Dornavver, also known as Demonbane, was a legendary weapon of Faerûnian history. It was a sword wielded by heroic paladins and the kings of Impiltur, and it was famous in the fight against fiends.
Dornavver was a bastard sword with a multicolored blade fashioned from an unknown alloy. It had a long hilt wrapped in silver wire and a silver-plated crosspiece. There was a symbol of Ilmater etched into the pommel. It weighed around 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).
It was a +3 outsider bane bastard sword. Although it was an outsider bane weapon, this quality functioned only against evil-aligned outsiders, particularly demons, rising to +5 against them. In addition, when within 60 feet (18 meters) of a demon, the sword glowed with a cold blue light, but otherwise was dim. Furthermore, it could shatter a demon's amulet with but a touch. In addition, any demon struck by the sword would be unable to summon their kin for an hour, unless they proved particularly strong-willed.
The sword increased the bearer's resistance to all magical effects used by demons, and granted the bearer immunity to any enchantments or charms they employed. In general, the wielder grew preternaturally alert to conflict and very difficult to surprise.
The sword had a strong negative effect on evil creatures that held it, which could not be circumvented by any means, even magical. Previously, only fighters and cavaliers of good nature could use it, as the hilt would fall immediately from the hands of any other who tried to hold it.
Demons in particular were well aware of the notorious reputation and powers of Dornavver. They thoroughly hated the blade, could identify it by sight, and were likely to be intimidated in its presence. They immediately turned forever hostile against its wielder, and would inform their kin of the sword's owner and their location as soon as possible.
In fact, Dornavver was forged in the Year of the Wrath Sword, 275 DR, by the master swordsmith Dornavver, for whom it was named. At the time, a plethora of evil artifacts such as Jaralth "the Fiendspike", Kuraltaar "the Demonshield", and Morthinmar "the Sallet of Sorrow" had been created under the reign of Qysar Shoon IV of the Shoon Imperium, so Dornavver and the Church of Ilmater created the sword in an attempt to counter these and halt the spread of evil. The sword was enchanted at Allyn's Anvil in the Alimir Mountains on the Feast of the Moon, 275 DR. This was the same site where the Demonsbane shields had been consecrated two hundred years earlier. Archsufferer Irmakul "Bloodthews", Revered Brother Filithan, Exalted Servant Volshur the Crooked, and many other senior priests of Ilmater took part in the ritual enchantment, making impassioned prayers and howls of suffering. These events were documented in the tome Relics of the Righteous.
After its creation, the sword was given to a paladin knighthood in service to Ilmater called the Holy Warriors of Suffering, whose fortress was on the site of the later Castle Dasaajk, east of the Purple Hills of Tethyr. Over a century later, one of the order took the sword to the realm of Torsil and eliminated the tyrannical Uldoon, "the Mage of Fangs", whose armies of summoned fiends had terrorized the surrounding lands. This feat was recorded in the ballad "Uldoon's Doom", and here the sword acquired the name "Demonbane".
Dornavver turned up again during the Weeping War, now in the possession of a paladin named Sarshel Elethlim, fighting in the army of Mindal Rowanmantle to defend Myth Drannor. Wielding Demonbane, Sarshel fought in the Battle of Snowsblood Trail and the Battle of Standing Stone's Blood in the Year of the Firedrake, 713 DR. The only eyewitness account of this campaign was made by the War Wizard Landraul Skatterhawk, whose description of Sarshel's sword matched that of Dornavver. Some legends claimed that Captain Fflar Starbrow Melruth himself wielded Demonbane on the day of Myth Drannor's fall to daemons in the Year of Doom, 714 DR, though perhaps mistakenly.[note 2]
Sarshel went on to use the sword in the Triad Crusade in Impiltur a decade later, and then during the Fiend Wars of 729–732 DR. He used Dornavver to destroy the Crown of Narfell in the Citadel of Conjurers, an act that began the retreat of Orcus's demon army. Sarshel was subsequently crowned King of Impiltur, and when he died, Dornavver was passed down from monarch to monarch as one of the royal swords.
However, it was not used in battle again until the Year of the Moaning Gorge, 786 DR. The Paladin Princes, Araln, Essys, and Nord, the great-grandsons of King Sarshel, confronted Ndulu and his demon army outside the gates of the Citadel of Conjurers once again. The brothers carried the Demonsbane shields, and Nord wielded Dornavver in its most famous exploit. Together, they opened a vortex portal to force the demons back into the Abyss. Essys and Araln fell in battle, but Nord used Demonbane to slay countless glabrezu and succubi and drove the balor Ndulu and his demon horde through the portal, banishing them from Impiltur, and destroyed the Citadel. Demonbane truly earned its name and Nord his eternal glory.
Dornavver was later stored by Mage Royal Soargar in his tower in Lyrabar as part of his mission to preserve the treasures of Old Impiltur as the realm fractured. Dornavver was one among a hundred or so magical weapons in the collection known as Soargar's Legacy. In the Year of the Dawn Dance, 1095 DR, Soargar granted the collection to Imphras I in anticipation of when the monarchy in Impiltur would be reestablished, two years later. Dornavver and the rest of the weapons were shared among Imphras and his loyal battle companions, who later became his Royal Guard.
It was generally accepted by historians that the sword was used by King Imbrar I in the Year of the Luminar Procession, 1127 DR, as he led the Royal Guard against the hobgoblins of the Giantspire Mountains, but some claimed he gave it to Lord Osper Wellhaven, his general and commander of the Royal Guard. In any case, the whole force vanished without a trace. Demonbane and the other enchanted weapons of the Royal Guard were thought lost with them.
Othiiyr Velthrann, a sage from the city of Tsurlagol in the Vast, made his life's work the study of the magic swords of Soargar's Legacy. Othiiyr recorded the legends around them, and pieced together the history of Dornavver and the other blades. Othiiyr assisted the Knights of Imphras II in their continuing quest to find the lost swords of Soargar's Legacy. The whereabouts of Dornavver remained unknown as of 1374 DR, but the Knights were working to recover it.
In fact, a bastard sword known as Demonbane came to be in the possession of Jetel Xarann, a drow priestess and sword dancer of Eilistraee. She passed it on to her daughter, Cavatina, a Darksong Knight serving at the Promenade of the Dark Maiden in Undermountain. In the Year of Risen Elfkin, 1375 DR, Cavatina was leading a routine patrol of Undermountain when she encountered a spellgaunt, a servant of Lolth. Cavatina slew the spider-creature (not itself a demon), but not before the spellgaunt drained the magic from the sword and ultimately ruined it.[note 3]
- Holy Warriors of Suffering
- King Sarshel Elethlim
- Prince Nord
- King Beldred
- Mage Royal Soargar
- Royal Guard
- King Imbrar I
- Cavatina Xarann (uncertain)
- ↑ The original sources to present the sword Demonbane, "Treasure Trove" in Dragon magazine #91 and The Magister, presented Demonbane as having an unknown origin and unknown whereabouts, implying it disappeared with Prince Nord. However, the expanded write-up in Champions of Valor has detailed its origins and later history.
- ↑ In fact, Fflar is well known to have wielded the bastard sword Keryvian, called "Foebane" or "Demron's Bane", indicating this legend may be in error or has conflated the accounts of Sarshel and Fflar.
- ↑ It is not clear if this is the same Demonbane or just another bastard sword of the same name and bane ability.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 various (November 1984). “Treasure Trove”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #91 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 60–61.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Ed Greenwood, Steve Perrin (1988). The Magister (sourcebook). (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-88038-564-2.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62–63. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 George Krashos (November 2000). “Bazaar of the Bizarre: Soargar's Legacy”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #277 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- ↑ Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.