I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down a very strange set of occurrences surrounding a blade I have dubbed Memoria. Whilst reading through an inventory of the Sultan’s armory prepared by his great-uncle’s master-at-arms, I was struck by a mention of a blade that was kept in its own room in the cellar.

I was struck moreso by an annotation, apparently in my own hand, warning me not to seek it out. Curiosity won out over discretion, and I made my way to the cellar, into the old forge area, long since shuttered in favor of a grander one in the new wing. Few had been there in many years, and only a few footprints let in and out of the area. On closer inspection, the footprints were mine, though I was sure I had never been to the cellar before.

Arriving at the blade’s room, I found a series of notes pinned to the door, all written in my hand, each describing a fresh attempt to enter the room and examine the blade within. All, apparently, had somehow failed. I cracked the wooden door, enough to see the light from my torch play over the silver of a great sword held within, and then resolutely shut it. I collected the notes, carefully locked the door, and returned to write this description. On my way, I called upon the Sultan’s chamberlain to inquire about placing a permanent warning, and he noted that I had been working on the same sword for five days, and that he had begun to worry about me.

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I, Ad Dakhla, a scribe
Chronicler to Sultan’s court too
The City of Bronze is my life
The facts I set down here for you
Another great sword I’ve examined
In the Sultan’s museum at last
Though its power seems limited
I can assure you that it’s quite vast
The blade forces all those who hold it
(And all whom it strikes, I suppose)
To sing aloud every thing that
They might otherwise render in prose
I hold it in one hand this moment
Even as I scratch out these words
For as one who doubted the power it
Has certainly left me unnerved.

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I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down an account of my meeting with the great diplomat Mocstun of Korton, the elder statesman largely credited with the trade routes that ended the city’s isolation under Køs and brought trade and prosperity back to its darkened streets.

At a banquet in the Candlehall, I asked Mocstun how he was able to accomplish his many feats when other diplomats, myself included, were so often stymied. He pointed to the sword at his side, a plain blade set in an ornate scabbard, and said that the sword helped him to speak any language. I protested, since all tongues are as one in the Dreamlands. Surely that was not necessary? He corrected me: every man, every woman, every child has their own language, and the subtle shades of meaning between them could be as great as the gulfs between any waking tongues. His sword allowed him to speak and understand the personal language of every person he met such that there was perfect clarity and understanding if he so chose.

I, taken aback, asked if that included me, if our entire conversation had been through the seemingly inert blade at his side. Mocstun only smiled and said that he had to keep some secrets, and it was not long after this that he retired from his post and disappeared to the south.

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I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what is known of the Curseblade of Stay. It is a normal cruciform sword with the crest of House Stay, so it is said, and it grants the bearer exceptional skills in combat as well as immense resilience outside of it.

But this comes at a price. The bearer’s dreams are forever after of the Infinite Chateau of Stay, and they feel a compulsion to travel there that grows stronger with each passing day. Eventually, when they can stand it no more, the bearer travels to the Infinite Chateau and is lost among its rooms, refusing all rescue until they vanish into its depths. The sword, tossed away in their final madness, then seeks anew. Some have said that this proves the Infinite Chateau is a living thing, like unto an anglerfish, with the Curseblade as its lure; this is an interesting supposition, but one that perhaps cannot ever be proven.

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It is said that the great dead city beneath the Dreaming Moon is surrounded on all sides by a petrified forest, where the poisoned minerals of the soil have leeched into the living trees and slain them. I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I have heard of one place near the Dead River where, rather than stone, pure iron had leeched into the trees, leaving trunks of pure metal. A branch of one such tree of metal once made its way to the City of Bronze, where it was fitted with a handle and sharpened.

Now such a weapon would be impractical for combat, as it could not hope to best a steel blade and would be brittle, to say nothing of its many sharp branches. But it was highly valued as a curiosity, enough so that it was stolen from the Sultan’s personal armory by one who wished to “return” it to those poisoned shores. The Sultan informs me that he sent a party after the man, but that the single survivor spoke only of a grove where all was made iron, bearing with him a man’s severed hand made entirely of wrought metal.

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I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I have learned of the Ossuary Blade. It is within the Sultan’s possession, and I was permitted to examine it but not to test it or to take a sample. The sword is quite remarkable in that it is made entirely of human bones, with the longest bone, the femur, forming a blade. Based on my measurements, the femur must have come from a man at least seven units tall, a rare but not impossible height. The bone was sharp enough to cut the paper that I had with me, which is very strange; bone can be sharpened, but not to such a razor’s edge, and certainly not one that could cut my quill as well. There also appears to be no adhesive or other mechanism holding together the other bones that make up the tang and the grip, all human as well.

The history of the sword is all oral, and the Sultan himself claims to have heard the story from his great-uncle and predecessor as sultan. They say the bones are those of a great warrior names Twoen, who was a man of unparalleled strength but also uncommonly kind. He protected his people, desert migrants, on their travels until he fell ill with fever. It is said that Town was struck by a vision of the Dreaming Moon, and a thousand voices speaking in unison, when he prayed for something to protect his people when he was gone. He relayed his vision to his tribe, which honored it. Upon his death, Twoen was left in an oasis, and scavengers picked clean his bones in a sky burial. But rather than scattering them, his people followed his instructions to create the Ossuary Blade from his remains.

It is said that it delivers the life force of an opponent to the wielder, though I could not test this for myself. As to how it came to be in his collection, the Sultan claimed his uncle said that the nomads came to live in the City of Bronze many years ago and offered up their blade as a tribute. But I had the impression he did not believe this, and that the blade had been taken by force and brought as a trophy. On the truth of that story rests the legacy of Twoen, a man who may or may not have protected his people after death.

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I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I have learned of Blazebrand, the legendary fiery sword of the sands. It is said that the blade was cast down from Vloles and the Dreaming Moon, arriving in a vast explosion that created a crater of glass. Its blade crisscrossed with strange lines, Blazebrand was found by a caravan, who soon learned of its ability to absorb and project the mighty desert sun into a weapon of unparalleled heat and brightness, yet leaving the hand that wielded it untouched.

Through its power the caravanned gained much renown as a sorcerer and swordsman, but found that his influence was only as great as his reach, for he lacked the other skills that build a kingdom or an empire. After a failed attempt on the City of Brass itself, he and Blazebrand went north to trackless and frozen Harbiyyah to find their fortune. It had been his plan to easily subdue the challenges of the north with the power of heat, and so he did. But when the Long Night came, and the sun vanished for a month, so too did the power of the Blazebrand. It is said that it remains there in cold Harbiyyah within the hoard of a frost-paguro to this very day.

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The blood of men has in it iron enough, for all who have seen it bled have seen it rust. But I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I have learned of the Bloodblade, which was forged from the iron in the blood of a thousand slain.

Stories and legends paint the culprit of a great despot, perhaps a ruler of the City of Aauin before the Dead River had turned to salt. The Bloodblade had no special properties; it was mere cold iron. But the forging of the blade, which involved the despot bleeding his enemies to death one by one before handing the blood over to be rendered into pig iron, was said to have taken years and had quite an effect on the populace.

When the blade was done, the despot wore it by his side for a year and a day before his rule was ended. It is said that an assassin came upon him in his chambers, and the Bloodblade refused to be drawn. In the aftermath of the despot’s murder, it was found to be rusted into its scabbard. Was that a last vengeance from those whose blood had boiled into the blade, or simply the result of impurities in the process and a lack of care? The answer, it seems, lies at the bottom of the Dead River.

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I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down the tale of the Sword of Bronze, one of the city’s great heirlooms and jewels. Unlike most of the blades I have written on, it has been my pleasure to inspect the Sword of Brass with the Sultan’s permission, and I can report it to be a fine spatula of pre-Køs manufacture.

Bronze swords were, of course, common before the invention of steel, though few have survived. But the Sword of Bronze has, and it is all the more unique for another property it demonstrates: whether by some alloying unknown to those who yet live or a supernatural process, the polished surface of the sword is always a mirror shine and is never marked or dulled. I could not cause so much as a fingerprint to appear upon it, and neither chalk nor charcoal could make headway.

I was unable to confirm this fact, but the Sultan informs me that the one and only thing that can stain the Sword of Bronze is blood.

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I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I know of the Silver Sword. Far from the horrors of its supposed golden cousin, the Silver Sword was said to have been simply a sword of pure silver, but somehow wright to be hard as steel and to keep a keen edge without alloying. It was said to cause wounds that would not heal to the evil and the inhuman, although what exactly falls into those categories is, in the sources I have consulted, a matter of much dispute.

What is clear is that the sword came into the hands of an inquisitor in Korton, in the ages before Køs, who planned to use it to root out heretics and evildoers by inflicting slight wounds upon them and watching to see if they healed. This endeavor was abandoned, and the sword removed from the record of history, when the inquisitor cut his own hand upon the blade, only to find that the wound would not heal.

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