The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients And Other Blades of Power
Of the Avaquar Dagger
The Avaquar Dagger was a blade of power, a precursor to the great Swords of the Ancients, forged late in the Fourth Age of Ammon. Its lore has been kept secret for many ages and few mortals know the full tale of this sacred blade. After the creation by the Ancient Ones of the disastrous Blades of Chaos in the Fourth Age, the Ancients desired to create new and far superior blades of power for the mortals under their charge. These new blades would hold greater powers than the Blades of Chaos. Atnal, a chief among the Ancient Ones who was known to travel amongst his mortal subjects in the guise of an old man or elf, commissioned the famed weapon smith Mahgnim to forge a double bladed knife for him, the Avaquar Dagger.
Atnal gave the design of this unusual weapon to Mahgnim in a dream, and from that image Mahgnim began his work forging the two blades of the Avaquar from his own special steel, created from a blend of ores mined from the caverns of Barkonia and the Tellorien Mountains. The blades he engraved with Annundtal runes, a language of old Annundos, and the words written there came in a vision sent to him by Atnal. The runes told of the AvaquarÕs will over the waters of the world, with the power to create drought or flood by its command. Water creatures of many types were also held under its influence. Its hilt was fashioned with a clawed metal guard and a grip carved of red thorcan. When Mahgnim completed this knife, he proclaimed it his greatest work, and presented it to Atnal. Atnal and the other Ancient Ones thence embodied the blade with the powers spoken of in its runes, and they created a great blade of power.
As a test of a mortalÕs wisdom and endurance to use such a blade and not fall into corruption by the influence of its power, Atnal sought to give it to the wisest of the Dark Elves, the warrior Agnemmel. He was an Elf of the Evesfael family, a clan of wise warrior-rulers making their abode in the underground caverns of Barkonia. The elves had fought in many bloody wars against mortal men, but the Evesfael were instrumental in ending the wars and leading the Elves underground to create their own kingdom, away from the world of men. Agnemmel was the grandson of the elven king who led his people into Barkonia, and he was blessed with much of his forefatherÕs wisdom and strength. Atnal presented the Avaquar to this one as a gift and instructed him in its use and of the dangers of its powers if misused.
For many years Agnemmel wielded the blade wisely, using it to make the waters of the underground lakes plentiful with fish for harvest, and emptying the deep flooded caverns of Barkonia of water to allow the elves to expand their kingdom deeper into the earth, but rarely was it used for violence. Then came a day when Evruc, one of the Ancient Ones who had become twisted and dark, snaked into the elven kingdom and spread his evil and malice amongst the Dark Elves. Most of the elves shunned Evruc, for they know him to be the king of lies and one who lusted for power, and they called him the Dark One. Some Dark Elves, however, succumbed to his lies, believing the Ancients had forsaken them to the bowels of the earth for they were not as favored as Men, or those of the Uldurin race that still live upon the surface of Ammon. Those elves that followed Evruc were the Black Elves, and they caused much turmoil in Barkonia, but they were a minority and held no real strength. There came a time when Agnemmel was called to lead a charge of Elves to repel a score of men that had invaded their caverns in the Tellorien Mountains of the West. That battle was a hard one, with many elves having perished including some of AgnemmelÕs own clan, and worst of all his beloved wife, who was a great warrior in her own right and always fought by his side. His great blade, the Avaquar, could not defeat the mortal men or save her life.
Evruc had heard tale of AgnemmelÕs enchanted blade and he perceived it was of the AncientÕs design, and when he was told of the battle and AgnemmelÕs loss, he designed to take advantage of the elfÕs grief. When Agnemmel was at his weakest, Evruc approached him, feigning concern, and he made to sew deep seeds of hate for men in his mind; and Agnemmel did succumb to this willingly, for the AvaquarÕs enchantments allowed his mind to sway and focus more easily, and therefore he followed EvrucÕs lead down the dark path. Over time Agnemmel became more and more bitter and desired revenge against men, and he was now the blackest of the Black Elves. He abandoned his clan and left his young son and daughter, who were not yet old enough to fight by his side. He learned to use the Avaquar as a terrible weapon, and with it he would stab men and suck their bodies dry of fluid, leaving only dead husks. With the AvaquarÕs power he called forth a hoard of dark and vicious water creatures out of the deep underground seas of Barkonia to be his companions and guardians.
Agnemmel led a host of EvrucÕs Black Elves under his command and waged war upon men for many years. He was known as the Blood Sucker among mortals, and more than two thousand men had been killed by his hand with the Avaquar. Thence came a day when a great legion of mortals, both men and elves, united to destroy his forces and rid them from their lair in the North mines of Barkonia, but AgnemmelÕs Dark Elves and his sea beasts were of greater strength and turned back the invaders, slaughtering many. In the rage of battle Agnemmel sucked the blood from many men and elves with the Avaquar, and his beasts did feed on their corpses; but in the face of one elf Agnemmel brought down, he recognized someone familiar and once dear to him. As the Avaquar sucked her body dry, Agnemmel saw the face of his beloved wife dying. Now he saw this was not the face of his wife, but the grown face of his daughter who had come to be a warrior over the years since he had left his clan and joined the Black Elves. In seeing her dead body Agnemmel realized what his hatred had brought him; not revenge and justice for his slain wife, but death and misery for all, and he hated himself for what he had become, but most of all he hated the Dark One for leading him to this end. As his dark beasts began to feed on her body he went mad and slaughtered the creatures with the Avaquar.
Thence Agnemmel ran for many long days deep into the caverns and away from other mortals. Eventually he came upon the great underground sea of Tolesthia, a great endless cavern with deep waters and gigantic columns of stone in its midst, seen by precious few in Ammon. There he threw the Avaquar into its waters, and the enchanted blade was lost from the world, though some say it came back to the sword smith Mahgnim in a dream, and when he awoke from that dream the sword was once again in his possession. In that great cavern Agnemmel lived, becoming an insane and dangerous creature, living off blind fish and any elves that happened to stray too deep into the caverns below Barkonia. And there he remained for many years until the Dark One came to call upon him once againÉ
In the ensuing years came the Fifth Age of Ammon and the Ancient Ones called for the greatest of enchanted weapons to be created, the Ten Swords of the Ancients. The sword smith Mahgnim re-made Avaquar as one of the Ten Swords for Atnal, this time in greater stature as a sword, and blessed with greater powers by the Ancient Ones; and there are those who say the blade of the powerful Avaquar, sword of the deep, was actually forged from the same steel as the original dagger, though none can claim this to be true for the knowledge has since been lost.
The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients and Other Blades of Power and its previous versions, The Swords of the Ancients and its abridged excerpts, and other forms, are ©1997 and ©2006 by Kit Rae. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, computer networking, or otherwise without prior permission in writing by the copyright holder(s).