The Swords Of Wayland, continued
This sword is a scimitar +3 (although some people might call it a sabre), which is rare enough in itself.
This sword looks like most other sabres or scimitars, and is made of a simple metal of a fine quality, which is gray with a seemingly slightly greenish shade. The blade is inscribed with subtle magical letters, that can only be read through the use of Read Magic or True Seeing spells. The letters spell
the word "Longl", the name of the sword. Other than that the sword appears to be a normal unintelligent scimitar of +3 enchantment.
- The sword can be awakened if the owner will perform two simple tasks. First, he must possess the sword for at least two months. Then he must use it to slay at least two gnolls. The sword will not awaken until these conditions have been fulfilled,
and the sword will not reveal any information about how to awaken it. None of the powers described below will be active before the conditions described above have been met.
- The awakened sword becomes both very powerful and a bane to any gnoll and the sword is then a sword +5, bane to gnolls (this does not include flinds).
When used in combat with gnolls, this sword will leave behind magical green lines or streaks in the air where it has passed. These lines or streaks will slowly disappear, but any gnoll fighting within five feet must roll a saving throw vs.
Death Magic or accidentally touch one of these lines. If this happens the gnoll is struck by a Critical Hit from a slashing weapon with a severity of 20 and has already failed it saving throw. Since this can easily slash limbs from the gnolls body, this powerful effect has earned Longl its nicknames
of "Greendoom," "Greendeath," or "Greenswathe." The awakened sword has a neutral alignment, and an Ego of 16 and an Intelligence of 13.
- The owner of the sword suffers a -1 penalty to his base Movement rate.
- Humanoid Detection:
- This sword will glow with a pale white light whenever a humanoid of the seven goblinoid races other than a gnoll (bugbear, goblin, hobgoblin, kobold, ogre, orc, troll, or any subspecies) are within 40 feet of the sword. The owner can command the sword not to do so, although the power will then go
dormant until the owner orders it to function again.
- Specific Detection:
- If the sword comes within a range of 100 yards (300 feet) of a gnoll, it will immediately turn completely green and use empathy to make its owner aware that gnolls are near. This power cannot be commanded to cease, but the owner can easily keep this secret by simply hiding the blade of the sword (by returning it to his sword-sheath, for example). The sword will not return to its normal color until taken beyond the range at which it can detect gnolls.
- Extraordinary Powers:
- The extraordinary powers of this sword are especially useful to a priest, although he must be able to use the sword, of course. The sword has no power to allow priests that are normally barred from using a scimitar or sabre to overcome this
restriction. This sword will either enhance the spell capabilities of a person with the ability to cast priest spells, or allow any other person with no such ability to cast priest spells (of the All, Divination, or Protection spheres) to cast his choice of Detect Evil, Detect Magic, or Augury twice each day (i.e., the sword has two charges and casting any one of these spells drains one). In the hands of a character able to cast priest spells of the All, Divination, or Protection spheres, however, the true power of this sword is revealed, for it will allow any such person to memorize and cast an extra
seven spell levels each day from among his usual spells, as long as these spells are either 1st or 2nd level. The extra spells can be any spell from the All, Divination, or Protection spheres, as long as the number of spell levels does not exceed seven (e.g., the caster could memorize an extra seven
1st-level spells, an extra 1st- and three 2nd-level spells, an extra three 1st- and two 2nd-level spells, etc.). The caster can ignore material components for the spells the sword allows him to cast.
- Longl does not so much have the ability to find the Fifth Sword of Wayland, Gurbeab, as it has the ability to detect it. If the owner wishes to find the Fifth Sword, Longl will reveal to him in a dream that he must discover the name of the Fifth Sword ("Gurbeab") and then kill a gnoll with Longl.
When this is done, Longl will be able to detect the presence of Gurbeab for a month, if it comes within 1,000 feet of it and communicate this knowledge to its owner. After this month has passed, this power ceases and the owner must kill another gnoll to reactivate this power. Other than that, Longl has no power to find Gurbeab, and it cannot reveal the name of the Fifth Sword of Wayland to its owner.
- This sword has made relatively few appearances during the
history of Mystara. One story claims that the sword was used by Ylari nomads when they drove the Alphatian conquerors out of their lands. Another story claims that it was used by Mustafa abd-Ali, an Ylari warrior who was one of the gladiators who aided the gladiator known as Thincol the Brave (the later Emperor Thincol of Thyatis) in repelling the Alphatians when they invaded Thyatis City and slew Emperor Gabrionus V in the year 959 AC. The story actually claims that Mustafa wielded the
sword against the Alphatians during the incident. These two stories of the sword have caused some Thyatian scholars to name the sword Alphatiacus, which is Thyatian for "slayer of Alphatians."
Unfortunately, this only adds to the confusion, as this is hardly the first sword that has been called by that name. Despite denials from Emperor Thincol himself, some scholars still claim that the sword was used to repel the Alphatians in 959 AC. It has been impossible for Thyatian scholars to further
confirm or deny this story, as Mustafa abd-Ali was killed during the incident, and the sword (if he even wielded it) therefore lost. However, a third story of the sword claims that it was later wielded by a young commander of the Alphatian army named Zacralum of Draco (which may confirm the suspicion that it was used in the defense of Thyatis City and then claimed by an Alphatian and brought back to Alphatia when the former owner was killed). Unfortunately, this story also remains unconfirmed as Zacralum is known to have later been one of the founding members of a famous group of Alphatian adventurers known as The Company of the Golden Dragon. (The group is said to survive even to this day, though it now contains none of its founding members.) The group was very successful in its early days, but most of the original members eventually disappeared or died during a mission in the Alphatian nation of Stoutfellow. The only surviving adventuring companions of the original group claim that Zacralum was disintegrated by a beholder in a dungeon deep beneath
the Kerothar mountains, and that his sword must therefore have been lost or destroyed on the same occasion.
This sword is a rapier +3. The sword has a basket hilt of a fine gray metal with a slightly blue quality, and this easily allows any wielder to use it for a Block attack option with a
+1 bonus instead of the usual attack roll. The actual blade appears to be made of a dull gray metal that would seem to be of exceptional quality. In truth, the blade is made of a very special alloy of mixed adamantite steel and mithril silver, so even if the sword were not magical, it would be almost
impossible to break the fragile-looking blade. The name of the sword - Gurbeab - is actually written in tiny magical letters on the blade, but this will be almost impossible for someone to notice this unless they are actively looking for such a thing. In any event, the letters can only be read through
the use of Read Magic, True Seeing, or similar magical spells. In any event, the sword will appear to be a simple unintelligent magical rapier of +3 enchantment, except that if it is even touched by a wizard, he will get an intuitive sense (it is actually the sword that communicates this to him using
telepathy) that he should keep the sword. If a non-wizard acquires the sword, it will likewise make him aware that it will be of little use to him (although this is not true), and that it will be more useful to a wizard.
- Awakening this sword is quite simple. In the awakening of this sword, its love for wizards becomes apparent. If the owner is a wizard, he must own the sword for two weeks, after which the sword will use empathy to make him understand that he should use it to pierce the heart of a bugbear (note that the bugbear need not be alive for this purpose).
If the owner is not a wizard, he must own the sword for at least three months. During this time the sword will constantly try to give the owner the intuitive idea that he should let the sword pass to a wizard, but after that time the sword will have accepted that this will not happen, and the owner can then awaken the sword's powers by using it to slay a bugbear, although the sword will not communicate this information to
him. The powers described below can only be used after the sword has awakened.
- Once awakened, the sword will reveal its neutral good alignment. It also has an Ego of 15 and an Intelligence of 17. This sword becomes a rapier +5 and a bane to bugbears once it is awakened, since it also gives its owner a further +2 bonus to his attack rolls when he uses it against a bugbear.
- The owner suffers a -1 penalty to any saving throw vs.
Paralyzation or Death Magic. Note that this does not apply to saving throws against non-magical forms of Death, Paralyzation, or Poison.
- Humanoid Detection:
- This sword will glow with a pale white light whenever a humanoid of the seven goblinoid races other than a bugbear (goblin, gnoll, hobgoblin, kobold, ogre, orc, troll, or any subspecies) are within 40 feet of the sword. The owner can command the sword not to do so, although the power will then go dormant until the owner orders it to function again.
- Specific Detection:
- If the sword comes within a range of 100 yards (300 feet) of a bugbear, it will immediately turn completely blue and its handle will become warm (but not uncomfortable) to touch. It will also use empathy to make the word "bugbear" appear in the mind of its owner. The owner can turn this power on or off as he desires by simply mentally commanding the sword to do so.
- Extraordinary Powers:
- This sword is especially useful to a wizard, and this will
become obvious as soon as the powers of the sword have been awakened. If the owner is not a wizard, the sword will simply allow the owner of the sword to cast his choice of the three wizard spells Detect Magic, Read Magic, or Protection from Evil three times a day (i.e., the sword has three charges and casting one of these spells drains one).
In the hands of a wizard, however, the true powers of the sword become apparent. First, the sword bestows proficiency with it upon any wizard. Although wizards aren't usually proficient with a rapier (or any other sword for that matter), this sword easily overcomes that restriction. Second, any wizard wielding this sword is allowed to cast an extra eight spell levels of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level through the sword each day, as long as these
spells are chosen from the magic schools of Universal Magic, Divination, or Abjuration (i.e., the wizard could memorize any number of extra spells, as long as adding their spell levels together does not exceed eight). In effect the wizard does not memorize these spells himself (unless he chooses to),
but rather stores them in the sword. He must point the sword to release them from it at an Initiative modifier of 1. The wizard can ignore material components for the spells the sword allows him to cast.
The rumors of these powers, vague as they are, have caused some Thyatian scholars to give the sword the nickname Amicus Magi, which is Thyatian for "mage's friend."
- Gurbeab is one of the best of the Swords of Wayland, when it comes to finding the other Swords of Wayland. If the owner seeks to find the Sixth Sword of Wayland, Gore, Gurbeab will inform him that he must first discover the name of the Sixth Sword, which Gurbeab cannot assist him with. Once he has done so, Gurbeab immediately reveals a clue to him. This works just as if a Legend Lore spell had been cast and is treated as if the object of attention (Gore) were at hand, even though it is not. This power can be used only once a month. However, Gurbeab can also reveal information about any of the other Swords of Wayland, if the owner can discover the name of the sword that he is seeking. If this happens, Gurbeab will reveal a clue about the sword as if a Legend Lore spell had been cast, although this is treated as if detailed information about the sword were at hand. If the owner discovers the name of another sword and Gurbeab senses that he desires to find the sword, then Gurbeab will inform him that it can reveal a clue to him, but that the owner must spend 1d10 days in isolating with the sword as it performs its research as per the Legend Lore spell. This power of the sword can only be used once every three months, although it does not affect Gurbeab's ability to reveal clues about Gore, the Sixth Sword of Wayland.
- The history of Gurbeab seems to be relatively short. If the sword was created along with the other Swords of Wayland, it must either have remained unclaimed for many years, or else its early history is lost or kept a secret for some reason. The earliest story claims that the sword was once wielded by the
human warrior Francino Markone of Darokin during the brief and fruitless Elfwar that Darokin waged against Alfheim around 500 AC. Later the sword was passed on to Francino's son, Thurio
Markone, after Francino's death. When the Elfwar was over and Darokin later allied with Alfheim against the invasion of the Shadow Elves about sixty years later, it is claimed that Thurio, too, fought against the Shadow Elves, but was killed in the battle and his sword lost.
It is also said that in 846 AC, the sword was used in the defense of the town of Ardelphia against a horde of invading orcs in northern Darokin, but this story remains unconfirmed as the orcs overran the town and utterly destroyed it. Strangely, later stories from the 10th century AC claim that the sword has been wielded by a couple of Alphatian wizards, first by Endracomt of Aasla, and later (after he was killed by a
dangerous vampire archmage in the foul nation of Blackheart) by his niece, Druande of Starpoint. Unfortunately, the further fate of Druande has so far remained unknown.
This sword is a bastard sword +1. It is a nasty-looking weapon with one extremely jagged edge while the other edge looks rather more common. The blade itself seems to be of an ordinary, gray metal, but is actually very strong, as any test will reveal. The handle is of a leathery material although it is of a
color as red as blood. The sword would otherwise appear to be similar to any other unintelligent magical bastard sword of +1 enchantment. Along the side of the blade, several strange symbols can
easily be made out. These are actually magical letters that spell the name of the sword - Gore - if a Read Magic or True Seeing spell is used to read them.
- Awakening this sword is very easy, though the sword never gives the owner any indication of what he must do to awaken its
powers. The powers of this sword come into full power as soon as someone even strikes at an ogre with it. There is not even (as there usually is with the Swords of Wayland) a set amount of time that the owner must possess the sword before its powers can awaken. A character could actually find the sword in the lair of an ogre and awaken the powers immediately by simply using the sword against the ogre. Note that in such a case, even the first strike of the sword will have the full, awakened, effect against the ogre, as the sword awakens the very instant that it senses that someone even intends to strike an ogre with it. The person who does so is immediately accepted by the sword as its owner, and all the powers described below are awakened.
- Once the sword is awakened, it becomes a bastard sword +3, ogreslayer +5, and has an alignment of neutral, an Ego of 18, and an Intelligence of 12. This sword is a bane to ogre (inluding ogre-magi) whenever used against them (which awakens its powers). The sword is a +5 weapon against any ogre and is
treated as a large weapon for purposes of severity in the case of a critical hit. Against ogre sub-species (such a ogrillions), the sword is +4 with no additional power.
- The owner suffers a -1 penalty to any damage rolls he makes for as long as possesses the weapon after its powers have awakened.
- Humanoid Detection:
- This sword will glow with a pale white light whenever a humanoid of the seven goblinoid races other than ogres (bugbears, goblins, gnolls, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, trolls, or any subspecies) are within 40 feet of the sword. The owner can command the sword not to do so, although the power will then go dormant until the owner orders it to function again.
- Specific Detection:
- If the sword comes within a range of 200 yards (600 feet) of an ogre, it will immediately begin flashing in a garish violet color and make a loud high-pitched grinding noise, which cannot be stopped, although the owner can lower the volume of the noise a great deal if he concentrates for at least a round and makes a successful Wisdom/Willpower check.
- Extraordinary Powers:
- This sword has some extremely potent powers, particularly in the hands of the right person. While the sword cannot overcome a person's inability to use a bastard sword if it is the consequence of a class restriction (as it would be for most
single-classed wizards or priests), it does bestows not only proficiency with the weapon, but also Weapon Specialization with it upon its owner when he uses it, unless the person is, for whatever reason, specifically barred from using a bastard sword.
If the owner already has Weapon Specialization with a bastard sword, Gore instead improves his skill be one degree (i.e., if the character already has Weapon Specialization with a bastard sword, it is improved to Weapon Mastery, while Weapon Mastery is improved to Weapon High Mastery, and Weapon High Mastery is improved to Weapon Grand Mastery). Note that this can even improve the skill of the owner beyond a class restriction, so that, for instance, a ranger who has Weapon Mastery with a bastard sword would have Weapon High Mastery with Gore, even though it is usually impossible for a ranger to achieve High Mastery with any weapon. In the extremely unlikely event that Gore falls into the hands of a single-classed fighter who already has Weapon Grand Mastery with a bastard sword,
it will instead grant his an additional bonus of +2 to both attack and damage rolls and an extra attack every other round.
- As with the other Swords of Wayland, Gore has the power to find the next sword, Lortl, the Seventh Sword. Unfortunately, Gore's power to find Lortl is extremely limited, but it is
constantly active from the moment that the owner has awakened its powers. As soon as Gore comes within 100 yards (300 feet) of the Seventh Sword, Lortl, it will begin pulsating with a yellow light. The owner will also feel a pulsating sensation if he touches any part of the sword. The pulsating feeling that the owner experiences becomes more distinct as Gore comes closer to Lortl, although the pulsating color of the sword indicates no such intensity. Note that the owner need not even discover the name of the Seventh Sword, although doing so will be beneficial, since doing so will increase the range at which Gore can detect Lortl to 300 yards (900 feet).
- The known history of Gore is long and grim. The earliest story claims that the sword was used by the one of the first waves of Alphatian conquerors that invaded modern Thyatis around 190 BC. As this wave of Alphatians were killed by the
Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians, the sword was lost, although the Alphatians did conquer the lands two years later. One story of the sword claims that it was used by the Thyatian general
Zendrolion Tatriokanitas, who was to become Zendrolion I, the first Emperor of the Thyatian Empire. This story also claims that Zendrolion killed several Alphatian wizards with this sword and that it was actually this sword that he eventually used to kill his old friend, the Thyatian wizard Lucinius Trenzantenbium, after Lucinius had led the Thyatians to independence of the Alphatian conquerors and then allegedly become insane. The belief that the sword has been used to slay so many powerful wizards has also earned it the name "wizards' bane".
After that, the sword's history becomes blurred, although some stories claim that it was later used by elves in the defense of
the Sylvan Realm against the evil human wizard, Moorkroft, and his army of humanoid monsters around 600 AC. Since Moorkroft succeeded in conquering the Sylvan Realm, this story cannot be
confirmed or denied. Other rumors would have it that the sword was used in the bloody wars between the forces of Sindrastan (who fought to unite Sind by conquering the individual kingdoms or mumlykets and eventually succeeded) and the defenders of Kadesh and Gunjab around 700 AC.
What then happened to the sword is uncertain, but a more recent story claims that it was wielded by the Traladaran warrior Dmitri Ivanovich against the Thyatian invaders who successfully conquered old Traladara (now Karameikos) around 900 AC. After the Thyatians had conquered Traladara and then traded it away to Duke Stefan Karameikos III (who renamed the nation after himself). Another rumor claims that the sword was used against Duke Stefan and his Thyatian retainers by Britan Marilenev during the brief Marilenev Rebellion. When the rebellion was put down and most of the Marilenevs killed, Britan and his brother, Caspar, were captured. Unfortunately, they were both
killed along with their captors when they were later ambushed by orcs, as they were being escorted to safety in Specularum.
Copyright © 2000, Jens Schnabel. Used by permission. All rights reserved.