The Blades of Zarkon
Long ago, when the first Emperor still sat upon the Golden Throne, there lived a mastersmith named Zarkon. He was, without doubt, the finest smith ever born. In an age of Iron, Zarkon forged steel. It was said that Zarkon spoke to the metal he was crafting and told it what to form, and the metal, out of respect, did as he asked. Many impossible things came from his forge. He forged a shield of mirrored glass, a robe of ruby crystal, and an axe with an ivory blade. However, it is not these marvels that he is known for, but for the blades of Zarkon.
One of Zarkon's many quirks was that he did not work on commission.
Zarkon tended to forge what people needed, but never what people asked for.
This did not stop them from asking. Always his workshops, no matter how
often he moved them, would be swamped by messengers of nobles who had to
have a Zarkon blade, or by would be heroes certain their mission was one
worthy of Zarkon's help. His workshop became more and more removed from
civilization, and the traps outside more and more lethal, and he still
could not stop them. So Zarkon invited the ambassadors of the many rulers
who begged for a sword, and made a deal. He would make one weapon for
their leader, in exchange for guarding his privacy forever more.
Five years later, Zarkon appeared to each of the leaders and asked
them to gather their people in the central squares of the city that he could
present the weapon to the leaders in front of their peoples. At each
place, he explained the deal that had been made and extolled the virtues of
their ruler. He then unveiled the weapon and told the story of its
creation while the crowds stood in awe and the ruler waited impatiently.
Zarkon then presented the weapon to the ruler, and spoke these words.
"Citizens, see your ruler. He holds a weapon of destiny in his hands,
as do rulers around the world. Watch closely the bearers of such weapons.
They have the capacity to influence this world and its peoples. Watch them
closely." Zarkon grabbed an amulet around his neck and he started to glow
bright white. As the crowds shielded their eyes, Zarkon spoke his final
words, "For if all the Blades of Zarkon are present at one time, the world
as you know it will forever change. And it is the wielders of those blades
who will decide if it is for good or for ill." With that, the light
flashed, and Zarkon was gone. Without exception each ruler looked at the
weapon in his hand and thought, "What have I done?"
So that is the legend. As races and kingdoms are developed, a legend of
that kingdom's Blade can be developed. As an example, here are the weapons
for the Empire and the Tree Folk.
Dorilar- The Sword of Unity
Zarkon described it in this matter. "As befitting the glory of the Sun
King I started with a shaft of purest gold and I tempered it and forged and
toughened it until finally." Zarkon swung the sword into the stone of the
castle balcony and the balcony cracked, "it became as lasting as the Empire
you hope to forge."
The blade is solid gold, straight as a shaft of sunlight and just as
bright. The hilt is a simple ivory crossbar inscribed with roiling clouds,
such that when drawn you get the impression of suns breaking through
clouds. Diplomats know it as the Ambassador's Blade, it soon became
obvious that disagreeing with the bearer of this blade was near impossible.
However, those that did knew Dorilar as the Sword of Binding on the
battlefield. Many a commander found his own troops rallying to the side of
the Emperor compelled to serve the wielder of Dorilar. Many credit the
ease of the Empire's early expansion to this blade. Many others blame it
for many blunder throughout the Empire's history. Nothing is more
dangerous than a fool for an Emperor that no one can disagree with. It
currently lies in the sunken city of Tifur clutched in the hand of a
Equinox - The Axe of Balance
To the Great Trunk Mother of the Shalsam'ai Zarkon presented a double
bladed axe. The twin moon blades were of finest steel. One blade wore the
face the face of Shorma, fiery and wild. The other wore Themnass, cool and
wise. The top of the axe was topped by a large gemstone, but its color
could not be determined. It swirled through the rainbow as Zarkon twirled
"You of the Shalsam'ai seek balance it all things. By learning and
communing with the powers around you, you know when the forest must be
cut," Zarkon swung the axe into the heart of the Great Tree at the center
of Thalsa. The crowd gasped as sap poured from the wound like blood. The
Great Trunk Mother leapt to her feet and just stood there too shocked for
words. Then Zarkon placed the gem of the axe over the wound. Rainbow light
shone on the wound, and as the crowd watched, it sealed itself like it had
never been. "And when it must be healed. Equinox will aid you when things
are out of proportion."
Equinox's greatest victory was during the war with the Empire. Whenever
the Empire would launch firebombs, Equinox would bring rain, and whenever
Empire troops would attack, Equinox would turn the forest against them.
However, every time they attacked the Empire, Equinox did nothing. The
Shalsam'ai soon learned that Equinox was attuned to the world in exactly
the way they yearned to be. It knew the balance of the world, and they
accepted that them becoming more ordered must balance Chaos elsewhere.
Equinox is still in Thalsa, and it is occasionally brought to deal with
some crisis. More often it is brought out if an action is in question for
Equinox will only assist with balanced projects. However, it is most often
found with the Loremasters and Loremothers. By experimenting with and
meditating on Equinox, they hope someday to learn how to attune themselves
as Equinox is attuned to the world.
If you ask a random citizen of Thalsa what they think of Equinox, a little
under half will praise it their savior and guide, and a little under half
will curse it for making others reliant on it and not their own judgements.
The rest are satisfied that both groups are in balance.