Blade in the Dark

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Not to be confused with Blades in the Dark, the game by John Harper

The Blade in the Dark is a magical sword made by the Yellow House in collaboration with the Disciples of Samot and Primo[1], and contains the accumulated knowledge of many. Briefly wielded by Maelgwyn at the end of Marielda, it found its way into the hands of Hella Varal and became her signature weapon. Hella can consult the spirits which reside in the sword. The appearance of the weapon has changed and grown over time.

Enchantment[edit | edit source]

A tool crafted under shadow by the apocalyptic scholars of the Yellow House. And theorized by some members of The University, including the esoteric Charter Castille, to be able to use the power of the Dark to hold off the coming of the Heat.

The Yellow House, who believe that the Dark precedes the Heat, made the blade in a misguided attempt to create a tool that could protect Hieron from destruction. Primo also states in that he was involved in its creation but regrets it.

Due to its powerful enchantment and its ability to harm ghosts and other magical beings, many, including Hella herself, mistake it for Ordennan steel.

All those who are killed with the Blade in the Dark are absorbed into a magical pocket dimension inside the sword.

Appearance and history[edit | edit source]

Pre-Erasure[edit | edit source]

When first seen in Marielda, it was a knife wielded by Mister Calendar glowing with a strange energy which, when twirled in his hands, had a mesmerizing effect. After taking the knife from Mister Calendar, Sige experiences a sense of dread and nihilism, and an urge towards violence. At the end of The Valentine Affair, Sige gave the knife to Miss Salary.

In "The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 1" Castille became convinced (as a result of Ali rolling a 1 in Study) that Maelgwyn must use the blade to kill Samothes.

While in Maelgwyn's possession, the blade grew as it was used from a knife to a kukri to a longsword as he killed with it, though he seemed unaware of this. It is not known what exactly happened to the blade after Maelgwyn killed his father Samothes with it.

Post-Erasure[edit | edit source]

The Blade in the Dark reappeared many years later, when a teenage Hella Varal was given it in lieu of payment by an Ordennan farmer after she and her father had slain the wolves that were hunting his livestock.

As Hella's blade, it was a sharp, well-crafted sword with one large ruby and five smaller rubies on its bronze hilt. Hella generally wields it one-handed but occasionally uses two hands for extra power.[2] When she killed the glowing fallen star in "A Chaotic Cataloging", the central gem turned into a white diamond with a prick of red in the middle.

The blade is broken at the end of Winter in Hieron, causing water to flood out from inside that sweeps Lem, Hella, Hadrian and Adaire away to the land contained within the sword, Aubade. Uklan Tel and Sunder Havelton are able to repair it years later during Spring in Hieron, allowing the player characters to leave Aubade.

Afterwards, Hella continues to wield it as her primary weapon. It is unclear what happens to people she kills during Spring in Hieron, as Samothes erects a shield made of starstuff to protect Aubade shortly after her party leaves.

Heirloom[edit | edit source]

Hella's Fighter ability, Heirloom, allows her to see visions in the blade of the sword.

In Winter in Hieron Episode 07: Two Hands, Hella sees a vision of Red Jack in a field outside a castle on a hill where people are celebrating.

In Winter in Hieron Episode 10: Fire and Blood, Hella sees several consecutive images: 1) a barren gray world with several robed colorless figures, 2) more bodies and more people joining together with more colors, 3) a figure that towers over the rest, whose expression shows a desire for revenge, "where justice moves over to cruelty, when a hand goes from open to closed", 4) people working the ground, which moves upward, shaped by magic, and 5) a city on a hill, a castle, and in the throne a man with fire for eyes.

In Winter in Hieron Episode 18: Try to Live Normally, Hella has several visions that seem to be from other people who have either wielded the Blade or been killed by the Blade.

At the beginning of Winter in Hieron Episode 28: What Life Looks Like, Hella succeeds on an Heirloom roll for the first time. All of Forest Party sees a vision of Samothes playing chess with Chapter and Smoulder Cunningham, which convinces Hadrian not to destroy the Blade in the Dark.

Aubade[edit | edit source]

Winter in Hieron Episode 28: What Life Looks Like[edit | edit source]

You sense his touch on the brickwork of the homes, in the patching of their roofs. You recognize his brilliance in the laps that flicker on, as the sun slowly sets. You even hear his rhythm in the sound of the ocean waves that surround this island kingdom. But most of all, you feel the safety and stability that he offers.

At the end of the Winter in Hieron Forest Party finale, the Blade in the Dark is broken open and water pours out of it, joining with the water from Samol's flooded house and allowing Hella, Hadrian, Adaire, and Lem to enter the blade. There they fall and wash up on the shore of a strange land with rolling green fields and a castle on the hill overlooking a city, matching the visions given by Hella's Heirloom rolls. Samothes, as ruler of the city, welcomes them in. The people who live there seem safe, joyful, and carefree under Samothes' rule.

The previous visions given by the Heirloom visions suggest that Samothes and the mages slowly built up the city in the time since their deaths, and that Samothes was not necessarily always a benevolent ruler.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. It's like a Primo/YH/Disciples collabo. It's bad news.

    Everyone touched it

    you know how like

    an international group of scientists teams up to do a thing

    like the large hadron collider or the international space station

    what if that but a magic terrible sword

    - Austin Walker via the Fans at the Table Discord server, #spring-spoilers channel, 11.03.2018