Ghost Blade Item in Hoist the Colors | World Anvil

Ghost Blade

I tell you now, when your blade glows, that’s just her whispering there’s trouble on its way. Trust me, she’s never wrong. If only she didn’t sometimes lead that trouble right to your doorstep…
- Marissa "Calico" Kreed, Privateer and Corsair for hire
There are countless swords, blades of all kinds, around the world. From cutlass to rapier, katana to dagger or machete, they come in all shapes and sizes. But of all the different types, the ethereal Ghost Blade stands out from the rest.
A Ghost Blade is an uncommon type of weapon. Often a sword, it’s a hand-held bladed weapon forged using a mix of metal powders and arcane arts. A deadly, often gently curved, sword that glows a bright blue-white when the owner is in danger. Deadly against the living, they’re also no less lethal against the supernatural, such as Tumble Mists, wraiths, and more.
Ghost Blades are forged using ancient Otherworld techniques, both in blacksmithing and art in the Etherwave Arcana. They’re considered both weapon and guardian, with a crystalline metal edge.

Essence of the Ghost Blade

Ghost Blades are uncommon and difficult to forge. The forging process itself and channeled power from the Etherwave Arcana forces the metal into a specific shape. Most Ghost Blades take the form of either a short or long sword with a gentle curve to the blade. The curve, while similar to some types of sabers or even a katana, is said to be a side effect of the process. Supposedly, the curve results from capturing a portion of the Etherwave Arcana into the weapon, which warps the metal. An effect Wavebinders, Gunners, and blacksmiths familiar with the technique compare to capturing a single ocean wave and all its potential into the metal.
The blade is forged from a mixture of mineral and charcoal powder placed between alternating layers of steel. This is heated, shaped, and folded at least twenty times during the process of shaping the blade itself. At each step, when folded, the Etherwave Arcana is channeled into the metal to meld in a small portion of the raw magic. Until, during the last fold, when the final protection magic is enchanted into the blade.
It’s the combination of folding, powder mixture and mineral water used that causes the metal to change. Until in the end, the metal blade resembles a piece of worked, smooth crystal with veins of smoke-like minerals woven through the weapon. Veins that are the heart of the weapon’s magic. A hazy, blue-white glow constantly seeps out of the glassy metal, even when sitting idle on a shelf.

Beacon in the Night

This glow is a hint of the weapon’s true enchantment. When the holder is threatened, the Ghost Blade’s hazy blue-white glow bursts to life, magic burning through the glassy metal with a faint, deep, musical hum. A vibrant warning of an impending threat.
Both the color and light burn in that moment like a small sun. An aura is so intense and steeped in magic that it cuts through any darkness, even magical. It’s light so intense that it defies any attempt to hide it. If sheathed in a scabbard, the light bleeds out. When placed behind a door, it will glow along every fiber and vibrate with the blade’s melodic hum. Even magic fails, as any attempts to silence the hum or douse the light with an Etherwave spell instantly crumbles away.
Ghost Blade made with human blueprints by CB Ash *
While a benefit, it’s also a small curse. As once the blade detects a threat, the holder goes from hunter to being the hunted. The first target for whatever creature, supernatural threat, or person nearby.
But stories talk about a side effect of this curse that, depending the owner’s point of view, isn’t so deadly. The potent magic that powers the light and hum reacts strongly against supernatural threats.
Unlike mortal attackers, more supernatural threats are bound closer to the Etherwave Arcana. As a result, the mythical monstrosities are trying to destroy both the Ghost Blade and its owner. The blade reacts to this, as the attempt is nothing short of trying to douse the hum and light. Which results in the blade being far more effective in cutting supernatural threats than found with other weapons.
Ghost Blade using the morasu techniques by CB Ash *
Item type
Weapon, Melee
The weight varies by sword type, but the average weight is between 2 and 4 pounds
Varies by type of rapier, katana, cutlass, etc forged.
Base Price
Base price varied by region. Typically a ghost blade has a base price of 20 doubloons.
Typical Weapon For


Game Mechanics

  Ghost Blade
A mystical sword that glows a gentle, but ominous, ghostly blue-white with unearthly hum once the owner is in danger. The glow and hum from these blades cannot be concealed by any means, not even by magic. Magical attempts to douse the effect crumble away.   Stories tell that these blades are effective against supernatural threats as well as the living. When used against a supernatural creature, the blade grants a +1 effect for one scene.   These are uncommon weapons. How did you get one? Did you inherit it? Steal it? Was it a gift? (1 load)

A Rich Legacy

Not everything’s a deep, dark secret, ya know. Sometimes, it’s just that forge-blasted hard to get the technique to work right!
- Menek Yorsteam, master blacksmith and retired Gunner
Techniques and methods of creating a Ghost Blade are thought to be a closely guarded secret. But the truth is less dire.
Only a select few refugee blacksmiths that survived Otherworld’s destruction know the processes and necessary formulas. On top of that, the process is delicate. For every fifty attempts to make a Ghost Blade, only one might succeed. Coupled with that, each Ghost Blade is a unique creation.
No two sets of glowing mineral veins in the glass-like metal are alike. Also, the forging process varies between cultures. What technique a blacksmith or Gunner from a morasu Tomia uses differs slightly from any of the thayan or grimling traditions. The differences are even more pronounced when compared to master blacksmiths from human cultures.
This makes each Ghost Blade’s uniqueness like a fingerprint of its maker. Easily identified by another blacksmith or Gunner who examines one. That, along with the difficulty in making just one Ghost Blade, is what makes them a rare to uncommon sight. Most are generations old, having been first forged in now long lost forges on the shattered Otherworld.

Threads Across History

In the hands of a skilled swordsman or woman, a Ghost Blade isn’t just a weapon. It’s a statement. Calling out the Fates to try their worst, because you’re ready for anything they want to throw your way.
- Captain Thaddeus Grim of the vessel Night's Whisper
At their core, below the unique waves of minerals and glowing glassy metal, lies a common ancestry. Below the different techniques for mixing minerals, folding metal, or drawing the lines of Etherwave Arcana rests the ideas of a single master weaponsmith. The elusive figure of Skaldi Anviliron.
Master Skaldi lived over a hundred generations before Crossing’s Fall and Otherworld’s destruction. A brilliant weaponsmith and inventor, he was a grimling who hailed from Emberlair Sept. His designs were beyond his time and are still studied and debated by weaponsmiths around the world.
It was his ideas, fueled by the patronage of the morasu Tomia, Vargoth, that Skaldi invented the technique of ‘metal glass’. Following that came the capture of the minerals to hold and store the raw essence of Etherwave Arcana. Provided the power was channeled with care and intent.
Stories say that some of Master Skaldi’s Ghost Blades survived to reach Earth during Crossing’s Fall. There are rumored to be seven of these Ghost Blades. Fabulous relics, with abilities far beyond that of normal Ghost Blades. Treasures that many treasure hunters would give their right arm to own.
In the hands of a skilled swordsman or woman, a Ghost Blade isn’t just a weapon. It’s a statement. Calling out the Fates to try their worst, because you’re ready for anything they want to throw your way.
Dangerous? Oh, yes. A risk? Without a doubt! But you know, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s like my second pair of eyes when I’m walking some place I ought not be!
- Marissa "Calico" Kreed, Privateer and Corsair for hire

Cover image: Midnight Oil by CB Ash using Krita and MidJourney


Author's Notes

All Ghost Blade images are credited as follows:

  • Base synthography by CB Ash using Midjourney for background and material textures. DepositPhotos for the base sword images. The digital painting and photomanipulation of the glow, blade, and oil painting affect with previous assets done by CB Ash using Krita.

  • Please Login in order to comment!
    Feb 11, 2024 18:32

    So many great details for these blades. Any adventurer would be excited to have such a magnificent weapon and gateway to o-going challenges.

    Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
    not Ruleplaying
    not Rollplaying
    Feb 11, 2024 18:40 by C. B. Ash

    Thanks! Once I got done, I really felt this opens a nice window into what the entire setting feels like.