Demonstring (Rune Bow):

Sir Kerezan rode out to battle with evil yet again leading a group of half a dozen younger knights. White hair streamed under a silver helm, still a proud figure even though almost sixty years old. It had been forty years since he had first become a knight and while he was a bit slower these days, he made up for it in his skill. For the years of battles, he ached from injuries and simply old age. He wish to retire but who would take his place. The king had already send out several groups to deal with this latest group of bandits and each time the severed heads of the warriors had been sent back.

As they continued riding, the woods closed around the knights and there was something disconcerting to Sir Kerezan. He was not a Ranger and wished one was with the group but years of travel had made him extremely sensitive to changes in nature. In the thick forest around him, there were few sounds of birds. Possibly an ambush of some kind. He drew his sword and as his blade left its scabbard, the other knights drew their weapons. Maybe they were young but they at least understood enough to defer to those older and wiser than them.

The sounds of bows could suddenly be heard as archers opened up from both sides. It was extremely rare that bandits would attack a group as well armed as his. An arrow went home again on of his knight. The young knight, who was little more than a teenager, tumbled from his saddle. One of his knights was already down. Hopefully, the arrow wound was not mortal and he could get the young man to a healer before he died.

Sir Kerezan wheeled his snow white charger around to attack. Suddenly he saw a black arrow fly towards him. Not a normal black arrow but something misshapen as if possessed by something demonic. Maybe a black lightning bolt would be a better way to describe it. The arrow found a joint in his armor but instead of feeling intense pain, it felt cold as if it were stealing his life force away. He felt himself weaken. Still, it would take more than one arrow to take him down. Looking at the arrow, it was blacked as if had flown through a fire and twisted. A second black arrow thudded into his chest plate, penetrating the Dwarven crafted steel.

He tried to charge in the direction of the archer but the growth, obviously recent growth from the thickness, slowed his charge to a virtual crawl. The land had once been farmland but had gone back to wilderness. Another malign shaft imbedded itself in his armor and yet another. It seemed as if his armor was no protection at all from these dark arrows.

The old knight just about got close enough to the bandit to bring down the figure. It looked human and was slender, a slim man or possibly a tall and slim woman. Whatever it was, it was dressed all in black and had a black mask which obscured its face. The figure held a bow which was as black as the clothes which covered the figure. There was something evil from the bow and the center of the was in the design of what looked like the head of a Balrog and the bow string appeared to be held by what looked like the claws of a demon.

A finally arrow appeared to fly from the Balrog's mouth and struck the knight, this time it seemed to penetrate the chest plate into his heart. The old knight felt himself sliding from the saddle of his faithful steed, weakness taking over his body. His lifeblood was slowly ebbing away.

Sir Kerezan could see that all of his knights were down except one. That last one turned his horse in an attempt to escape. The old knights last thoughts before he closed his eyes forever was the hope that the last survivor of his knights would escape.

There are not many rune bows known although there are stories of the elves having crafted them long ago. It is quite unlikely that this long bow was crafted by the elves. Various stories attribute the creation of the bow to various demon lords and others attribute the bow to evil deities. Once powerful weapons such as these could be forged by mortals so they should not be discounted either. Whomever created the bow, it is many millenniums old and is extremely evil. Many blackhearts have wielded this weapons over the virtually untold ages this weapon has existed. This weapon is prized by evil Long Bowman and Rangers. Few assassins are skilled in the use of the long bow so few have ever carried this rune weapon.

Unlike some rune weapons, Demonstring does not have an extremely powerful personality. Still, there is no mistaking that the weapon is extremely evil. The weapon will often whisper in the ear of a wielder in an attempt to get them to kill. The weapon loves the feeling of death around it. Because the weapon does not have an extremely powerful personality, it cannot really compel its owner. As a result, a handful of archers who carried a sense of honor have managed to wield the bow. Usually still quite hard individuals, they lacked the absolute evil which many wielder of the bow have had. The bow appears to be fairly closed and does not tell its present owner anything about it background or about previous owners of it. It may, even though virtually immortal, only care about the here and now.

The bow is tall, around seven feet in height, and is a black which seems to just absorb the light. While the bow is flexible, the material feels like some sort of metal not wood. Like all rune weapons, the bow apears The ends of the bow which hold the bow string appear to be some sort of clawed hand. The actual bow string also appears to be made from jet black metal just like the bow itself, cannot be unstrung, and is just as indestructible as the rest of the weapon. The middle area of the bow appears to be the head of a Balrog and when an arrow is fired, it is fired from the mouth of the fell creature. Careful examination of the bow shows tiny runes running along all the surfaces of the bow. Some scholars have suggested that if the bow string was examined by a powerful enough magnifying glass, runes could be seen running along it as well.

Some scholars argue that the bow is in reality a simple rune weapon because it does not have an magic, psionic, elemental, or clerical abilities. Others argue against that, citing how powerful its power really is. Arrows fired from the bow seem to effect the core of the being hit by the arrow and seem to be able to pass through any normal body armor although magical armor and force fields do provide protection. The arrows will even hurt creatures such as dragons through their thick hide. The arrows have additional effects, weakening a victim hit by an arrow. Sometimes these effects can be fought off but often they cannot be. When an arrow is fired, its is transformed into something else, something twisted which can never be fired again. Only indestructible arrows are immune and if fired, they are not imbued with any special abilities.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2008, Kitsune. All rights reserved.