Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Orc Artifact : Crul-Crak, the Sword of Fangs

This bastard sword was forged by orcs and enhanced by the fangs of the Crul-Crak, the serpent of a thousand fangs.  It took nearly a year for the orcs to finish the sword, the orc warlord, Tarnghest, had little patience for the time it took to enchant the sword.  He killed a handful of shamans within that year before it was finally finished.  And even then rumors say the sword was still not complete. 

The Sword of Fangs is embedded with hundreds of the small fangs from the Crul-Crak.  They retain their poisonous effect of paralyzing their victim.  And causes wounds to bleed profusely.   The grip is wrapped with the skin of the Crul-Crak.  It is always cold to the touch.  

The Sword of Fangs became the symbol of strength the orcs rallied around.  Targhest used it on those who challenged him and his most hated enemies, the dwarves.  Battles were waged constantly against the dwarves.  Not much ground was gained by either until the Battle of the Garish Banner.  Targhest battled the dwavern king, Oswald the Hammerlord.  Oswald wielded Stahlgard, a dwarven artifact passed from king to king.  The brilliant amber hued stone hammer crashed against Crul-Crak.  The two fought such a fierce battle that the both armies watched.  

Scholars mention the battle lasted five days.  Neither willing to give ground and there was never a thought of surrender.  On the fifth day Tarnghest grazed Oswald's arm, a wound barely noticeable, but enough for the Crul-Crak's poison to paralyze the dwarven king.  The dwarven army stood quiet as the orc army roared for blood.  Targhest split Oswald's skull.  A massacre followed.  With the dwarves demoralized, the orcs slaughtered thousands of them.  

What should have been the height of his victory, Tarnghest hefted Stahlgard, but what he did not know was Crul-Crakwas a jealous thing.  It released one of its fangs and it fell upon the warlord's wrist.  One of the captains saw his chance and ran Tarnghest through.  The others saw it happen and soon orcs were fighting orcs.  All wanted to possess Crul-Crak.  It was lost after the battle.
It emerged a few years ago in the hands of a bandit known as Margesh Blackblood.  This simple bandit ruled a small army with the powerful sword in his hands.  He put villages and towns to the sword and hung the corpses on the walls to warn others that he ruled, not the pretentious idiot on the throne.  The king put a large bounty on Margesh Blackblood's head, but no one collected it and no one has heard of him it several years.  

Crul-Crak is a +3 bastard sword.  The fangs secrete a poison that paralyzes its target on a successful hit (save vs. poison negates).  The only way to help the victim is to cure poison.  There is rumor that the skin wrapped around the handle if prepared correctly will neutralize the poison.  It can also grant the wielder strength 1d6 for one battle/day.  The sword is intelligent, but does not make itself known until the user decides he wants to use another weapon.  Cralcrak is a jealous sword and will paralyze the wielder as it did Targesh.  Or instead of granting the wielder strength it will weaken him for the same duration.

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