Thunder and Lightning is a pair of Halberds created many centuries ago during an almost completely forgotten war. The principals of this war only exist now in myth and legend. We have gathered here all known (to us) bits and pieces of the lore surrounding these marvelous weapons.
They were created for a pair of lovers, said to belong to the opposing houses by some, and as members of a third faction by others. It is known that this couple worked together to put an end to the war by building their own army and leading it against the combatants.
The story relates that the Eleanor (also written in documents as Elana, Elidia, and several others, the author of this lore piece has settled on Eleanor and will use it throughout this piece) fell in love with a mighty warrior named Derik (also, Derrik, Darryl, and various others) who was a captain in the city guard on one side of the conflict. Eleanor is reputed by some histories to have been the 5th daughter of Derik's liege-lord, and by some to have been a fosterling of a neighboring kingdom. Regardless, due to her separation from the succession, she was not prime marriage material, and thus, she was given pretty much the run of the castle and its environs.
Eleanor ended up spending much of her time in the training yards with the city guard, learning the sword and bow and eventually picking up and learning how to use pole arms from Derik. His specialty was the Halberd. She was treated like a younger sister by most of the guardsmen, they being smart enough to know she was off-limits to men of their station, and even though the lady of the house disliked this kind of activity for her daughters, her father, being sonless, watched with pride as she grew into a fine warrior in her own right.
Eleanor soon grew proficient enough in the use of the Halberd that she and Derik became the default trainers for new guard recruits who wished to make use of the larger weapon. She would begin their training, with Derik taking over as they grew more proficient. Eleanor and Derik drew a following of their own that would prove devastating to the kingdom after the war began. The two of them became close, much closer than Eleanor's (foster) parents liked, and eventually Derik was sent away from the city, in order to separate the two.
Derik ventured to a place outside the two kingdoms and set up shop as a mercenary for hire. For several years, the two were separated, and only the advent of the war would bring them back together.
When the war had been in full force for about a year, Eleanor was sent to a distant kingdom, either that of her birth or as some tales state as an attempted marriage pact, but Derik's mercenary band, which had grown to intercepted the caravan and stole her away. This caused even more tension between the two feuding kingdoms, each blaming the girl's disappearance on the other, and the war raged on.
Not much is known about the life of Eleanor and Derik during this period, but it is certain that Derik's mercenary troop grew even more, and though both sides of the conflict tried to hire them, they would work for neither side, but rather hired on to other kingdoms to help keep the conflict from spilling across their borders.
The war raged for several years until, one of the couple decided they needed to put a stop to it. Tales relate that both begged the other, so it is uncertain who the actual instigator of the plan was, but it is well documented that after some time, visiting with powerful mages, the two returned to lead their armies into the fray, both wielding fantastic weapons. Each wielding a shining Halberd; one that shot lightning at nearby opponents, and one that sounded a clap of thunder, throwing opponents to the ground.
The mercenary troop attacked and decimated first one army and then another, and then an ultimatum was given. Cease the war and rebuild, or be conquered. As in all wars, the general public suffered the most, and Eleanor and Derik were determined to put a stop to it. A truce was declared.
After the war, the two lovers vanished, traveling some believed to a distant kingdom where they were complete unknowns, and could live out the remainder of their days simply. The weapons, Thunder and Lightning vanished along with them.
Note: All game statistics are built around AD&D, 2nd edition. Adjust to fit your rule set as necessary
Thunder is a standard sized halberd, but the difference between it and a normal one is evident when it is picked up. Thunder weighs more than twice the weight of a normal halberd, and requires high strength score of 18/00 or higher to wield. The wielder of Thunder will never be able to do more than one strike per round with it, regardless of level or specialization.
In combat, Thunder acts as a +2 weapon for hit and damage, and will also 10% (91 - 00 on d100) of the time, do an additional 5d6 points of concussion damage to the target and anyone else, friend or foe within a 5 foot radius except the wielder, or the wielder of Lightning. This effect is unpredictable and uncontrollable by the wielder.
Thunder also has a very mild sentience, which allows it to refuse to be wielded by anyone but a warrior (including sub-classes), as well as anyone who mistreats or doesn't take proper care of it and the weapon will in fact act as a -4 weapon in such cases. If used in conjunction with its other half, Lightning, its plusses rise to +4 and the chance of its special attack rises to 50% (51 - 00 on d100) on each strike.
Thunder has been missing for more than a century. Its last known wielder was a warrior who fought against a Barbarian invasion. It is said he died and the weapon was taken north where it waits for a leader who can properly wield it to lead the Barbarians south into glory.
Lightning is a standard sized Halberd, but the difference between it and a normal one is evident when anyone picks it up. The difference between the two can be described as the difference between a normal halberd and one made of balsa wood. The weapon is light enough that a proficient wielder can make one attack more than what would be normal each combat round.
Being light is not its only property. The weapon strikes as a +2 weapon, and adds one additional attack per level above that a normal warrior can accomplish himself. In addition to this it will, 10% of the time (91 - 100 on d100) strike the opponent with a 5d6 points of electrical damage. This effect is unpredictable and uncontrollable by the wielder.
Lightning itself has a very mild sentience, which allows it to refuse to be wielded by anyone but a warrior, and may refuse to fight for a warrior if he doesn't take proper care of it. In addition to this, if it is wielded alongside it's other half, its plusses rise to +4, and the chance of electrical damage being added to its attack rises to 50% (50-00 on d100). Unfortunately, Lightning has been missing for decades. It was last seen in the hands of a warrior who fought alongside the last Protectorate during the Orc wars. It is known that he survived the wars, and settled somewhere in the Northlands, but nothing more than that.
Using the two in conjunction
The two weapons used in conjunction can be a formidable force for whichever side can make use of them, should they have both on their side.
When the two are fighting close enough together, within shouting range, if one of the weapon's special attacks goes off, the other will go off the following round. This does not mean that it will be a continuous back and forth, but rather, one follow-up for each normal activation of the special ability.
However, this working together of the two weapons is not contingent upon being on the same side. They will respond to each other as noted above regardless, and if the weapons are brought against each other, they will behave similarly to when someone other than a warrior attempts to wield them. They do not like to be at odds with each other and will do their utmost to prevent it.
Finally, if separated beyond their range (again, shouting distance), the weapons call out to each other. This can be heard by anyone sensitive to the magical spectrum such as a mage or anyone wielding the ability to detect magic.
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? Responses (6)-5
Murometz will like you, Eric: I'm pretty sure 2nd edition dnd is his baby :p
I like these! The historical style write up makes for easy reading and gives very matter-of-fact information. The weapons themselves seem very powerful indeed; clearly intended for high levels of game play. I very much like the idea of them being used on differing sides of a battle, and can see that idea as being a useful questline starter: war is coming and the general of the opposing army wields Thunder! The group is tasked with finding lightning so they may stand a chance in battle! (queue the relic-hunt quest!)
One question I have is why they are inspired by thunder and lightning : is there a reason behind the theme? Perhaps the lovers used to enjoy storms, or there may be a significant part in their life that involved lightning or something?
At any rate; good fun!
I use elemental magic in my world, so perhaps part of the back-story could be that the mages in question were air and/or fire casters. Truly, I had not thought that part through.
As to the power level, yes, they are intended for higher-level players, and for my own part, NOT for both to be held by the party, and not the enemy. I gave Lightning to a player's girlfriend, basically recreating the origin story. This puts the weapon out of reach, so long as the player keeps to his character.
I've never heard of anyone other than town guards using a halberd, much less two. That being said, this is really nicely written.
I actually created these for one of my players, who created a halberd specialist (after getting permission). He deals a lot of damage with them (even non-magical ones) but it forced me to step up my game a bit where he is concerned.
I like how the two weapons interact with each other. Origin somewhat sparse - mages made em...
Update: Here is my original submission. I don't remember if I made any changes online that didn't get copied into my document, so if I missed anything, feel free to let me know