Tithinian the master smith was the first to receive the new steel, the product of the recently founded Hilsatiri mines. The gnomes were only too happy to provide the iron to make the fine Elvish Steel. He began the complex ritual that accompanied the making of the best of the elvish war-blades. His hammering of the steel followed an ancient proscribed rhythm, one which if followed to perfection would lend the blade the full power and grace of the elvish people.
For hours he worked, the hammering pattern musical and unbroken, until just near the end. His mind slipped, for a moment, but no slips were allowed. His next hammer-strike was off, and instead of the harmonic ring, a discordnant tone assaulted his ears. The blade, once shimmering with magic and harmony, became dark and ugly.
Enraged with himself, he cursed the blade, forgetting for the moment who he was, and where. Still raging, he took the spoiled blade over to the crucible and threw it in to be reforged later. It would be days before he'd be ready to work on the next blade....
The Sarini Elves produce wondrous cold-forged swords in their tree-bound workshops. Not using fire in their creation appeals greatly to the elves, and also serves to provide advantages when dealing with supernatural powers.
The swords are made using a process of rhythmatic hammering which follows wondrously complicated and strangely beautiful patterns. These blows set up a vibration in the metal rendering it more ductile and workable then is normally the case in more conventional cold-forging. As a result, the blades can be worked into shapes of great complexity without sacrificing strength. The relationship of the rhythm to the Song of the Universe is such that all blades made in this manner pick up some of the power of creation. Of course, this power varies depending on how close the smith's hammering matches the Song. The Song is of a rather long duration, and to date, no smith has had the skill and endurance to run it to completion. The legends say that should a smith of sufficient skill and endurance hammer the Song to completion, the resulting blade will help the Elves in the final battle against Chaos.
All hammered blades are considered heirlooms and are never used as trade goods. Any in the hands of non-elves are either obtained by happenstance, or as gifts (a truly rare occurence).
All Hammered blades retain an echo of the rhythm of their creation. At the very least, this imparts a minor sawing action (think vibroblade in sci-fie) which increases the cutting ability of the already razor sharp blade.
With more powerful blades, this vibration can have other properties above increasing damage. The pommel can be held against solid objects and impart the vibration to them, shaking loose fasteners, causing corrosion to drop away and generating strange sounds. When multiple blades are used in this manner, they will produce harmonic effects that will increase the effect. At upper ends of the power scale, they will cause severe vibration to rigid objects touched, similar in effect to an earthquake.
If a pair of such blades are crossed, the harmonics can be used by the wielder to power enchantments using sound as their basis, though this is stressful to the user and greatly sapping of endurance.
What Makes a Weapon magic?
And for that matter, what makes any item magic?
What imbues our swords with supernatural cleaving abilities?
Who allows our maces to smash through stone?
Why do our spears hum with bloodlust?
Where does one find this wondrous font of MAGIC?
How exactly are these weapons created?
Well? Now we will find out! We invite you to join Strolen's Winter Quest! Each entry will be awarded an additional 10XP!
The winners will be chosen in the first weeks of the coming New Year. Be the first 'winner' of 2008! For easy reference and further detail see the What Makes a Weapon Magic submission by one of our esteemed authors, MichaelJotneSlayer. Good Luck to All!
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? Responses (8)
Tuning fork blades.
Elves and songs go together like Dwarves and hammers, so it is a great and flavorful way of enchanting items. The mention of a vibroblade was a little downer for me, but it makes for a distinct effect, so no points lost. Two more notes:
- attempting to hold this kind of a blade is a very idea
- a group of wielders of such swords could, without using any magic, identify each other through the unique sound of their weapon, whether using it in combat, or say, clapping it against their shield. Especially handy in dark or foggy conditions.
I like it in terms of a purely aesthetic standpoint, the idea of a humming, keening, jittering sword. I would imagine that every songblade or every "family" of songblades has a different "song", and that different mastersmiths might have distinctive tones.
First Quest entry! woo-hoo! And shocker, its from val :D
Let me first mention how much I hate elves, their songs, and their blades in general, but immediately follow that comment up with...this is good! The whole Song of the Universe, and a 'smith of sufficient skill' legend, is evocative.
I also like Cap's idea on this. Distinctive tones, depending on family and smith.
Sonic assault indeed. I concur with the captain!
I answered this before but the netether ate it all :(
I haven't said much lately:( its summer here and the extra light drags me away to other distractions and chores so it was nice to read a cool sub on my visit.
I can see the elf swinging this sword of song and its devilish vibration, shattering the opponents sword on contact. Acoustic assault is indeed a wonderful thing. Or its fast vibrating saw action chewing its way through some heavily armoured champion.
I'm Bumping QUEST subs and no one can stop me--bwahahahahaha
You need to read and or play Burning Wheel. ( see ttp://www.rpgshop.com/product_info.php?products_id=36906 (don't buy it here, but read the review) or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Wheel or http://www.burningwheel.org) While technically it is a universal game, the theme of all the Elves is that of Song. Elves are part of the world song. They use song in liu of skills in many areas and use it for produce their "magic".