Illmarinen and the Maddening Blade Myth in Terrarum | World Anvil

Illmarinen and the Maddening Blade

Tale of the legendary smith and forger of the Rókuri who crafted a blade so perfect that he went mad obsessing over the details of it


In the lands of the old north, fire is the necessary key to life, as such fire is seen with reverence and respect as the source of life and the bringer of all that is good. The master of fire in these lands was Illmarinen, son of the goddess Kalwala who blessed her son with the power of creation. Soon after his birth, Illmarinen began constructing and inventing a vast assortment of things from commonplace items like the shoe to more grand things like the mysterious emerald-looking device called the Vauraus which brought good luck and fortune to any who held it. Among Illmarinen's most famous feats is his splitting of the moon as, before this, the world knew a single moon called the Vetäjä in the northern sagas which wreaked havoc on the tides and threatened the lives of sailors and fishermen every day. By Illmarinen's hands, this single moon was split with his hammer and chisel into the two moons known today.

The story told of Illmarinen's downfall is in his own hubris, the demigod sought to craft a weapon as perfect and elegant as he felt he was deserving of. The creation of this sword, called Vihastavaterä or "The maddening sword" as it came to be known, would see Illmarinen slowly devolve into insanity over his obsession with the details of the weapon. The Vihastavaterä would supposedly speak to Illmarinen and say things horrific in nature to him as well as giving him visceral visions while he toiled away on its construction. Eventually, this took its toll as when the blade was finished, Illmarinen stuck a burning hot rod into his ears and his eyes in order for the sword to no longer have an effect on him. When the blade was finished, it was said to emit a stunning glow and to even be steaming at all times from the fires Illmarinen forged it in. Illmarinen himself would mount the sword on a pedestal but never touch it again as he lived the rest of his days in paranoid fear if the sword were to be stolen or used against him. Eventually, Illmarinen would let go of this fear and even take on a student to teach his techniques. This student was the girl Pettura who would hear the call of the sword in her dreams, compelling her to eventually betray her trusting master and steal the sword for herself, killing Illmarien in his sleep.

After this event, Pettura would use the sword for nefarious purposes as she became a feared ruler of brigands and bandits. Pettura is also the figure attributed to calling upon the southern Siones to settle in her lands, leading to the migration of the Archaic Iolans to the peninsula that now bears their name. Eventually, Pettura would be bested and killed by Markinen, the son of Illmarinen, and his companion Vaina the maiden of the sea. Markinen, though a journey of his own, would manage to nullify the nefarious effect of the sword's aura and wield it in his unification of the Rókuri people and later the defense of his lands against the Siones who had now invaded Kolmerma.

Historical Basis

Loosely attested to is Markinen, the figure of Rókuri myth and son of Illmarinen, who is said to have been the first to unite the northern Rókuri people. King Markinen is attested in both Rókuri and later Iolan sagas as the first king of Kolmerma who defended his people against the invading Siones from the south who are thought to be the migrating Iolans coming north.


Illmarinen and his wonderful creations are spoken of in the reaches of Drauheim where the Rókuri people still live and dwell. His gifts are well appreciated and his great creation, the Vihastavaterä, is the most popular sigil of his people.

Variations & Mutation

Illmarinen is thought to be called Smíðr in Iolan mythology and is described as a mysterious and eccentric inventor and crafter with an unknown hierarchy in the pantheon of gods as he does not seem to be a god himself yet he is sought out by Ranir for his great smithing talent and is the creator of the twin hammers of Hristari and Magan which are wielded by the giant Attagur and the sky god Rymr respectively.

Cultural Reception

Illmarinen is a cultural hero in the eyes of the Rókuri who claim direct descent from him through his son Markinen who is the progenitor of the 10 clans of the Rókuri.
(Illmarien and his great forge)    
(Markinen, son of Illmarien with his men at sea)
Date of First Recording
~400-600's B.E
Date of Setting
Middle to Late Archaic Age
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