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Legendary Items

by Carl Quaif

This posting concerns two "legendary" weapons - that is to say, unique items with some history behind them - and the heroes whose legends they form a part of. The first concerns Arelan, creator of my earlier Forester spells; the second, his mentor. At the bottom is another Forester spell, this one created by Simenodar.

Legendary Weapons:

Oakenheart, Long Sword +3

This sword is made of magically shaped and sharpened oak (the result of a Deadwood Blade spell). Further enchantments have rendered it permanently sharp, practically unbreakable and resistant to fire, as well as giving it +3 to hit and damage. The upper part of the blade, nearest the hilt, is carved on one side with the name of the sword in the Vyalia dialect, and on the other with three stylised runes. These runes allow the bearer to cast the following spells once per day:- Haste (bearer only), Healing Sap, and Squirrel Climb (see my earlier post on Forester Spells for details of the last two spells). The sword is unintelligent and unaligned.

Oakenheart was the personal blade of Arelan of Greenheight, a high-ranking and respected Forester. Arelan was born in 920 AC to impoverished parents in Thyatis City, who sent their son, aged 13, to the Gladiatorial Training School in an attempt to improve his lot. "Improvement" involved punishing training routines, frequent whippings and bullying from older trainees. after a year of this treatment, he managed to break out of the compound and ran for his life. After several weeks of night-travel and hiding, the exhausted boy reached the western forests. His first night's sleep in the deep woods was interrupted by an elven patrol from Greenheight, who bound him and drove him, at sword-point, to their camp-site. Standard orders at that time stated that interlopers into Vyalia territories should be put to the sword; however, the patrol's leader, Simenodar, saw something in the frightened boy which caused him to take Arelan under his wing, teach him the ways of the forest and, eventually, fight to adopt him into the Clan.

Years later, Arelan had become a Forester, skilled at both the fighting arts and Elven magic - surprisingly to both his tutors and himself, he had a rare talent for sorcery, and was responsible for the creation of several unique spells now in common use by the Foresters and Vyalia Elves. Whilst camping one night on patrol, his party were ambushed by a sizeable force of Dire Wolf-riding goblins from the Dymrak Forest. With their watchman dead, and their weapons and armour captured by the goblins, Arelan instructed his scouts to run for help whilst he held off the goblins with a conjured Deadwood Blade and his small stock of spells. The Immortals were obviously with him that day, as Arelan was able to single-handedly slay dozens of goblins and their mounts, putting the rest of the army to flight. Near death, he was found by a rescue force and nursed back to health, by which time his tale had been immortalised in song and story. The wooden sword he had used was retrieved with him and, during his long convalescence, was enchanted with its permanent abilities. Arelan himself carved and enchanted the spell-runes on the blade, and named the sword Oakenheart. For the rest of his life, he used no other melee weapon, and many were the legends which sprang up about the sword and its wielder.

Since Arelan's death, the sword has mostly lain in a place of honour in Greenheight. The Foresters do not believe in leaving a working weapon to gather dust if it is needed, however. A high-level Forester PC, or an Elf-Friend of the Vyalia, might be lent Oakenheart if undertaking a vital and dangerous mission on behalf of the Foresters.

The Silver Bow of Simenodar:

This is a Longbow +2, +3 vs. Humanoids. Twice per day, the wielder can surround a nocked arrow with Cold Flame, causing an additional 1d6 damage on a successful hit. The Bow is made from silver birchwood, and has a bowstring of unbreakable, magically flexible silver. This string will not snap or fray, and is unaffected by damp conditions, so the Bow is always ready for use. The Cold Flame power is triggered by a command word ("Greenheight").

Simenodar was, and indeed still is, a Scout for the Elven community of Greenheight. He was an adventurer in his youth, mixing with humans, Hin, and even Dwarves, which gave him an unusually cosmopolitan outlook for a Vyalia Elf. He was one of those who pushed for the creation of the Foresters, fighting the somewhat xenophobic attitudes held by many of his Clan. Becoming a student of the Clan Treekeeper after settling back into Greenheight, he became quite a skilled magic-user, creating his "signature" spell, Cold Flame (see below), as part of his training; however, shortly afterwards he abandoned this calling, becoming a scout.

Although he never married, Simenodar did "adopt" a son; the boy who would become the Forester Arelan. Whilst on patrol, he discovered the frightened, half-starved child in the woods; seeing potential in the boy, he used his position as patrol leader to prevent his scouts from killing the interloper, and took him back to Greenheight. After long months spent getting to know the boy, Simenodar eventually claimed Arelan, the child of his heart, as kin. He later stood proudly as sponsor when the boy was inducted into the Forester force Simenodar had helped to create.

As part of his Treekeeper training, Simenodar learnt to craft items of magic, both with the aid of the Tree of Life and without. A year after joining the scout corps, he created his Silver Bow, which first saw battle a scant two days after completion - against a massive humanoid attack. Simenodar personally put paid to at least a dozen humanoids, and managed to destroy the single, gigantic Troll amongst the raiders by virtue of the Bow's innate magic. There are many stories told about the battles since won thanks to the Silver Bow, but the tale of this first battle is by far the most often retold. No longer as adventurous as in his younger days, Simenodar is best remembered by most Thyatians for his part in making the legend of Arelan; his true fame is known only to his own people, and to the Foresters, who hold him in the greatest esteem.

Cold Flame
Level: 3
Range: touch
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: 1 weapon
This spell allows an Elf or Forester to temporarily grant a normal bladed weapon the equivalent of a Flames on Command ability, without risking the danger of a forest fire. The Cold Flame is blue-white, and radiates light equivalent to a torch, but no heat; it will burn whatever it touches, but will not spread to anything other than the enchanted blade itself - the Cold Flame cannot be used to light a torch, for instance. Creatures struck by a Cold Flame-encased blade will suffer 1d6 burn damage in addition to normal weapon damage. The burn damage cannot be regenerated, and must heal naturally. The spell may be cast on an arrow, but is less useful, since the enchantment fades after the missile is shot whether or not it hits; however, an arrow so enchanted is very useful as a signal flare.