The land of Simarah is one riven by the deep and bitter conflict that exist between the all powerful clerics of the Church of the True God, that omnipresent religous institution of monoesthic worship that commands the religous affiliation of an overwhelming majority of the citizenry ,and the animist pagan tribes dwelling in the Southern marshes and moors of Simarah, who despite continous pressure placed on them by the ruling kings to give up their gods of the rivers and forests throughout the centuries, stubbornly cling on to the old beliefs, refusing to heel to the rigid doctrine of the True God who sees all other gods as mere demonic manifestations. Great indeed is their persucation at the hands of the kings of Simarah who have forbidden them to practice their faith openly.
And yet, there had been a time when the then reigning king of Simarah had prostated himself before the Godess Inar, the Earth Godess foremost among the gods of the pagan tribes. It in this story, that the roots of this most famed weapon lies..
Two centuries ago,the nomadic hordes of the ferocious barbarian chieftain Hordan Khan rode out of their steppes, determined to cross the Great Plain of Burning Sands and make war upon the wealthy nation of Simarah, so eager were they to plunder the vast riches so jealously hoarded by the gold obssesed clerics of that weak land.
Despite the most feverant prayers and appeals of the preists of the True God,the hord passed the Plain of Burning Sands with great ease and soon arrived at the lush valleys that flanked the way to Simarah. Wracked with dread, king Goran sent out his best legions to turn back this tide of evil, only to have them all dismembered and butchered to the last man,victims of the monstrous barbarians with their undefeatable cavalry units.
Everytime this sad story repeated itself,he would journey to the Great Church of the True God and appeal to Him to save his people from the great peril that hung over them like a token of complete doom and destruction. But to no avail. Day after day,grim tidings of yet another disastrous military encounter with the enemy would pour in, causing his morale to sink to ever lower depths of despair.
Finally, as the horde was poised to storm into the heartland of the Kingdom itself,King Goran committed what in the eyes of his preists,would have been the ultimate act of blasmephy.
Taking only his most trusted followers with him, he journeyed to the dark lands of the South, deperate for any kind of help he could cadge from the mysterious pagan inhabitants and their even more exotic gods. Calling for a meeting with their most senior chieftains and druids, he urged them to put aside their historic enemities. If they did not unite with their erstwhile antagonists, all would be put to the sword by the barbarians from aocrss the northen plains, he warned. Their faith would vanish together with that of the True God.
The severity of the situation was not lost on the tribal leaders. Asking him to meet them again the next morning,they promised him they would have something that would aid him tremendously in the coming battle against the barbarians.
When King Goran turned up as requested,the Head Druid presented him with a sword. Of truly massive proportions, it was a breathtaking weapon, the blade dazzling and keen,the humongous serpent shaped hilt inlaid with precious stones in the sacred pentacle of the pagan faith. It had been blessed by the most powerful Godess among the various gods they worshipped, none less than the Earth Mother Inar Herself, the druid told him. Armed with it, he could accomplish anything. All they asked in exchange,was that the king put an end to the informal war being waged against them by the lords of Simarah. Filled with elation, Goran wasted no time in making the assurance required of him.
Two days later, the king and his army faced off against the barbarian horde on the slopes above the valleys nestling the capital city. This was the battle that would determine he survival of their nation. The soldiers of Simarah feared the outcome. All previous battles fought against the horde had ended in ruinous defeat. Why should this one be any different?
But King Goran betrayed no fear, giving a confident grin everytime the horde rose its brutal voice in a bestial, discordant chorus of glee for the coming slaughter. Finally, as the horns of both sides were blown, he drew his huge blade from its scabbard and held it aloft to catch the burning light of the sun, as if to nourish himself on its awesome and limitless power. What happened next, took both sides by utter shock. Putting the spurs to his mount, King Goran charged right into the heart of the hode, his elite guard close on his heels. As his blade was swung to meet the onrushing flow of foes, it bade spat forth huge clouds of fire and lighning that reduced all whom sought to bar the king’s advance, into flaming corpses. Within moments, he had reached the fearsome Hordan Khan himself,and with one lazy swing of the blade, turned the hitherto undefeated barbarian war-leader into a human torch. At this horrendous sight, the surviving warriors of the Horde fled in disarray and terror, ceding the field of battle to their dumbfounded foes.
True to their word, the worshippers of the Godess Inar had provided him with a weapon that had achieved the impossible,allowing Goran to save his nation. Sadly,the king did not honour his part of the bargain. Once peace was restored and the last remants of the horde driven into the Plain of Burning Sands,the priests of the True God immediately demanded that the king resume the kingdom’s campaign to convert the pagan tribes by the sword, claiming that the True God had given him this wonderous tool of devastation(as he assured them the God had), so that he would spread the word. Though loath to turn his back on the promise he had made to the tribes, he had very little choice in the matter. The priests were immensely influential and would dethrone him, great hero or no, were he to ever defy their divine directive,a deed their predecessors had inflicted on more than one king ifyore, when their faith had been found suffeciently lacking. No, he would not put his crown at risk by refusing that which was expected of him by the clerics of the True God.
But he had not reckoned on the wrath of the Godess..
Twelve years of prosperity and peace passed, before king Goran was once again compelled to don the garb of war by circumstances. This time, it was an overly ambitious lord by the name of Grey Stoke, desiring to usurp the throne for his own obscure line. As if he had a hope of that. What chance could his rag-tag army possibly have against the sword that sent the mighty hord of Hordan Khan running its life?
And so the king and his warriors confronted the rebels in the green fields of the province of Dorgath the next day, filled with expectations of an easy victory.
Thus it was that, they were not prepared for what happened next. As the king drew his fabled sword, they waited with bated breath, expecting him to call forth the fire and lightning that had been unleashed in copious amounts the last time the sword had been used. Instead, they witnessed the king drop the sword with trembling hands, and flee from the awaiting battle, all the while giving voice to blood curdling screams of terror, as if the very fiends of hell were after him. Confused and uncomprehending, they milled about in chaos as the foe swept in upon them. Within five minutes, all of them had been cut down and slain, including Goran himself, who had taken an arrow in the back even as he did his utmost to leave the field of battle behind him. The blade plunged from his hand into the waters of a fast moving river where it was soon carried downstream to a location where the eye could not follow.
All would have been lost, following this utter rout, had not Prince Rrork, heir to the throne, put up a fierce struggle in which his forces were able to defeat the army of the rebel. But he was left distraught by the destruction of his brother and his entire army, something that was unconceivable when the late king had rode off with the famous sword clutched in his hand. Unless of course, the sword he had carried into battle had not been the real weapon… No,someone had replaced it with a fake. And who else could it be, but Goran’s trusted armorer, the only man his dear brother had trusted with the sword?
Determined to recover the famed sword of invincibility, he had the unfortunate man put to the question. But the best efforts of the inquisitor were in vain, for the man mantained his innocence to his very bloody end, insisting he had not replaced the sword with an imposter. Further attempts to retrieve the priceless blade proved to be as futile,and thus it was that the famous weapon of invincibility was lost forever to kings of Silmarah,a most unfortunate thing,since all those familiar with its wonderous powers on the battle field (and there were many who knew what it was capable of),would waste no time in putting them to use…
The warrior whose hands this reknown sword falls into,will raise it in battle,expecting to rain down death in the form of lightning and fire upon his foes.
What he gets instead,is a feeling of fear and panic so powerful that it consumes him utterly,driving him to escape the field of battle as best as he can. Even the bravest warrior will forsake all thoughts of valour,giving cowardice full reign. And lest one forgets,any and all efforts made to bolster his feelings of courage are doomed to fall flat in the face of his terror.