The Dagger of Gral, the sign of near-mastery over the Crimson Arcanum, is one of the most powerful artifacts of Fire Magic. Fire Magicans can ignite the dagger with the Flame of the Soul, which is said to burn with the feelings of the caster and those nearby. There are several different varieties of soul-flame, each having a different function.
|Image description: The magical Dagger of Gral. Picture drawn by Koldar Mondrakken.|
The Dagger is normal enough looking before it is activated; a simple
orcish blade, a fore
and a half long. The only indications to someone looking to identify it would
be the reddish tint the blade acquires as it nears fire
or its owner grows angry, and the
orcish letters for
Fire and Soul, repeated along the blade edge in runes
that only show when blood hits them.
Usage. The Dagger, in the hands of someone capable of casting Fire Magic, will burst into flames at their command, which will take the form of a two-fore-long sword. These flames can not be stopped by water, earth, or air, for each is consumed by the Dagger's unique fire; the Flame of the Soul as it is called, which is said to burn with the feelings of the caster and those nearby. There are several different varieties of soul-flame, but the dagger has been recorded to show the following:
The flame is blood-red, and burns through anything and everything it touches save the wielder, to whom it acts like normal fire... it may burn off the hands of the unwary.
This black fire, giving off acrid smoke, will spread like a wildfire in midair; it is told to be fueled by fear.
White fire burns only those deserving of justice... it has been known to consume the wielder of the Dagger.
This flame is normal, save for the way in which it dances... it almost looks like joyful spirits, cavorting in their places.
Much like Wonder-Flame... save the soft orange glow and comforting heat that the blade gives off. A rare sight to behold, and certainly a... heartwarming one?
The Dagger's "default setting," as it were. This acts like normal fire, but burns brighter when the owner's desire for something grows.
The Dagger has been used only rarely, but Gral left behind some notes as to its
use that survived the Fall. His advice was to treat it, once activated, as an
incredibly light and sharp sword. The Dagger can block only in a very
rudimentary sense; if the blade is held at the proper angle, something that
would bounce off a normal sword will go through the Dagger's
magical flame and come out on the other side
as ash. It cuts through all mundane shields and burns through all non-enchanted
swords; the only counter proposed to it is a shield or
sword enchanted with a fire-dampening field of some
Origin/History. He who founded the Red Tower at the Ximaxian Academy, Gral the Powerful, bore this enchanted blade with him as a symbol of his mastery over both clan and flame; its source is given as the blade he used to win his clan's freedom from their mother-tribes. In the accounts of Ximan, and in the Red Tower's vaults, it is also recorded as a most effective weapon.
Until the Fall of 733, the Dagger was always given to the next Archmage of Fire as a symbol of authority over the clan, leaving the Red Staff to prove his mastery of his magic skills.
Still, in the magical
cataclysm of the Sack of Ximax, the Dagger, like so much of the
Magical City's wisdom, knowledge, and power,
was cast into the shadows of the world...
It lay unknown in the world until 587 b.S., when a routine scrying class took the Orb of Venora (see Magical Academy of Ximax) and randomly looked in all directions...
One student, who was only pursuing a minor in Mentalism, was overwhelmed in a surge of Fire Magic. It is unknown if a normal mage would have been able to survive... but Feylin Scorchcloak of the Goltherrim was no normal mage. The first elf to pursue Fire Magic as a major study since the Fall awoke in one of the eyries of the Red Tower, the Archmage expectantly leaning over her. His first words were "What did you see?"
Feylin's accounts and further scryings revealed that some Pre-Fall artifact was hidden in the High Fores near the Volcano of the Hèckra. An expedition was organized... they found nothing. "It was almost as if it was hiding from us," the Metamagician leading the expedition was recorded as saying...
Years passed, and Feylin received her initiation into the Ninth Circle in 547 b.S. Yet her ambition drove her higher yet... she strove to gain the title of Magus, and to gain the admiration of her peers. In her desperation to find something to catapult her to the heights, she recalled her accident forty years ago...
Feylin ostensibly left for the Goltherlon in 545. b.S, citing a wish to live among her kin again. Strangely, though, when messengers from Ximax tried to send routine letters to her, none were ever returned. In time, it was officially decided that her kin must not have tolerated their sister's un-elven magic, and arranged for her to have some inconvenient accident... Some of her teachers argued that given her power and almost legendary temper, had something like this occured, a fair portion of the Goltherlon would be in smoking ruin, but no other reason could be found, until 523 b.S., when a red-cloaked woman walked into the Red Tower undeterred by the Daughters of the Flame, walked up to the eyrie of the Archmagus of Fire unchallenged by any of the wards... and laid his ancestral right before his feet.
Feylin had lived as a hermit in the Higher Fores for twenty years, searching for the artifact that had called her when she was a student. In the end, she had found it in a cave near the top of one of the Fore Mountains, surrounded by blackened human bones and piles of slag metal... clasped in the hands of an elven skeleton.
Feylin Scorchcloak was granted the rank of Magus, and was eventually given the Regency of the Red Tower for the rest of her days. And it is to her that all Regents since owe a debt of gratitude... since her, the Dagger of Gral has been the badge of office of the Crimson Regent.
Information provided by Xarl