The Legend of Betrayal’s Tear

25 June, 2010

Once there was a god who made things, wonderful things, such as the weapons -thunderbolts, arrows of light, swords of flame- that were needed by the other gods.  While recognized as the greatest of craftsmen, he never felt appreciated by the others who used his creations.  He kept such thoughts to himself and kept making wonders, many of which never left his possession.

So, when a lovely sorceress made it through the maze of challenges to reach his forge, he was first impressed.  And then flattered when she begged him to teach her how to make things that would be pale imitations of his work but still wonders in the mortal world.  How could he refuse?  He could not.  She became his apprentice, then his journeyman and, in the fullness of time, his lover.

At last, taking her new skills, the sorceress left to venture into the world and ply her new found skills.  She sent messages and cunningly wrought gifts back to the god of makers.  Then, one day, the messages stopped.  He did not think much of it at first, but then as the seasons passed, he began to worry and fret.  Until at last, he built five griffins of brass and crystal, one for each of the elements but death -for he could not bear the thought that she had been slain- and set them loose to scour the world to find her.  The earthen griffin returned, scarred, bearing the sorceress on its back.  She was bloodied and sorely wounded, but she smiled though the pain as he held her.

The lord of weapons promised her a blade to take vengeance on those that had hurt her.  As she recovered, she worked with him to forge this sword, traveling out into the world to find what was needed.  Branches of the Oak of Spring, coal from the heart of the Earth and the bones of the unavenged dead to feed the fires of the forge.  Iron from the heart of a fallen star, alloyed with powdered gems and tempered by the blood of the sorceress.  Water made of equal parts of sea water from the deepest ocean and ice water from the highest mountain to quench the finished blade.  The final sword was perfect, with an edge sharp enough to cut a dream from a sleeper or the shadow from a cat.

Once he presented it to the sorceress, he said, with this blade you will be able to kill the ones that hurt you and everyone who shares their blood.  Let it taste their blood and the sword will be unstoppable against all who share that bloodline.  She gave herself to him, her teacher, her savior, her lover . . . and then drove the sword through his chest, piercing his heart, killing him in an instant.

Drawing the sword from the body of the master of craftsmen, the sorceress now revealed as the dragon who would become the Empress, shed a single tear which turned to the purest ruby when it stuck the blood of the god.  Her last act in the forge was to set the ruby in the pommel of the sword which she called Betrayal’s Tear.

Betrayal’s Tear takes the form of the perfect sword for the person that holds it: for the Empress, it is an elegant longsword, while in the hands of the Judge, a two-handed executioner’s sword.  Its blade is always mirror bright with an edge as black as a starless night, the grip is worked bronze wrapped with dragon leather and a teardrop shaped ruby is set in the pommel.

The primary power of Betrayal’s Tear is simple: it totally negates and ignore all protection from divine sources, be it spells, enchantments, divine items or even the personal ability of a god, they mean nothing to the sword.  Beyond that it is a +5 keen twice deity-bane weapon that does damage as if it was two size classes larger and adds its wielder’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier (whichever is higher) to damage.

Notes: Yes, this is an absurdly powerful legendary weapon.  It was one of the key elements in the Dragon Empress’ plan to defeat the gods, a weapon forged by one of their own that they would have no defense against.  It is also said to have been the only time she has ever shed a tear.

One comment

  1. What a wonderfully wrought tale of death and betrayal. The power of the sword is evidenced in the world we now see around us.

    Heh. The Empress plays a long game indeed.

    But, wait… You say only one griffin returned? You make no mention that the others were destroyed.

    Brass and Crystal, you say? Hmmmmm. Even if they no longer function the status associated with owning one would be very high indeed. Parts would fetch a pretty penny if all else fails. And better I have them than they fall into the hands of the Sen’Tek.

    Oh. Damnation! Now I have to gather a group to go seek the other four griffins.

    So much for my comfortable retirement!

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