment that Amenorian deems needed; armor, water, food, and such do not crumble to dust unless in the excess. The character may keep items of value if he is returning them to people they once belonged to. There is no exception. Any money the character might keep will decay in minutes.
The Hatred II: After a great deal of time and experience, Amenorian will force the final stigma upon the wielder, one that will usually claim his life. They must slay one demon or devil every day, each day they do not they will begin to die as if out of water. Only killing more demons or devils can slake this thirst.