Nov
03
2018

Item Seed: Humanbane.

Humanbane – Google Docs

Humanbane

It’s a sword. Specifically, it’s a carp’s tongue broadsword; it has a wide blade that tapers down to a lengthened point. It’s suitable for slicing, stabbing, and/or thrusting. Human’s provenance is, based on various details, dated as being somewhere around the 12th century BC. Which is awkward, because the blade is made of something roughly equivalent to wootz steel.

Normally, something this anachronistic would be dismissed as a clumsy joke or forgery, but they pulled this sword out of a previously-undisturbed burial mound in northern France during an extremely well-documented expedition. There’s no way that Humanbane could have been inserted into the dig somehow: the cameras were operating 24/7 throughout the entire operation. In some ways, it was a relief when the nice people from the — well, they’re from a pan-European agency, and had the right officials vouching for them, and that was enough — came to collect Humanbane. And replace it with something that looked like it at first, but looked like something else entirely when cleaned.

Note that ‘Humanbane’ is a joke name given to the sword by various staffers. It’s based partially on the fact that the blade is decorated with primitive doodles that show human figures being cut in two by a shorter, thinner human figure with prominent ears. But it’s mostly based on the fact that, every time somebody’s picked up Humanbane, it ended up almost cutting somebody else. Virtually everybody involved swears that the damned thing felt like it actually twisted in their hand during the barely-averted accidents; and there’s a general consensus that the artifact just feels hostile. Which is ridiculous, but here we are.

One other weird thing: Humanbane is still sharp. And apparently immune to rust. And some people think that it has a weird… hum? Not everybody agrees with that last part, but a couple of researchers swear that the sword hums, variably. But those particular researchers are widely considered to be a bit off-puttingly strange in the head themselves, so it’s probably nothing.

1 Comment

  • Rockphed says:

    Off-puttingly strange in the head researchers think it hums? Have any of them picked it up? Have any of them been the almost victims when somebody else picked it up? Please tell me the rapid response team is on speed dial and the room where humanbane is kept has giant electromagnets that will flood the room with enough magnetic field to move fillings should anyone gain unauthorized access.
    .
    I think I might be a little too paranoid about it. After all, my previously off-putting neighbor has assured me that there is no elfin plot to finally put down the brood-slave rebellion that has been going on for the last 3200 years.

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