The Atmos Spear (dict)
The Atmos Spear
Come child; come sit and hear the tale of the Atmos Spear!
Forged in a time before history, the Atmos Spear was a divine weapon, crafted with the Breath of the Skies, the Tears of the Stars, and the Guilt of the Gods. It glittered and gleamed with potential and power, adjusting its size and heft to the needs of its wielder, and was said to be the only implement that could make a god bleed.
For eons the Spear was kept locked away in the Vault of Oblivion to hide it from jealous gods who might try to elevate their station by slaying those above them. There it languished, eventually forgotten by deity and demon alike. Forgotten that is, until the Age of Man.
Chances are, the Spear would still be lost to this day were it not for the wanderlust of Lars Lannerbäck, a warrior and explorer of great renown. It was during his twentieth summer that Lars was banished from his village and found himself exploring the Northern Wastes. On a frigid, desolate night, Lars sought refuge from a howling wind storm, hiding himself in a deep, foreboding cave. As he explored that cave, the floor gave out and he tumbled for what seemed to be an eternity, for the Vault of Oblivion did not exist in the normal space and reality of our world, Lars had simply found a portal to that eldritch tomb.
Only the twisted reality of the Vault kept Lars from perishing from his fall; however, he found himself trapped in a forgotten vault with the mightiest weapon crafted. Long did he sit and ponder his fate. After what seemed to be years, he took up the Spear and called out his defiance to the gods and carved an exit from the living rock of the Vault. Sadly, power can corrupt, and Lars was not above such corruption. He allowed the Spear to twist his mind with its promises of power and glory. He first sought revenge against the village that banished him.
It was a calm spring morning, the rays of the rising sun reaching over the horizon like luminous fingers, gentle warmth kissing the hard streets. The morning watch was just taking over from the night watch when Lars swooped down from the skies, howling madly.
Suffice it to say, the village was not victorious.
Lars wreaked havoc across the lands, moving randomly from village to village, but nothing would slake his lust for conquest nor dull the searing sting of humiliation he still felt from his banishment. Soon he decided that simply attacking isolated hamlets would not ease his rage, so he set his sights higher: first, he would slay the legendary Wind Ogre of Kinestia.
Kinestia was a forgotten stronghold from the dawning of the Age of Whispers that had long been abandoned to a massive ogre that had laid claim to its once-sacred walls. It was rumored that the fabled Library of Ergo resided within, but none who live remember the storied shape shifter. Regardless, Lars made his way north, unslowed by viscousbandits and brigands that preyed on those foolish enough to travel alone.
The attacks grew more and more infrequent as rumors of Lars and his power spread, and as he grew nearer and nearer to ravaged Kinestia. He was three days out when the Ogre learned of his plan. The arrogant creature was more than willing to give Lars the challenge he sought, confident in its own supposed immortality. Sadly for the Ogre, the mighty Atmos Spear granted Lars total dominion over the wind and weather, rendering the Ogre's fearsome powers sorely blunted; all it could call upon was its massive size and epic strength. The Ogre tried its best, tearing asunder the very bricks of its stolen tower and hurling them at the determined fiend, but none could find purchase as Lars used the power of the Spear to deflect each stone and the trailing hail of mortar. After a weeks-long battle between the two, Lars emerged victorious, wearing the Ogre's ichor like a badge, refusing to wash it from his skin.
As is often the case with those driven mad by quests for power, Lars only found himself lusting for more, unable to fill the hole in his heart or quench the thirst of his soul. Sadly, Lars was a simple man, and thus decided to "quench the thirst of his soul" in the most literal way possible: by drinking the Water of Life from Flanard's Flagon, both of which were to be found in Lucencia.
Long did Lars travel, over hill and dale, down dusty trails, over rivers, through woods, his journey never seemed to end. Largely because Lucencia was far, far away, in the Great Southern Wastes, nearly as far from Kinestia as one will ever find oneself. The sun beat down on Lars as if that golden orb was determined to stop his progress. Still, Lars would not be stopped, simply calling upon the power of the Spear to summon up clouds and bring forth rain when he grew exhausted from the seemingly relentless sun. Sadly for Lars, he was not alone.
An unnamed warrior from the Listless West was also seeking the Water of Life and Flanard's Flagon. This warrior too had an weapon of divine power, and was thus an equal match for Lars. While Lars bore the mighty Atmos Spear, the unnamed warrior wielded the terrible Mind Blade of Mangar. The two met on the field of battle outside Lucencia and simply stared at each other for a time. Not a blade of grass twitched, nor a bird sang, it was as if time itself stopped.
Without warning the two bellowed their battle cries and charged each other, using their artifacts' powers. The Atmos Spear summoned torrential rain and lightning strikes, while the Mind Blade was more subtle, its power striking deep at Lars's mind, attempting to break him before they even reached each other. However, neither warrior was destined to be stopped by such parlor tricks, and they clashed together, blades flashing, arms striking, feet kicking. Each man fought like a wild animal, desperate to gain the upper hand and slay his foe, knowing that wielding both weapons would give him the edge needed to challenge the gods themselves.
Long did they fight, the very earth shuddering as they rained blows upon each other. Villages leagues away were abandoned for fear of being caught in the crossfire or obliterated by stray magical attacks. Finally, after a solid year of combat, Lars was felled, the Mind Blade having been buried hilt-deep in his skull. The unnamed warrior was about to cry out his triumph when he realised that he too was bested: the Atmos Spear had pierced his heart. The two warriors stood there for a few beats before both collapsed to the ground, their life's blood draining away.
Many summers passed with none being brave enough to visit desolate Lucencia. One day, a small girl was lost and found her way to the nearly forgotten battlefield, finding nothing but two ancient weapons and two time-ravaged skeletons. She took the weapons and bore them away, hiding them from the eyes of man once again.
Some say that girl was a mortal avatar of one of the gods of old. Others say she was just a wise mortal. Still others claim she was something else entirely. All that is known is that the Atmos Spear and the Mind Blade of Mangar were never seen again. It is believed that they will remain hidden away until a hero with a pure heart proves their worth, that when the ten Argent Accolades are acquired, that when their cause is just, they will be granted the Atmos Spear to fight great evils.
However, that is a tale for another day.
- "Argent Accolades" is a phrase partially synonymous with "silver stars," argent coming from argentum, the Greek term for the element silver(Ag) and accolades referring to a 'mark of acknowledgment.'
- Lars's journey to Lucencia refers to the songs "The Army Goes Rolling Along" and "Over the River and Through the Wood".