The Legend of the 12 Swords of Power
The Legend of the 12 Swords of Power
The Swords were created by Vulcan at the behest of the old gods. They intended to use the Swords to play a game, pitting nations of mortals against one another, to relieve their boredom. By making the Swords and scattering them throughout the land, the gods hoped to derive amusement as men and women sought them out and lorded power over each other.
Vulcan forged the Swords in the Northern Mountains, on top of the Unseen Peak; a name for which no mortal has ever seen. He conscripted mortal men from the nearest villages as assistants. Starting with meteoric iron and a powerful earth-fire, Vulcan completed each Sword by quenching it in human blood, sacrificing his unwilling assistants one by one. Only one man survived the forging process, the smith Jord, who lost only one arm to the quenching process. As payment for survival Vulcan gave Jord Townsaver as payment for his work, to someday pass to his own son.
However, Vulcan forged too well; the Swords’ powers even worked on the gods themselves. This mistake came from the gods’ misunderstanding of their own nature. In their arrogance, they never thought to wonder where they had come from. In fact, great as it was, their power was granted by the collective the worlds beings. The Swords ultimately destroyed many of the old gods: some directly by the Swords themselves.
The Swords are all physically identical in design. Each Sword has a bright, double-edged blade a meter long, that is a centimeter at its thickest, and has a simple black hilt with straight crossbar. The steel of the blade is mottled, with a subtle translucent pattern that seems to extend to impossible depths. The hilt is an unknown black material, hard but also comfortable. The Swords are all surgically sharp and resistant to all forms of damage. They never rust, dull, tarnish, or soil. They were practically indestructable
The overall construction of the blade is described as simple and elegant, not ornate or flashy
A Sword can only be distinguished from its companions by a unique white symbol etched into one side of its hilt or by powerful magics. In addition to each Sword’s magical properties, most also serve as peerless conventional blades, due to their perfect balance, extreme sharpness, and indestructible nature.
The Song of Swords
Who holds Coinspinner knows good odds
Whichever move he make.
But the Sword of Chance, to please the gods
Slips from him like a snake.
The Sword of Justice balances the pans
Of right and wrong, and foul and fair.
Eye for an eye, Doomgiver scans
The fate of all folk everywhere.
Dragonslicer, Dragonslicer, how d’you slay?
Reaching for the heart in behind the scales.
Dragonslicer, Dragonslicer, where d’you stay?
In the belly of the giant that my blade impales.
Farslayer howls across the world
For thy heart, for thy heart, who hast wronged me!
Vengeance is his who casts the blade
Yet he will in the end no triumph see.
The Mindsword spun in the dawn’s gray light
And men and demons knelt down before.
The Mindsword flashed in the midday bright
Gods joined the dance, and the march to war.
It spun in the twilight dim as well
And gods and men marched off to hell.
I shatter Swords and splinter spears;
None stands to Shieldbreaker.
My point’s the fount of orphan’s tears
My edge the widowmaker.
The Sword of Stealth is given to
One lowly and despised.
Sightblinder’s gifts: his eyes are keen
His nature is disguised.
The Tyrant’s Blade no blood hath spilled
But doth the spirit carve
Soulcutter hath no body killed
But many left to starve.
The Sword of Siege struck a hammer’s blow
With a crash, and a smash, and a tumbled wall.
Stonecutter laid a castle low
With a groan, and a roar, and a tower’s fall.
Long roads the Sword of Fury makes
Hard walls it builds around the soft
The fighter who Townsaver takes
Can bid farewell to home and croft
Who holds Wayfinder finds good roads
Its master’s step is brisk.
The Sword of Wisdom lightens loads
But adds unto their risk.
Whose flesh the Sword of Mercy hurts has drawn no breath,
Whose soul it heals has wandered in the night,
Has paid the summing of all debts in death
Has turned to see returning light.