View Full Version : Cool Sword aquisition

2008-03-16, 10:09 AM
Hi there, in order to plan my campaign, I have to find a cool way to introduce a very powerful legendary sword to my players. I want it to be epic-ness (storywise), but not too cliché.

That leaves out:

- Pull it out of the stone (Excalibur)
- Reforge the Shards (Narsil)

Any ideas?

hylian chozo
2008-03-16, 10:23 AM
Pull it from the stone skull/heart of a petrified monster. Fighting it afterwards is optional.

Edit: Try to prevent them from destroying the statue before removing it.

2008-03-16, 10:25 AM
Okay, a couple of ideas:

One day, they see a fiery trail of smoke and steam tear through the sky like a falling star. If they follow it, they eventually come to a scorched crater, where the sword lays glowing and immaculate in the molten rubble.
One night whilst alone in the wilderness, the party observe a glowing mass in the far distance that seems to approach them. As it gets closer, they see that it is fifty or more figures riding on noble steeds, flanking a beautiful woman on a unicorn. As this fey court reaches the PCs, the elfin queen dismounts, and offers one of the PCs (preferably the virtuous knightly-type) a sword of rare power in return for a kiss.

2008-03-16, 10:25 AM
What sort of sword is it? That might help us determine how to present it.

2008-03-16, 10:48 AM
Take it from a petrified person at a medusa's lair.

2008-03-16, 10:53 AM
While travelling, the PCs come across a destroyed city. Buildings are burning, people lie where they were slain, blood covers walls as ravenous carrion pick away at the corpses and screech unholy hymns to dark Gods of slaughter.
As they near the centre of the city it only worsens. A hospital carved into pieces with patients still in their beds, a city park now nothing more than soft kindling, a river blocked up by bodies. People scream in the distance.
It begins to rain, a torrential downpour. Blood is driven into the river as it slowly floods, coming up to the player's knees and slowing progress. Fires are extinguished and the sky is covered in smoke. There is only silence.
They step into a wide open area. The buildings stop and they finally see what brought this devastation. In the middle stand an angel and a devil, duelling.
They are mighty to behold. The angel is clad in gleaming white armour, smelted from metals unnatural to this world. Their flawless wings spread out as they shine with an inner light, while their face is far more handsome than any mortal may ever wish.
The devil meanwhile terrifies the players to their core. Of such a monstrous appearance, gleaming red scales are mighty fangs, it seems strange to see it wearing armour. This armour is black, so black that light seems sucked into it and serves as a stark contrast to his enemy. Covered in terrible trophies, severed heads, hands and tongues, the creature roars as it battles.
In each of their hands is a sword. These swords are identical to one another, sharper than any other, glowing with a magnificent light. They ring out as they connect while the two fiercely fight.
Depending on your player's alignment, one of them wins and lifts the other's blade. In a flash there is only one, the sword now complete. With a cry of victory they hold the blade aloft as a column of light descends upon them.

And take it from there. Maybe they kill the victor, maybe they do a task for them, maybe they just give it to them. I dunno. Run with it.

2008-03-16, 10:53 AM
What sort of sword is it? That might help us determine how to present it.

Hum, I want to inspire myself of Rhapsody's Emerald sword. So it's a sword which blade is of pure emerald, forged as a general elven-style sword.

(My setting is Warhammer, so there's no nonsense about short, long, broadsword. It's a general Hand Weapon-sword, period :smalltongue: )

(since Rhapsody is pretty obscure to my player base, I feel secure using such Material. In fact, I'll transcript "The Myth of the Holy Sword" as a elven poetic transcript of what happened to the sword in the past)

I love the idea of the petrified monster. Oh, I got another! If we had a golem-like creature (unseen in Warhammer, and it would be pretty much invulnerable in that setting!!!) with the handheld sticking out of [body part to be determined]. They will have to take out the sword to defeat the creature?

Continue to throw ideas! Collective work is great :)

hylian chozo
2008-03-16, 11:12 AM
I don't know anything about Rhapsody, but an emerald sword sounds pretty cool. Emerald is green, right? Picture this: The party comes across a deactivated or partially destroyed (weakened) golem-like constuct with a sword protruding from it's head or other area. It's completely covered in vines that seem to be holding it like chains. Upon closer inspection, the vines appear to be coming from the sword itself, restraining the golem. If the sword is removed, the vines dissolve and the golem "wakes up"...

Just go from there.

2008-03-16, 11:43 AM
Warhammer setting has a little too much of the Things-falling-from-the-sky, I feel...

The Angel thing wouldn't work, 'cause there're no angels in Warhammer. Just the Daemons...

I'd suggest it being in the centre of an ancient temple, having to fight various things to get to it, but Warhammer people would see that it was the Sword of Khaine blatantly ripped off.

Maybe have it in a cave, in a huge crystal block. It's not immediately obvious that there's a sword in there, but ther're some interesting lines and cracks on the gem, and think of some way to have the block smashed (maybe a big fight with... Ooh, maybe a Bloodthirster? If that's too big, you could just use a Giant or a Troll (Ghweirg...)), and among the shards lie one inn exactly the shape of a sword. If they pick it up, all well and good- if not, send in something acidic and say, "You remember a story you've heard about a creature looking like this that dissolves any metal it contacts." That should inspire them to take the gem-sword...

2008-03-16, 04:27 PM
How about they find it as a treasure but they have to get it out of some sort of puzzle. Maybe its in layers of rare metal and they have the find the varius acids and what have you to get rid of heach one and get the sword.

2008-03-16, 04:39 PM
I would say don't make it a sword, since these things seem to always be swords.

Unless of course, it has to be a sword, as it's for a specific character who's specialized in swords.

Axes, Knives, Hammers, and Spears seem to be less common in that order.

Still, I vote go for something weird.

As far as how it's located, it should be thematic to the weapons nature. A sword of fire and doom might be found looking like some demon is stabbing itself with it, and out of the *wound* water is flowing (it's a fountain) with red coloring thanks to some glass. Maybe for some strange reason, it's found in a cavern that is wet when there should be no water, with starfish on the walls, and the sword seems to have what almost looks like tentacles, which don't seem to want to let the weapon go.

Or, seemingly out of nowhere, they just come across it. As if it wanted to be found by the players.

2008-03-16, 05:17 PM
I had a "Underground Frozen Lake" Sword, as you may have guessed, its underground in an icy cavern, ontop of a frozen lake, the sword needs to be like.. icy or icy burst or somthing.

Anyway, when they pull the sword out of the ice the water melts almost instantly underneath their feet, betraying the Pc's to icy waters and whatever creatures now awaken in the frozen depths.

Mando Knight
2008-03-16, 07:05 PM
- Pull it out of the stone (Excalibur)

Nitpick: Excalibur isn't the Sword in the Stone, or at least not in half or so of the legends. Le Morte d'Arthur is rather confusing on this account, though: there are two Excaliburs, one drawn from the stone (and broken) and the other given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake and is the blade we're most familiar with. It is that sword in Le Morte d'Arthur that Arthur carried to his dying day, to be thrown back into the lake...

Anyway, you could have the sword given to your character in the middle of a lake by its mistress...

Atticus Bleak
2008-03-16, 10:50 PM
Ironically i just had my party's fighter find his new legacy weapon, the clockwork sword. They are in an ancient dwarven temple shaped like a famous dwarven king, and in the top there is a great glowing seal, a magic sricle, and shoved into a crack in the ground was the sword. It's a tad cliche....when he drew it, wind and fall leaves whipped around, the partys evil-detecting cleric caught a faint glimpse of a major evil aura...turns out the sword was there to seal the crack because the seal was broken, and by pulling it he released the BBEGs....

for less cliche...here's an idea, have it be the weapon of a villian, the evil king or the leader of a group of bad guys...and when he dies they try to take it and find they can't lift it, it is to heavy for even all of them together to lift, and they need to either find magic gauntlets ah-la thor's hammer, or break some curse on it. One great one my old DM did once, of course it doesn't fit a Warhammer setting, was there was a super powerful longsword jammed into one of the gears of mechanus, and we had to remove it...

Wait, elven, how about it is grown into a tree? something like: A great tall oaktree rises before you, the branches arching out nearly half a mile, the bark thick and dark, the roots as big around as a human waist. This ancient tree seems to grow miles high, all the plants around it shriveling as it steals most of the nutrients of the earth. Just in sight on the tree is a large knothole, inside a green glow eminates" and when they reach that, "Inside this knothole you find a strange crystal, branches and vines covering it, you can just make out the shape of a sword among the thick wooden tentacles binding the crystal asif the tree grew around it"

Very fun and Naturey! *the entire fey court gives you a thumbs up* :smallbiggrin:

Magnor Criol
2008-03-16, 11:52 PM
If you're gunning for giving it to one character in particular, have it come in a dream.

One night that character goes to sleep. As they sleep, they see themselves wielding the blade in their dreams. When they awaken, they find the blade gripped tight in their hands.

Alternately, this dream could come in multiple parts; each night, they see themselves doing part of some task or ordeal (either each night they do more, or each night is the same event). Eventually, they finish the task, either simply because you deem time is ready or because they complete some task on their half - a check or a mini-adventure all their own, or what have you. When they finish it, the blade is their upon awakening.

2008-03-17, 05:14 AM
What is lovely about such threads is that they become a repository for adventure hooks for many more people than just the OP. Ah, class!

Anyway, just to toss my two coppers in

Uber cliched, put together the pieces of the sword, a-la-Eye of the Beholder II (but not only). Hilt, crossguard, blade and pommel. It gets kinda long too if you have a subquest for each and every piece.

Less cliché, or possibly no clichè at all: WAKE UP THE BLADE!
I'm thinking of a "Inuyasha" situation (or to some extent even a Sword of Shannara moment). The sword in itself can be retrieved at the end of whichever quest you want, or bought at your local Wal Mart, have it as it fits your campaign best. When the heroes get it, it's just a...good sword. Perhaps not even that (maybe the balance is messed up). It could be shining and cool, but it's just a +1 to hit, with little or no magic aura. And the blade is just "greenish", more like copper-stained than forged in emerald, or just polished but otherwise perfectly normal steel.

So, how are we going to imbue the blade with the power it was forged to host? Countless ways!

The sword needs the blood of an innocent to be shed
The sword is a protection sword, and will just sit on her shining a** until a person the wielder loves and who is uncapable of defending her/himself is in life danger
The sword needs the spirit it cages to become a symbiont of the wielder
It needs to be struck by a lightning 10d6 while you wield it. If you survive you prove yourself worthy and it activates
The sword needs to test your virtue. Until you have spared an enemy's life at great personal risk or until you have risked your hide to protect the inncents or even better, until you prove that the sword to you is less important than the purpose it was made for (protection) it won't awaken.
So, perhaps you have to willingly give it up as a trade item for the life a perfectly innocent but also totally never seen before person. A classic ((C)Disney): will you give up the sword that makes you like a million dollars in exchange for the life of a swine herd you have never seen? The trade should be made in all honesty (not with the Belkarian intention of killing the trader and getting the sword back the same night in a filthy street alley). To this extent it might even be a perfect (DC 30 to see through it) illusion conjured by the very blade, and disappear as soon as a honest deal is made. I'd reccommend to do all the tests in a few days / game sessions, so as to test also the proverbial lack of patience of the Players and their need to be cunning with the poor GM.
My favorite: The sword needs to feel it's original element to re-boot. So, if it's a magic emeraldish sword, I'd say it's the earth, nature, the land. You don't need it to take it out of a stone but to plunge into a specific one, an emerald cave for example, or the place where it was forged. The blade enters the earth while it is still made of steel and exits (slow motion) made of shining green crystals. This might need to be done periodically (and perhaps consume the overall power of the emerald cave in the long run)

2008-03-17, 04:56 PM
Wow, thanks for all the help so far.

In the Myth of the Holy Sword, here's the story that recount it's creation (summarized)

In the Elvish War, 2 elvens heroes brothers were captured by a Darklords, in some mines. One of them was tortured with an emerald stone, until his death, while his brother was watching. The brother managed to escape, took the stone, and forged a sword with it. He then asked the Angels to fill it with Might.

(I know there isn't angels in Warhammer. I am wondering if I could replace them with Elvish Gods, or simply incarnations of the Aethyric Winds)

Eventually, the Elves tracked back the Darklord, and the surviving Elf managed to get his revenge. With a simple swipe of the sword, he killed the BBEG. He feeled the power in the blade, and gave it to the Wizards, who knew why.

The sword was filled with the Power of the Angels, and could become a danger too great if it felled into the hands of the wrong man, or darklords. So they hid the blades beyond the Ivory Gates.

(in my campaign, I'll call the Ivory Gates the elven outpost that are at the south end of Warhammer-Africa and S.-America, so the players will have to go to Cathay or Nippo to get it back).

Since it was the Good guys themselves who hid it, I'd guess there would not be any daemon guarding it.

The Emerald Stone was filled with the tortured emotions of the elven hero, and the rage that filled his brother. So I think I'd have the emeral filled with living flame (Fire Wind of Magic, don't you love Warhammer-thematic concerning magic??) but some Amethyst reflects (Amethyst Wind).

Hum.. I was thinking maybe of a moral dilemma in order to leave with the sword, so that only a good man could leave with it. A moral dilemma created with the Grey Wind of magic by the Wizards who hid it. I'll have to think about it...

2008-03-18, 07:10 AM
Replace the Angels with the Elven gods- probably the Phoenix God, can't remember his name.

Thanatos 51-50
2008-03-18, 07:32 AM
The party, having completed their lateset quest/mission/story arc are approached by thankful other person or persons. This may be included in the "award".
The virtous, knightly, sword-wielding character is presented with a scroll, depciting a single room with a pedastal in the center, affixed with the sela of (powerful being of your choice here), and it is explained to this warrior that "A sword lies here and calls your name".
Upon locating the room in question, the swordsman must engage the sword in a duel, as if it were wielded by an invisible foe on-par (Or slightly below less skilled) with the swordsman's skill.
He can recieve not outside help, as such actions are barred (A wizard did it. No, you can't dispel it.) After defeating the blade, it presents itself, hilt-first to the acknlowedged, skilled swordsman.