Earthshaker (Rune Warhammer):

Macalthe the Black Paladin had once been a powerful lord in the Land of the South Wind. That was before he lost all titles and land. His father had been a general which had earned the lands he ruled through incredible ruthlessness. The rumor was that Macalthe had slain his own father to inherit the title but that had never been proven. Sill, it was well known that he was just as ruthless as his father had been and actually even more so. His actions had included attacks against many of the other nobles around his lands.

This had alienated the other nobles and they had formed a coalition to force him out of his fortress. He had been forced to flee in the night with little more than his armor and his sword. He had not even managed to escape with a steed. Since then, Macalthe had been landless, a wanderer. Noble born he might be but he was little more than mercenary. Sometimes, the term bandit might have been better used to describe him. Early on, he had shown that he had the same skill at command as his father. He had commanded several bands of bandits which he had show his gift at command.

The largest ran around for several years and had gotten quite large and extremely dangerous. They had terrorizes merchants and even raided smaller town. His thoughts were that if he could get enough of them together, perhaps he could get revenge on those who had driven him from his lands. Again, it seemed that everybody had banded against him. This time it was a coalition of merchants who hired a virtual army of mercenaries to hunt down the bandits. It had taken a while but eventually his bandit band was eventually caught. He had managed to flee but most of his own men had been killed in the resulting battle. A few were captured and hung.

Back on his own, he decide to explore the ancient ruins in what had once been the great Elven Kingdom. After a couple of years, he found an incredibly powerful rune hammer. In truth, one of the other adventurers who had joined up with him had found the rune weapon but a dagger in the back in the night had solved that problem. The weapon did not seem to care. It simply wanted to be wielded and given the chance to create carnage. He had never been one to use a hammer previously, preferring a heavy bastard sword, but the power of the weapon had changed his mind. It was quite plain for a rune weapon but it had power. Power to tumble the walls of any castle or fortress. He could have his revenge.

With the hammer in hand, he headed back to the Lands of the South Winds. Several of the castles of those who had stood against him had been destroyed. None could survive the earthquake unleashed by his new hammer. After the first attack, he had begun gathering a new army. He had never sought them out but they still came. Several hundred strong already, almost a thousand. Some were in it for the gold and treasure, other were in it for the women. He cared little about either one although he had partaken of the last lord's daughter, despoiling her in the ruins of the castle which had once sheltered her beside where her father's body cooled. No, he cared only about revenge.

The Castle of Ralgrathe was his present target. The best fortified of the castles of the nobles which had attacked his own fortress. It was also the fortress of the leader of those who had stood against him and the ultimate goal to destroy even before he had found the hammer. Even with the hammer, he had needed an army to take the castle once the walls came tumbling down. The idea of what he would do tasted sweet in his mouth. Not one to be unwilling to use a ruse, he walked up towards the walls, a companion waving a white flag as if to parlay. His own army waited beyond bow shot range although ready to charge once he released the power of the hammer. He thought he could see the sentries staring down at him from the stone parapets.

He was only a couple of hundred feet from the wall. He drew the hammer from his back and slammed it against the ground with all of his might. The earth made a mighty heave and a mighty fissure ripped from where it struck the ground. A few archers tried to fire arrows at him but they were unable to get a steady aim with the ground rippling. The main path of the rifts was the main gate of the mighty castle. It collapsed inwards almost immediately.

His own army began charging.

There are few weapons which are said to be able to make someone a king in their own right. The best known of these is Castlerake. Another though is Earthshaker. It has been wielded by many kings, warlords, and generals over the millenniums. It has destroyed keeps, castles, and even wrought massive destruction onto cities. There are stories about it used against a powerful Dwarven underground fortress with the whole fortress collapsing and the entire Dwarven army slain. There are many similar stories, too many to count. How long the weapon has been around is unknown although it is truly ancient. Stories about the weapon place it as having been created long before the war between the Elves and the Dwarves. During that war though, it is known to have served both sides seeming to not care about either side. After the war, it is believed to have been hidden but was eventually found once more.

Earthshaker is a two headed warhammer which is matt black. The head of the weapon and the haft of the weapon are a single piece which blends into each other. The weapon is actually quite plain with no visible decorations with the exception of deep runes running through the weapon. The head of the hammer is rounded and widens out on each end. It is a weapon, designed for smashing and quite well, plain and simple. Somehow, the weapon is also extremely well balanced. As all rune weapons, the hammer is indestructible and shows no signs of weapon even though it is ancient.

The personality of the hammer is not evil but has an extremely destructive streak. It seems to enjoy being the cause of destruction and carnage, of collapsing the largest of structures. Lives of individuals, sentient or not, is unimportant to the weapon. The weapon does not specifically enjoy the death of living beings, sentient or not though. There is a lack of much which might be considered a code of conduct. Backstabbing an enemy is just seen by the hammer as the way things are done. Making a promise to an enemy not to attack so that one might get close to a fortress to destroy it does not bother the weapon in any way. For this reason, those with a code of honor of their own very well are not likely to continue wielding the weapon for a long period. Even so, many have decided that it was well worth it for the power it gave them. Of course those with less of a code of honor will not see this as any sort of problem. Earthshaker will not bond with a possessor who has strong ethical concerns which go against the hammer although will allow it to be wielded by them. The weapon also seems to not care too much if its possessor is slain and it finds itself in the hands of another.

The weapon does have a strong hatred for earth elementals. No one seems to have any idea why this is though.

It is a devastating weapon which inflicts more damage against creatures of stone than normal creatures of flesh or against steel armor. Otherwise, the hammer has a single power but it is an extraordinary one. Once per day, the hammer can be struck against the ground with all of the might which the wielder possesses. When this happens, a massive earthquake and fissure is created. The earth will continue to quake for a full two and a half minutes and will destroy most building in the area of effect of the magic. Whole castles have been destroyed when in the path of the fissure created by the hammer. This power is similar to the elemental spell of the same name although of the power level of an extremely powerful spell caster.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.