Spectre's Scabbards are one of the most highly sought after adventuring tools available for those who value discretion above all else. In their natural state, they look much like a thin veil of silk in a roughly scabbard-like shape, big enough to accommodate a bladed weapon from the size of a short sword to a greatsword. The silk, though it appears to be see through and soft, is actually silk from the Diarite worm, giant silk worms with carapaces of minerals so hard, it blunts the sharpest of steel. Naturally, their silk, while beautiful, light and comfortable, is also equally resilient and tough. Also, due to the rather fantastic elemental properties of the silk, the material is also particularly receptive to enchantments, which makes it a perfect candidate to craft suits of magical lightweight Mage-armor, as well as other nifty gadgets, such as the Spectre's Scabbard.
When a sword is sheathed in a Spectre's Scabbard it effectively shrink-wraps the silk to the weapon, up to the hilt. In a split second, the weapon becomes limp up to the hilt, as if the blade inside has simply disappeared. Instead, all that remains is the metal hilt attached to a length of beautiful, soft fabric that is roughly the length of the blade. In the case of smaller, shorter blades, this is draped into the belt, and the hilt tucked into the pant-waist, to give the wearer's outfit a bit of stylish flare. In the cases of longer blades, it may be wrapped around the waist like a belt, or draped across the shoulder like a sash. Weapon handles are usually easily concealable, either by tucking it into the folds of the clothing, or in cases of weapons specially designed to be used with Spectre's Scabbards, they may be disguised as ornaementum or even parts of the clothing. Naturally, with the business end of the weapon hidden, guards are far less likely to spend too much time staring at a PC, and now, sneaking a sword into a "Weapon Free Zone" becomes a lot less hassle-some.
Most people would easily know how to sheathe a sword in a Spectre's Scabbard. However, that is not the hard part. Getting your weapon back to it's original state is the issue. Simply tugging at the hilt of the sword will not materialize the blade. The blade will only come back with measured, careful pinches, making sure that the hilt is held level and the user is pulling the sheath from the sword in perfect contour with the blade. Shorter blades are, understandably, slightly easier to unsheathe, as a practiced warrior might flick the Scabbard in a perfectly straight line, causing the sheathe to simply fly off. Larger swords, require a more practiced, time consuming method, which makes it unwieldy to do if a battle quickly erupts.
Spectre's Scabbards were first developed in a small kingdom, where elaborate formal wear was considered a necessity of the royalty. So rabid was this obsession that the extravagant princes required their guards to conceal their weapons, because they were simply "marring the beauty of their fashionable dress uniforms." However, a guard without a weapon is only so useful. Naturally, any guard worth his salt needed a trusty weapon. Thus the princes requisitioned the best mages in the land to craft beautiful sheathes to hide their guards weapons from sight, without actually removing them from their bodies. The result, was the Spectre's Scabbard. Now that kingdom is gone, crumbled to the ground, the vain princes being excellent fashionistas were also lacking any sort of administrative skill, buried their own hegemony.
The Spectral Scabbard does not actually have any transmutative properties - it doesn't simply change the material of the weapon. Instead, it functions as a gateway to a personal storage vacuum, with a theoretically infinite holding capacity. The hilt of the weapon acts as an anchor for the weapon in the physical plane - however, should a person put the entire weapon into the scabbard it will be lost forever. This goes for other items that are accidentally deposited into the scabbard that are bigger than a dagger. Because the Spectre's Scabbard senses when something is deposited within it, it also closes up, meaning that the scabbard will become useless and little more than a delicate, pretty piece of cloth. Perhaps a potent dimensional spell may allow a user to retrieve the items within the scabbard, but even ifthey are successfully retrieved, the Spectre's Scabbard is forever magically fused shut.