Ten Swords: A Rolemaster TM Armory

By Ross Henton

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion

Copyright ©2000



Atropos (Hellrazor)

Type: Broadsword

Properties:

    • OB: +30.
    • Concussion damage: ×2.
    • Inflicts additional Heat criticals of equal severity (same roll).
    • Has a 30% chance to cut armor (if successful, attacks are resolved against AT 1).
    • Wielder regenerates 1 hp for every 5 hp inflicted (cannot exceed normal hp totals)
    • Will: 150.
    • Personality: male.

Imbedded Spells:

    • Firearmor (continual).
    • Firebolt 300' (+60, ×3 damage), 2/day.

Construction:

    • Blade: Mithril, 28" long, 3½" wide at base. Has flames etched down both sides.
    • Hilt: Black cherry, 8". Has a cross-shaped guard and hexagonal pommel of gold. The rune for Fire is inset in red laen on both sides of the pommel.

History:

Atropos was forged by a forgotten smith who resided in an area plagued by ice-based creatures. Although Atropos was never specifically enchanted to "slay" any particular race, he was carried for many years by a succession of wielders, with varying amounts of luck. He eventually came to the hands of Thorvald Gunnarson, who is credited with the slaying of the Frost Giant Vorbnir and the uniting of most of the northern clans under one banner. Gunnarson passed from the field at a late age. Atropos was handed down through seven generations of his clan before being lost in a territorial dispute.



Megaera (Thiefcutter)

Type: Broadsword

Properties:

    • OB: +25.
    • DB: +25.
    • "Of Slaying" Thieves (and all related subterfuge professions).
    • Adds +50 to wielder's Detect Ambush/Assassin skill.
    • Can locate any individual whose blood it has drawn within the past five years (direction is communicated to wielder empathically; no information about distance or surroundings is obtained).
    • Wielder can see through any level of natural or magical darkness without penalty.
    • Will: 200.
    • Personality: female.

Imbedded Spells:

    • Darkness 100' R (at will, 10 rounds duration).
    • Utterdark 100' R (10 rounds) 1/day.
    • Spirit Rune: Doom.

Construction:

    • Blade: Bluish high steel, 24". Both sides of the blade have blood-runnels. The Spirit Rune: Doom is engraved in the center of the blade, halfway to the point.
    • Hilt: White high steel, 5½", with a half-basket guard.
    • Pommel: White high steel, plain and round.

History:

The origins of Megaera are unknown. She was given to the city guard of Greymoor by the Archmage Telion Al-Kavari following the brutal slaying of Guard Captain Meg DuPriet by the Greymoor Nightguild (the local thieves' guild). DuPriet's successor, Chalmon Belli, spent the next five years hunting down and dispensing justice to her assassins. After avenging her death, Belli went somewhat mad, and attempted to destroy all thieves in the area. Eventually (perhaps inevitably), he fell to poison, and Megaera was lost for a time.

Her next appearance was forty years later, in the hands of a bounty hunter named Harman Grayel. Grayel retired rich and successful, and Megaera was left to his son Steffan. His career was less spectacular than his father's was, and he fell to a concerted attack less than a year after his father's death. The Greymoor Nightguild paid a large sum to an (unknown) alchemist to have Megaera destroyed, but they were betrayed or the alchemist was not able to do so. Megaera still occasionally surfaces, usually in the hands of a bounty hunter or guardsman.



Kallesta

Type: Two-Handed Sword

Properties:

    • OB: +40.
    • "Of Slaying" Undead.
    • Power point multiplier: ×3 (Channeling professions only).
    • Wielder has constant AT 16 (30), without encumbrance.
    • Blade continually dispels Darkness and Utterdark at 40th level of effect.
    • Will: 225.
    • Personality: male.

Imbedded Spells:

    • Protection V (3/day).
    • Teleport (wielder only, 100 miles, 2/day).
    • Detect Undead (1000', continual).
    • Holy Aura I (continual).
    • Holy Aura III (10 rounds, 1/week).
    • Holy Aura V (10 rounds, 1/month).
    • Call Moonlight (1/week): Circle 1 mile in diameter is illuminated equivalent to full moonlight.

Construction:

    • Blade: Magically hardened sterling silver, 36", chased with runes of ithildin (only visible under moonlight).
    • Hilt: Ebony with white-gold wire-wrap, 10".
    • Pommel: Silver, set with a 2" adamant.

History:

Kallesta is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful weapons ever created. It is believed that he is an Elvish creation, forged long ago by a smith whose maker's mark on the blade remains unidentified. Kallesta was brought from off-dimension, by a Paladin who was seeking a vampire known as Alastair Cohn. Although Cohn was destroyed, Kallesta's wielder fell in battle. The fight was witnessed by a fourteen-year-old boy named Page Strand, who recovered Kallesta after the battle. Although others attempted to separate Kallesta from the boy, Kallesta defended him and refused to be taken.

Under Kallesta's influence, the Strand boy grew to adulthood and became a Paladin in the Church of the Brass Sun. He wielded Kallesta in battle for many years before falling under the control of a lich known as Intriedes. Kallesta, it is said, turned in the hand of Strand and killed him instantly.

Kallesta next appeared in the grip of a man known to us as Klieber Carlos. Carlos hunted and destroyed Intriedes, and Kallesta remained in his charge for the next forty years, as he carved a path through Undead. Carlos feared Kallesta would be captured and destroyed (by an unknown group of opponents), so he cast Kallesta into a flow of lava. The lava hardened around the sword, which remained lost for many years. Finally, Kallesta was retrieved by Peter Koss and taken to the Brotherhood of Gwarden. Koss wielded Kallesta for seventeen years, until he led an expedition that resulted in Kallesta's third (and possibly final) loss.



Lancer

Type: Bastard Sword

Properties:

    • OB: +35.
    • Armor Slayer: Wielder has a chance to cut armor equal to 2× his number of sword skill ranks (not bonus). The AT of an opponent is reduced by 1 for each 10 hits done to it.
    • Weapon Slayer: If the wielder uses 100% of his OB to parry, and the amount of DB provided by Lancer makes a difference in the attack result (shifts critical severity down, eliminates a critical result, or shifts a hits-only result to a no-damage result), then the attacker's weapon may be destroyed (same chances as for armor-cutting above). Magical bonuses to the attacker's weapon may offset this chance.
    • Wielder has continual AT 20 (unencumbering).

Imbedded Spells:

    • Shield II (+50 DB) (continuous).

Construction:

    • Blade: Plain, unadorned mithril, 30" long, with a ¼" wide edge of galvorn.
    • Hilt: Mithril wire-wrap, 6", with a cross-shaped guard.
    • Pommel: Mithril with galvorn inlay.

History:

Lancer is of Dwarvish craftsmanship, and has passed through the hands of many wielders (at least thirty). Most notable among them is a Northman named Gunnar Orccrusher, who (legend says) single-handedly decimated an army of thousands of Orcs forced out of the mountains following a drought. Another of Lancer's wielders, Forman Urthgar, was responsible for quelling the so-called "Duke's Rebellion." Urthgar used Lancer's armor-cutting ability to meet the heavy armor of Duke Alamein's house guard, and severed the mithril-alloy chains used to restrain the dragon called Aliamenora, who also turned his might against the traitorous Duke.



Alcharion (Magefinger)

Type: Broadsword (?)

Properties:

    • OB: +25.
    • DB: +25.
    • Strikes as a broadsword, using the wielder's highest Directed Spell OB.
    • Power point multiplier: ×3 for all professions.
    • Wielder has continual AT 12 (unencumbering).
    • "Blade" cannot parry or be parried.
    • Personality: female.

Imbedded Spells:

    • True Armor (½ concussion damage and all criticals –1 level in severity from all elemental attacks).

Construction:

    • Blade: No physical blade; it appears as a 3' rod of white-hot energy when wielded.
    • Hilt: Blue laen, 7", with mithril guard and pommel.

History:

Alcharion is an unusual weapon. Although she probably was not the creation of a swordsmith at all, she has a history as bloody as that of the most famous dragonslayer. Her first appearance was in the hands of the Magus Rhyfelwr dan Heather. Dan Heather came upon Alcharion late in life, and wielded her few times before retiring to her college. She passed Alcharion to her apprentice, who took the weapon overseas and took a position as court wizard to the King of Rhagrith. Rhagrith fell to an attack by Drow, who took Alcharion to their underground demesne.

A Drowish sorcerer named VarChasne carried her next, and used Alcharion in the assassination of several members of the ruling council of the Elvish-held lands of Elvarmadaine. VarChasne was betrayed by one of his lieutenants; both VarChasne and his betrayer died in the ensuing conflict. Alcharion was recovered by a Human Archmage named Mecros, who eventually became lord mayor of a major western port city. On his death, Alcharion was sent to public auction with the rest of his estate, and was sold for the sum of 1,250,000 GP to an anonymous mage from the east. His use of Alcharion was short-lived, however, for his body was found outside the city the next morning. No trace of Alcharion has been seen since.



Tisiphone (Witchbane)

Type: Rapier

Properties:

    • OB: +40.
    • DB: +25.
    • Holy Weapon.
    • Inflicts ×2 damage and is "Of Slaying" against Witches, Warlocks, Necromancers, Conjurers, Maleficants, and members of similar professions.
    • Wielder gains +25 to all RR's and first strike determinations.
    • Will: 250.
    • Personality: female.

Imbedded Spells:

    • Air Sheath: Tisiphone travels in an extra-dimensional pocket. She can be sent there and called out into the wielder's hand when needed. Note: Tisiphone can call herself out from the Air Sheath without a wielder's intervention.
    • Sudden Light: Operates when Tisiphone is called from her Air Sheath. This effect can be canceled at the wielder's discretion, but in either case, the wielder is immune to its effects.

Construction:

    • Blade: Mithril alloy, 28".
    • Hilt: Rosewood, 6", with an ornate mithril-alloy basket hilt and pommel.

History:

The will of Tisiphone has led more than one Witch Hunter to his doom. She was first recorded being wielded in the hands of Michael belGedeth. She was instrumental in the destruction of the coven at Cerindar, where belGedeth smuggled her into one of the coven's rites in Air Sheath, killing the Warlock when he was most vulnerable. BelGedeth also tracked and killed a Necromancer called Fremon Dell, and destroyed his Undead servants. Tisiphone currently belongs to the Graven Bay Bounty Hunters' Guild; she is occasionally issued to one of their senior trackers for a particular assignment. The Church of the Brass Sun contests that Tisiphone is rightfully theirs, as she was carried by one of their Paladins for years before his death. The Church would probably go to great lengths to recover Tisiphone.



T'salian and T'calian, the Hunters

Type: Two Broadswords

Properties, T'salian:

    • OB: +25.
    • Damage; ×2.
    • "Of Slaying" Demons.
    • Wielder is in telepathic contact with wielder of T'calian regardless of distance, plane of existence, or intervening spells or barriers (both swords must be in hand), and knows distance, direction, and location of T'calian at all times.
    • Personality: male.

Properties, T'calian:

    • OB: +25.
    • Damage: ×2.
    • "Of Slaying" Dragons.
    • Wielder is in telepathic contact with wielder of T'salian regardless of distance, plane of existence, or intervening spells or barriers (both swords must be in hand), and knows distance, direction, and location of T'salian at all times.
    • Personality: female.

Imbedded Spells (both swords):

    • Psychic Bond (1/week; complete sensory input can be received from wielder of the other sword, for up to 10 min.).

Construction:

    • Blade (both swords): White high steel, unadorned.
    • Hilt, T'salian: Ebony, with plain guard and pommel of high steel. The rune for "Demon" is engraved on the pommel.
    • Hilt, T'calian: Ebony, with plain guard and pommel of high steel. The rune for "Dragon" is engraved on pommel.

History:

The Hunters were forged originally for the Elvish lord Vanestra and his wife Lorei, and were presented to them before they led troops into a critical battle. T'salian and T'calian allowed them to coordinate their separate armies during the battle, and are generally credited for the success of their unorthodox tactics. When Vanestra was murdered some years later, the assassin stole T'salian, but was unable to successfully attune to him (legend says that his failure was due to the sword's deliberate resistance). Lorei used T'calian to locate the murderer and avenge her husband's death. Since then, the two swords have tended to fall into the hands of couples and otherwise close partners. Never has possession of one of the two swords lasted more than a month after their separation.



Breitcar

Type: Broadsword

Properties:

    • OB: +20.
    • Damage: ×2.
    • Inflicts additional Heat and Impact criticals (same severity, same roll).
    • Cuts stone (any stone) like butter. (Naturally or artificially enchanted stone objects get a RR, but the effect attacks at 50th level.)
    • Personality: male.

Imbedded Spells:

    • EarthFire Bolt (+30, 3/week): A bolt of lava is shot from the point of the sword. The attack is resolved on the Firebolt table, inflicting Heat and Impact criticals (same severity, same roll). Heat criticals continue for one round per level of severity of the critical (i.e., "C" critical = 3 rounds), reducing one severity level each round.

Construction:

    • Blade: Greenish-black laen, 26".
    • Hilt: High steel, 12", with a cross-shaped guard and octagonal pommel of silver.

History:

Although formidable, Breitcar has traditionally done as much damage to structures as to people. When Hengriest Magnussen and the mercenary legion known as "Rock Fist" laid siege to the keep at Ormsbie, Magnussen crept close to the wall late at night and simply undercut the stone of the tower. When morning came, a concerted effort caused the entire front face of the tower to collapse, leaving its occupants unprotected. Magnussen was killed in attempting such a ploy on a later occasion when the wall collapsed prematurely, crushing him instantly. Breitcar was recovered from the wreckage of the keep, and his new wielder used him principally as a building tool in the construction of a tower. He has also been used by more than one sculptor, and often several years have passed between Breitcar's being drawn in anger.



Ja'Nath and Linn-gar

Type:

    • Separate, one Katana (Ja'Nath) and one Wakizashi (Linn-gar).
    • Joined, one No-Dachi.

Properties, Ja'Nath (Katana):

    • OB: +40.
    • "Of Slaying" Demons.

Imbedded Spells, Ja'Nath (Katana):

    • Haste X (1/day).
    • Utterlight (1/day).

Properties, Linn-gar (Wakizashi):

    • OB: +20.
    • "Of Slaying" Spirits.

Imbedded Spells, Linn-gar (Wakizashi):

    • Regeneration V (1/day).
    • Unpain 50% (1/day).

Properties, Joined (No-Dachi):

    • OB: +60.
    • Damage: ×2.
    • "Of Slaying" Demons and Spirits.

Imbedded Spells, Joined (No-Dachi):

    • Haste X (1/day).
    • Utterlight (1/day).
    • Regeneration V (1/day).
    • Unpain 50% (1/day).

Construction, Ja'nath (Katana):

    • Blade: Unadorned white eog, 28".
    • Hilt: White eog, 12", with black leather trim and gold guards.

Construction, Linn-gar (Wakizashi):

    • Blade: Unadorned white eog, 18".
    • Hilt: White eog, 10", with black leather trim and gold guards.

Construction, Joined (No-Dachi):

    • Blade: White eog, 48", magically engraved with the house sigil of the wielder.
    • Hilt: White eog, 14", with black leather trim and gold guards.

History:

Ja'Nath and Linn-gar were presented to Alcar and Mariana Tel-Sarnon at their wedding to symbolize the joining of their two great Houses. Alcar used the weapons in their "joined" form many times over the following years as he consolidated his hold over the surrounding lands. At Mariana Tel-Sarnon's insistence, following her husband's death the swords were separated again and given to her two oldest sons. She trusted that the enchantment of the blades would bond the two boys together and maintain the unity of the House. Such was not to be—in fact, the two blades have been used in conflict since that time. Ja'Nath was carried by the oldest son for years, but he was struck down in battle by the wielder of Alcharion (see above). Linn-gar was stolen away by the younger son when he realized that he would never inherit the House's lands, and was later lost in a gambling game. Since then, the two blades have met on the field of battle no less than four times, but no one has ever succeeded in reuniting them. Legends argue that great honor would fall on the House that brings them together again, but that the curse of the two sons would eventually bring that House to ruin.



Terpsichore

Type: Rapier

Properties:

    • OB: +20.
    • Has a 30% chance to cut armor (if successful, attacks are resolved against AT 1).
    • Inflicts additional Vibration criticals of equal severity (same roll).
    • If the wielder is singing during combat, a successful Singing roll (Medium, +0) can add half of the wielder's Singing skill bonus to his OB as long as he continues to sing.
    • Wielder can parry up to 5 attacks in addition to his normal action (all attacks parried must be against wielder; the extra parries cannot be used against the target attacked).
    • Personality: male.

Imbedded Spells:

    • Sonic Bolt 300' (+30, 2× damage, 2/day): Resolved on the Firebolt attack table, inflicting Impact criticals.

Construction:

    • Blade: Clear laen, 32", with a mithril point.
    • Hilt: Clear laen, 6", with a mithril pommel and ornate basket hilt.

History:

Terpsichore is obviously the weapon of a Bard, and a notorious one at that. Although he was used to defend the villagers of the Salle region against the minions of the Tyrant King Vergon, he was also used to assassinate the Archduke Haningar. Haningar's court bard, Tyrone Polvare, had cuckolded him months before and had conspired with the Archduchess to kill him. When the court seer attempted to warn the Archduke, Polvare killed both the seer and the Archduke on the spot, then managed to hold off the Archduke's guards long enough to escape. He took refuge in a port city on the other side of the continent. However, the Archduke's vengeful men hunted him down with the help of Tisiphone (see above), which had wounded him slightly in a practice bout the month before. Terpsichore was returned to the Archduke's (falsely) grieving widow, who gave him to the captain of the Archduke's guard in gratitude. Since then, Terpsichore has passed through many hands, and was last seen in the hands of an itinerant minstrel called Kevar Scrollen. (He was believed to be one of the guard captain's descendants.)



Reaver

Type: Two-Handed Executioner's Sword

Properties:

    • OB: +20.
    • Damage: ×2.
    • Requires a 95 Strength minimum to wield.
    • Vorpal Sword: All criticals inflicted are at +20 (criticals are always Slash).
    • Will: 300.
    • Personality: male.

Construction:

    • Blade: Entirely bluish-black galvorn, 48". The core of the blade is hollow and ⅓ filled with quicksilver (mercury). This causes the center of weight of the blade to shift towards the tip when swung. The tip is not pointed; it forms a razor-sharp, squared end. The blade is engraved with runes reading "Estii Terminatis."
    • Hilt: Wrapped with Mithril-alloy wire, 14".
    • Pommel and Guard: Plain, smooth mithril.

History:

Reaver, with his blunted tip, was clearly designed to be an executioner's sword. Reaver was forged by a weaponsmith named Albion Garhand, whose weapons were known to be of excellent quality but were never known to be enchanted. During the so-called "Duke's Rebellion," Anvis, the king's high executioner, wounded Duke Esbada Morren in the defense of the castle. Morren escaped, but Anvis hunted him ruthlessly. After Morren's death, Reaver mysteriously vanished from Anvis' scabbard. Reaver has reappeared several times since, most notably in the hands of the Paladin Tam Devarr. Devarr carried Reaver longer than anyone else on record (over seventeen years). From whence Reaver's enchanted properties come remains cloaked in mystery. Some legends hold that the spirit of a Paladin who was wrongly accused of murder and died at Reaver's execution stone inhabits the blade… but this has never been substantiated. Reaver occasionally appears (often under unusual circumstances) to knights on quest and others who attempt great works against great odds. After the task is complete, Reaver vanishes, occasionally leaving behind a mithril medallion with the image of the sword impressed upon it. Properties of these amulets appear to vary from wielder to wielder.



Malaverion (Mageblood)

Type: Longsword

Properties:

    • OB: +25.
    • DB: +25.
    • RR: +25 to all.
    • "Of Slaying" spell-casters.
    • If a critical is delivered, it inflicts bonus damage equal to the target's current (non-multiplied) power point total.
    • Spell-casters attempting to wield Malaverion take "E" severity Essence and Disruption criticals each round until released. Releasing the blade requires a successful RR vs. an 85th level Essence attack.
    • Will: 250.
    • Personality: female.

Imbedded Spells:

    • True Armor (constant).
    • Spell Hold True (3/day).
    • Spell Bending True (3/day).
    • Perceive Power (constant).
    • Power Typing (constant).

Construction:

    • Blade: High steel 36", with diagonal inlays of ithilnaur.
    • Hilt: Gray dragonskin, 8", with gold-wire trim and gold pommel and guard.

History:

The history of Malaverion is one of little glory and much tragedy. She was the misbegotten creation of a Drowish alchemist who was attempting to create a Cleric-slaying sword. Instead, Malaverion slays all spell-casters, and her first victim was her creator. He died when the errant enchantments were completed, for he was unable to release the blade and was incinerated by its defenses. Malaverion was found by his apprentice, who had not (yet) learned any spell-casting, and was stolen from the forge. He was confronted by two Warrior Mage guardsmen, and Malaverion came alive. Both were dead in seconds. The apprentice escaped from the vault, but died shortly after at the hands of a mercenary named Brian Foricee.

Foricee made the mistake of returning home with Malaverion, for he had not entirely mastered her will and his wife, the town's Healer, died spitted on its point. Maddened by grief, Foricee fled into the city, where he killed two Lay Healers (friends of his wife who had come out to check on the commotion), a priest, and the town's elderly Wizard. Foricee fled into the woods with Malaverion; he was never heard from again.

Malaverion's next appearance was in the hands of a man named Brighton. He was the mayor of a small town that had been terrorized by a priest of the Unlife who had maneuvered himself into the titular position of the duchy. Brighton confronted this "Duke" on the street and attacked him. Brighton was a truly incompetent swordsman (he had never held a sword before in his life), and was cut down in moments. However, Brighton had known of the Duke's love of swords, and had the satisfaction of seeing the Duke clutch Malaverion, writhing in agony as she obliterated him, before he died.

Possibly, the only truly glorious tale of Malaverion is that of a soldier who waged a bloody war against the Drow. He traveled with a group of non-spell-casting companions who forged ahead of him as he traveled, making sure that Healers, Priests, Paladins, and other unwitting spell-casters were well away from him. He was responsible for many deaths among his Drow adversaries before Malaverion's eventual loss. She has not surfaced in the past four hundred years; she may have finally been destroyed.

Editor's Note

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