29 August 2013

The swords of Ostgard

Another artifact from my Skylands campaign.

Some background on this: In the basement of the ruined Temple of Ostgard, the PCs found two cases that were both locked and Law Locked. (Law Lock is like Wizard Lock but it can be opened those who are lawful.) The party happens to have a lawful thief (he prefers the term “adventurer”) who managed to open them. Inside each a sword was found. A sage was able to provide this information about the swords:

The sorceress Rozenta—seeking to impress the demon-prince Hangdofalten—spend six years in the construction of the sword Malezort. She sought the red-gold star-metal of Bowal for its blade. She stole the ebon wood of the Ezar tree cultivated by the green elves of Glortingel to fire the forge. She cursed the family of the grandmaster swordsmith Quasrag to force him to form the blade. She uncovered the darkest tomes of fell dwoemercraftie for its eldritch charms and chaotic enchantments. Many dread deeds she did or forced upon others to obtain the energies required.

When her masterpiece was complete, she conjured Hangdofalten to present him with her offering. Annoyed by being brought against his will and unimpressed by the sword, the demon-prince ripped the sorceress’s soul from her body and imprisoned it in the sword.

The sword came to the hand of Mulchor, a warrior of great strength. With the sword, he became a cunning leader. He drew together a band of warriors who conquered castle, then county, then duchy, then kingdom. He began building an empire and was called The Unstoppable.

A high priestess of law, Megulf, decided there was only one thing to do. She laid the plans for the forging of another sword to counter Malezort. She convinced the dwarfs to contribute the rare and silvery metal they call Revlis. She convinced the green elves of Glortingel to give the shining wood of the Ullorn trees. She recruited three master swordsmiths and three high mages to shape the blade and enchant it.

There was one element of her plan, however, that Megulf kept strictly secret. When the blade was done, she conjured Hangdofalten and tricked it into placing Megulf’s own soul within the weapon. Only in this way, she believed, would this sword, Lexifer, be equal to and able to defeat Malezort.

Lexifer then came into the hands of Doelpen, a great champion of law. He rose to the place of High Marshall of the forces of law. Under his leadership, the armies of Mulchor were defeated. Doelpen sought Mulchor, defeated, and killed him.

It happened that Doelpen came to the realm of King Fegborjo. Fegborjo was a hedonist who cared only about sating his own pleasures and not the needs of his realm or his people. Doelpen confronted the king, and Fegborjo dismissed the marshall. Doelpen said, “I and my armies fought to free you from Mulchor’s rule, but you are unworthy of your crown!” Doelpen drew Lexifer and drove the king from his throne and castle. As the king had no heirs, the kingdom happily accepted Doelpen as their new sovereign.

It seemed that Doelpen found fault with every other sovereign he met, no matter how good. First he deposed a few neighbors, and soon he was building a new empire.

A girl, Paldoran, whose family were killed in Doelpen’s conquests found her way into the emperor’s court. She told him her story and denounced him, much as he had denounced Fegborjo. Doelpen cried, “Lies! How dare you disparage the name of your leige by whose leave you live free!” He drew Lexifer and swung the sword at the girl. The spirit of law entered her, and the sword flew from the emperor’s hands. Doelpen, suddenly realizing all the things he had done, drew his dagger and killed himself.

Paldoran took Lexifer and Malezort, which Doelpen had kept locked away, before the council of bishops. The council demanded that both swords be destroyed. The spirit of law within Paldoran, however, said, “No!” It told them the story of the swords’ creation. Since destroying the swords would mean destroying the souls within, that was not an option. And so the swords were sealed and hidden away.

All names were generated with Holmesian Random Names One-Sheet from the Zenopus Archives.

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