by Elizabeth McCoy
Once upon a time there was a cabal of vampires (with the usual plans for conquest and domination) and a society of necromancers who didn't appreciate uppity undead. With mighty magics, some partaking of Eastern elementalism, the necromancers forged a blade that would be more sturdy and sharp than anything merely wooden.
When the weapon was done, the final step was to quench it in the heart of a vampire, that it would be their Bane. As it happened, one of the necromancers' sons had been turned by his ex-girlfriend (because sometimes Romeo and Juliet don't get along after the initial "wow, s/he's hot!" fades), and so hated his undead state that he was a willing volunteer.
However, apparently he didn't hate the vampires quite as much as he thought he did -- or else he was really allergic to pain. His soul does not reside within the blade, but some shreds of mercy do: the weapon will kill a vampire (or anything else) as handily as the usual wood, but it will cause no pain to anything it slices.
There are a few other quirks to the weapon. Firstly, it seems to have a core of silvery wood, the same color as its hilt -- though it is a sturdy as metal. (Indeed, in a modern campaign, it would show up on metal detectors. Magically, however, it is only vulnerable to spells that affect both plants and metals.) Secondly, it craves blood (though not death); it must feed lightly at least once a month, or its powers fade until the next feeding and it becomes dormant. . . .
This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.
Article publication date: December 26, 2003
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