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.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.
Thing is...it doesn't matter if its true or not. That fact...that's how we learned the power of a story..."
AestheticsThe 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 LegendMuch 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
PowersWhen 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.
ModificationsThe 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..."