The Sword of the Conqueror
Notes compiled 1489 DR (AC, SCRTRN)
Long ago, there was said to be a great King whose Gray Fortress dwelt both in Shadow and in Light. And from this palace, which had a face of cruel stone, the King built two kingdoms - one in each realm.
The Forces of Light in the story - in literal terms, the Armies of the Prime Material - could not break the Grey, nor could the Forces of Shadow. In time an alliance was formed between these two armies, and a weapon forged to mark that bond. Called Schism, it was a flexible spear of eleven and one half feet in length. The wax-leaf tree that gave Schism its body had grown out of season, its roots lapping at a pool of black water. The blade at the tip was suffused with a thirst such that unique tools and songs were required for protection, even at the time of its making. It bore a red silken tassel that grew more lush with every life it took.
Though it was created for a purpose, it had purposes of its own. Schism was of two minds, and could never settle on the answer. It could cut a moonbeam in half; it could slice history with the same ease it could flesh. But who was best suited to its goals? Would it be one who carved a path through the world, beset on all sides by foes that sharpened her with each battle? Or should it be one who had mastered themselves, and thus could direct its ire with something akin to wisdom? It could not decide, and as it was plunged into the Grey King, that indecision snapped the instrument in two, a foot or so beneath the blade.
This blade, which scholars have called The Sword of the Conqueror, went with the envoys of shadow after the battle and was to be interred with the heroes of the War Betwixt. There is no record of its arrival and no word of its use, though enthusiastic readings of certain texts may suggest its presence. Shadow histories are nestled within themselves, and they do not reckon time as we do. Who may say?
The shaft was given to a monastic order in a forest at the base of “a great mountain” in secret, where it was cared for by a succession of masters and became a mark of station. Its whereabouts are not known to scholarship, and all efforts to contact or even locate the monastery have failed.
Today’s art is by Ryan Hartman, who you may know better as Dragonborn Narcissist Donaar Blit’zen. You can grab a larger version without the postcard livery here.