The Black Betty

The Mistress of Pain

"The story goes, and I'm not sure on how true it is, that back in the 50s when our outfit first started, the first wielder of this magnificent knocker-outer of teeth actually collected each tooth. These teeth were tied into thread and attached to the handle. These teeth are trophies. They mark the first kill of every wielder. it could just be made up. My mentor may have been brewing up stories. Past wielders may have made up how the teeth were obtained.
Thing is...it doesn't matter if its true or not. That fact...that's how we learned the power of a story..."
— Beatrice, Current Leader of The Black Betties
  The Black Betty is a weapon wielded only by the current leader of the organization that shares its name. The leaders of The Black Betties have passed this legendary weapon down from the retiring leader to their chosen replacement since the 1950s, each new wielder carrying the tradition of adding new elements to the weapon.    

Aesthetics

The Black Betty is a black Louisville Slugger worn with age featuring many embellements and modifications based on what the leaders found it needed during use.
An example of these modifications would be the iron wire with silver barbs wrapped tightly around the center of the bat. This addition came about when Beatrice, the current leader, had a run in with a crazed beast. She braced The Betty in the creatures mouth to shield herself and the monstrous fiend bit down and the weapon broke in half.
She survived the encounter and rebuilt The Black Betty based on the instructions left behind by older leaders, as the weapon has broken under stress many times before. She added her modification to the instructions and Betty was forged anew.
  No matter how many times it is remade it will always appear old and worn no matter how well taken care of it is. The Black Betty and its wielder are the stuff of legends and as such, it must look the part.

 

The Legend

Much like how Beatrice forged and cultivated a legend around herself, so too does The Black Betty. The weapon is known of by almost everyone caught in The Web. As such, its origins, composition, ability, and other elements are in flux and determined heavily by what is believed and understood by those who carry its legend.

It is unknown even to the leader of The Black Betties which possesses the true power. Is it wielder or the weapon?
The truth of the matter is a little more complex as it relies heavily on the legends associated with both. It is likely that the first wielder intended the information be lost to further empower the bond between the two as well, hence why future leaders never actually tried to answer the question

Powers

When used by its chosen wielder, The Black Betty hits with tremendous power.
The blow itself equates to 50,000 pounds of force if delivered with a full swing. When the blow lands, it emits a hollow cracking sound that can be heard almost a mile away, though faintly if heard at that distance. The sound is often described as satisfying like a mix of thunder over head with the sounds of a hit that indicates a home run.     The force does not seem to scale down in any way, rather the strength of the blow is in full control of the wielder. The structural integrity of the weapon is never affected by the blow it dishes out. Despite its wooden composition it is remarkably dense. It never shatters or breaks unless it chooses to.  

The Black Betty is often regarded as a living weapon. It thinks and passes judgement on its wielder. It also tests the wielder at least once during her time as leader. In the previous example, when the beast chewed through the weapon, the weapon allowed it. Usually within the first year of owning the weapon, the weapon will break forcing the new leader to create her own model with her additions included.

Modifications

  The Black Betties have added a great many features to the weapon over the 60 some odd years of its existence. Apart from the silver barb wire, it also features a "crown of thorns" referring to a circle of nails along the middle of the bat. This addition was added by Beatrice's mentor, Rachelle "Batz" Duran.
The name was specifically chosen by Batz to tap into christian symbolism to give it even more power. These nails are embedded into the wood with the points facing outward. Each is unique in composition. Some are silver, others are made of various types of wood, and each nail is saturated in a cocktail of substances. These substances are known weaknesses to various creatures The Betties fight.

Other sharp objects decorate the bat. Embedded straight razors, knife blades, and stakes adorned the body and head and the handle is wrapped in a bloodstained cloth dipped in a restorative solution.
When the wrap is used as a poultice, it can rapidly speed up the healing process and can absorb various poisons and prevent exposure to diseases and infection.
A strong thread weaves through and fastens several teeth of various sizes and forms through drilled holes. The thread is tied to the end of the handle.

It was Batz who added the many cosmetic details to the weapon. Batz was a tattoo artist in the 80s when she inherited The Black Betty. She created templates that she left behind after her death for when the weapon breaks again.
Her additions included a white heart placed on the handle just under the Crown of Thorns along with various bits of art depicting monsters she had slain. The words "Black Betty" were added along the body in elegant script to replace the distressed Louisville Slugger logo which, even if the bat is brand new, always fades.

The nature of legends


The Betty makes use of legends and lore surrounding it. The organization that shares its name does the same. The concept of a legend is fueled by belief. As a story about Black Betty spreads and is told, whether fact or fiction, it tends to become true. Only those who possess @candlelight can contribute or spread it. The Betties often tell their legends with a certain ambiguity. They often use phrases like "if I remember correctly," or a crowd favorite,"I could be wrong, but..."

They do not do this to save face should they be wrong. They do this to ensure the listeners know they could be wrong. The doubt forces the belief in truth on the part of the listener. If enough listeners believe it to be true, then true it must be, and that truth starts to reveal itself in the subject of the legend.   The Betties often tell these tales with smug smiles and suggestive glances. They love the doubt, for the doubt is the source of their power.
This black baseball bat is a living legend. Stakes of Oak, Blackthorn, Ash, Elder, and ceder jutted out from its top joined by nails of steel, pure iron, and silver. Another set of nails arranged in a ring circled the middle of the body. Razor blades and other sharp tools of the trade lie embedded throughout the business end of the bat. The center of it also wrapped in barbed wire, that ones mine. Teeth of various sizes and origins were each individually strung up to the handle. The legend just wont work without them...it was never explained why...my mentor, Batz, decorated the thing to make it even more special. It's got a white heart and various detailed pieces of art. She had a tattoo shop for a while, there. Each image depicted a monster she killed and surrounded the most beautiful script that covers where the logo used to be. The Black Betty..."
— Beatrice
   
Leaders Modifications Status Membership
Betty
Born: Bettsy Myers of Shreveport, Louisiana
Nails of various compositions embedded in the head of the bat "For varmints with particularly thick skin." Retired/Deceased 1949-1956-Died in 65
Beverly
Born: Mirium Hill of Dallas, Texas
Restorative wrap around the handle after nearly dying of infection at the hands of a Ghoul she had been hunting in the bayou for weeks. killed in action, killed by a witch doctor in Baton Rouge 1956-1960
Bess
Born: Lucy Reyes of Nashville, Tennesey.
Razor blades embedded in the body. Done to add cutting power to glancing hits after fighting a Dimensional Shrike. Killed in action, Killed in a car crash on her way to visit a dying member of the chapter in Shreveport. 1960-1968
Barb
Born: Eden Noah of New York City, New York
Added stakes and knife blades to allow for stabbing after a run in with a Leshen. Retired-deceased 1968-1978
Batz
Born: Rachelle Duran of Las Vegas, Nevada
Added a "Crown of Thorns" to the weapon. A circle of nails three quarters up the body. She chose to do so to increase symbolic power. Retired-living 1978-1995
Beatrice
Born: █████████ █████ of ███████ ██████████
Silver barbed wire to dissuade from grabbing...or chewing on The Betty. Added after a Lycanthrope chewed through the center of the bat. Currently Active 1995 - current


Cover image: by ivanmollov from adobe stock

Comments

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22 Feb, 2019 10:16

I enjoy the simplicity of the article's layout. Not overly fancy and the headers are to the point. I feel like the article just stops without feeling closed, have you considered any other subtopics for it that might work to conclude it?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2019 13:53

Thanks for the comment. Apart from adding a table of past users I'm stamped on how to end it. Any ideas?

22 Feb, 2019 14:17

You know I think its a pretty common problem, or at least one I've seen in a few articles recently. I've got it myself in the Tower contest and am thinking of doing something similar, little multi colum bottom with each being an extra short bit on a character tied to my location. so yeah, maybe a table of past users. or, ooh, idea. set the bottom at three columns wide and give us three quotes from past users. maybe mottos or something.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2019 14:51

Oooo that's not bad at allllll. I may just do that! Thanks so much!

22 Feb, 2019 16:32

It really is fun to see some small items get some in-depth lore to how they change or alter in your world. Especially just from what I presume is some gang's spiked bat!   I would check some of the grammar at points (did find "weilder" many times) since there are spelling mistakes here and there. Maybe I would also add the current holder of the weapon or maybe for the 50.000 pounds of force an equivalent (like being hit with a truck or the amount of dynamite blowing up in your face, which is about 15 kilo of the stuff.). Speaking off, would the wielder suffer any damage themselves if trying to throw such a "homerun" of a hit? Has its force been used to say, break open walls or send cars flying?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2019 16:53

Dangittt you got to it before I could fix those. Every point you made was brought up and I was working on it before I could fix lol. So the current is Beatrice and since since the leader is the only one who can use it, she is the current weilder. lol ill make more clear cause I get that it isn't. And thanks for the dynamite reference. on your question, yes and no, the force is directed outward toward the target. Jickback from a gun hurt but rarely damages for example. Hitting with the bat does have a opposing force but its fairly minimal and usually the blow knocks a target back and off their feet. Even still, it is very much so a supernatural effect. Physics gets a little wiggle room there tho i do like to have some explaination

22 Feb, 2019 18:18

I like this a lot! A non-traditional magical weapon (because who ever heard of a bat being magic?), passed down through the years, and everyone adds their own touch to it! I'd also really like to learn more about the Black Betties (the group) sometime!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2019 19:08

They are next keep an eye out for the. I can ping you if you want thanks for your comment too. :)

22 Feb, 2019 21:22

Wow, interesting weapon, I enjoyed the legend behind it, or lack of legend. I feel that beign shrouded in mystery fits both the theme of The Web and the weapon. I have a question though, how is it used in a poultice?

  • ASJ
  • Sage Dylonishere123
    R. Dylon Elder
    22 Feb, 2019 21:51

    I'll clear that up in the article. The wrap around the handle is used as a poultice. The legend is definitely there. The mystery comes from figuring out what's true and what isn't. :) thanks for the Commenttttt

    Sage Dylonishere123
    R. Dylon Elder
    22 Feb, 2019 21:52

    Ps as a quick questtion. is the nature of the legend unclear cause ur not the first to wonder. Lol I may have to revise.

    22 Feb, 2019 22:04

    Yeah, kinda. Sorry!

  • ASJ
  • Sage Dylonishere123
    R. Dylon Elder
    22 Feb, 2019 23:28

    No man I gotta knowwww

    27 Jan, 2020 16:23

    I love it. This would totally happen in a modern fantasy setting.   When the bat isn't in use, do you store it in a vat or barrel of toxic substances to restore the coating on the nails?   The yew splinters are for vampires and the silver nails are for werewolves, right? Is the iron for fey?   What if a certain PI had a legendary revolver, and that's why he hasn't updated to a more modern tactical solution?

    Sage Dylonishere123
    R. Dylon Elder
    27 Jan, 2020 20:15

    Thanks! Im glad you liked them. the web started with the betties and i love that they are well received. Their are many things that can be injured by silver, pure iron, etc.   To be honest, the materials used are coincidence. It comes with the gift of tall tales, which is what gives the betties their power. Most of the methods to create the betty are arbitrary. They would do the same damage because people believe it will. Its probably, and sometimes implied by Beatrice, that the materials mentioned are complete and total BS. All that's needed is for someone to believe they are not BS. She never needs to recoat them because of it.

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