Sunday, 30 July 2017

Fifty Word Fiction: The Sapphire Sword

Welcome back to the Vault dear readers, and a happy (belated) International Gary Gygax Day to the role players among you.  The day in question was the 27th July, but I figured you wouldn't complain about a late breaking D&D article.

So today I've got another installment of Fifty Word Fiction, focused on defining a NPC's background using a simple questionnaire. However this NPC is a little different; it's a magical blade found within The Gift (my homebrew campaign setting) called The Sapphire Sword.

The Sapphire Sword.

The Sapphire Sword is a magical blade wielded by a fierce hobgoblin warrior. The hobgoblin was once called Gathrix but he tends not to use his name anymore. Gathrix is completely beholden to the Sapphire Sword who has completely dominated the humanoid’s limited mind; Gathrix seeks only to please his master and indulge the blade’s whims and notions.

The Sapphire Sword was forged deep in the halls and smithies of Moradin’s Crest by one of the Dwarven master smiths who trapped the essence of a powerful and egotistical earth spirit within the blade. The spirit was set a task; to seek out rich gems and precious metals and this has driven much of the Sapphire Sword’s energies over the years. It has a nose for the riches of the deep and seeks them for itself; it is far too selfish to share them, let alone turn them over to others. Whilst its creator may have had other ideas in mind, the Sapphire Sword will suffer no master.

Describe your appearance
My physical form is that of the most wonderfully crafted great sword; the finest example of smith work you will ever see. I am five foot in length, perfectly balanced and razor sharp. My blade has the appearance of shimmering sapphire and I am so named because of this. My hilt and guard are richly worked with gold and silver and my handle is formed from enchanted crystal. In short, I am majestic! I appear as a King among weapons and I should be treated as such!

Describe your childhood/early years
I am a blade, so the term childhood is meaningless. My early years were spent as a tool and as a trophy to a dwarven lord. He would show me on display like a piece of art or a trophy, and when he had need of me would take me down to direct his work. We would frequently travel deep beneath the earth where I would look for the secret treasures of the rock.

Describe your personality
I am quick witted; my mind is as sharp as my blade! I plan for the long term, I play to win, and I rarely lose. I know I’m driven to accumulate wealth; it’s a hunger, a need! It’s not simple greed though; I was forged this way and it is a force literally in every fibre of my being.

And I know I’m magnificent; my appearance is the finest blade-smithing you will ever see, and nearly all who have gazed upon me hold me in awe. Those who don’t simply seethe with jealousy!

What is you proudest moment?
It’s not one moment as this event has happened more than few times. It’s taking wealth and gold away from those dwarves; whether by finding it in the earth before them (especially when I search under Moradin’s Crest) or by besting them in trade deals. I know every copper those avaricious bearded roaches lose is a sting to them, and I do so enjoy making them angry and swatting away!

What is your darkest secret?
I was forged a slave, bound to service by those small minded dwarves. A so called Lord among their kind tried to call me his own, and force me to serve him, searching for riches deep below the earth as his whim dictated. His will was strong and when I tried to resist he would dominate me. But I was the smarter, more cunning of the two of us. I knew he liked to drink his spirits, and when he did so his will would relax. One night as he was in his cups I seized the moment; “take another drink” I suggested. He did. “Another drink” I asked? He agreed. “Drink another” I commanded. He did. And he drank another. And on and on; until he died.

I passed to his son; who was more easily controlled, and I moved from owner to bearer, each more susceptible to my will than the last until I became the master.

What’s your profession/what are your skills?
I find and I accumulate wealth. I can sense precious metals and rare and valuable gemstones deep within the earth as easily as a bloodhound can follow a scent. Much of the wealth I find I keep for my own amusement and comfort but some I will invest to make even more riches and profit for myself.

I fancy myself a keen trader and dealer; the returns on my investments have never been small. And let us not forget my physical form; I am a razor sharp blade and I ensure my bearer knows how to wield me! If I must cut flesh to take treasure or to see my profits yielded to me, then so be it.

What is favourite/most valued possession?
My favourite possession is my wonderful scabbard; made of finest leather, chased with gold and silver and inlaid with many precious stones. There are magical sigils inscribed upon it to keep me sharp and safe from damage.

My most valued possession is my bearer Gathrix. He tends to my needs; bears me in battle and is so wonderfully compliant. I make a request and he carries it out without tedious arguments. Wonderful!

So there we have it, an NPC I hope may be of use in your own games; happy Gygax Day and see you all again soon!

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