'A man needs two things to become a saint. He must perform three miracles, and then he must die. Perform your miracles, sir, and come to me when you are ready to become a saint.'
—Azariah Saintmaker, Dread Lord of Hatred
Full Item Description
Approximately five and a half feet in total length, Saintmaker is a simple, broad blade, straight as an arrow, a single, broad fuller stretching from just before the point clear to the hilt of the blade. It is a well worn weapon, the blade notched and nicked along its length, near to the point of being saw-edged, the steel of the blade stained and dark with splotches of black and crimson. The hilt is undecorated, and wrapped in old leather, worn and stained the same crimson as the blade.
Once, Saintmaker was a simple executioner's sword, belonging to the dispenser of the king's 'justice' in a relatively corrupt nation. And it remained that for many a year, a symbol to focus the people's fears, until one day, it was used upon a martyr. A simple doctor of Arloch, renowned for his nigh-miraculous practice of the healing arts, and his generousity towards the poor, a true and humble follower of the Lady of Life, was convicted of aiding and abetting the enemies of the king. Unable to fight the law for having had mercy upon a wounded man, he surrendered, and placed his head upon the block willingly, allowing the blade to fall... And the Dark Ones smiled, where they lounged upon their fell thrones in their assorted hells, for one more light in the world had been extinguished. The first breath of their demonic strength they gave to the man's executioner, and it reposed in the tool of his art.
Still, in time, the executioner perished, ripped limb from limb by a rampaging mob, though hundreds fell as he fought back against them with the tainted blade. Realizing it for the dark thing it was, the Church of the Lady attempted to destroy it, but proved unequal to the task. The blade was sealed beneath the earth, and a temple erected to guard the seal.
Yet, this would not be the end of the unholy sword, for the Dark Ones were soon to choose a champion. In order to prove herself to her masters, she fell upon the temple, and shattered the seal, reclaiming the blade. And once she had done so, she gathered up the head priest of the temple, and sacrificed him to her masters. The torturous proceedure took thirteen days, as she used the giant, nicked sword much like a bonesaw, cutting his skeleton apart bone by bone, as she muttered foul incantations to sustain his life and conciousness throughout, the better to please her hellish benefactors. And they were pleased, and granted her power with which to terrorize the land through her sword...
Her defeat took armies and adventurers, a pitched battle upon the open plains of the east, a desperate struggle in her own stronghold, and though she fell, all the adventurers who stood against her shared in her death, the dark magics claiming them along with her as she was drawn down into the nether realms. When at last men dared approach her black citadel, no trace of the blade was to be found...
First and foremost, for the powers of the blade to be activated, the Dread Powers must first be appeased. The blade must be used to commit an atrocity. Simple murder is not enough, the weapon must be used for a truely revolting and vile act. Previous acts have included such things as the flaying and cannibilization of a child while her bound family looked on.
Once this is complete, the powers of the blade begin to manifest. It is capable of penetrating the majority of divinely blessed defenses, rendering the typical defenses of priests and the like useless against the wielder, though mortal steel and purely arcane power are effective against it. As well, it proofs the wielder against those same divine spells - both those which would be detrimental to him, and those that will help him. He cannot be stricken down by the magics of mere priests, but nor can he be healed, nor blessed. For holy magics to affect the blade, or its wielder direct divine intervention is required.
Secondly, the long association of the blade with pain and suffering have married the sensations to the weapon, and it oozes them from its very substance. The wielder is surrounded by a palpable aura which inflicts these upon any who enter it, including the wielder.
Finally, as time passes and the blade is used for the fell purposes of the Dark Ones, the daemonic strength will come forth from the unholy blade, and infest the bearer. Over time, he will become to gain a subset of a fell lord's power, slowly becoming to appear as one as well. As this progresses, he may gain a Patron God from amoung the myriad powers of Darkness, and he may find himself in a bargain for his very soul.
Still, the blade is at its most powerful when it is used to destroy and defile the holy, and more than one saint has fallen to its deathly kiss.
A McGuffin for the badguys. ;)
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? Responses (12)
A superb backstory for an excellent dark item. One question: what relevance does the synopsis have? It gave me an impression of an old hermit-type man who lived on a hill and people came to him to become saints. If they'd done enough miracles he killed them. It could have been either a genuine but misguided act of worship (i.e. he thought he was doing the will of the appropriate god), some form of con-trick (i.e. they paid him for the 'privelege') or even an evil ploy, to rid the world of the most holy people without effort. As I say, what you actually wrote about was brilliant, but I still would be interested to know what you were thinking about when you wrote the synopsis.
What Iain said...
What Ian said.
Updated: (Synopsis better accredited.)
The synopsis is the quote that inspired the item, actually - I left it out of context. It comes from a fellow who plays a sort of Black Paladin in an MMORPG, the sort of person who wished to 'cleanse' the game world of good.
Very evil. Nice.
What Ian said...
And more. Well, actually, I can't think of that much more, other than the fact that it has a cool history and it's a cool item. Well done!
Excellent weapon. The story has both depth of content and executions. This level of attention is not normally given to a 'bad guy weapon' of anything less than a 'major artifact of power' level. It is truly a great post.
In long, what Ian said. :P
Fantastic! I love anyhting Saint related and this is great tale!
Well really, everyone else seems to have summed it up so well in their mis-spelling of a name. So in conclusion I must conclude with 'What Iain said.'
Damn, I wish I'd remembered this while working on Goge and fiddling with other things involving the Lost Gods of Kuramen. ;p It's right up slaughter-boy's alley.
Swimming against the flow here, but: I find it somehow cheesy. It's a decent write-up, though.
Given the origin, I can forgive a little cheesiness. It is an excellent weapon for your stereotypical dark lord to wield.