Replicas by: Michael Jie – Forge Direct,
Notes: Made and designed by China based artisan and ranked level 1 master smith, Michael Ye
The Sky Templars are an elite order of 100 Griffin mounted warrior priests who serve the church of the Paragon and the Aelutian Empire. Most come from noble houses or from the gentry and are trained in the ways of the Griffin warriors from childhood, often growing up alongside their mount, which is fiercely loyal to them. However, under some rare circumstances, it is possible for a commoner to join their ranks.
As their numbers are hard to replenish, despite their formidable skills and the tactical advantage of flight – they are often held in reserve in times of war, and used more for scouting and missions where the chances of taking losses are minimized. However, as they are an independent monastic order in their own right, and nobility to boot, they are often able to defy such orders and are well known for taking rather daring risks to assist Imperial troops in trouble and are guided by their religious moral compass more than any order that they feel is not in keeping with the teachings of the Paragon.
All Sky Templars have a specially made Coronatite alloy Gladius – which is their back up sword and essentially the same as a standard Aelutian Gladius – and most also have a war sword, which they use one handed from the back of their mounts or two handed when fighting on the ground, though some Sky Templars dual wield them with their Gladius in the off hand – and those who do not arm themselves with a Sky Templar sword usually choose a completely different weapon such as a Lance, spear or bow.
The Gladius is fairly self explanatory, and its powers are identical to any other Aelutian Gladius, though is much more ornate and is a weapon that only their order is permitted to carry by Imperial law. While this sword serves as a symbol of their status and authority, for most of their order their Sky Templar War Sword is their treasure, for they have a core of Coronatite and a jacket of Coronatite alloy which gives them their unique pattern welded appearance. The war swords commissioned by the Empire were all made in Lhasa by the greatest smith of his age, Shen Xu, who lived from 206 I.E. to 287 I.E. and took him 20 years to make all 100 blades – completing them in 261 I.E. How much the Empire paid to have them made is unknown, but what is known is that they were enchanted in such a way so that when needed, they produce a bright and holy light that originates from the very soul of the Sky Templar himself, and causes unholy creatures such as the undead and the Fallen to flee from it and makes them able to turn such creatures away much more effectively than by any other known method or artifact.
A secondary enchantment was added by Shen Xu into the chape of the scabbard so that if the sword is dropped or is separated from the scabbard by 30 feet or more, it dematerializes and instantly returns to the scabbard. Despite this, over the centuries, several of the swords have been lost and if found and returned to the Sky Paladins the one who returned it to them will be richly rewarded (the current reward is 1,000 gold crowns, NOT returning it to them is not an outcome they are likely to accept, and woe betide anyone who would make an enemy of the Templars!).
Thirdly and finally, when held horizontally and when swooping down from the air on the back of their aerial mounts, the blade begins to cut the air loudly as it goes, and will decimate a target that it contacts, almost regardless of what it is made from. The only limitation of this power is that it takes them at least 30 seconds to charge up – but that single stroke if angled correctly, can sweep through an entire battle formation without a single nick or scratch and is powerful enough to split a boulder in half.
The Sky Templar Sword and Gladius were designed and created for the Legendary Swords project by certified Level 1 Master Smith Michael Ye and hand made by him in the mountains of Longquan (the Dragons Well), Zhejiang Province, China under the auspices of ‘Forge Direct’.