(Of course, now that I have read Harry Potter to my kids, I realize I have to rename this axe…)
A brief history of the axe named Hagrid:
In y161, a borakki hunter named Hagrid wandered deep into the forests of his homeland when a sudden flash stunned him. A second later, a thunderous crash and a blast of hot air knocked him to the ground. When he regained his senses, he saw blackened trees around him, and a great plume of black smoke snaking through the air.
Hagrid crept toward the smoke and saw a large crater. In the center of the hole gleamed a metal stone the size of three borakkis’ fists. The hunter threw snow on the strange stone to cool it. He then took it and returned to his clan. The clan smith knew the stone as spirit iron. It would make a fine axe for the gaerkan.
Next winter, Hagrid chanced upon the gaerkan’s hunting party as they succumbed to the attack of a huge boar. All of the gaerkan’s henchmen were dead, or incapacitated. The chief lay on the ground with a shattered leg, helpless to avoid the rampaging boar.
Hagrid quickly took up an axe that had been dropped in the chaos of battle. He hurled the weapon, striking the beast in the skull. It dropped mere paces in front of the wounded gaerkan.
After the gaerkan recovered, he held a grand feast for Hagrid. At the end of the feast, the chief held up his spirit iron axe, and told the story of how Hagrid used it to save him from certain death. He named the weapon Hagrida Balcare (Hagrid’s Savior) and presented it to the hunter.
With the aid of the magical axe, Hagrid became a legend among the borakki. His axe passed to his sons, and their sons. In y224, Hagrid’s grandson, Belskor Hagridson carried the weapon during the invasion of Starugard. When the combined might of Falleron, Azarent, and King Ernst pushed the borakki from the pass, Belskor met a Falleron soldier in battle. The two traded blows on their shields. Though Belskor’s strength dwarfed that of the human, an errant blow drove Hagrida Balcare deep into the earth. The soldier countered and thrust his sword deep into Belskor’s gut, staggering him. An instant later, an archer shot the borakki warrior, knocking him unconscious.
An hour later, the humans drove the borakki from the field. As they fled, several of the borakki tried to retrieve the axe, but its runes held it firmly in place. Only Belskor could move the axe, and he was unconscious. The borakki retreated, carrying Belskor’s body, but they were forced to leave the Savior in the ground.
A day later, Belskor died from his wounds and the axe loosened its grip on the earth. A human soldier picked it up. At this point, the axe passed from owner to owner, and finally found its way into the chests of an elite division of Pelar’s army called the Cellan Company. In y257, Otto Grund took command of this company and as was tradition for this group, the axe, now called Hagrid by the humans, became his.
The land that is now Olander started as the southernmost portion of the Pelar Barony. However, in the year 245, a powerful earth giant called Indragore threatened the region. Several accounts claim that this beast stood as tall as four men and had the power to control the rocks and move the earth. When he awoke, Indragore was famished so he ravaged the countryside, destroying villages, sacking farms, and devouring whole herds of livestock.
Tristan was baron at the time and his subjects flocked to him, telling tales of the giant’s wrath, and begging for aid. Tristan gathered a troop of his best soldiers and went to confront Indragore. Tristan’s men marched bravely to their deaths. Indragore warped the earth beneath their feet, trapping them. He then battered his helpless victims with his huge iron maul.
With Tristan dead, his uncle, Vale Pelar, ascended to the throne. Unlike Tristan, Vale was no warrior and he understood the power of Indragore. Even an army would be hard-pressed to defeat such a creature. Instead, Vale contacted a powerful sorceress named Vitria. Vitria was wise in the ways of earth magic (many Earthsblood practitioners claim her to be their progenitor).
When Vitria confronted Indragore, he tried to trap her like he did Tristan. However, Vitria moved through the earth as though it were air. Next, the giant hurled one hundred stones at the sorceress, but her magic deflected all of them. Vitria touched the beast, using a spell that turned stone to flesh. Instantly, Indragore’s power left him and he fell dormant, disappearing into the earth.
Indragore would awaken 15 years later, when a group of burrowing termite men disturbed his resting place. The angry giant collapsed the termite tunnels, scattering the humanoids into the countryside. Like his previous awakening, Indragore’s hunger gnawed at him. However, this time, the giant managed to control his desire. Instead of rampaging and sating his hunger, he sought revenge. Indragore found the aged Vitria living on a secluded mountaintop, surprised her, and killed her with a single blow from his maul.
Once Indragore killed the sorceress, his hunger became too much for him. Again he terrorized southern Pelar. In the spring of the year 262, Indragore came upon the town of Cellan and unleashed a series of earthquakes that leveled the city. Vale Pelar became desperate to stop the creature. The baron sent hundreds of men to battle Indragore, but the power and cunning of the giant proved to be too much. Most of the patrols could not find the creature, and those that did fell to his strength and magical prowess.
After months of fruitless searches and losing battles, the commander of Pelar’s army, Otto Grund, left his troops and wandered into the wilderness. He knew that Indragore was toying with his men, eluding them, and only engaging on his terms. As Grund contemplated his next move, he saw a spider react to a fly struggling in her web. Inspiration struck him. Indragore could feel their footfalls on the earth, much like a spider feels vibrations in her silken web.
With this in mind, Otto set about planning his next encounter with Indragore. He ordered his men to travel barefoot, or with their feet wrapped in cloth. When they approached a location at which the giant had been spotted, they broke ranks and traveled in small groups. Grund walked alone to a nearby field where sheep were grazing. Once there, he yelled and jumped madly until he frightened the animals. The sheep ran across the field and Indragore, mistaking them for men, attacked.
Otto’s men descended upon the surprised giant. In the ensuing battle, many men were killed, but Otto managed to deliver a serious wound to Indragore with his axe, Hagrid. Indragore howled in pain and sank into the earth to flee. However, his blood bubbled to the surface in pools of boiling tar, allowing Grund to track him to his cave. When Indragore surfaced to rest, Grund was there and slew the beast with a powerful blow to the head.
Meanwhile, illness had confined Vale Pelar to his sickbed. While the baron convalesced, his relatives waited eagerly for his death, and plotted to take control of the land. To reward Grund for his service, and the spite his power-hungry relatives, Vale granted his loyal general control of a substantial portion of southern Pelar. In this way, Hagrida Belcare helped create the Barony of Grundland.
Hagrida Belcare (AH-grid-uh bel-CAR-eh) is carved with several borakki runes which give it the following magical properties:
1. Feather Flight—When thrown, this weapon becomes light and well-balanced. It has the range and accuracy of a finely made javelin as opposed to that of a large, imposing battle axe.
2. Returner—At the owner’s will, this weapon will return to his hand as long as it is no more than 200 paces from him.
3. True Ownership—This weapon can only be picked up by its owner. Anyone else trying to lift this weapon will find it immobile.
Because it is made of meteoric iron, this weapon draws power from its wielder. Due to the deeds of its owners, this weapon has the following legendary powers:
1. Beast Slayer—This weapon does double damage against beasts and insects, both common and giant varieties.
2. Doom Tracker—Once an opponent is damaged with Hagrida Belcare, it will continue to bleed, stumble, tear scraps of clothing, or lose bits of itself, leaving an obvious trail. Generally, this will not cause any major damage to the creature in question, but it will make it amazingly easy to track. The owner of the axe will automatically succeed in any tracking attempts and other hunters will have their tracking chances greatly enhanced.