“Lukki!” Called the blacksmith. She was a wizened, short, twisted character, her gnarled, wrinkled and tanned skin made her look more like a tree than any recognisable race. “Lukki, you lazy oath, fetch the duke his new sword.”
A creature nearly as deformed as his mistress darted out of the
back room and passed a long, cloth-wrapped package to the waiting
nobleman, then quickly scurried to where he had come from, narrowly
dodging a blow the blacksmith had aimed for his head. Duke Talic
carefully undid a leather tie and unfolded the cloth, inside was a
weapon the like of which he had never seen.
Set in the centre of the weapon was a long shard of crystal, two
thirds of its length, it ran through the hand guard, the grip and
into the pommel. The metal itself gleamed like polished silver, it
felt cold to the touch. The duke noticed his emblem of a leaping
wolf had been incorporated into the design of the cross guard.
Duke Talic hefted the sword experimentally, it was lighter than
it looked. He took a few practice swings, the balance was such that
the four foot blade was usable in one hand if required, in two hands
it felt supremely powerful. He let his accustomed scowl break into a
“Truly this is a weapon that will help me fulfil my dream of
uniting the provinces and forging an empire to stand the test of
time.” The duke intoned in awe.
“Its composed mainly of meteoric iron, alloyed with moonsteel
for lightness. The crystal is a shard from the diamond stalactites
of the Cave of the Eternals, it absorbs the souls of your foes and
adds them to your strength. The grip is hippogryph leather tanned by
the elves, which is kind to your skin.” The blacksmith explained.
“There is no other sword like it.”
“Unfortunately, I must make sure it stays that way.” The
duke raised the sword. “I cannot allow the possibility that you
forge another blade of this power for fear that it falls into the
hands of one of my enemies. Its first victim must be its maker.”
The duke leaped forwards, but was met by a sudden and deadly
flow of liquid metal from a vat in the ceiling of the smithy. He
screamed as the glowing alloy burned into and through his skin,
collapsing into a heap of pungent barbecue and cooling, hissing
“Not another one.” Moaned the blacksmith. “Who do they
think I am? I'm the worlds greatest blacksmith, not the worlds most
gullible fool. Lukki, get back in here! What is it about some
people that they can't just pay up and get on with slaughtering their
foe of choice and fucking off to fulfil their sodding destinies?
What a bloody mess. I blame the economy, the sooner the gods remove
the tithe on holy blessings and divine interventions the sooner
people will start investing their money in crusades and quests.”
She retrieved the sword from the dead duke and passed it to her
“Now, my boy, you take that thing and throw it in a volcano.
And no shirking this time, I don't want to find out you've just left
it stuck in a rock somewhere, hidden it at the bottom of a dungeon or
traded it with some bint in a pond for a kiss again, alright? Now,
Lukki made it out the door, sidestepping the sorry pile on the
floor and avoiding a badly-aimed kick up the arse.
“Okay, I'll clean that up when it cools down. What's next on
the orders list?” She unfurled a parchment. “Aha! Tall,
bearded Scandinavian, loves goats, oak trees, and lightning, dislikes
serpents, looking for hammer to level mountains and generally have a
smashing time. Well, at least hammer wielders pay their bills.”