Section I: Spells
Section II: Blessings
Section III: Magical Appliances
“In the 2131st year after the Flood of Elves had devastated the world, it was that the kingdom of Borcume [today the mid-east of Cayaboré] fell in disarray. King Thoralf had died without a proper heir to succeed him on the throne, and the long work of the king’s reign [only four years, the writer confuses Thoralf’s with his father’s reign of twenty-one years] was unwrought by the disputes of the earls of the land who claimed that by descent of royal blood, they were to take the throne and rule Borcume. Queen Norvaych put forward her own claim, that since none of the candidates to the throne had better than a grandfather’s brother being monarch, her daughters were the closest to the royal line. Her eldest, indeed, had a seven-year old son whom Norvaych put forward as the new King of Borcume. Radnalph, under the stewardship of his father, Earl Cadneywar, should immediately ascend the throne, to be accepted by every earl of the land.
“Scholars in Dauverre disputed at length the validity of the queen’s proper claim, yet while discussions were continuing, other earls levied troops, to find an answer by dint of their blades. [This occurred during 2132, a full year after Thoralf’s death. It seems that at first the various claims were calmly put forward and judged in more or less due process at the capital. These claims included Earl Cadneywar himself, but his case was going badly, sine his fellow earls suspected that he would use the throne to plunder their own lands while fettering his province. Then Queen Norvaych came up with her idea; Cadneywar recanted his claim and supported his son. Not only was this an insult to the earls, there also appears to have been considerable support for Radnalph in the populace, which has always favored a boy-king.] In the Battle of Mt. Whyrll, three armies collided, and twenty-seven thousand men lost their lives for the cause of a new king. [It is unclear where this battle took place; this area of Cayaboré has no notable mountains.] For two years, the civil war continued, yet none of the earls nor the forces of young King Radnalph could achieve victory.
“Then, in the dread fall of the year 2134, when Radnalph and his father sought the shelter of their vassal, Lord Durbeyn, the traitorous lord ordered the rightful king murdered in his sleep while Earl Cadneywar was to be executed publicly the following day. [Radnalph was never crowned. Later texts, such as this, insinuate that the boy actually was monarch and therefore he did have vassals who had sworn loyalty to him. In actual history, at best Durbeyn could have been called an ally – an uneasy one at that. Earl Cadneywar had come to the castle to convince Durbeyn to stay on his side. Radnalph’s presence was supposed to appeal to Durbeyn’s sense of importance, but the measure backfired.] The gods aided Cadneywar to escape the trap set by treasonous Durbeyn, armed only with a soldier’s lance, accompanied by a good friar who had aided his flight from the castle.
“At the friar’s behest, Cadneywar set out to encounter and slay a crimson dragon [which we know as an emperor dragon] . After a long and toilsome journey, his faith in the gods was rewarded. He fought the dragon for a day and a night, then the beast’s strength vaned so that Cadneywar’s lance could strike him down. The earl bathed the lance in the dragon’s blood whereupon the wood took on the shine of the dragon’s crimson blood, and with the friar’s blessing, blood and wood became one. Cadneywar raised the crimsonlance, to call for the gods’ approval. That was given heartily, and the friar said that the crimsonlance would never miss its target, it would pierce the hardest armor unerringly and could never be broken while Cadneywar’s and his descendants’ bond with the gods held. [There are several problems in this account, primarily that a dragon’s blood is green instead of red. Magic could account for that, but not for Cadneywar’s victory over an emperor dragon. It is also unbelievable that the earl would have ignored the ongoing war for this long; he most probably rejoined his army immediately, and it was with his soldiers’ help that the dragon was killed. But there is no doubt that it was from the blood of an emperor dragon that the original crimsonlance was made.]
“To avenge the murder of his son, Cadneywar returned to Durbeyn. Armed only with the crimsonlance, he brought down the castle walls, then faced and killed Durbeyn in single combat. Thereafter Cadneywar challenged the rebelling earls to test their own weapons against the crimsonlance. He struck down all who opposed him, proving to all the realm that the gods had chosen him as their favorite and the new king. [There is a good kernel of truth in this; the civil war continued for two years, but Cadneywar’s army did take on one rival after another. The soon legendary strength of the crimsonlance often decided a battle in his favor, though not always. In most cases, he did kill the rival earl personally.]
“Rejoining the old queen Norvaych, he brought the crimsonlance to the place where the Three Rivers join. Here he thrust the lance into the ground, proclaiming that here the new capital and royal seat would be, the Hallowed Town. Here he would be crowned king, taking the name of the Crimson Dragon, and from here he would rule.”
Wyll, Court Historian (ca. 2420 A.E.)
“Crimsonlances make for excellent weapons, but more so in single combat than in any organized form of warfare. Due to their rarity, it is difficult to place them sensibly in an advancing line of soldiers. Their disparate strength would make the few bearers of these weapons progress much faster, thus breaking the orderly line. Therefore they are better suited to the commander’s guard, since he is not part of any attack line.
“On the other hand, having soldiers equipped with crimsonlances does add to the morale of one’s own troops while it detracts from the enemy’s. The good tactician must make use of this possibility, by spreading the rumor of crimsonlances well before the battle, and then take good care to highlight their actual presence. Although it may be possible to imitate a crimsonlance’s sheen through paint, the gleam of one of these weapons has never been imitated. Therefore the commander’s guard should be placed on horses as well as on a hill (which is naturally a good position for the commander) so that they can raise their crimsonlances at the beginning of battle, preferably accompanied by a bugle call.
“I have personally been able to verify the effect during the Thundrous War in 2931. Despite being outnumbered three to one, my forces were able to scatter the Cayaborean troops at minimal cost to ourselves. The enemy never came close enough to my position that the crimsonlances had to be put to real use. This I take as a further sign that crimsonlances have no veritable place in war.”
“It’s not difficult producing a crimsonlance. All you need is a priest of modest magical powers, a lance, and the blood of an emperor dragon. Put the lance in a vat of the blood, have the priest bond both together with a special blessing, and you have a crimsonlance. It is almost impossible to break, it seems to burn its way through a target, and its flight is much truer than that of the original lance.
“Alas, the dragon’s blood accounts for the scarcity of these weapons. There are few emperor dragons left in our world, and they very much mind donating as much of their blood as is necessary. For a single lance, you would need some five gallons. It is not enough to engage a dragon, stick a lance into it, and then run away to your priest. The best that the bonding blessing then would achieve is to change the lance’s color a shade.
“Of course, other dragon blood can also be bonded to a wooden weapon – yet they are vastly inferior to a true crimsonlance. In the case of some species, such as horse dragons, for instance, the produced lance is actually brittle, although it looks very much like the real thing. (These versions are the ones most commonly sold as crimsonlances; the buyer will find out too late that this weapon is less than worthless.)
“The true weapon is not as perfect as legend has it, though. For one thing, it can miss its target – it’s simply a great deal harder to miss. For another, a crimsonlance cannot pierce everything, although it does very well on common steel armor. Yet elfwood easily resists it, as do a number of other extremely hard materials. Obviously there are very few enemies who will be armored like that, yet one should always rely on fact rather than legend.”
Alvion, Seram Priest,