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Against the Shadow  |  Magic Items  |  Balor's Flame
Balor's Flame
"I love my gramma, I love my grampa.

I will not burn in Balor's fire.

I will not walk in forest's shadows.

I will not dance in Faerie's ring.

I will not burn in Balor's fire.

I will not kiss the Stoneman's beard.

I will not run with big bad wolves.

I will not burn in Balor's fire.

I will not go where dark things dwell.

I will not burn in Balor's fire."

~ Fire's Rhyme,

An Erenlander traditional rhyme.

In the foothills of the Kaladruns there lies a ruin called Sundered Hall. Once, it was Stenggar's Hall, but not all that remains are jagged rims of stone around a smoking, blackened crater that falls deep into the earth. Sundered Hall was lost to the dwarven when it was overrun after the Last Battle; it had long been regarded as the most open and friendly of dwarven cities, and the gates stood welcoming and wide. Hundred of oruks took advantage of that welcome. For a time, the Shadow held Stenggar's Hall and used its stores for the war effort, rooms as barracks, folk as slaves and the ensorcelled forge hidden deep beneath it to create new tools of death for its armies.

Stenggar's Hall was destroyed and became Sundered Hall when a terrible force long caged in its bowels was unleashed shortly after the Last Battle. Ages ago, the raging soul of the demon lord Balor was imprisoned by Stenggar Tenhammers, and in later years the unspeakable heat was used as a crucible to forge objects of mystical power for the battle against orcs and men. After the Shadow's victory, however, Balor's soul was able to worm its way free in a storm of dark sorcery and wings its way back to suckle at Izrador's dread teat, leaving its former durance a shattered pit. The fiend did not care about the oruks that died in the process, of course.

The last item crafted before the demon's escape was a great, gnarled vardatch made for Vokor, the oruk commander of the garrison. The sword, Balor's Flame, was lost along with its wielder when the demon escaped, and has not been seen since. Taller than many men, it was made from orange-tinted iron, warm to the touch. The blade was cruelly serrated and waved like an oversized, brutish flamberge. Around the massive hilt the quillions sweep back towards the wielder's wrists and have the jagged look of broken bones; the blade's owner must be careful to avoid being cut by them. Balor's Flame is a large (3d6 damage) covenant vardatch.

  • 1st level: Balor's Flame has the unnerving tendency to cling to its wielder. The metal seems to try and fuse with skin or gloves, and the spines around the hilt edge towards exposed wrists and palms, seeking to draw blood. This gives +4 to resist disarm attempts, but means that sheathing or releasing the blade takes a full-round action.
  • 3rd level: Some dark influence seeps out of the blade into its wielder, imbuing her with unholy vigor. The wielder gains +4 to Fort saves while holding the blade.
  • 5rd level: The bonus to resist disarms attempts increases to +10, but it takes one minute to prise the wielder's hands off the hilt.
  • 7th level: Balor's Flame now counts as magical and evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • 10th level: The wielder cannot be disarmed, but it now takes one minute and a successful Strength check with a DC equal to the character's level to put down the blade. The check may be retried every minute.
  • 13th level: Balor's Flame acquires a dire hunger for blood, and twists itself brutally in any wound it makes, ensuring it does more horrific damage. The wielder may re-roll any 1's on the 3d6 damage roll, so it will always do at least 6 points of damage (before strength bonus and any other factors are taken into account).

Author: Dirigible

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