Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Relics and Rubbish

So the Giant has had some Brood related issues. All giants have them if they are married. You have one chained under a mountain, another that is encircling Midgard, another chases the sun and moon, that kind of thing.

So it got the Giant to thinking. What do I have sitting deep in my treasure horde? What weapons and treasures do I need? Lets look a few that the Giant is just waiting the right time to acquire.

Let's look at some real treasures first then some that might have been real and so on. All pictures are the property of whomever owns them and I am making no claims to ownership of any of the images.

First is the Holy Lance or the Spear of Destiny

 This is the version that is in the Hofburg palace in Vienna. Whole books have been written about this artifact. While the lance itself has been tested to about the seventh century there is a nail embedded in the lance that is consistent with first century crucifixion nails. Many legends surround this lance. It is supposedly the lance that pierced Christ's side as he hung on the cross. The dating of the lance makes that unlikely. However, there are at least three other lances out there that could be the Spear of Destiny and there is that nail. If you use any one of the versions in your RPG the owner cannot be defeated in battle while he has possession of it. A mighty artifact indeed.

The Sword Curtana.

Okay, we can be certain of two things about this sword. It is not the original sword that was carried by Tristan or Ogier the Dane. Two it is part of the Royal Regalia of the English monarchy. For some reason for the first few hundred years they used this sword they simply remade another one. Can't see the reasoning behind that but there you go.

The sword is called Curtana because a chunk of it supposedly broke off in Morholt's skull. Since this is a copy it's simply tradition to make it blunt. The sword is called the Sword of Mercy because of the blunt point. I can't imagine that getting stabbed by a broken sword would be an act of mercy as that's exactly what most convict fights come down to is broken blades and lots of blood. The Giant would actually pass on this one. Besides mercy is just not in my nature. As a GM I would grant a boon or blessing for every honorable foe that was defeated but granted mercy with this short busted sword. The next one though....

Oliphant this is not the actual Oliphant used by Roland but his probably looked something like this. These horns made from elephant tusks were popular in Europe for quite a while. The Horn of Gondor was probably influenced by the original Oliphant. It is said that if you ever blow this horn it will be heard by your allies. So maybe if they are close enough you could get some serious back up. If not you can wind up like Roland or Boromir.

Now we come to an actual dragon slaying sword. Probably the last in the world. is the Conyers Falchion. In legend and folklore this big bad chopper shortened a dragon. The sword is at a minimum seven hundred years old. Definitely a relic and not rubbish. In game terms I shouldn't even need to cover this one. It is a dragon killing sword. It also confers legitimacy in the eyes of the Crown and Church to the individual possessing it.

The Holy Grail or the Nanteo's Cup's not much left of this cup. For centuries pilgrims would come from far and wide to drink from this cup and be healed. But people being greedy would take a tiny bite from the cup because, 'who would miss just a sliver'?  So now no one gets to drink from it. Way to go you sick, greedy losers. Anyway, this cup was actually stolen and recovered by the police in a neutral exchange.

The Holy Grail so how do we work that into a campaign or game? No one has ever told any stories about it or anything before so we GM's are mostly on our own. In game terms if you drink from this cup you can be healed and heal anything you are tied to like for instance your kingdom. Find yourself unworthy and it will leave you. So if your queen is sleeping around with your paladin and you've had an illegitimate son with your half sister don't plan on holding on to this one for long.

The Oriflamme or Golden Flame
This is was the royal battle standard of France and kept at the Abbey of St Denis when not being carried into battle. It was displayed when there was no quarter to be given. The bearer of the standard was granted a great honor one he was expected to die for rather than allow the standard to fall or fall into enemy hands (the Oriflamme was lost five times). It was said to be red as it had been dipped in the blood of St Denis when he was beheaded. In game terms this standard must be borne by a Lawful Good fighter paladin etc. He must be noble true and worthy, willing to die rather than disgrace his standard or his liege. The bearer of this standard grants morale, stamina, and strength bonuses for all allies on the field. Losing it doubles those bonuses as penalties. Don't drop it. It can be fitted to a spear or lance and unfurled once a day.

If you think any of these relics are interesting drop me a line in the comments. If you own any of these and want to give them to the Giant, drop me a line and if you are a GM and have used historical items in your campaigns drop me a line in the comments and tell me about it. I love war stories.


  1. Fantastic pieces, and I love how you expressed them in TableTop format (not that our history and tales don't infer allot already). Great work!

  2. Fantastic pieces, and I love how you expressed them in TableTop format (not that our history and tales don't infer allot already). Great work!

  3. Thank you. Some of them are easier than others in a table top format. For instance, the Holy Grail is actually tough to stat out. That's why I left it vague. There's too much out there tied to to it. Everyone must decide for himself.