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The Moonblades of Abeir-Toril
By Shea Silvermoon
The moonblades are a gift to the elves. A divine gift these are the weedwhackers of The People, pruning both goblin, drow, dragon, or any other enemy of the elves. But these king-makers are also king-destroyers, trimming the ranks of elven nobles so only the most just, fair, and good are the leaders of the elves. No unfit person may wield one, and any that try that arenít worthy of this awesome power are cut down by the moonblade, for no unclean sprit can wield one.
The great moonblades of the elves are a tool for the Dungeon Masters of Forgotten Realms campaigns, gifts or "good olde sparky." The former is the best option, as a gift for the best players, those who play very well, and deserve more than 100 Xp for good role playing. Also once or twice a moonblade can be used to kill a pretender to elfdom. I personally have only done this once, because an elven fighter/mage had slaughtered an orc encampment by killing them in their sleep with his dagger. This act "made" him find a moonblade in the treasure hoard. Major acts of cowardice, malice, brutality, and dishonesty make the moonblade "set to kill." So, only heroic, brave, fearless, and good champions may wield these potent weapons.
To find a Moonblade
The moonblades are very rare and unique, only 300 to 400 exist in the huge continent of Faerun. And only about 25 are in the hands of the Noble houses of Evermeet. So 275 to 175 lay in the hands of fallen heroes and their slayers. Again we have two options, inherit or find. The first, inherit, is very logical, they are hereditary blades, but with the long lives of elves, it isnít practical. And donít expect a distant aunt or uncle naming a distant cousin, nephew, or niece as a blade heir. It usually past from father to son, mother to daughter, brother to sister, etc. This can be fun, having to help a brother, sister, father, or mother with a problem, you can arrange a nice Shakespearean tragedy from there. The second, the rediscovery of a moonblade is very exciting. It can work in to an adventure very well, one of its many pluses. The hunt for a moonblade is very driving, involving many sages, ancient texts, and the searches for the blade itself. And the adventure isnít over from there, learning about the blade and its powers is a great character builder. It is the preferred way I do it in my campaigns.
What are the Moonblades powers?
The moonblades are a very distinct and unique breed of magical weapon. There powers are accumulated and quite random, A warrior or bladesinger might give the blade +1 or a faster strike, when a priest might give it a holy strike against undead or any other enemy. A thief (yes thieves can have moonblades, but Robin hood types) might give it a changing shape power, and a wizard will give it a spell-turning, storing power. And remember the moonblade gets a new power from the current owner. So DMs have to make sure that their players blades are well fleshed out.
The Responsibilities of the Moonblade
The moonblade is a very special weapon, it is a king-maker at heart. In my game, the individual is dubbed a prince and knight in Evermeet and the Elven court. He also gets a chance found a noblehouse, or earn his house credit for their bid for the crown. All elves revere, and respect the wielders of the moonblade, they can give shelter, food, and bedding for them and there friends. But expanding on the prince and knight honors they get the responsibilities of defending Evermeet and other elven kingdoms against all that are against her. Also the good-heart that wields the blade must stay good. The act of wielding it is a constant test of mind, body, and soul. If it is used for evil and any other non-good effect the killing magics on the wielder.
What about dormant Moonblades?
Moonblades are left dormant after there work is done. And according to official Realmslore from Elaine Cunningham, only 25 moonblades are still active with living wielders. So what about the other 175 to 275 unclaimed dormant moonblades? Well they can be reawakened. Some are just in a semi-dormant state, awaiting worthy owners, because their blade-heirs failed the crucible. Great acts of Bravery, Self-sacrifice, and the heroic deeds of triumphing over a great evil can reawaken the moonbladeís power. Lets see an example from my campaign:
An Elven Bladesinger who was trained by his maternal grandmother inherited her sword, a dormant moonblade. His grandmother had hopes that her training and love would shape her grandson into a worthy moonfighter. He joined the ranks of the adventure group The Dragons of Silverymoon. After a few adventures, they confronted a Black Network controller, operating in Silverymoon. His personal bodyguard was an iron golem, immune to all normal weapons. So when the Controller had the golem attack the low-level party without a magical weapon in sight, they all ran. Except the Bladesinger, he stepped up to face the golem single-handed, to give his friends time to escape. Drawing his sword, its moonstone nearly exploded with energy and the magic of the blade returned. Its power helped the new moonfighter destroy the iron golem and save his friends.
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