The Hammer of the Dark, as it is now known, is made of a dark metal, and covered with spikes.Because of the recent events involving it, it is well known throughout the borders of Vallermoore.
Benefits: When underground or in some other place without sunlight, the owner can plunge the area into darkness that only he can see in, everyone else is temporarily blinded by the effect. In the open air, the effect is the same by night, but in sunlight only lasts for a short time, longer at dawn or dusk but still not longer then a few minites at a time. If the owner has lost something or someone big in his life, the effect will last longer, as that is what this weapon draws it's power of darkness from.
Drawbacks; When someone picks it up, it's magical abilties fuse with the owner for an entire year before anyone else can use them. After using it for a while, the owner will grow overconfident and may well end up trying to tackle something or someone too big for him or her to deal with. It draws it's owner towards chaos, revelling in destroyed towns and destruction in general as this provides the misery needed to feed it.
Lore;Eoghann must have thought that his life was effectively over when he was arrested for sheltering escaped slaves by the royal guards of what was then the emerging nation of Vallermoore. It was throught by the royal authorities that merely sending him to the gallows was too light a punishment for what he had done. Instead this strong and healthy man was sent to the mines under Gladranch Peak to toil away in the semi darkness for the rest of his life producing gold for the Queendom.
Until, that is, he broke into a long-forgotten tomb. In the hands of the dusty preserved body inside, a body that crumbled to dust and bone as the air swept in, was a warhammer. As he grabbed it, the entire mine was plunged into darkness, every torch and lantern put out, yet he could see as if it was day. With one blow he broke his leg chains, with another he slew the nearest mine guard and moved rapidly through the mine, striking down the blinded guards. After about a dozen guards were killed, the rest fled the mine in terror, and he was able to free his fellow slaves, all of who were dammed men with nothing to lose.
He must have been an orator too because he managed to persuade them to stick together by pointing out that if they split up they would be hunted down like animals and put to the sword or sent back to the mines, whilst together they were an army. They had their pickaxes, the might of his weapon and enough food for weeks, and there was plenty more to take. They would attract the slaves and the criminals and those hard done by to their cause and liberate the country. When a royal army was sent against him, his strategy was to avoid it at all cost until dusk, and then he used the weapon again. True, his men were as blinded by it as those who he was fighting against, but they pretended not to be, and it worked. Unable to see a thing, thinking their Goddess had deserted them, unused to this, the royal army broke and ran. Which was just as well, as in the open air the effect was over after a few minites.
At this point the Queen was willing to talk with him to try and avoid a possible overthrow, but something in the weapon urged him on. Why talk, it whispered to him, when you could be a King? One more major battle and the Queendom is yours. He became more cruel over time, permitting his followers to commit all manner of crimes to their foes and civilians alike.
When he used it again, the Queen’s army had been warned about it and it’s effects, and told to stand firm and keep their ranks. And that was what they did, able to stand firm until the darkness lifted, as in the open air it did not last so long, and then carve up the largely untrained people who faced them and not be frightened when another wall of darkness came in. When he used it once more to try and escape, it made him unable to see instead of his attackers and he was cut down.
When they captured it, they were unable to use it's power, and so after a while it became a first prize at a royal tournament.
Twist; Rarely, the blinding effect will ricochet back on the owner, leaving him or her unable to see for a while whilst everybody else can.