I shrieked in joy and agony as I was bathed in the flickering flames, in the grip of the gloved hands. I knew not what purpose I would serve, but I knew then that I would follow it with utmost dedication. But then I was drawn out of the fire, and beaten with the hammer, over and over, each strike defining me, giving me purpose, giving me life. Again with the flames, and again with the hammer. And then I was thrust into a frigid bath of cold water. Steam curled around me. And it was then I knew with every ounce of my being what I was. I am a sword. But not jut any sword. I was made for the hero Rathner, to slay the dragon Erathni'il, who had been plaguing the nearby land.
Rathner, bedecked in ragged leathers, took me up in one hand, and proclaimed me to be called Opprimere. And thus, he thrust me in his scabbard, and we set off to slay the dragon. Rathner, as any such hero would, charged into the lair, tore me out, and attacked. The magics that bound me allowed me to cut through Erathni'il like a knife through butter. Even weilding me, however, the fight was long and difficult. In the end, Erathni'il managed to breathe fire on Rathner. In his final moments, leathers aflame, Rathenr stabbed me deep into Erathni'il's heart. And thus both dead.
For countless years I lay their in the dragon's ribcage, in the dragon's cave. But at last, an adventurous chap wandered into the cave. He, after filling his bags with the dragon's gold and silver, discovered me in the dragon's ribcage. He picked me up, and took me. As he grabbed my hilt, I learned his name- Furis.
Furis was not inclined to use me at first. He planned to sell me, as well as the rest of the treasure he had found. But I worked on him, manipulated him. I had not sat in some cave for all those years to be sold to the highest bidder as soin as I got out! Using my secret arts, I twisted him, warped him, worked him, until at last I had him where I wanted him. And when Furis was insulted by the meager offering of money he had been offered for me, it took little to have Furis wield me. Furis chopped off the man's head, and attacked the blackmarket fencers arond him. Furis easily won with me in his hand. But perhaps I had miscalculated, because after Furis realized what he had done, he threw me in the river, as he ran from the scene of the crime.
For years I sat, frustrated at how close I had been. But unlike my years in the ribcage, I now thought about how best to manilulate people. And when Miceael found me, washed up on the shore after a sudden flood, I could manipulate him easily. Miceael was a priest of a monotheistic faith. And so I gave him ambition. Miceael rose through the ranks of the clergy quickly, with me whispering suggestions. And atlong last, I drove him to start a holy war against a neighboring nation of pagans. Miceael, or Saint Miceael as he would be known in later years, fought at the head of his army, with me, Opprimere, cleaving through skulls. I gloried in the slaughter, the death, the blood soaking my steel. And I was severly disappointed when the enemy retreated. Another battle came, and I grew to love the destruction more and more. But Miceael, too, died. A hail of pagan arrows ended his life.
A lowly soldier named Thronar picked me up next. And soon I was back in the thick of battle. But Thronar, curse him! Thronar realized how I infuenced his mind, and sought to destroy me. But no mere mortal such as he stood a chance to harm me. He took me to a blacksmith, to melt me down to slag. But when the blacksmith picked me up, I sent a wave pf power up his arm, and made the blacksmith attack Thronar. Thronar died easily, but the wave of power proved too much for the Blacksmith- he fell dead after my blade cleaved Thronar's skull in two.
A villager discovered me laying on the blacksmith's floor. Hubert was just a common farmer, and hung me up on his wall. He had three children. The eldest son, 10, was called Spei. The second eldest daughter, 9, was called Venia. And the youngest daughter, 5, was called Suavis. During the day, I watched as children played on the ground below me, during the evening I listend to Hibert's fanciful tales of me story to his children, and at night over the family as they slept. In the third summer after my discovery by Hubert, Hubert was doing the various farm chores required of him, and his wife was at a nearby river washing clothes. Spei took me down, and ran into the forst with me, to show hos friends. Venia and Suavis came chasing after, to stop him. In the forest, we encountered a trio of bandits. They were rough, unshaven lot, and I knew then and their if I was take by them, it would be all to easy to control them, manipulate them, get them to be mine. In their hands, rather than in some farmer's hands, I could slaughter as much as I pleased. The bandits smiled, and approached the children, who were backing away slowly, fear in their eyes. But then Spei tripped over a root, and fell to the ground. I tumbled out of his inexpierienced hand. Rathner or Miceael would not have dropped me from something like that. But then the lead bandit picked me up. Instantly, I knew that he was Laesus, and I verified that I could all too easily control him, given time. But then Laesus brought me down in a deadly arc towards Spei. Laesus was going to hurt Spei? LAESUS was going to HURT SPEI? With only seconds to react, I changed my direction. Instead of touching Spei, I cleaved straight through the tree root that trapped him. Spei, in a fit of bravery, punched Laesus in the gut. Laesus dropped me, and Spei picked me up and ran off, with Venia and Suavis at his heels. The bandits tried to follow, but the children knew these woods, and hid in a hollow tree. They waited their till evening, and then trooped down into the arms of their waiting parents. And all was good again.
In the fifth summer after Hubert found me, an orcish raiding party bore down on the peaceful village. Hubert joined the men of the town as they fought off the orcs. With me in his hands, Hubert was twice the warrior he would have been normally, and the villagers easily won the day. But when they returned home, they found the village in ruins. The orcs had sent one party to kill the men, while the second group had ransacked the town. Hubert and I staggered to the burning wreck that used to be our home. We saw the charred remains of Hubert's children and Hubert's wife. And something twisted inside me. From that day on, I swore vengenace on the orcs, as did Hubert. I, Opprimere, swore to avenge Hubert's family on the orcish race.
From then on, I was used by a great many people. Each one, I manipulated and used to carry out my oath. From now until I am finally destroyed, I will seek out and exterminate the orcs. Never shall I rest, never shall I cease. Ever onward, until the last orc is slain.
Opprimere is a magic sword. It never rusts, goes dull, etc. In short, time does not effect it. Opprimere also ignores armor bonuses. It also increases the wielder's ability to hit the target by a moderate amount. Opprimere also causes the wielder to fanatically seek out orcs (or another race that periodically raids human settlements) and destroy them. This fanaticism is not immeadiatly present, however. The wielder starts out normal, but will have an urge to attack any orc he/she sees by the end of the week (depending on willpower). By the end of the second week, the wielder will automatically attack any orc in sight, and by the end of the month will seek out groups of orcs to kill. The wielder will be under Opprimere's complete control in 1 1/2 - 2 months. Opprimere will not drive the wielder into suicidal positions, but will still take high risks. The wielder will not charge across an open field at 30 orcish bowmen. The wielder would, however, charge across a rocky plain with lots of cover at 30 orcish bowmen. If the wielder would need help to kill a band of orcs, the wielder will get it.
The wielder will also become more blood-thirsty as time goes on, though not to the degree that the wielders orcish relations change.
The wielder can get rid of Opprimere at any point. However, it is more difficult to do so as time goes on; a more and more difficult will save (or your game system's equivalent) to get rid of the sword.
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? Responses (9)
This is great, I like your style of presenting a story and not just facts. In fact the 'Use' section could be seen as condescending. My opinions of this have changes for the years and I think if you are going list facts, you may as well toss in game states. I like that the sword bonds with people, and I would like to read more. What did the sword feel like when it hit the dragon for the first time?
The lost and found, lost and found cycle gets a little repetitive. I think that is more a matter of writing style and you could maybe get those encounters to pop a little more than they do. But the pay off is worth it. However would suggest adding some stuff about the kids, make the reader bound with them some.
Perhaps the kids get the sword down to play with it one day when dad is away. Then the sword has to make choice, get all fun and bloody or protect the kids by blunting his blows and shifting his balance. The fact that the sword would choose the kids well being over his own desires would add some weight to story.
Who is the sword talking to?
And how come the dragon gets a name and Hubert's kids do not? They seem more important to the sword's growth.
I think the protect the kids thing would be an excellent addition. And the kids should get names (latin, like the name of the sword and furis), too. Along with the wife. And your first question: if you're asking who the sword is talking to throughout the piece, then i would say itself. Or, if you're asking what, in the RPG that the sword is living in, the sword is talking to, as in how it manipulates its wielders, then I'd say it doesn't use such crass methods as actual speech, but more of a telepathic urging, making it easier to think this, harder to think that, and before you know it you're orc huntin'.
And the lost/found cycle thing- it gets a bit repititive to the sword, too. As it no doubt would to any magc item in your PCs pack.
I get the repititiveness may be accurate for the story you are trying to tell, but perhaps a slight tweek of the language might make it a little more engaging. You start two paragraphs in a row with 'XXXX picked me up next'. This is a minor point, but it is one little thing you could polish up.
It's not a new idea per se, but it's well-written. I like it.
Update: Used axelerowe's suggestion and added a sword v self scene, as well as the names of the kids.
Damn that goes down smooth. Well done sir.
A good take on the intelligent sword, though perhaps a touch too powerful. The sword's morality seems to be quite varied.
A sword with a reason to hate Orcs. Does it also hate Orc women and children? 5/5