?The Sword of the Innocent Child
A magical one and a half handed longsword once wielded by an innocent child forced into the horrors of combat.
UPDATE: Fixed a few flaws to balance the weapon some more and filled a plot hole.
UPDATE: Decided to change the end of the story to have a more fitting reward for a war hero. But the tale still takes a tragic turn.
DESCRIPTION: A 6' longsword of shiny silver colored metal. A cross guard above the hilt. The hilt is half wrapped in black leather. The blade has runes which translate to 'Let this blade aid the weak and innocent though the heat of battle.'
To get an idea of how this looks and its nature, think of Auduril mixed with the illumination properties of Trueflame and a custom enchantment.
BACKGROUND: Long ago during the great war of Astralon, the High King Aiden issued a decree that one able bodied male shall serve in the Royal Army to defend the kingdom from the hordes of Barbados. Within the local village of Rivers Edge, Royal Troops delivered the notice to every family.
The father of every family in the village donned their arms and armor and headed out to the Forward Operating Encampment. However there was one family who had no adult male to go out and fight. Only a young 10 year old boy who's father was killed in action fighting a group of bandits that attempted to raid the village 5 years ago.
But the decree said that one able bodied male was to join up and this child did meet the criteria. He was taken by the troops to the encampment even though he had no weapons or armor. At the encampment the boy approached the blacksmith to ask for a weapon and some armor.
The blacksmith was shocked to see a child standing before him. When asked where his father was, the boy explained that his father was killed fighting bandits. So since he was the only able bodied male in the family he has to serve in his father's place. He then asked for a weapon to fight with and some armor to protect himself.
Horrified that such an innocent soul was to face the horrors of combat, the blacksmith promised to make some extra special armor and a sword just for him. He toiled away for weeks and once he was finished he enchanted the weapon with a unique spell. The very first and only enchantment he has ever done.
The boy was called over and the smith presented him with a special suit of plate armor that fit perfectly over his body. The armor was easy to move in and made of hardened steel. Then a longsword was presented to the boy and the smith told him that he could wield this blade with great ease and that as long as the blade was at his side, he would be victorious in every fight. The boy accepted the gear and proceeded to his own tent.
Over the next few weeks the boy practiced wielding his new blade. Its design allowed him to perform both one and two handed attacks. With its very light weight, when the boy swung it, the blade moved gracefully through the air. As he kept it in his possession, it appeared to make him a master in combat. He easily learned moves that even the most skilled warrior would struggle with. Furthermore when he held it, his grip was tight as steel.
Finally after a month has passed the boy's unit was deployed. He marched alongside the other men onto the battlefield. The men around him figured he would not survive for long. As the armies of Barbados charged forth, the men around him charged forward while the boy carefully kept a short distance of a few meters from the others.
It was here that he saw the heat of battle for the first time. Despite his newly learned skills, he lacked the confidence and courage to join the fighting. The boy watched in horror as armor was pierced, bodies were eviscerated, blood and gore scattered about the battlefield, and men scream in pain and terror as they were wounded and killed.
One of the Barbados soldiers spotted the small boy in his armor suit. Even though the helmet slightly obscured his face, the soldier could tell that he has never seen combat before. The boy bolted towards a wooded area. The soldier called over ten more men and they gave pursuit.
Running away though the woods, the boy found a small space under some rocks concealed behind some roots. Without hesitation he ducked inside it and remained very still. Peeking between the roots of his hiding place he got a good look at his pursuers. They were each wearing heavy suits of armor which they were clearly used to moving in. With swords brandished they split up and searched for him.
The boy watched them closely to see if they were close to finding him. One of them neared his hiding spot. It was only a matter of time before he is spotted and his heavy breathing did not help. Looking in between the roots the soldier's eyes opened wide in surprise as the boy sprang out from his hiding place and lashed out without any warning. With sword in hand, the boy attacked the soldier cutting though his armor effortlessly and lopped his legs off.
The other soldiers heard a scream and rushed over to the source of the noise. They were shocked to find their fellow comrade missing his legs and bleeding out quickly. Suddenly they heard an animalisitc scream behind them and turned around to see the boy rushing towards them wildly swinging his sword. The soldiers barely had time to react.
The boy dispatched the first one quickly and the others attempted to defend against his blows. He hacked and slashed his way through two more of them before the fourth tripped him and attempted to disarm him. But he was unable to get the sword from the boy's grip. As the boy lept up they all got a good look at his face. It had the expression of a feral beast who had just been provoked. It was at this instance they knew that the boy would not go down without a vicious fight.
Each of them dodged, blocked, and parried his attacks. But they were unable to defend against his relentless assault forever. The moment they began to tire the boy made quick work of them all.
Meanwhile back at main battlefield, the troops wondered where the boy went. Desertion was a serious offense punishable by 100 lashes with a bullwhip. The boy emerged moments later from the wooded area covered in blood and bits of gore. His face showed that of a traumatized person.
When their commander asked him where he ran off to, he replied that some enemy soldiers chased him into the woods and he had to deal with them. The commander needed to hear no more. He had experienced the horrors of combat.
Overtime the boy became famous. As he defeated foe after foe as the war raged on, his fame only grew. Everyone in the Royal Army heard stories of his victories. For 15 years this war lasted. Until finally the Barbados army retreated back into their own territories for good.
Once the war ended, the boy was knighted and he lived on as a honored hero. Granted a massive castle for him and his family to live in and a large region of land, he lived the life of Royalty. However on the inside, he was mentally scarred and had routine flashbacks of the endless combat he had to face.
He wanted to end his life but no matter what he did to goad worthy opponents into combat, no one would fight him. They knew that he wanted to die and did not want to risk execution for attacking a protected individual or because they knew he was going to throw the battle and intentionally allow himself to be defeated. The cowards way out.
By the time he reached 16 years of age he decided to fall on his sword, unable to stand the haunting visions of his past battles. The King had him buried with full military honors and he was placed inside a grand tomb with his armor and sword where it has remained since.
The sword is made entirely of light weight adamantium and is suitable for both one and two handed attacks. It requires no maintenance apart from cleaning it. It will never dull, rust, take damage, or break.
It has a permanent enchantment that cannot be removed. This enchantment does the following things:
When lost it will always warp back to the current user. If that user dies then it will warp back to the child's tomb.
It can only be wielded by one who has never seen combat before taking it up and/or who only fights because he/she just wants to live. In the hands of others, it is effectively useless.
This sword is a survival weapon. It was designed by a person who only wanted to see the boy survive. All it is meant to do is save the user's life and ensure no harm comes him/her.
It greatly increases your combat stats and can confer new moves to the user.
When brandished, it is impossible to disarm the user of it.
These bonuses will only be enacted when you are forced to defend yourself. This means that your opponent must be the first to initiate combat or you are stuck in a situation that is impossible to escape without engaging in combat.
When brandished at night or in a dark location, it illuminates the area. Like
NOTE: This weapon is best used with PCs who are not fighters.
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? Responses (8)
It was very in character/realistic for the boy to freak out in battle and run away and hide - I really liked that. I also liked that when put in a corner with nowhere else to go, he lashed out like an animal would. I also liked that he came out of the woods traumatized: He didn't somehow just turn into some mighty warrior. The sword's enchantment did the 'winning' for him and he was more or less along for the ride whether he wanted to kill or not.
Based on the story alone I feel like the sword is perhaps a little overpowered, however you did put a restriction on it (powers only granted to someone who has not seen combat) which helps mitigate that a little bit.
Personally, an addition i'd make to the sword is that its combat enhancing powers and unbreakable grip are only granted to the wielder if the sword is drawn in defense or without the intent of killing, or as a last resort of a desperate person.
If someone wielded this sword as the aggressor (with the intent of initiating an attack), there would be no bonuses granted and the weapon could be disarmed.
As a personal preference i'd also remove the other abilities (warping back to the owner, and illumination).
A weapon enchanted to protect against those who would do its owner harm, yet to not aid any who wield it with bloodlust.
some general thoughts:
- I feel like a full hardened steel plate suit would be bloody hard for a 10 year old child to move around in
- I want to know who this Blacksmith is, that he can imbue such powerful enchantments on weapons. And why not enchant all the weapons he makes?
I know it is kinda OP but I did base it somewhat after a weapon mod on my Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion game on PC. Basically the idea is this weapon is granted to anyone who fights just simply to stay alive. That is all it is used for, survival.
I like the mythic feel of this item, and that the sword and armor are sealed away somewhere in a grand tomb. This could easily be a local myth or legend, one that many people might scoff at, a nigh unbeatable child soldier with a massive limb severing sword. This is also a very good variation of the peasant hero story, I heartily approve.
There were a few things I had issue with, and they are minor.
I assume you know that there is a real place called Barbados, an island in the Caribbean.
Why wasn't the blacksmith making these uber weapons for everyone? (I can easily answer this myself with divine inspiration, or that the smith was actually a quasi-sympathetic diety.
Young boys would still have been used in the army as messengers and runners, or as personal aids to other men who could use them, leader types.
Otherwise, fantastic effort and thank you
Love this entry, well done and thank you.
Update: UPDATE: Decided to change the end of the story to have a more fitting reward for a war hero. But the tale still takes a tragic turn.
Nice sword. Good story. I also think it is slightly overpowered but feel it can be easily modified to fit better into a game. I would add that Shadoweagle's suggestions for restrictions would greatly improve this.
I added a couple of his suggestions.