Friday, December 12, 2008

The song of the swords

The sword that our heroes used to free Dana Briar was named Stonecutter, one of the 12 lost swords of the old gods.

The story goes that in ages past the old gods grew bored of their creation, which was the world and everyone in it, and begged the Smith god to create twelve swords of immeasurable power for sport. Each god would design a sword and infuse it with a small amount of their power. The swords would be set loose on the mortal world to sow chaos. The gods would watch it as sport from their abode in the heavens.

The Smith agreed and gathered ore from the farthest reaches of the universe, magic from the fonts of heaven, and curses from the depths of the nine hells. One by one the gods imbued the swords with their powers and one by one the swords fell to earth. This lead to the War of the Swords, which most historians believe to be mythical at best. They say in that war that the gods themselves were slain by their swords.

Every school child learns at least part of the story: The Song of the 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 do 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.

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.

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 orphans' tears
My edge the widowmaker.

The Sword of Stealth is given to
One lonely 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.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Windfall Day 5: The it's-been-a-while Update

(Trying to keep this brief)

After Amadis' betrayal our heroes were trapped with the unknown horror of the Corpse Fields on one side, and a massive underground Orcish fortress on the other. Our heroes chose the known known over the known unknown and went to have a look at this fortress thing.

Outside the fortress was a guard with two berserk merchants wearing stylish clothes. Bloody handprints marked their faces. Our heroes killed them and stole their secret badges. They bloodied their own faces and snuck into the Orcish stronghold pretending to be converts. The orcs fell for it. Orcs always fall for it.

The fortress was old and in disrepair. It was actually the lowest level of Dana Briar's tower. Many races mixed in the stronghold--elves, dwarves, orcs, kobolds. Some bore the bloody marks of the berserk, but most were calmly and quickly preparing for war. The walls of the stronghold bore the mark of Vecna, God of Death and Power and Evil Magicks. This was odd, as all Orcs are worshippers of Gruumush the One-Eyed.

Our heroes sneaked through corridors and hallways and one enormous colloseum-like chamber moving towards the X on their map. Didion Graytongue had meant to come here to acquire something, and seeing as how they were trapped and all our heroes decided they should acquire it first.

At the X they found an old, securely locked door. Exploring the area they also found a jail cell with an Orcish priest of Avandra (goddess of travelers, trade, merchants and exploration) and an extraordinarily fat wizard, Volstagg the Voluminous. His name is not Disposable Steve. They were being attacked by a baby Carrion Crawler--sort of a huge, hungry caterpillar. Our heroes jumped in and defeated the crawler. There was much rejoicing.

Returning to the door, Orzul revealed that she had been given a key by Dana Briar, in a dream. When she awoke the key was in her hand. The key fit the lock and in the room was Dana Briar herself, sitting in a magic circle inscribed into the floor.

Our heroes had many quetsions, like: what's going on? And, shouldn't you have died of old age hundreds of years ago? And also, who is the master under the mountain and why is he so freaky? Dana tried to answer these.