Replicas by: Blade Culture International
Status: Prototype – made and provided to Daniel for his contributions
Designed by: SBG Senior Editor Daniel Dacombe
Notes: These swords were the first two designs created for the project and are an opposed pair – one good, one evil. See below for the Legend.
“And there was war in Heaven. The Fallen, once known as the Witnesses, had been too long among the mortals of Elatreus. Separated from their brethren in the Heavenly Host, their observances of mortalkind led them to a terrible conclusion – that mortals could be ruled, and dominated, and made to worship that which ought not to be worshipped. Shemhazai, chief among the Fallen, was the first to raise his frightful banner and proclaim himself God of the World. The vast arrays of the Heavenly Host came against the Fallen, begging their brothers and sisters to return. But the malice and cruelty of Shemhazai had corrupted them utterly. And there was war in Heaven.”
The Elder Tomes, Chapter One, Verses 25-29
In the beginning, the Heavenly Host watched over the world of Elatreus. Archons, Seraphim, Angelic beings of power and majesty, they were dispatched by the gods to be guides and protectors for the beings under their charge.
Among these were the Witnesses, spirits of wisdom and intellect that were sent to observe the free peoples of the world. For many centuries they simply recorded the goings on of the world, led by Shemhazai the Wise, High Archon of Heaven. However, Shemhazai was also proud, and entertained dark thoughts in his heart about how men ought to be ruled. In an impassioned speech to the Witnesses, Shemhazai convinced them that the gods did not truly desire that men rule over themselves, but that by their very weak and transient nature they were designed to be servants of beings greater than they. The Witnesses became known as the Fallen, and they set about to rule the world as they saw fit.
Only one of the Witnesses rejected this call. The High Archon Abdiel, brother to Shemhazai, had observed mortals with love in his heart from the beginning. Dear to him were their daily lives and imperfections, their hopes and deeds great and small. He begged his brother to relent, to grant the mortals a reprieve, but Shemhazai would not be dissuaded. Heartbroken, Abdiel returned to the Host and rallied them for their first battle since the dark wars before time began.
If all the pages of the world’s books were used, never could they fully tell the tale of that horrendous war. A war of shadow and flame, of bitterness and sorrow, and in short order the war spilled over from heaven into Eletreus itself – the Fallen twisting and corrupting humans into dark forms, and urging them on to kill as the host fought alongside the last of the righteous, and the world was rend asunder.
The Heavenly Host was more numerous, yet less of them took to field as they were unaccustomed to war; Shemhazai led fewer Fallen but all of them were bent upon destruction. On Eletreus, the war lasted 99 years – and was so devastating that if it had lasted just one more, humanity would never have recovered..
But just before the light of man went out, the self-proclaimed God of the World was finally defeated and cast out with his followers, and Abdiel himself wept as with his own Angelic Blade he sundered the wings from his brother’s back. By Abdiel’s counsel and intercession the Fallen were not destroyed but imprisoned in the Infernal Abyss, until such a time came that they would repent of their evil.
Enraged by his mutilation and defeat, prevented from bodily leaving the Abyss, Shemhazai took his Angelic Blade and used it for a terrible purpose. While the Fallen quailed around him he destroyed his own body, filling the Blade with all the depths of his malice and rage. The Blade passed through the veil between worlds and manifested in Elatreus, a living weapon known ever-after as the Brand of the Fallen. The Brand sought out a mortal worthy of quenching the Light, and came into the hands of a vengeful and wronged young member of the Royal Bodyguard of the Black King of , Thane.
That first bearer became the Deathknight, powerful and evil beyond mortal understanding. By the raw power of the Brand of the Fallen, he usurped the Throne of the Kingdom of Thane, raised armies of the dead, and had only one directive – subjugate or destroy all who were not already his slaves..
Ignored by the Council of Seraphim, who had withdrawn out of shame for the failings of their kind, Abdiel – now last of the Witnesses – watched in horror as the Brand of the Fallen wrought unimaginable destruction upon the world. With the power of the Brand the Deathknight created dark and terrible magics, necromancy, and enslaved thousands with his power. Grieving at the great loss, Abdiel took his own Angelic Blade and poured into it his incorruptibility, his virtue, and his power to protect and guide. He transcended his body, entering into the Blade completely, and became one with the Flame of the Host. This Blade appeared first to an orphaned farm boy turned soldier fighting the vicious Northmen in the far east, identifying him as one capable of overcoming great Darkness.
These were the events of the so called ‘Cataclysmic Wars’ and were second only to the War in Heaven in their scale and intensity.
Finally, on the 27th year of his entering the war, the farmboy turned General and Holy Warrior finally emerged victorious, but the voice of Abdiel counseled him to caution.The battle had been won, but the war was not yet over. In time the Brand of the Fallen would appear again to raise yet another Deathknight to wreak havoc on the world.
Withdrawing his armies once more to the east, the Paragon established a stronghold that he hoped would be powerful enough to resist the next DeathKnight, whenever and wherever he would appear. This stronghold was the Aelutian Empire, and the Paragon as he came to be known, became its first Emperor, passing the Flame of the Host down through the generations in an unbroken Imperial line to the present day.
And the DeathKnight did indeed come back. But that is a tale for another time..
POWERS OF THE SWORDS
Each bearer of the Angelic Blades is granted powers even when their weapons are not in use and become intangible.
Immensely powerful and sentient, they can each sense the presence of the other, and of great evil or great good. Bearers of the blades are many times hardier, stronger, and live longer than mortal men. They can look into the hearts of others and inspire them to great courage, or great evil. And they can each draw upon the flames of the Heavenly forges that wrought them, golden or black fires that consume, destroy, or heal. And upon the death of the bearer – usually at the hands of the bearer of the opposing sword – the Angelic Blade vanishes, immediately seeking out another worthy bearer. If no worthy bearer lives, the sword may remain intangible for generations until someone worthy is born. Greater powers than these exist, should a bearer be worthy to unlock them – as did the DeathKnight, thought it is said that over the generations, the Emperors since the Paragon have never been able to use the sword to its full potential, gaining only the most basic of powers – impressive though they may be – they are but a tiny fraction of what the sword is capable of..
Ever do they stalk one another, the Deathknight and the Paragon. The spirits of Shemhazai and Abdiel hunt each other as they have for millennia, each seeking to undermine the other’s purpose. Only one thing is certain about their ancient feud – when the Deathknight and the Paragon clash, one of them is sure to pay with their lives.
Both the Flame of the Host and the Brand of the Fallen were designed by Daniel Dacombe and the prototypes made by the team at Blade Culture International.
Both blades are made from fully tempered 5160 Spring Steel with steel fittings for the brand and brass for the flame. Because both swords can become immaterial when not needed, a sheathe or scabbard will not be included.
Flame of the Host – Gallery
- Overall Length: 45″ (114.3cm)
- Blade Length: 32″ (81.28cm)
- Handle Length: 13″ (33.02cm)
- Weight: 6.52lbs (2955g)
- Point of Balance: 2″ (5.08cm) from guard
Summary: It’s big and very heavy, only a super hero could probably wield it. Weight is more towards the handle, so it rotates fast and can generate a lot of power.
Brand of the Fallen – Gallery
- Overall Length: 45″ (114.3cm)
- Blade Length (Flamberge): 23.5″ (59.69cm)
- Handle Length (including Ricasso): 21.5″ (54.61cm)
- Weight: 7.62lbs (3456g)
- Point of Balance: 32″ (81cm) from TIP (around mid point of the Ricasso).
Summary: Actually handles pretty well, feels less heavy than it is – and it is a real whopper of a sword. Hideous damage potential from the Flamberge blade, and perfectly suitable for the blade which represents evil incarnate.