The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients And Other Blades of Power
Of the Swords of the Ancients and the Fifth Age of Ammon
The Ancient Ones were born to the world of Ammon with the enchanted powers of creation and destruction bestowed upon them by the Anath. Those powers prevented the world from decaying into desolation and ruin. Knowing that their time would eventually come to an end, the Ancient Ones did not trust their powers to be passed on to those of mortal flesh. Flesh could be tempted and corrupted and the great powers left by the Anath could be twisted and altered for ill use, destroying the delicate balance of the world. The Ancients trusted in steel, steel mined from the very earth forged by the creators, the Anath. The Ancients had instilled within mortals the knowledge to work steel into blades, and mortals learned to use those blades with great care, for havoc could be brought with but a quick stroke, or calm by staying a blade in its scabbard. A balance was learned, and the threat of unsheathing a blade was more often than not what kept the peace; but there were times when steel was drawn by greed or corruption.
The steel of the Ancients was stronger than flesh, stronger than the will, even stronger than time. Only in this steel could the powers of the Ancients be trusted, for steel could not be destroyed, only reshaped. Steel would not betray its power for good or ill. The wielder alone, moral or evil, held that choice; but the Ancient Ones knew that if steel were possessed of the perfect balance of powers, that under wise use, order and harmony would remain in Ammon for eternity. The fashioning of steel into weapons and tools became a high art among mortals, and there were many greatly skilled elven smiths in Ammon. Thus the Ancient Ones directed the creation of the Ten Swords of the Ancients and Ammon entered the Fifth Age, the age of order.
The Dark Elves, dwellers of the underworld, were the mortals so commanded to create those Ten Swords. They were the finest smiths in all of Ammon and were masters in the workings of steel, for they had uncovered its mystery of in their time under the earth. The blades of those great swords were forged of secret alloys mined from the depths of Ammon, and they were tempered in the methods taught by the Ancients. Each of the Ten Swords were bequeathed their own special powers by the Ancient Ones, and they granted those powers to the wielder, but the wielder alone decided if that power was to be used for good or evil. Each blade was given a name for its power, and those names were thus:
Kilgorin, the Sword of Darkness. It gave the wielder power to bring darkness and enchantment over ones enemies. It derived its strength from the Neverworld and was possessed of a great evil by many years of use by the Dark One. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Elexorien, the Sword of War. It gave the wielder strategic power and command to unify great multitudes for a single cause. Forged by Mahgnim, it was used in the Black War by Queen Vaelen. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Morthoseth, the Sword of the Shadows. It influenced mortals by its power over the shadow world of thoughts and dreams. It was wielded by Vardor and Borloth in the War of the Shadows. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Luciendar, the Sword of Light. It revealed to the user that which was hidden and showed the true nature of creatures, both natural and enchanted. It was wielded by Barlodir in the War of the Shadows. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Anathros, the Sword of the Earth. It gave the user power to reshape the earth and its elements and was wielded by the king of the Uldurin and later by Aluen in the Shadow War. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Valermos, the Sword of Fire. It gave the user the ability to command creatures in spirit form and created and controlled the flames of Ammon. It was wielded by Vardor in the Shadow War. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Cinthorc, the Sword of Justice. Cinthorc had the power to deal just punishment to wrongdoers, seen through the eyes of the wielder as being wrongful. It was wielded by the sorceress Morgolien in the extermination of the Mithrodin, and later by Vaelen. It was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Molotoch, the Slayer Sword. The user received boundless skill and speed from the sacred blade, as well as great focused rage to beat down an enemy. Mere mortals could not even lift this enchanted weapon. It was wielded by Naegolus in the slaying of the Mithrodin. What became of this sword after Naegolus wielded it is not known.
Avaquar, the Sword of the Deep. Avaquar held power over the waters and seas. It was forged by Mahgnim and was the mate of Anathar. Vaelen wielded it and it was lost in the depths in the Last Battle.
Anathar, the Sword of Power. The last of the Ten Swords to be forged, Anathar held within it a part of each of the powers of the other nine. It was forged by the elf Toukol and wielded by Naegolus in the Last Battle. Vaelen kept it to the end of her days.
Anathar was the strongest of the Ten Swords and held a link to each of the others. When together, the Ten Swords allowed the Ancients to have the power of dominion over the lands and all living things in Ammon, to create harmony and order in the world; and the Ancient Ones taught only the wisest of mortals in their use.
Thence there was a time of peace when mortals founded the Great Realms. Men created the North realm of Deylund, the East realm of Deylindor, and the South realm of Amunach, and the Dark Elves created the realm of Lokonia in the Underworld. The Uldurin, always prone to war, had been defeated by men and were driven across the sea to the Northlands where they founded the kingdom of Ulaine. Men built great sailing ships and explored all of the lands across the seas: Loringel in the South, Dagorlund in the East, and Ulioc of the frozen North. In this time the Blades of Chaos, bane to mortals, were gathered by the Ancient Ones and hidden in the Temple of the Anath to prevent their use; but some of those blades were lost to them and remained hidden until later days of the Fifth Age.
For many years the twelve immortal Ancient Ones reigned until their outcast, the Dark One, arose from the Underworld with the Orwenoch and stole Kilgorin, the sword of darkness, from the Temple of the Anath. With that enchanted sword he attempted to enslave men, but the Ancients intervened and a great conflict ensued, The Battle of the Ancients. Six of the remaining twelve Ancient Ones perished by the hand of Dark One and his Orwenoch beasts. Men and elves rallied to the Ancient’s cause and helped to defeat the Orwenoch, but many of those horrid beasts escaped and hid themselves. The Ancients hunted for the Dark One many years thereafter, but he was cunning and eluded their gaze.
In the eighty-second year of the Fifth Age the Ancients came to discover the hiding place of the Dark One in the frozen Northern realm of Ulioc, where he had built a dark kingdom and commanded an army of Uldurin bent to his cause. There he was at last defeated with the sword of power, Anathar, and his army decimated, but his own sword of power, Kilgorin, was not recovered. To save himself, the Dark One betrayed the secret abode of the Orwenoch to the Ancients, but he would not tell of whence they came into the world or who had created them. To protect Ammon lest the Dark One gain influence yet again, the Ancients opened the Neverworld, a place half in and half out of the world, where one can be seen as if in a mist but never to be heard or touched; and there he was imprisoned. The Blade of Chaos, Umethar, was made the key to the door of the Neverworld, and it was hidden away in the frozen lands of the North.
The secret hiding place of the Orwenoch the Dark One had revealed was high in the Tellorien Mountains, East of Deylund, and it was there that the forces of the Ancient Ones, allied with men and elves, assailed them. The numbers of those beasts had increased greatly in the years that they had remained hidden, and they numbered near two thousand. Thus the forces of the Ancient Ones were not prepared for the battle and three of the six remaining Ancients were slain; and thousands of mortal lives were lost. The conflict was long and bloody, but in the end the Ancients were triumphant and succeeded in driving the Orwenoch that survived, but ten score, underground into the caverns of Lokonia.
Fearing for the three remaining Ancient Ones, men and elves, at the urging of the Ancient One Atnal, thence created the order of the Mithrodin in the one hundred and thirty-third year of the Fifth Age. The Mithrodin were charged to watch over the Ancient Ones and care for the Ten Swords whence the time came that the Ancients would perish into the shadows, leaving the mortal world forever. The Mithrodin, or Mith as they were called in later days, were a highly secretive cadre of man and elf warriors, protectors in service to the Great Realms. They were made to guard the sacred swords and were given full knowledge by the Ancients of the swords’ lore and how to harness the power with which each blade was bestowed; and thus they were granted complete understanding of the mystery of enchanted steel. It was the duty of the Mithrodin to keep order and balance in Ammon by directing their use. Each sword required counterbalance by it’s opposite. When a sword of power was used to shift the balance in Ammon, the Mith, through careful counsel and deliberation, would release the opposing sword into the world to counter it. They alone were responsible for recovering and protecting any sword that would fall into misuse, but Kilgorin, the sword of Evruc the Dark One, they never found. The Mithrodin made their homeland in Deylindor, and it was there the nine known swords were kept, but they later created many other grand temples and halls throughout the Great Realm with which the swords were dispersed.
Over the two hundred years that followed, the Orwenoch beasts once again became a threat to mortals, for their numbers had grown in the Underworld and they had spread to the surface. The Southern ranges of Deylund were assailed by those horrid beasts and they devoured many men and destroyed many towns. Thus the Ancients decreed that the Orwenoch must be utterly destroyed and rid from Ammon completely or there would be no peace. Thence there was another great battle fought by men and elves, and the Mithrodin came wielding the Swords of Power and other sacred blades alongside the Ancient Ones, and they used all of their might to defeat the Orwenoch. As before, many thousands of mortals perished in that battle, and two of the three remaining Ancient Ones did die at the fangs of those dark beasts, but the last surviving Ancient One, Atnal, harnessed the power of Umethar to open the gates of the Neverworld in the depths of Lokonia. When the Orwenoch retreated once again into their deep caverns they unwittingly entered the Neverworld, for Atnal had made its opening at the entrance to those caves, and the bulk of that hoard became entrapped there. The Ancient One sealed the door, and thus those abominations were at last rid from Ammon.
Unbeknownst to the Ancient One, a dark spirit had escaped from the Neverworld when that gate was opened, and it was the diminished form of the Dark One. Soon that evil soul made himself whole again and he recovered his sword, Kilgorin, from its hiding place. Thence he hid himself West, across the sea in the dark lands of Dagorlund, fearing the wrath of the Ancients should he be discovered. There he recruited a new army of evil men to do his bidding.
In the deserts to the East the Dark One came upon the hidden city of Nasnandos, and living there were many immortals possessed of strange powers; and these were the first sorcerers known to Ammon. None knew of whence they came or how they became immortal, but it was rumored that these were the lost daughters and sons of the Dark One when he was known as Evruc, and they were spawned from his union with many mortal women in the early ages of Ammon. One of these sorcerers was Methuscia, once one of the most beautiful and wisest women in all of Ammon; and she was the first to discover she possessed strange oracular sight and powers likened to those of the Ancients. She had been thought to be an abomination by mortal men and was ousted from their lands, as were others of her kind. She appealed to the Ancients for help, but they spat on her and cast her out, for they knew who had spawned her brood. Thus she attempted to change her form to that of an acolyte of the Ancients, to live amongst them, but they soon saw through her guise and a curse was put upon her by the Ancients for using this sorcery and trickery. Thenceforward she was to bear a horrid form that was deathly for men to gaze upon. Over time her wisdom turned bitter and she learned to hate all mortals and Ancient Ones, for she blamed them for her plight. The Dark One befriended this one in later days and he conjured up tales of how the Ancient Ones had abandoned her kind, creating great kingdoms elsewhere in Ammon for the favored mortals. He corrupted the minds of the sorcerers with evil thoughts until all were under his influence; and from that time they harbored a great hatred for those of mortal kind and they worshipped the Dark One, though they never knew that the Dark One was indeed Evruc, their true father and creator.
Thence, in the four hundred and second year of the Fifth Age, the Dark One assailed the Temple of the Anath in Ulaine with the help of these sorcerers, and there he did slay with Kilgorin the last of the Ancient Ones, Atnal; and the Dark One found there were no more of his kind upon Ammon, except he. In the temple he found many sacred blades, including the Nasek and the nameless dagger, later known as the Sorcerer’s Dagger. Now the Dark One had great courage and feared nothing, surmising that he had no equal to oppose him in all of Ammon. With a host of men and sorcerers he journeyed West across the sea to the Eastern shores of Deylindor and landed at the Bay of Volcemis. From there his forces made a sneak attack upon the city of Ammoria to the West and it was overtaken. It was in that place that he learned of the Mithrodin and their great temples that housed the Swords of Power, and he purposed to possess them. Thus all of his dark thought was bent to that goal, even to the end of his days.
The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients and Other Blades of Power and its previous versions, The Swords of the Ancients and its abridged excerpts, and other forms, are ©1997 and ©2005 by Kit Rae. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, computer networking, or otherwise without prior permission in writing by the copyright holder(s).