Brand of the Sun
For it has been written herein, there is one sword of righteous power. That which severs darkness itself, defies time's jealous grasp, and destroys the unclean. Apira's wrath made manifest, it has been given many names, but make no mistake it will always be the Brand of the Sun.The Brand of the Sun, also known by 'Nightslayer' and 'Light's Wrath', is a sword constructed from orichalcum which has existed since time before the Empire's rise. However, it has become lost in Erisdaire following its use by adventurers fighting in Helenic; the details of its loss are often debated, which is not helped as the group to which it had been entrusted wound up disappearing with no clear information on what became of them. Ever since, followers of Apira have been searching for it in order to return it to the Exalted Isle and put it on display in a place of honor. Minions of evil are seeking it, in order to ensure it can't be used against them again.
Of course, artifacts which are gifts from the Gods often have a habit of turning up exactly when they are needed - and not a day before.
HistoryAccording to the priests of Apira, the Brand of the Sun was given to mortals in order to protect them against "the uncaring grasp of the night". It has been said to be the sword wielded by the first Emperor during every critical battle during the formation of the Empire. Scholars debate this, as most independent accounts do not support this, suggesting the Emperor preferred a battle-axe instead. After the death of Emperor Adun Rhyliss, the sword was said to pass into the keeping of the Order of the Sun until it was gifted to a champion of Apira. The champion was given it to assist in a mission to cleanse undead from a region in Helenic, but it is said during his final battle the Brand was used to destroy both the source of the undead and the wielder. After this, the location remains unknown.
Rumors of the sword's current location are often found to possess little truth to the tales, and the Order of the Sun had to devote significant amounts of time and people in order to sift through all the rumors. Such rumors include fanciful tales of it being in the grasp of a necromantic cult so it can never be used against them, of a goblinoid warband who found it amidst ruins and have begun to use it to carve out a nation for themselves, and of dragons who plundered those vaults of the dead for riches and hoard them in high mountain peaks. To the current day, none of the rumors have borne out any potential suggestions of where the sword might be. Rather, swords of similar nature with simpler enchantments have been made over the years - and collected by mistake. These replicas only make the Order's job harder in sorting through information for the true relic.
The Brand of the Sun is known to followers of Apira as a holy relic, a weapon given by their God to the world in order to fight against evil. As such, there are dedicated members of the Order of the Sun who spend time searching for any lead on where it has vanished to. Priests asked about it are known to wistfully acknowledge it has become lost - and remark on how its recovery could be a symbol the Empire is ready to return to its glorious ascendance. Other cultures have their own views on the item, ranging from "it probably doesn't even exist" and "just a gold sword given more significance than it should have" to intrigued curiosity. Among those who show the most interest are elves, who follow stories about the 'Brand of the Sun' with great interest - and a certain amount of skepticism.