I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I could find go the most coveted blade of all, and that which the Sultan is most keenly interested in. It is called the Midas Blade by some, after a half-forgotten fairy tale, but the Sultan always knew it as the Blade of Rule, for it is said to turn whatever it pierces into the purest gold in an instant.

Naturally, this instantly kills all living things so stabbed, but it also represents a source of untold riches. Chronicles and tales mention the blade, yes, but most repeat the same basic facts, often distorted. The clearest account seems to come from the annals of Le Gongzhi, who recorded that the blade came into the hands of a scholar with a remit to study it. Rather than being blinded by greed, as others might, the scholar tested the blade’s ability to stab things into gold. Would the sea, if stabbed, turn to gold? What of the land?

With funding from a wealthy patron, the scholar set off to a remote region to test his theories. It is said in Le’s account that some time later a great golden orb, exactly 1000 units wide, was seen sinking into a mire under its own weight. A subsequent expedition found only a great hole, but it seems that in conducting his experiments the scholar had stabbed the air around him, which had obligingly turned to gold and borne him downward in an ornate tomb that even the greatest emperor could scarcely have dreamt of.

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