The Spiritblade

Most swords stick to just killing the person they're used on. That thing... it goes further. Beyond death, even.
— witness account of the Spiritblade in use
  The Spiritblade has had many names over the years, but just like the Harp of Virtue has retained its own name for the past century or so, 'Spiritblade' is the blade's current epithet. It is one of an indeterminate number of Shards of the Void; items created by an unknown power that have incredible reach and control over the world around them.   Though the Spiritblade was destroyed in 5622 by Kazric Szithna of the Lost Ones, it was reforged the following year in a devastating ritual completed by Riven Drast. The resulting explosion nearly killed Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia, his sister, and the Lost Ones - who the future Emperor had brought in as assistance. It also set off an earthquake that would spur the eruption of Mount Elendûr and the subsequent ruining of both Dhun Volkulgar and Vaermyrhel. Countless drow, dwarves, and other mountainous cultures and species were displaced or killed during these events, taxing the already war-weary Aletheian Empire greatly and impacting the war with the Medimian Empire and Ordan.  

Historical Appearances

The Spiritblade has shown up in times of war - always in the hands of a different wielder, and often with a different name. The Cleaving Death, Pharasma's Fear, Souldrinker - many of its names are drawn from its functions, and all serve to inspire terror in those who wield it.   Oddly, few of its actual wielders are remembered to this day. It's known to have been used in early Gildón wars versus arcane forces, but equally, Galasthin once had a wielder who fought upon a tribe of raiders in the Tulaant Steppe. It was lost in the fight, and made its way to the Lost Empire of Meihua's early founders - only to be lost again, some decades later. Even Takawaoku has its myths surrounding the Spiritblade's powers: the Manuōfa'i (or 'feathered stone') that once formed one of the continent's few floating islands was brought crashing down by a wielder of the Spiritblade who sought to cut the life from the land itself. Certain scholarly organisations - such as the Eagle's Shadows - suspect the incident related to an attack on the island's avatar, but none of the mysterious entities have ever confirmed that.   How Riven Drast came to learn the method for reforging a Shard is as of yet unknown, as is how it reached its former wielder. It is certainly possible that the blade decided it would be wielded once again.  
And so begins its reign of terror, twisting purpose into gruesome defeat. Even the twin forces of Gorum and Szuriel - King and Queen of war respectively - would frown on its rampage.
 

Suspected Powers

Unlike the Harp of Virtue's continent-wide spread of manipulative song and the bizarre wordplay of the Unbroken March, the Spiritblade's influence seems to be more localised. The blade can transform itself into any shape and draws its power from the souls of those it impacts: whether they die or not, they lend it strength. Similarly, it can draw certain powers from any sentient being in its proximity. What that proximity is on any given day is unknown, but it seems to be linked to the sites of previous victim deaths - whether their deaths relate to it or not. Even holding the Spiritblade briefly can count as falling under its power, and thus forever marks the individual as one the blade can draw from.   Little is able to counter the Spiritblade's control aside from the sheer power represented by a deity. Champions may be able to break free of its stain; if Kazric consented to study, this could potentially be proven. Given that it took the intervention of such a being to rescue Kazric from the blade's voidal residence, the confirmation is unlikely unless both he and said deity consent.   Additionally, if the ritual Lord Drast held is any indication, the Spiritblade seems to be able to reforge itself if given a wellspring of power to draw from. In Drast's ritual, this took the form of four planar-aspected sacrifices and the power of a Champion - potentially augmented by the arrival of further Champions and his own link to the Abyss. Previous reforgings may be evidenced through mass genocide, careful sacrifice, or the interference of outer beings - whilst most deities are united in their disgust with the shards, it has not yet been confirmed whether the Outer Gods are connected to them in any way, and many extraplanar species (such as demons) delight in the destruction each shard causes.   One further power is suspected of the blade, though known only through rumour. If the word of fey and foe can be believed, the Spiritblade cannot only cut through spirit and body: the paths and ways of power and plane are all weak to its cutting edge.

Significance

As one of many Shards, the Spiritblade is a deadly and unique weapon of deific power. Some cultures venerate the Spiritblade's many forms as objects of worship, but those that do tend to meet early ruin.   The Shards are considered to be gravely heretical and even evil-aligned deities oppose their existence and use: notably, Kazric Szithna was the Champion of the demon lord Shax when he wielded the Spiritblade. It is possible that Shax only allowed this because that wielding led to the Spiritblade's destruction versus the Gemstone of Life.

Item type
Weapon, Melee
Current Holder
Riven Drast
Subtype / Model
Shards of the Void
Related Condition
Death
Rarity
Unique
Weight
approx. 1.5kg
Dimensions
approx 1.6m long
Base Price
Artifact
Raw materials & Components
Unknown black metals, hilt studded with magic-emanating gems and wrapped with dark leather


Comments

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12 Jul, 2020 09:53

I love how well thought-out the history of this blade is. The section on its suspected powers is absolutely fascinating! I like the concept that it can draw power from sentient beings in its vicinity.

Cait x