Demon's Bane (Rune Sword):

Du' Tral was not the smartest of Balrogs but was very cunning. The demon had been summoned to murder one of the Summoner's rivals. The Summoner was not quite up to the summoning of a greater demon and had made a single mistake with his circle. That was all the Balrog needed and the circle master was now dead. The demon could not give the man a chance to fix his mistake so had killed him quickly. If his protections had been slightly better, the Balrog would have better to attempt to flee. Well, the Summoner was dead and the Balrog was free to roam as he saw fit. He took his time torturing and then murdering the servants and guards of the Summoner. They made nice toys but broke so soon. The estate was built to be virtually soundproof, practically a requisite for a Summoner, and no one heard the sounds of torture.

Ah, the number of victims available. The Summoner had set up in what amounted to a very small city in the Western Empire but there was still plenty of prey available. The summoner had set himself as a scholar and had established himself in an estate inside on of the seeder areas of the city. It would be a long time until the victims would be noticed. He headed out on the hunt. He had many tricks to remain unseen. He saw a female painted up standing in a corner. She was probably only fourteen or so but the whore looked older than her years. The perfect victim he thought to himself. It is likely that if the circle master had not been careless that she would have soon been the mortal's victim.

Callista Ashe could not resist the tug of her sword. Most of the time her sword was a benefit but at other times she wondered. It had saved her life many times including when she first found it but dragged her miles to deal with escaped demons and devils. Like tonight. She had just settle in her room at the inn for the night. She had talked to the innkeeper and found out that there were no powerful Wizards or Summoners who would likely summon a demon. She thought to herself that maybe someone had found a scroll to summon a demon. She climbed out from under the down blankets and started getting dressed. She was a psi-mystic, why did she have to clean up all the messes of Summoners and Wizards. The blade of the sword was almost as tall as she was but felt as light as if it was a light short sword. She did not know why this was and it did not matter at the moment. She strapped the long blade on her back and headed out into the night. The psi-mystic might be stronger than she looked but the sword still looked huge on her.

Callista followed the pull of her sword and found herself heading into seeder and seeder sections of the city. A few times she felt the edge of danger but nothing immediate. Of course she knew a few tricks but it is likely that she would be delayed and the demon might escape or find additional victims. She had been raised on streets similar to these. Granted, she had been an apprentice thief and had lived better than most of those she saw around her. Still, she wondered what might have become of her if she had not discover herself to be a psi-mystic. Once she would have been looking at the teeming crowds for easy marks, now she felt pit. All of this reminiscing was distracting her and she shook her head to clear it. She had drunk a bit of wine before laying down for the night. Perhaps it was affecting her.

The Psi-Mystic found herself in front of the door of a manor house in surprising good condition for this section of the city. In lettering was written Melchior, scholar and sage. Obviously he was doing more than research here or maybe it was what he was researching. The hair on the back of her neck was standing up. She did not feel in immediate danger but something was definitely wrong. She tried the handle of the door. It was not locked but was extremely thick and heavy. As she opened the heavy door, she could smell the odor of death and the tang of blood.

The sword led her down a jumble of passageways until she arrive in what appeared to be the working area of a Summoner. Great, Melchior turns out to be a Summoner. Around the floor was a scattering of bodies dripping blood. It was obvious that most of them had been tortured before being murdered. As horrible as the idea was, she almost wished it had been the Summoner who had done this but she knew it had been the demon. The taint of demon could be felt from one of the alcoves. She drew her sword.

The Balrog stepped from the alcove. He had heard the sounds of footsteps and knew he had forgotten to lock the door after bringing his latest prey down here. The woman, girl really, had joined the dripping bodies laying on the floor. He had gotten great pleasure from the whore's screams but she had not lasted very long. The figure which stood at the bottom of the steps was obviously female and held a sword almost as large as she was. Strangely, there was little tang of fear coming from her. It appeared that he sword had runes running along the blade. He idled wondered if it was a true rune sword or just a sword crafted to look like one. Perhaps it would be best if he did not fight her on his own. He summoned his store of magic and animated his victims. They would do one final service for him.

The demon was a Balrog and he took up virtually the whole alcove. She had fought them before and although they were pretty powerful, at least she was not dealing with a Demon Lord. It was also not as dangerous as a Raksasha with their extreme cunning. She had fought one of the tiger headed demons and had almost been killed. She really should have summoned assistance when fighting that greater demon. The sword called for her to slay demons but did not expect her to commit suicide in the attempt. She wondered if the demon would recognize her sword. Some demons had simply fled when they saw the sword. It did not seem that he did as she but he was being obviously cautious. She watched him gesture and the dripping corpses stood up and shambled towards her. There was only six of them and she considered just fighting them but decide to simply turn them. She evoked the power from her sword and the corpse backed up slowly and began clawing at the wall when they could not back up any more.

The demon looked at the slight figure. Obviously, the weapon was really a rune weapon. Still, as large as the sword was and as small as she was, it would be slow and unwieldy. He summoned his familiar flaming whip to his hands. Perhaps he would get a chance to torture her as well before he had to kill her. As the demon charged, Callista took just a moment to bring up her magical armor. She parried the flaming whip just as the demon brought it down and slid to the side and dove under the demons guard. She was able to score of the side of the demon but was unable to get a deep blow.

The demon never felt anything like what had just happened and roared in pain. The sword had gone through his armored hide like it did not exist and the blade had burned like nothing he had ever felt before. Something felt wrong and the injury from the sword did not feel like it was regenerating. He also felt like something had been tugging at his soul. A soul drinker. Suddenly it came to him. There were legends of a powerful rune sword keyed directly to the slaying of demons. What he could remember of the description matched the sword he was facing. This mortal was also far quicker than he would ever give her credit for. She could swing the sword like it was a light short sword. The demon laughed. The reward he would get for slaying the wielder of the dreaded sword and returned the weapon back to Hades so it could not be used again. She might be able to see him while he was invisible but not in total darkness. He summoned darkness around him as he backed up. He would like to see her fight in it. He could see clearly while she could not see at all.

Callista shook her head as the darkness descended on her. True, she could not see the wall but with the sword, she could still see the demon clearly. Actually, that was not quite true but she could see the aura of the demon. Watching the motion of his hand, she parried where she thought the whip would be. She missed it by just a fraction of an inch but the flaming whip sparked of her mystical armor. She thought about activating protection against fire but she did not think she had the time. Instead she lashed out at the demon. The Balrog did not expect it and thought she was blindly flailing. The blade bit deep into his hide cutting into his left leg. He limped back with his leg dripping ichor from the gaping wound. While the demon backed up, she took advantage of the moment to make herself impervious to fire.

The Psi-Mystic charged after the demon, catching him by surprise by going after his position like he was standing in a well lit room instead of impenetrable darkness. The demon had been pondering teleporting back to his home dimension but was not sure if the circles would interfere with his abilities. He struck at her with his whip but the flaming weapon seemed to do nothing. Callista struck with the sword again, this time using both hands in a two handed jab straight into his chest. She had make a telekinetic leap to get high enough but the attack was completely unexpected. She shoved the sword to the hilt and the blade found its way to the demon's heart. It sliced itself to ribbons on the blade and the demon felt itself dying. It also felt the sword trying to suck its soul into itself. Life left the demon as it collapsed to the stone floor. Callista rode down as the body fell and pulled her blade from the demon's corpse. The animated victims collapsed to the ground as the demon fell to the ground.

While demon slaying was quite dangerous, it was also quite lucrative. She had been told that demons blood and bones was used in the creation of both potions and powerful magic items. She grabbed a flask which she carried on her belt and began filling it with the demons blood.

Demon's Bane is one of the most powerful demon slaying rune swords in existence and legends of the weapon go back to long before the times of the Great Elven Kingdom and there are stories about the sword which seem to come from clear back to the Times of a Thousand Magics. Few of the legends agree on who the actual creator of the Rune Sword is. Some of the Deities mentioned include Thoth, Kym-nark-mar, and [Insert Third Gods name]. Some tales even give the names of completely unknown gods. Some legends speak that a powerful greater demon is trapped within the blade while other stories tell that an angel joined with the blade. Over the years, the sword had slain thousands and maybe tens of thousands of demons and devils. While most have been lesser demons, many have been greater demons and a few have even been Demon Lords. Not all wielders of the sword have survived their encounters with demons but a surprising number have. There are even cases where the wielder has made a hasty escape and brought in reinforcements to defeat the demon. Virtually no other magical weapon is more feared by demons. Along with demons and devils, the sword has brought low uncountable numbers of demon worshipers and minions. The magic of the weapon seems to work as well against many witches as it does against demons themselves. Most wielders have been accomplished on their own with a majority being Mind Mages or Psi-Mystics. One of the most legendary demon slayers who wielded the sword is said to have been a demi-god. All possessors of the sword have been at least minor psionics because while the sword helps protect the wielder from demons, the will to resist must come from the mind of the possessor of the sword. There have been times which the sword has disappeared for thousands of years and some believe that it had been carried to Hades and later liberated but most scholars disagree. Most consider that it is far more likely that the sword was simply lost. The sword is said to cause extreme pain

The sword is huge, the size of a claymore with a full five foot long blade, and has an extremely wide blade. With a four inch wide blade, the weapon looks like it would be extremely heavy. The sword is constructed from blue-grey metal which like all rune weapons shows no signs of wear. Mystic runes run along both the blade and hilt of the sword. The blade comes to a sharp point for stabbing. One side of the hand guard is the image of a female angel with her wings partially folded while the other side is a snarling demon with its wings fold similarly to the angel. The hilt comes to a ball. Some stories tell of a scabbard for the sword with one side being constructed from blue silk framed in silver and the other side being constructed from red leather with bronze framing. The scabbard appears to have been lost in the shadows of time. While the sword appears to be extremely heavy, the reality is that the sword feels like it only weighs that of a short sword. Some wielders have even used the rune weapon one handed with a second weapon in the other hand.

It is difficult to describe the personality of the sword. In some cases, it could be considered Scrupulous while in some cases could be considered Aberrant. While generally nice, the sword will suggest or even demand actions which a scrupulous would not even consider in the path to kill demons and devils. The strongest single emotion in the sword is a hatred of demons and devils. Even so, it is not an unthinking hatred of demons but is a calculated hatred of demons and devils. It does not expect the wielder to risk their life to kill demons and devils. Also, the sword has an incredible hatred of Witches. The sword does not have a problem with its possessors gaining a profit from fighting demons, either through asking payment for services or selling components from the demons they slay. The sword knows the strengths and weaknesses of demons and devils and will give the strengths and weaknesses of the creatures (Demon and Monster Lore - Demons and Devils only of 96%) but considers them to be virtually the same kind of creatures. The sword has an understanding of the evil creatures that few living beings do and understands their motivations. Unlike some rune weapons, it will share that knowledge with its possessor. In all cases, the sword will chose wielders with at least some psionic ability and usually prefers master psionics and those with extremely high willpower. It often chooses Mind Mages and Psi-Mystics. It has chosen individuals of all races which can be psionic including Changelings. The sword has been carried by several Changeling due to their strong mental resistance and many of them being powerful psychics. The personality seems to have no strong sexual identity and appears more or less neuter in its nature. While the sword will tell much about the demons and monsters it has fought, it will not tell about its origins or much about its past wielders. Unlike many other rune weapons, it does not seem to be as choosy about those who wield it. The alignments of Principled, Scrupulous, and Aberrant all acceptable to the sword. The sword considers individuals of Unprincipled alignment to be too flighty and will not bond with them. The sword will allow an Unprincipled to wield it for a time but will attempt to get the possessor to pass the sword to a more acceptable wielder. If the possessor will not give up the sword, the sword will make itself extremely heavy (around 600 pounds) until their decide to pass the sword onto another. The sword will be more insistent with wielders of Anarchist alignments but will not actually cause damage to them. With beings of Miscreant and Diabolic, it will directly attack the possessor until the individual decides to discard the sword. Rarely will they try and hold onto the sword for long.

Demon's Bane is an extremely powerful greater rune weapon which the main enchantments are keyed to the destruction of demons and devils. The weapon seems to be able to penetrate the thickest of demon hides although it is not as effective against creatures such as dragons. As well, wearing actual armor will afford protection to the demon. When it strikes at a demon, the blade burns and a demon is unable to regenerate the damage caused by the weapon although they can heal the injury at the rate of a normal injury. These abilities also work against witches which have gifts of power or union with demons and devils. A demon or devil cannot teleport while the blade is in their flesh or are holding it in their hands. The sword is a soul drinker but it will only consume the souls of demons and devils. To assist in battle against demons, the sword helps protect the wielder against magic cast against the wielder and psychic abilities of demons. It also protects against the aura of horror which virtually all demons have. The enchantments of the rune sword also protect against witches who are linked to demons. The sword also helps with the hunting of demons and devils, it has the ability to feel the aura of a demon from up to four miles away. This ability to feel the aura will reveal a demon if the demon uses invisibility to hide or attempts to use darkness or multiple images to trick the wielder. In addition to the sword being extremely lightweight, the wielder of the sword has their speed boosted and can run at about double their speed without the sword. The sword also appears to improve the combat skills of the wielder by increasing the normal amount of attacks. Finally, the sword has a host of Wizard abilities. The abilities seem to be virtually the most effective abilities against demons including the ability to be impervious to fire and poison and create mystic armor for protection against demon's attacks. Many Demons, including the Balrog, use fire abilities almost exclusively. Often demons will summon the dead to attack and the sword has the ability to turn the dead. For long range combat, the rune weapon can fire energy bolts at opponents. The ability of increase weight is very useful and the sword can use it for its own protection. It is great for preventing those who want to carry off the sword for being able to.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2005, Kitsune. All rights reserved.