Adventures in Thargothras

Black Blades Primer

Common lore has it that Nerith, in times of old, to assist the heroes of the age, forged thirteen black blades, imbued with his will to defeat the Silver King and his minions, and guard against those minions wherever and whenever they should arise to power. These are the blades known to history, and the last records of their whereabouts.

Name: Kieran
Shape: Katana
This blade was taken by Bertran MacLear from its display stand in the ruins of Fort Breloth as it was being invaded by serpentfolk. Ownership of Kieran was passed down through the MacLear line, though it has rarely left the MacLear estate, it is currently in the hands of Vaelin MacLear, who has used it in battle on several occasions.

Name: Brutus
Shape: Terbutje
This blade was retrieved from the belly of a leviathan by Tahalamé the Far-Swimmer, and remains in his possession. How it came to be inside the sea monster is still unknown, but may account for the fate of its previous wielder, Ciphias Skellar of Balthia. Tahalamé has traveled much since taking the blade for himself, and now works in Viridonia as a sellsword for private organizations. He wields the sword with great strength, but doesn't acknowledge Brutus as anything more special than an exotic-looking sword, and never refers to it by name.

Name: Astenta
Shape: Falcatta
This blade is currently in the hands of the tiefling Raph Darkson as he tours the coast of Segarcova, fighting diseased aberrations and oozes. He found Astenta behind a secret door while on a mission to assassinate a petty tyrant in the city of Orgod, and took it with him as a trophy. After Astenta chose him as a partner, he dedicated his life to protecting civilization from the effects of magical over-saturation. This may lead him, as it has in the past, to wander to other continents as needed.

Name: Giacomo
Shape: Rapier
Currently in the hands of the half-elf mage Elmira Welch, who earned it in a mage-duel held by a Gallentian viscount, who had procured it through unknown means. Elmira is an accomplished summoner of extraplanar monsters, but is not shy about entering combat herself when the opportunity arises. She is often distrustful of strangers, but seeks out conversation with arcane casters to compare techniques or learn new spells.

Name: Nester
Shape: Bastard sword
Nester is the favored weapon of Lady Calliope, a knight who fought in the service of her queen. During the Siege of Castle (725), Calliope took a vow to defend the royal line until her last breath. Unfortunately for her, she fulfilled that vow when the castle was finally overrun with Ivideme's Templars, who killed everyone inside and collapsed the entire structure. Unfortunately for her enemies, her connection with Nester had no such expiration date, and she rose the following sunset as a ghost, able to wield her magical blade with as much skill in death as she had in life. Over time, she hunted down the Templars responsible, and now she wanders the world looking for new wards to guard and zealots to silence. She was last seen in Dorwine, assisting the royal family in solving the murder of Prince Kar Avor and bringing the culprit to justice.

Name: Ulli
Shape: Battleaxe
Ulli's last wielder, King Maoz III, the Red Wolf of Vall Volcan, was thrown into a volcano along with the axe itself, during a massive battle for control of the city. Ulli is considered to be lost forever, because even if the axe were completely indestructible, it would be at the bottom of a shaft of magma, inaccessible to nearly any seeker.

Name: Aywer
Shape: Scimitar
Before coming into the possession of Jellak, Aywer spent many decades in the hoard of the green dragon Ailaruumbec in the region of Atandamir, but when the dragon was slain, many items in the hoard were auctioned off to locals and tourists. Jellak's parents decided to buy the scimitar for their son, to support his love of swordplay. Today, Jellak is best known in his hometown as an educator of mathematics, but in his youth, he traveled to other lands to fight witch-hunters, trolls, and an entire druid cult dedicated to freezing the world in ice. Since he cannot be sure his last task was completed, Jellak prefers to carry Aywer and continue wearing armor, hidden under grandiose outfits, despite the heat of his native land, in the event that a surviving cultist seeks him out for vengeance.

Name: Francisco
Shape: Sword-cane
Orpheus Brule won Francisco in the luckiest card game he ever played. Accused of cheating, he had to endure a second game played with a different deck. After the third game, the previous owner, Prime Adjudicator Cayen of Byfalcon, conceded ownership. The last words said between them were "Take good care of him, he's worth more than ten of you." "Then I shall strive to be eleven times the man I am today."
Orpheus has taken it upon himself to expose diabolists, trick corrupt officials into financial and social self-ruin, and evade assassins of every stripe as he culls Byfalcon's social elites of weakness and decadence. It is yet unknown whether he has help from Francisco in these matters.

Name: Willow
Shape: Spiral rapier
Willow is owned by an antiques collector named [REDACTED], who carries it with him as a discreet weapon for self-defense. [REDACTED] does not have the ability to tap into its true power, and adamantly denies that his weapon is the genuine article, as the sword has never attempted to communicate with him at any time. For now, it is safe in his possession, as long as he does not draw attention to it.

Name: Kiriki
Shape: Khopesh
The blade known as Kiriki was thought to have been destroyed 124 years ago in a duel between Aureen Greentree and Menthir "Goblin-Bane" Gethrix, when the latter was possessed by Shi-Domas. But recently, rumors have circulated that the blade has been repaired, and is in the hands of Kathleen Falken, a spellsword with a talent for fire magic. The rumors are consistent, but there are few who can attest to their location at present.

Name: Jacinda
Shape: Rhoka blade
Jacinda's second most recent wielder was Brennan Kretschmann, an aasimar demon-slayer imbued with power by angels. He had come across the sword in a demon's castle and learned to use it to disarm mortal opponents rather than kill them. One day in his travels, he stayed at an inn, but heard sounds of struggle in the next room. Feeling a terrible evil on the other side of the wall, he left his room, and kicked down the door to the adjacent room, in time to witness a coloxus demon in the act of defiling an elf woman. Calling upon his holy powers, he slew the monster, and turned away while the elf recovered her dignity. She asked to see the face of her savior, so he removed his helmet and turned to her, at which point he was stabbed in the neck and shot through with lightning magic and deadly poison. The woman, Cora Kylantha, an elven battlemage with a secondary talent for planar magic (through the use of scrolls), now uses it as her primary weapon. She was last seen leaving elven lands on horseback, and witnesses confirm that she was conversing with Jacinda by name.

Name: Yorick
Shape: Longsword
This blade now belongs to Vivian Harth, who inherited it from her father. Her family hails from Leiblich, in Estardana, and one child in each generation has been chosen by Yorick since its creation. That may change, as Vivian has been struck barren by a hag's dying curse. Vivian's whereabouts are unknown at the moment, but she was last seen heading north to Viridonia.

Name: Umeko
Shape: Gandasa
Umeko's last wielder was Alec Blaker, a mercenary from Asitrias with a talent for both magic and death-dealing. After ascending to real power as a bladebound and slaying a tribe of plagued ogres acting under the influence of Kemassu, he took a ship to sail home to Asitrias to buy a house and retire. Sadly, even a bladebound champion of Nerith is not immune to inclement weather, and the ship was caught in a terrible storm and crushed by the waves. The ship, Alec, and Umeko now lie at the bottom of the ocean. Only one survivor, a gillman named Yoll, was left to tell the tale and account for the events.

Other swords may exist that are mistakenly called black blades, but their legitimacy is considered apocryphal. It is known that there are counterfeits, copies, and other imitations of the blades listed above, as well as artificially blackened weapons that have had their histories partially or entirely falsified, and at least one "lost blade" that exists entirely in fiction, having no physical form, genuine or fake, only a name (Kettoch) and associated myths.



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