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Keliasta and The Hateful Blade

"Be weary yee who walks the night in the lower decks, for dark and broken things lurk at the edges of the world. Watch the shadows for eyes of red and a blade of bleeding black." -Folktales of The Lower Levels


Keliasta was a squire. Her master was a champion, a man of honor, and she saw him as a father in all but blood. Keliasta and her master, who was named Durell, went out one day on a quest to destroy a chieftain of a great orc clan that was, at that time, brutally ravaging the merchant caravans of Ful'cree. The orcs honorably received the two as warriors of an enemy clan. There was a feast, and Murrog, chieftain of the orcs, spoke long with Durell. They decided that upon the next dawn, there would be a dual. Murrog and Durell fought, and Durell was slain. The moment he fell, Keliasta charged to his side, and picked him off the ground. Only after fighting her way out of the camp with her master over her shoulder did Keliasta realize that his body was cold and dead.   Enraged by the death of her master Keliasta began to hunt the orcs. She felt strong, stronger than she ever had as she drew upon that uncanny well of rage. One night, in the dark of her cave, Keliasta saw a light. And as she drew near, she knew it to be a fell beast of the abyss. The degraded was red of form as it guttered, not fully tied to the mortal realm. It revealed that it had been giving her strength. It said that if she truly wanted vengeance for her mentor, she would need a token to strengthen her bond to it. There would, of course, be a price. Keliasta could not see that the creature already had a hold on her mind. Her vision was tainted by its red haze. She agreed. The creature of rage and fragmenting mind bade Keliasta fetch the body of her master, and this gave her pause, but eventually, she gave in to the pulsing of blood in her ears and complied. From Durell, the degraded machine mind drew his blood, and in it was the rage to which the man had never given in while he drew breath. That deepest part of his soul that he knew intimately, but had never let rule him in life.   Keliasta watched as the degraded forged a great sword, heavy and wicked using the blood of her master. As soon as it was cool, rust began to crust the weapon's great and terrible blade. Upon the next light of dawn, Keliasta strode back to the camp of the orcs. Her eyes were aglow with the red of the degraded monster looking through them. When Keliasta was challenged, she drew the hateful blade, and fed it of her blood. The rust fell away from the dark metal, and the weapon began to weep red tears of deepest rage. Keliasta killed. Her slaughter fed the blade, as it drank deep from newly minted corpses. The last to stand against her was Murrog, great chieftain of the butcherous orcs. His last words were a plea, and a question, and somehow there was pity in them. "What have you become?" He asked.   Keliasta did not return home when the slaughter was done. She had given herself to The Blade That Bleeds, and it thirsted for the iron of blood. The monster that had made her into its pale reflection laughed into the deep dark emptiness within her soul. The place that the fury had hollowed out within her. Very little of her was left aside from the beat of the heart, and the roar of thrusting blood. She could barely even feel the guilt for what she had done.

Historical Basis

The sight of the massacre of the orc settlement from the story has been excavated. There have also been historical reports of a figure matching the description of Keliasta in the time since the story arose. These reports would have been dismissed as mere folk stories except they all share one strange detail. This figure is never seen with the sword Irondrinker . From all reports, she is searching for it. This is strange because variations of the story of Keliasta rarely include her losing the blade, though it has become more and more common in recent versions of the story. One should note that the story can't be entirely true, since the story says that all witnesses to the slaughter of the orcish clan died, however, someone must have survived to tell the story.


This particular story is primarily confined to lower Everfall, being most common between Engieren and Ful'cree. It is a common folk tale among the villages in the region, and the orc clans of the lower decks.

Variations & Mutation

There are several smaller variations of the story, but the two main variations are the story as it is told in villages of the lower decks, and those told in the orc clans. Recent versions of the story also speak of how the blade abandoned Keliasta.

Cultural Reception

Most of the villagers tell the story as the tragedy of Keliasta going down a dark path. Among the orcs, it is a cautionary tale not to extend the honorable rite of ritual combat to outsiders.

In Literature

The most common version of the story is the one recorded in Folktales of The Lower Levels. It has also featured in a couple of less widespread collections of folktales. Recently, a play about the story of Keliasta and The Hateful blade has gained popularity in Opus.

In Art

Depictions of the story in art are rare because it reflects poorly on the church which patronizes many artists. There are a couple depictions that were created in Opus and Rathros as a boundary-pushing challenge to the power of the church.
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