Steal This! 4 More Epic Backstories For Weapons
Badass weapons are badass. That's science. There is no debating that. But do you know what can make an already badass weapon more badass? A badass backstory of badass badassery!
Pretty sure I've reached my quota on the word badass.
Below is a selection of 4 backstories for various weapons. The descriptions are vague enough as to allow you, to insert any weapon of your choosing. There is even enough story there to give Game Masters a little something to work with. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
1. This weapon is a deep translucent blue that emits a thin aura of mist and is cold to the touch of all but its wielder. The item looks remarkably like ice, because it is, in fact, ice.
It was crafted from ice pulled from the coldest glacier and enchanted by the mysterious nomadic frost shamans, allowing it to never melt, and never shatter. Nearly indestructible, the weapon is unaffected by heat as extreme as molten lava, and even offers some measure of protection from the cruel lick of flames. The wielder of this weapon likewise does not feel the icy grasp of winter and is unaffected by the cold.
The weapon was made for a great warrior who saved the shamans from a tribe of frost giants. Thankful, the shamans bestowed the warrior with this strange gift. What the warrior did not know was both he, and it, were intertwined in an age-old prophecy foretold by the shamans' forebears, who could see the movements of time in the endless snowfall. They warned of a time of great strife when a giant of fire would bring great destruction to the world, and only a warrior true of heart wielding a weapon of eternal ice could stop it.
Years passed, and a great fire giant king rose to power in the Southlands. The warrior gathered to him a collection of companions and, with his weapon in hand, cut a swath to the throne of the King of Embers In a great battle, the warrior defeated the deadly foe. With the final blow struck, the weapon seemed to evaporate in the warrior's hands, having fufiled its purpose
That was half a millennium ago. The weapon has since returned, though for what purpose is unknown.
2. While the craftsmanship on this weapon is excellent, it lacks any manner of decor or embellishment. It was commissioned some time ago by a powerful king who worried that his first born son had grown decadent, and too accustomed to a life of ease and privilege. The young man's birthday was fast approaching, and the king decided a lesson in humility was the perfect gift to give him. The king searched far and wide for a blacksmith who could acquiesce his request for a simple weapon that needed to strike true but look as basic as possible. Each smith wanted to craft something grand, with silver and gold inlays, making it appear more ceremonial than practical. Just when the king had almost given up hope, he found his smith in a small village in the shadow of a mountain. He had been taught the secrets of dwarf craftsmanship and promised a weapon bereft of opulence.
The prince's birthday soon arrived and he managed to amass a small mountain of gifts in short order. Finally, it came time for the king to bestow his gift upon his spoiled child. The boy was excited at first but then repulsed to find a roughspun tunic, a tattered old tabard, a set of rusty, hand-me-down chainmail and the plain weapon his father had commissioned. When the prince demanded to know what the meaning of this was, his father simply told him that a soft life makes for a soft king and that he would be traveling to the borderlands to be stationed at a far off keep until which time the boy had proven himself to be brave, humble, and selfless.
The prince stayed at the keep for two years, receiving no special treatment. Two years of cold meals, a bed of straw, and training with a weapon that looked less attractive than the standard issue fare the other men of the keep wielded. It was around this time that a truly savage tribe of orcs, brutal even by orcish standards, attacked the keep. Many men had died, and the king feared his son to be one of them. In truth, his son had facilitated the escape of the few men who had survived by holding fast in a narrow hallway. The battle lasted two days. The escaped men returned with reinforcements but feared the worse. The found the prince, weapon in hand, laying atop a mountain of orc bodies. He had slain every last orc, alone, and though he was wounded, he was not dead.
He returned to his father a hero but did not stay long. His time in the keep had changed him, and a life in the castle seemed to be the furthest thing from what he wanted. The prince instead decided to wander the land, fighting off monsters and beasts, helping the common man, and asking for nothing in return. News and tales soon found their way to the king, of the "Ragged Knight" and his deeds. The king had never been more proud of his boy.
When the king eventually died, the prince was summoned back to sit on the throne. He did so reluctantly but ruled with wisdom and benevolence. When his son came of age, he passed on the weapon and told him of the "gift" his father gave him that birthday so long ago. For five generations, the weapon passed from father to son, to daughter, each taking up a post at the keep until the bloodline finally came to an end. The weapon was entombed with the great-great-great grandson of the Ragged Knight. It would not remain there, however. The tomb was robbed, and the sword claimed by thieves hoping to make some quick coin. Alas, the unimpressive weapon did not sell for much and has been sold and resold in weapon shops for a hundred years, a piece of history awaiting a steady hand to make it great again.
3.This weapon was carved from the massive horn of a greater demon. Fell runes are inscribed into its surface and glow with a dark crimson. The hide of a lesser demon has been cured into leather, strips of which wrap around the weapon's handle. As dark an sinister as this weapon appears, its history is somewhat nobler. It once rested in the hands of a heroic tiefling paladin. The weapon was crafted to her specifications from demons she had slain with her own hand. She explained to her squire that, like her, it looked to be a weapon for evil, but in the right hands could become a tool for good.
She wielded this weapon in a great battle against a demonic horde summoned forth by a powerful warlock. While she managed to defeat the horde, and the dread wizard, she had been mortally wounded. Not satisfied with her battle against the forces of evil ending here, she made a final request of her squire. She demanded she somehow be allowed to fight on, even after death. Her squire did as she wished, burning her upon a pyre and carrying her ashes across the realm to a legendary dwarven blacksmith, who worked them into the weapon, infusing the dastardly-looking thing with a semblance of her spirit and desire to defend the innocent. Over the years it has passed through many hands, some good, who wielded it justly and heroically. Some were evil, drawn to its abyssal design. They soon discarded the weapon, finding that it could not draw blood or slay an innocent creature.
4. The make of this weapon is unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. It is crafted of some manner of polished metal, though what kind defies imagination. Its fluid design and rigid angles give the impression that both races had a hand in its crafting, but neither race could tell you how it was made, and would outright deny that their kin could have built such a thing. Long, illuminated shapes of pale blue light run the length and width of the weapon, and a strange humming and whirring sound can be heard emanating from inside. Any attempts to open it, however, has been fruitless, as the thing appears to be completely indestructible.
While the being that crafted this weapon is unknown, the person that found it is. An old tinker was camped along a lonely stretch of road. That night he watched a star fall to the ground. Excited to see a real star up close and personal, he hurried off into the night. After some time, he found himself stand atop a crater, looking down at a bizarre, silver shape, unlike anything he'd ever seen. He approached it cautiously and extended a hand to touch the thing. A door seamlessly opened, revealing a long, circular, strangely-lit hall. He entered, soon discovering the bodies of strange creatures that looked vaguely humanoid. Grasped in one of their hands was the weapon. The tinker quickly grabbed it, and a few other items of curiosity, and hurried out.
No sooner had he emerged from the strange silver shape then the entire thing began to glow with blindingly bright light. In an instant, the thin streaked across the sky, faster than he could see.
Unsure of what he had, the tinker returned to his cart and added the new treasures to the already high pile. In the morning he began down the road, completely unaware that the weapon in his possession had once liberated an entire planet that he didn't even know existed.
There we are, 4 more weapon backstories that you can add to your growing arsenal. If you enjoyed any of these, I strongly urge you to STEAL THIS!
Strike while the iron is hot,
+Ed The Bard
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