Weapons of Renown: Part Two

Scientific Weapons of Renown:

Grinder – a single-bladed axe that has four edges of diamond teeth, buzzing alternatively along it. It tears its way through armour and has taken many lives. It is the weapon, and always has been, of Antipater, the foremost general of the Order of the Hybrid Complex. He is a loyal servant of Prime, its leader, and this weapon was made for him as he led armies across the world. An old, intelligent and fierce leader, he is seen as Prime’s right hand, and rightly so.

Flammard – a longsword with a wavey blade that can emit intense heat, which enables it to cut metal with ease. It also distorts vision, with the air around it shimmering. This formidable sword is the possession of Duke, an important commander among the Order of Symbiotic Harmony. Not only is he an admirable tactician, but he enjoys single combat, so had this made. For him, when the Author wishes him to act, he seeks the surest and simplest way to victory and cuts his way through.

Augustus Shotgun – known as Guses, this is a larger than usual shotgun used by humans to kill super-soldiers. It fires special shells, with a solid stock needed to brace when firing. Because of its size and power, the humans picked to use these have to be bigger than average. A fair bit bigger. This weapon is a new invention among the humans who reside in bases within the region once known as Texas. If it proves its worth, it may be spread further afield. Humans need every advantage they can get.

Bolt Pistols – a large, sleek automatic pistol that usually requires two hands and fires eleven powerful shots. This weapon is favoured by commandos and specialist soldiers, even more so by super-soldiers (when it is even bigger) for being a deadly, accurate and controlled weapon, yet capable of firing a sudden and full burst. The fact it is mainly used by super-soldiers now is ironic as it is very good at killing them, even a human version. With more power and focus, even the improved forms of these mutants can do little to stop the shots. It is also excellent against droids.

Mega Tommy Gun – this weapon is everywhere in Trade Island. Essentially it is a superior version of the infamous Thompson submachine gun, once used so well in wars, but also iconic in its role in gang warefare. This new version is bigger and more powerful, and also deliberately louder. It is meant to clear a room, or force everyone to cover as a warning. Easy to make, cheap to buy, it has become a favourite amongst gangs and mercenaries throughout the city. Sometimes they are known as Tommy Twos. Inelegant and ferocious, they are perfect for unskilled fighters in close quarters.

Weaponry of Eden – this human sanctuary has withstood assaults for centuries, and while those within praise God and faith for this, it is also to do with their technology. It is much more advanced than those in the rest of the world, so their soldiers who defend the dome are much better equipped. For one, they can generate force-fields about themselves, impenetrable to anything. A much larger version sits around their home. They also have vehicles that hover over the barren land, as well as cherubim – small, flying robots that scan for mutants and eliminate dangers. A telling sign of the power the soldiers of Eden possess is the energy they emit. The mutant combatants all know that the energy produced by Eden’s weapons is a pure, bright white, unlike anything they’ve seen elsewhere. This energy rips through their hordes whenever they attack. That’s why they keep attacking, for fear one day the superior weapons of Eden will be used to reclaim the world for the human race.

Obliterate – a robot that is essentially a mobile weapon, ready to respond on command. This machine is the bodyguard of Leopold, head of the current top ranked gang in Trade Island. Before he rose to this position, Leopold was a business negotiator and had helped the machine nation to the north with dealings within the city, acting as both representative and advisor. For this, he was rewarded with Obliterate. The robot says little, mainly its own name, and responds to commands from Leopold alone. While only one of its kind, Obliterate has enough firepower to level buildings, and in a packed city, this is too much of a risk for anyone to provoke either owner or weapon. Leopold’s gang has fought in the streets to earn top rank, but few will strike at Leopold himself. It is widely believed that, even if such an act succeeded, Obliterate is programmed to go on a killing spree. No one is ready for that. Yet.

Weapons of Renown

Owning a weapon is important in surviving this world. Being able to use it with deadly skill is vital. Yet for many, they want more. Weaponry can be improved on so that it ranks above the norm. It can also be fashioned into something unique. Many use magic to do this. Others science. This is a role call of weapons that stand out, many of which have names and a past. To own one is to fear less and be able to take more. People would kill to own one. Many already have.

Magical weapons of renown:

No-Daichi – there are actually a number of these, although no one knows how many. In the early times after the Shadow World arrived, with magic and monsters running wild, a range of large Japanese swords were crafted. Magic was used to make them not only super sharp, but also unbreakable and able to even deflect magic attacks. Owning one of these would make a skilled warrior near unstoppable.

Tempest Fan – this unique item is also most likely from Japan, but nobody knows for sure. It is claimed to be a cursed weapon too. While it has incredible power to manipulate the air, creating blasts or slices of wind, it is claimed it drains all joy from the user. It makes the wielder light and so faster too, but some think it has claimed the life, maybe even the soul, of previous owners. For now, the infamous quartermaster and pirate, Amadeus, has it and his clinical and ruthless nature intimidates people throughout the Mediterranean.

Atlas Staff – this is claimed to have originated in Great Britain, but for now its whereabouts is unknown. This staff – a simple looking wooden staff with metal caps on each end – makes the one who holds it resilient to an incredible degree. Tales speak of beings withstanding boulders and magical barrages without harm. At the same time, it is claimed to be light in the hand of the one wielding it, while simultaneously feeling heavy and solid by anyone struck by it.

Giant Breaker – this is a highly unusual weapon, because it was one the skull and spine of an infamous warlord. Lord Ogre was a very large human who terrorised many across Great Britain long ago, until he met his end, defeated in single combat by a devil-beast. In retribution, this monster ripped out his backbone, and the skull with it, and then worked on this magically for some time. A mace was forged, long in haft, round and solid at the end. Yet this trophy was even worse than that. The devil-beast managed to bind the spirit of Lord Ogre to his remains, so whoever holds this weapon can communicate with him. At first Lord Ogre had to endure being the powerful aide to the one who defeated him. Later, he ended up being used by others, one after another, as they all strove to conquer. This weapon was powerful indeed, shattering shields and bones with ease, and even able to create small quakes on impacting the ground. With good reason it came to have the name, Giant Breaker. Now, it has ended up in the big hands of Bruin, an outlaw roaming the island, snarling at the cruel and arrogant voice only he can hear.

Devil’s Death – this pike is wanted and dreaded for a single reason: is was forged to kill devil-beasts. This long and thick weapon was carefully crafted to slice through magical defences and power, and then through the muscle and sinew of one of the largest monsters around. Some claim it even has specific magic bound to it to seek out the weaknesses of such creatures. With this, killing a devil-beast becomes a lot easier, as much as combating one of them could ever be called so. Who made it and why are unknown, as is its whereabouts. Many want it, especially other devil-beasts.

Sunfire Sabre – a sabre made in China, which can wield heat and light and even fire. Highly difficult and risky to master, it promises to make the one who clasps it near unfaceable to most enemies. It is thought to be an attempt by humans to imitate the fire sword used by aegis. If so, it has not fallen that short, according to some stories. It isn’t entirely sure where it is right now, yet it hasn’t gone far. With the amount of humans moving about in that region, it is very likely it will not be long before it is revealed to the world again.

Oni Tekkan – a simple yet strong iron club. Specifically, it would be called a tetsubo by the Japanese who made it. It is claimed it can smash anything, withstand anything, and has been used to defeat brutes, vandals and even a devil-beast. It may have been made in Japan, maybe not, as it has mostly been used in Australasia. It was lost a number of years ago by followers of magic while on a mission in the more wild lands towards the centre. Either it has been lost, or a monster or human bandit has it, which can only mean trouble for those in their way.

Guard Gauntlets – these are specially crafted and magically charged gauntlets worn on the left hand only. They were worn by the elite guard of Morrigan, an aegis who ruled Great Britain decades ago. She was a strong warrior, leader and magic-user, and expected her elite to be her enforcers as well as her protectors. So these gauntlets were forged and refined to enhance their power. Not only were they a vital aid in combat, but they became a badge. To see an aegis wearing one was to know this individual served Morrigan, and she did not tolerate any trespassers or transgressors. These made the wearers feared and respected, but since her fall and death, anyone wearing one is hated, and therefore hunted.

Unpleasant and Unpopular Monsters

And so, we return to the previous updates and information bulletins that reveal, delve into and explain the world of the Sojourners in Shadow series. We begin with some tidbits about some of the most vile and reviled monsters:

They say that no one likes hobgoblins, even other monsters. They are a pest, a nuisance. They specialise in sneaking and stealing with a fine line in sabotage. Hobgoblins aren’t wanted as allies or even servants by anyone. They don’t make things, they break them or steal them, and have been known to try selling their loot back to the previous owners. Some would claim hobgoblins are stupid, yet if they were, they would be extinct. They are impulsive, true, and seem slaves to their nature, but they are often the ones to survive destruction, crawling out of wreckage, scurrying into new hideouts. If anything, hobgoblins are underestimated. Maybe they like keeping it that way.

But they are not the most derided of monsters. That title would be taken by vermin. While hobgoblins are pests, some credit can be given for the risks they run stealing and sneaking about those stronger than them. Vermin are scavengers, seen as cowards and weaklings. They prey on the injured or lone straggler. They paw their way across battlefields to take whatever they can and finish whoever is left. Some would liken them to hobgoblins, but where those have a near innocence to how much they are disliked, vermin know their reputation and often follow savage instincts, if only when they can do so without risk. On the plus side, they invent. They cobble together weapons and devices from their scavenged goods. Nothing impressive, but they have taken to technology in a way few other monster races have been able to. They wield make-shift guns and bombs, besides other things. As cowardly as they are, vermin are dangerous if encountered in large numbers, or cornered.

Even so, there is one type of monster that is truly loathed. Gleaners.

Once they were small but vicious creatures. Arachnids, scuttling across the ground, seeking kills to feed on. Even then, they possessed a deadly poison in their stingers and clearly bore a taste for cruelty as well as death.

Then came the mass migration to the magical hotspot of Madagascar. Human inhabitants were slaughtered. Piles of corpses littered the island as gleaners made it their home. None know why this happened, or if the gleaners knew what would occur. But this vile race did what they have always done – kill and feed. Just this time it was on a massive scale and on a land flowing with magic.

New gleaners were born amongst the piles of dead. New as in a new generation, but new as in unlike how they were before. Gleaners were mainly still arachnids, yet now they had a half human form protruding where their head should be, and even this wasn’t normal. There was no doubt that the many dead had an effect on this development as the human halves were more like a corpse, with rotting flesh and pale eyes. Also, instead of hands, scythe-like blades were waved on the arms. Not only that, but these gleaners grew to large sizes, much bigger than most living things.

Gleaners are vicious, cruel and greedy. They slaughter most they encounter, capture and feed on the rest. This makes them feared and hated. Yet their appearance makes them repulsive. Their nature does as well. Hobgoblins and vermin are known as thieves and scavengers, spies and cowards, and this is clearly put on them by their own nature. Yet neither compare to gleaners. When the new type were born, they butchered and devoured their parent generation. They live in nests, competing with each other while preying on outsiders, ruled over by inbred rulers, depraved and hostile. They breed in large numbers too. All other faces fear the discovery of a gleaner nest near them because it is only a matter of time before expansion occurs.

The saying is no one like hobgoblins. It is true. But vermin provoke more contempt. Gleaners install more fear and disgust than most things of any kind. Hobgoblins might steal your possessions or break your devices, yet they won’t seek to harm your young because they are too craven to fight adults, as vermin are. More importantly, they won’t remove your limbs and poison you to keep you alive, in agony, so they can feed on you over time. Gleaners are what was once a pest become nightmare. For everyone.