From the hilt to the tip of the three foot long blade, the Sanguine Widowmaker is a terror to behold - purple steel is covered in writhing red runes that, upon closer inspection, coalesce into scenes of people being slain and mutilated, burning towns and horrors from beyond. When drawn, it fills the air with a chilling sound resembling the whine of tortured infants and the crackling of a forest fire.
The sword’s guard is made of demon bone, painfully white, and the hilt is draped in human skin.
The history is long and mostly forgotten, and only the wisest sags know of its origins.
Once, the tribe of Bra-Koras, a mounain-dwelling clan of part time shepherds but mostly brigands and pillagers, was beset hard by its enemies, the Plainsmen, who were weak yet great numbers were theirs. Rummagil, the chieftain and shaman in one person, consulted with demons to grant him a weapon terrible enough to end this war. He was granted a blade that caused fear in all who gazed upon it and cut through flesh like it was mist.
Still, the numbers of his enemies were too great to overcome, and man by man fell around Rummagil, until, bereft of his comrades, he stood alone. Splitting skulls and severing heads, he fought like a thousand devils, but with his blood running from a myriad of scratches his strength left him, and he collapsed upon a heap of foes and friends alike. With his dying breath, he said: “Someone will win this war another day, and this sword shall be his sign!”
Only Rummagil’s wife was left alive, and taken as a slave. She later became known as the Mournful Widow, for she wept until her eyes went blind.
Memories, desires and fears mingled with the chieftain’s wish as they dripped from the souls the blade’s magic had maimed, and seeped into the blade, the wish forging them into a whole. The blade was taken as a trophy.
Centuries later, the Plainsmen lands have grown into an empire that ruled lands beyond all horizons, and millions of slaves toiled to maintain its glory. In the greatest of palaces, all trophies were displayed, amongst them this blade. A common man, Dietrich by name, discontent with his powerty, broke into the palace and stole the blade, along with jewelry and coin.
How surprised was he when it spoke to him, in a voice like steel being forged and bones snapping: “Not only you shall be lifted from your lowly stature, but the empire shall crumble. Follow my advice…”
Dietrich first fled the imperial heartlands, yet the pursuit drove him to side with rebels to find a hiding place, and that’s where his quest to shatter the empire began. Swift of mind and quick of limb, he assumed a leader’s position soon, and became a thorn in the side of the empire, one that would tear the side open.
All the time, he was advised by his blade, which, due to being not only a tool of war, but having absorbed memories from several dozen different men, began to get interested in his everyday life - interests, women, sports, music, it soon became his trusted friend.
Then, the day came when the rebel troops stood before the gates of Tehet, the imperial capitol, and tore them down. Great was the celebration, and the Emperor’s head was displayed on a pole. Dietrich was crowned, and all seemed well, until, the very same night, one of his generals murdered him, and all the other leaders, except for one, who fled the capitol with the blade, even as Betruk the Traitor spread his lies.
The treacherous general was crowned then, and took Dietrich’s wife for his own, yet he did not rule well, for he was selfish, wrathful and arrogant. Soon, there was another revolution, with Drannor, the general who escaped assasssination, being its leader. Flames of war were fanned again. This time, it was Betruk’s head that adorned a pole and served as food for ravens.
All the time, the Crimson Widowmaker was watching over Drannor, guarding him in his sleep, being his advisor and guide, and confidant. It was his trusted arm until one day, on the field of battle, he fell, having trusted the blade’s power too much and charging the enemy ranks solitarily. His beloved took up the burden of kingship, and became the first queen of Tahr-Shanir.
The sword vanished, until it was brought forth a century later, it’s bearer an inexperienced youth itent on uniting the fragmented lands of Tahr-Shanir, and so he did, and became a great ruler, until politics and treachery drove him mad, and he impaled himself on his trusty blade after discovering that his beloved wife has cheated on him with his most trusted general.
Again and again, the sword accompanied heroes, yet like heroes tend to, none of them died in bed. While many grieved for them, most grief was felt by the sword who had befriended every one of them, and it became weary. No longer would it lead its charges into battle, no longer would it help forge plans for war. People tend to die in wars, and it certainly had enough of death already.
Since then, it has given advice only for peace and negotiation, and dissuaded its charges from fighting, shielding them, yet preventing bloodshed in any way possible. With the intimate knowledge of the human mind it has gathered through the ages, it has learned to intimidate, sway and persuade rather than maim, mangle and decapitate.
It has accompanied Tramun the Sage, the advisor of King Lothran, the Peacemaker, who built the White Border of Illune, which could keep all foes at bay and thus made arms unnecessary and forbidden there.
It has the guide of Braniu Flower-Mane, who planted the bessed Cirrumu trees that increased harvest and warded off storms all over the countryside, and until today, the trees bear fruit that soothes the spirit and leads men to love and not to rage.
It was at the side of Tonmu Whiteshield, who led the oppressed people of Bilthis to the Isle of Rui, where they settled in peace, and do so today, in worship of their lamb-god.
And so it has since been travelling, once found in the hands of a king, once a hermit, then a farmer’s lad.
It is mellowed with age, and pleasant in its manner, never raising its voice, though the ominous sound when it is unsheathed remains, as does its intimidating appearance. It does not want to be widely known, and does not take credit for the deeds of those it aided. Indeed, all it wants is to keep people, especially those it grew fond of, safe.
As for manners, it is polite, and does only offer suggestions, though it feels free to offer comments on virtually anything from cooking to bed affairs. Not trying to be noxious, it is yet stubborn as hell and will try to be useful. Generally, if nothing extraordinary happens, it will behave like a man in his fifties after having led a successful life - jovial, self-confident, pleasant… yet it will become agitated if the owner tries to get himself or others killed - then the Sanguine Widowmaker can become masterfully unpleasant, chastising the offender like he was a little child, until he’s red with shame.
Though no longer warlike, the Sanguine Widowmaker is still driven to change things, and so it will try one of two approaches towards an owner: if he is ambitious and driven, it will try to steer his course to further peace, say aid him in taking a seat in a council, or help him become a king’s advisor, or perhaps gain admission to an university to learn and be able to foster understandning better.
If the owner is amiable yet not ambitious or competent, it
will aid him in leading a pleasant life, like settling down, having kids and the like. This is also true for old, jaded adventurers - after Rundorus the Mighty has persuaded the dreaded Dragon legions to build houses and cultivate turnips, he bought a piece of land right next to them, and came over for a game of bridge every weekend for the next twenty years to come.
If it dislikes a person who claims it, or does not see any more use in belonging to an owner, it will get lost, fall out of the scabbard or the like.
*Make it fight again! A mighty weapon is needed. Yet the only one available is a pacifist. How to you make it fight once more?
*Peace is a hard fight: Aid a general who has become peaceful due to his sword in defending his country, best if it can be done without shedding a drop of blood.
*How can my heart be at peace? A noble lady fell in love with a vigilante who saved her from robbers by disarming them with his runic blade and spanking their behinds. Find the mysterious stranger so that she can finally thank him.
The Sanguine Widowmaker is a mighty sword, sharp as a razor, able to cut an anvil if you try hard enough. It can shred souls, thus being able to harm spirits and make those slain unavailable for resurrection.
One who weilds it in battle will be shielded from arrows and similar missiles, only hand weapons being able to harm him.
Anyone struck by a blow of the Sanguine Widowmaker will feel a tingle of fear in his heart, and only the bravest of man stand their ground when facing its fury.
While it is truly formiddable, it will not use these abilities nowadays. Instead, it will unbuckle trousers and cut belts, strike with the flat of its blade or mangle armor joints, freezing the limb in place. Foes will be disarmed as their blades shatter upon being struck by the runic steel. If the situation is dire enough, it will cut tendons and cripple joints.
A strange property of the blade is that if the owner is male, he WILL live shorter than a woman he loves - even if that means that she’d live to be two hundred and two. Either his life will end earlier (most likely if he used the sword to fight) or she will just live longer, healthy and able to mourn his death. In the end, a Widowmaker will stay a Widowmaker.