Gladius of Damocles

Memento spell – Ancient bronze Gladius

As you complete the incantation for the memento spell, there is a sudden flash and your vision blurs to a dull grey color, as if standing in impenetrable fog. Your senses dull until all you can hear is your own breath and heartbeat.

As your, senses slowly begin returning to you, the grey haze that obscures your vision fades and your vision begins to brighten. Your sense of smell is the first to return and from it, you pick up the familiar scent of sun-scorched sand, sweat and blood. The ringing in your ears subsides and the distorted voices of a few hundred people clamoring, jeering and taunting becomes almost deafening.

Then, you make out the sound of labored breathing near you. As your vision finishes clearing out, you notice that you are not a person, you are a blade of impressive craftsmanship. Your vision originates from the guard of the sword and you can see down the length of the flat of the blade.

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Figure 1 Ancient bronze gladius

In this state, it is difficult to make out anything visually because of the high velocity at which you’re being swung.

Your wielder then pauses with his blade (you) pointing towards his opponent. Beaten, bruised and bloody, you see muscular man on his knees, wearing a boiled-leather cuirass and greaves along with a heavy bronze helmet. Your wielder is now pointing you towards the face of his opponent while holding him by the neck with his other hand. By the grip he has on his helpless opponent, your wielder must be of an impressive stature and strength, possibly standing over six and a half feet tall.

Just as you are making out the details and craftsmanship of the bronze helmet; a cumbersome piece of headgear with multiple slits for vision, you are violently thrust forward, shearing your way between two of the eye-slits of the helm and imbed yourself into the nasal cavity of your intended target.

A strong ferrous taste falls on your tongue as the crowd cheers in bloodthirsty euphoria:

‘Damocles! Damocles! Damocles! Damocles!’

They shout almost reverently.

As you are feeling the warm blood of your latest opponent running down the length of your blade, your wielder turns suddenly to face his new opponent, charging towards him wildly and wielding a three-pronged trident.

Unable to dodge the attack in time, your wielder widens his stance and holds you parallel to his torso with the flat-end of the blade facing his opponent and places his palm against the other flat-side. Catching the trident between two prongs, a deadlock commences and the opponent of your wielder begins to slide backwards in the sand and gravel as your wielder takes two large steps forward.

Unfortunately for his opponent, your wielder is strong, very strong. Just as your intended target begins to buckle under the might of your wielder, Damocles kicks his target in the groin and as he staggers, he pulls his opponent towards himself and tosses the unfortunate retiarius over his shoulder, face first into the burning sand.

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Figure 2 Retiarius

The impact is tremendous despite the soft ground. Prone, stunned and disarmed, the broken man begins to crawl away from Damocles but it is already too late.
With little hesitation, Damocles, now wielding his opponents’ trident in his left hand, furiously jabs the trident in the lower back of the prone figure as he unleashes a crestfallen howl in anguish.

Damocles roars victoriously and the crowd falls silent as he points his blade (you) towards the host of this grim festival.

You see then, perched on a large stone platform, a terrifying green dragon of gargantuan size, with long black horns that stretch backwards. The dragon is covered with many pieces of jewelry, most of them gold and gilded in gems.
As the retiarius now stuck within the jaws of Damocles plead to his dragon-god-emperor for clemency:

‘Please my lord, spare me!’

he cries.

The dragon, keeping his topaz colored eyes fixed on the impaled figure, stretches out his tongue that resembles that of a snake and snickers coyly.

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Figure 3 Therion

The crowd remains silent as their master decides the fate of the retiarius, and almost as if to build up suspense, the Dragon continues to wither the prone man away with his burning gaze:

‘Those who ask for mercy are too weak to deserve it’

the dragon finally utters with a deep bellowing voice that slithers through your very mind.

Taking it as a signal, Damocles brings his sword (you) down on his foe with a wide arc, taking his head clean off his shoulders with a single swing, no small feat.
As the severed head makes a single bounce before rolling to a stop, the crowd enters a frenzy once again, now cheering the name of their emperor:

‘Therion! Therion! Therion! Therion! Therion!’

The dragon smiles with a large vicious grin as it stands on its hind legs to let out a satisfied roar that could sunder the heavens.

Your wielder holds his blade (you) with arms stretched, pointing towards the sun as he basks in the carnage like the god of war himself.

flash!

There is a sudden change of scenery and you find yourself in a very familiar and unpleasant series of hallways yet in much better condition. You are being held by a rather rotund guard who is appraising you. In front of you is a well-groomed man dressed in an all-to-familiar fine coat with an expensive looking hat on his head. On his waist you can make out a well-crafted rapier siting in its gold tapered scabbard.

The two gentlemen seem to be haggling about the price of the item while looking down the hall in both directions from their nook as if expecting trouble. The well-groomed man boasts the qualities and historical value of the fine weapon (you) but the buyer does not seem convinced in its authenticity. As the rotund man leaves the merchant with his unsold ware, the fine-hat-sporting gentlemen looks down at the blade with a look that would be worthy of a crippled puppy and as he sighs loudly he whispers to himself:

‘Damn invertebrate jelly, doesn’t he know his history? I’m never going to sell this damned thing…’

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Figure 4 smuggler

flash!

Once again the scenery changes as you are waiting silently in a chest, resting comfortably in your scabbard. Then, you hear a great deal of commotion outside and muffled screams that resemble those of mean readying for battle. There is a sudden quake and the contents of the chest are tossed around like a giant salad of contraband.

A few minutes pass and the chest opens violently. The same merchant, although not as well- groomed as before immediately begins rummaging through the chest and filling a backpack with as many precious items he can possibly fit in it, including the blade.

flash!

The man is now on the high tower of the Halls of Penance you once visited, crouched behind some crates. He pulls out a scroll and begins to softly mutter an arcane incantation. When the guards turn away from him, the man leaps over the parapet with his trusty bronze sword (you) still attached to his belt. The feather fall takes effect and the smuggler slowly drifts down the long drop without a single scratch and begins making his way stealthily into the Mycelium.

flash!

You are now within the Mycelium and you are pulled out of your scabbard as the smuggler begins hacking away at a tall but thin mushroom. You can hear his teeth clatter as if he was shivering heavily. As you are about to fell the large mushroom, you begin hearing a grinding sound in the soil near you. Your wielder staggers in surprise and begins pivoting slowly towards the source of the sound and tilts backwards a bit to look up.

It is then that you make out the small beady eyes of a very large and very familiar Myconid looking down in your direction towards the smuggler with great disappointment. The poor smuggler cannot find the will to flee as Big Root begins emanating a very low pitched growl that makes the earth beneath you shake. The illicit-merchant pushes out a pitiful cry for help mixed with a whimper as two large fists the size of boulders come crashing down with a heavy: Whoooomp!

flash!

Your vision returns to normal.

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Figure 5 Big Root

Gladius of Damocles

World of Andrius shintenpu