Today’s snippet, titled “Fiendsplitter”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
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She ran her thumb along the razor-like edge of the battleaxe.
It will never replace Radiance in my hand or my heart, but this is one sincerely amazing piece of steel.
The weapon was sturdy. Its enchantments did not seem overly powerful on their own, but there were secrets it had not yet let any of the Valorous Order know. The embossed symbol of Torag was so exquisitely done, Rhiallis felt sure that it could act as a Holy Symbol for a priest or paladin.
Fiendsplitter was aware, intelligent even, but it was not a single voice in her head as other such weapons had been described to her. Rather there were dozens of essences living within the steel; a collective that could not even speak as one, but rather murmured incessantly and instead, communicated empathically. Unless there are demons nearby, she thought ruefully, then it just screams.
It had a storied past.
Centuries ago, Rhiallis could not be sure how many, there was a dwarven smith who had gone about on a trading mission. When she returned, her village had been besieged by demonic forces that seemed unstoppable. What was her name? A strange dwarvish one – Jolly? No, Njali. That’s it. Njali Jansdottir.
Njali and her kin were overwhelmed and the smith was left for dead. Luck was with her, though, in a fashion, for she came to amongst the rubble and found many of her villagefolk slaughtered. She swore an oath of vengeance and set about crafting her magnum opus. A battleaxe so fine that it would split fiends in two and rend their limbs from their hideous, demonic bodies.
Legend had it, Rhiallis recalled having read the tale at the academy in Kenebres, that first one survivor, then dozens, had stepped up to Njali’s forge and touched the newborn axe. Each lay their hand upon it, then departed, wordlessly. Njali was so pleased to see that others had survived, as she had, that she wanted to embrace them. Yet her work was unfinished and the focus required too great. She did not stop, so fierce as her dedication, that fully two dozen or more surviving villagers touched the weapon.
At last, the village elder had arrived and he too, lay hands upon the axe. A wise, wizened priest of Torag, he had closed his eyes and stroked the blade and where his flesh met steel the symbol of Torag raised in intricate detail.
It was then, as she remembered having seen the elder’s bloodless corpse upon first returning to the village, that Njali realized that those who had touched her axe were not survivors at all, but the lingering spirits of her murdered neighbors.
When the dwarf held her masterpiece aloft, gleaming in the noonday sun, she experienced a second revelation.
She too was no longer of this plane, reduced to a spirit of vengeance. The axe clattered to the floor of the forge and lay for unknowable years, untouched and hungry for revenge.
Rhiallis knew how it felt. Perhaps that was why the axe spoke to her at all, despite the fact that she was neither dwarf nor Toragite. Determined not to dwell on the past, Rhiallis tried to send the axe a thought of patience and reassurance.
We will split demons together again, she told the axe, polishing its face to a sheen. Sooner than later, you’ll drink the blood you’re thirsty for and-
“What the hell is that?”
She frowned, startled from her reveries.
Around them, despite the late hour and the eerie gloom of a Worldwound night, the two on watch saw the desolate ground transformed. Grass, verdant as Kyonin in Spring, sprawled as far as they could see forming a lush carpet. Nearby, she could hear a stream babbling happily and without seeing it, Rhiallis knew it was clear and fresh and pure.
She blinked. Ezekiel cast a glance at her, his face a mask of puzzlement.
Before he could voice the truth they both knew – that this could not be real – the axe in her hands began to roar. It’s bellow split the night, waking Tom Parris and Sadie.
Across the clearing, a rich, velvety voice rang out. “Good morning, friends! Come toward my wagon and we can share in this feast. I have fresh, delicious cool water and food to make you salivate. There is more than enough food here!”
Rhiallis caught sight of him for an instant. He was small but well-formed; wiry and lithe, with flowing, gleaming locks of a luscious chocolate brown and eyes so bright and green-blue that they shimmered even in the half-light.
“Fuck that,” Zeke spat, drawing his blade. “And fuck you!”
As the battle whirled up around her, Rhiallis found a smile upon her face. Somehow, the vulgarity reminded her of those who had gone before her and she was bolstered by the memory rather than dragged down.
“Yeah,” she said, weighing Fiendsplitter in one hand. “Let’s fuck this demon up.”
RAAAAAAAAGH! The axe screamed – aloud, in her head, she could not tell for sure. RAAAAAAAAGH!!!
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Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me