Old Rusty (Rune Bastard Sword):
The Black Paladin had been holding the local villages hostage for months. Nobody knew where he had come from. The black armored figure had rode into town one day and declared it under his rule. Several villagers had tried to fight him and he had quickly slain the peasants and cowed the others.
Since then, the black armored marauder had bled them for everything they had and had taken many women for his own pleasure. The evil paladin knew that everything they had was his to take. Having broken the last woman he had taken, the villain was looking for a new wench to take back to his fortress. This one would not last long either but it did not matter, he could then just find another. The blackguard could do what he wanted with her and then sacrifice her to the Demon Lords he worshiped when he was finished using her.
Behind some gnarled old farmers was the figure of a pretty young girl. His thoughts drifted to the fact that these peasants did not stay pretty long, being worn out quickly from bearing child after child. It was best to get them while they were fresh and he figured that the girl was around fourteen from her appearance. He did not care what her age as long as she was nubile and he motioned with his sword for the girl to come forward.
The marauder was surprised when what appeared to be an old man stepped between him and the peasant whore. At least that is the way that the Black Paladin saw it. The villain sized up the old man and did not see much of a threat. The old wretch appeared to be some old woodsman from his gear and the old man appeared to be wearing an old set of leather armor and had a large leather scabbard which was quite beat up on his side.
The blackguard did not recognize this old man as one of the villagers. These old rangers just did not know when to retire. Well, this could be solved easily enough. The evil paladin knew he could retire this old man easily enough. Permanently retire him. Maybe the old man should be tortured in front of the villagers to show what happens to those who resist.
The Black Paladin stalked towards the old man attempting to invoke fear in the old man. Surprising, the old man drew his sword and walked slowly towards the black armored marauder himself showing no signs of fear. The Bastard Sword the old man wielded was not impressive, it appeared to be badly rusted and pitted. It would take one blow and the old man would be gutted. The Black Paladin sneered and swung his sword down on the old man, fully expecting the old sword to snap in half.
The old man responded with a far faster parry than the Black Paladin would have believed. The villain heard a sharp ring as the two swords hit and found that the old man was no longer carrying a old beat up sword. Instead, the old man was wielding a blue grey sword with runes along the blade.
The old man replies “Not all is at is appears. Old Rusty certainly is not” as he swung back at the blackguard which the evil was overextended for and could not parry. The Bastard Sword cut a wide gash in the side of black armored figure. The evil knight felt pain for the first time in years. The old man was a rune sword wielder, the Black Paladin thought in a panic. The Demon Lords had abandoned their dark servant.
There are few clear legends about this weapon and it is one of the less well known rune weapons. There is no clear name for the rune sword although many stories tell of the wielder calling the sword “Old Rusty.” Some scholars speculate that the sword does not seem to exist and other scholars dismiss it as a “lesser” rune weapon and not worthy of study.
There are a variety of stories about bandits or evil knights attacking a long traveler or a village. Often, the traveler will appear to be older with white or grey hair. The person draws what appears to be either an old beat up sword or a rust pitted sword. The attackers will see the person as no threat and attack.
Suddenly, the sword transforms itself into a rune sword and the wielder slays his attackers. The problem is that there is no information which most scholars consider verifiable and there are only scraps of information otherwise. Most of the tales cannot be dated and scholars cannot decide how old the sword is. If the sword has told anything to its possessors, these have not found their way to scholars.
Old Rusty does exist and has one of the most down to earth personalities of any rune weapon. The sword does appear to be male and most of the wielders have been male as well. Still, several women have been the wielder have been wielders of the Bastard Sword. Most wielders have simply called the Bastard Sword “Old Rusty” and he does not seem to mind.
The most important personality trait which the sword seems to look for is honesty and honor. He does not look for a knight or paladin but someone who tried to keep their word of honor and treats others fairly. The sword cares little about laws just because they are laws. Most of his wielders have been Scrupulous but there have been of Principled or Unprincipled alignments. It is most likely, the spirit inside the sword was a ranger or mercenary scout. He seems to prefer the same classes for those he bonds with. If he is acquired by a non warrior type such as a Wizard or a Mind Mage, he will suggest very strongly that they do not need him and that he should be passed to another. His desire for honesty and honor means that he cannot abide thieves and he does not like the style of honor most knights have.
Most of the wielders of the sword have been relatively reclusive. The sword will suggest to his wielder to live a simple life and not wear expensive jewelry, clothing, or armor. These attract attention and appearing simple causes many to underestimate the person. Still, the sword does not expect the possessor to live in squalor or live uncomfortably. The weapon might suggest the wearer have made a set of enchanted leather armor but have it appeared patched and frayed.
The sword is a master tactician at ambushes and small scale engagements although not at larger scale warfare. Unlike some rune weapons, he will plan any potential engagement with his wielder’s safety as the most important consideration. He is also an expert at wilderness survival and is skilled at simple disguise.
When not disguised, Old Rusty appears to be a plain blue grey Bastard Sword. Other than the runes, the weapon has no decoration with the exception of grooves in the handle for a better grip. The hand grip is design for the sword to be used either one handed or two handed. The hand guard is a simple bar of blue metal. In spite of the plain appearance of the sword, Old Rusty is incredibly well balanced and could be considered a Dwarven masterwork.
Old Rusty appears to have no additional powers as a rune weapon other than the ability to change its form. The sword keeps the same general shape but can appear to be chipped and worn like a sword which has simply seem too much service. The sword can also appear to be rusted out sword which will break the first time it is used. In addition to making enemies often underestimate the wielder of the sword, the appearance of the transformed sword prevents thieves from being interested in the weapon. In addition to being able to change its appearance, the sword can hide its aura and appear to be a non-magical sword.
Communicates with wielder through limited telepathy.
Like all Rune Weapons it is completely indestructible.
Links to wielder within 6 months of constant contact. Can sense each other presences within 4 miles (5.4 km).
Can be used to parry energy blasts at -6.
Gives wielder +1 on all saving throws.
Can only be used by individuals of Unprincipled, Scrupulous, or Principled Alignments, anybody not of those alignments takes 2D4 points of damage each time they touch the weapon or 3D6 damage if creatures of magic.
Due to superior craftsmanship, equal to Dwarven quality, has +2 to initiative, +2 to strike, and +3 to parry.
4D6+6 per strike, inflicts S.D.C. in S.D.C. Worlds and inflicts M.D.C. in M.D.C. Worlds. (Plus strength bonus if applicable).
Weapon's Special Abilities:
Skills of the Rune Sword: Camouflage 55%, Disguise 65%, Tracking 60%, and Wilderness Survival 65%.
Shape-Change: Old Rusty can transform into the appearance of a non Rune Weapon. The two forms for the Sword is an old beat up Bastard Sword which appears to be have simply seen too much service or that of an old pitted and rusted Bastard Sword. It still cannot be destroyed but otherwise looks completely normal. Any magical or psychic detection methods will reveal it to simply be a normal sword. At the wielders command, the sword will transform back into its normal form.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
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