Time for a Swordtember post, I suppose, because I need to write some stats for a big ol’ baddie and I also need to regurgitate lore that has been percolating in my mind since I started doodling swords for this event.
Day 1: Crystal
Deep in the cavernous cities of the pious dwarves, who carve the pillars of crystal into glittering statues and cathedrals, the quartzsmiths – highest calling of dwarvenkind – fashion geodes and gemstones into arms and armor for their bravest souls. So armed, these wardens delve deeper still and stand guard against the horrors their mines uncover.
This one came super easily to me, and is part of why I chose to go with Faith Schaffer’s prompt list this year.
Day 2: Candle
A longsword with candle lit upon the pommel in memoriam to Sir Oleksiy, loving father and heroic son who bravely stood and faced down marauding orcs with his brothers until he drew his last breath in the ruins of the razed town of Sieve. May his soul find comfort in the feasts of Elysium, and long may his name ring in these hills.
Day 3: Gear
Constructed by the Thyatian artificer Flarius during his infamous and quite public descent into madness after reading a cursed text on lost equations, this sword is an example of advanced clockwork in the dwarven traditions of crystalline resonances and captured lightning. Each phase of the main, driving gear generates a different frequency and results in a different, experimental and frankly unstable power.
Somehow I actually skipped doing this prompt and did Day 4 instead, and only realized this the morning of 03 September – so I had to rush through this design while watching a nature documentary after work later on in the day than usual. I think it’s a fun little sword though!
Day 4: Elemental
The sword elemental is formed when surges of horrible magic flood through forges, such as when wizards raze cities to the ground in wartime or demolish their tower and adjacent castle complex with malign rituals gone wrong. The resultant creature is essentially mindless, made of wrought steel tongs and iron blades and armor bits in the shape of a bipedal potbelly stove stuck through by dozens of swords. They have one to four “arms”, slashing appendages made of sabers and scimitars. In their center they have a gnashing maw with daggers for teeth. Though they do not speak, they are loud nonetheless, as their metal scrapes and grinds as they patrol around the ruined remains of their territory. They will kill all living things in this immediate area and then slumber until life comes nearby once more, sometimes remaining still so long they begin rusting in place. Though caked in oxidized metal, their magic origin prevents actual damage from resulting and they will suddenly burst forth from the corrosion to kill encroaching beings.
Number Appearing: 1-4
Move: 120′ (40′)
Attacks: 1d4 (decided at generation; number of arms present) sword swings per turn
Save As: Fighter 2
Treasure: 1d4 mundane swords of varying style, 1-in-100 chance of magic sword.
Alignment: Neutral, but vehemently unfriendly
Immune to sleep, charm, hold person spells; cannot be reasoned with. Unable to communicate as it lacks language or comprehension.
That does it for the first batch! I’ve had a ton of fun working through this prompt list so far and I am especially happy with a few pieces. I look forward to posting those. Hopefully some of these get some use at someone’s table, though I think a few of them will get used in my Gygax ’75 project as well, so that should be fun. Let me know what you thought of these, or link your own Swordtember entries in the comments below!