The Elfblades (not to be confused with the Cormanthyrian elfblade, a lesser magical item) refers to three specific magical swords created by Elven High Magic by spellcasters from the Elven Court in -4000 DR. The three swords, the Rulers' Blade (the Ar'Cor'Kerym), and the two Defenders' Blades, the Warblade (the Ary'Velahr'Kerym), and the Artblade (the Ary'Faern'Kerym) are wielded by the rulers of Cormanthyr and used to determine who is worthy of such responsibility by the ancient ritual of Blade-rite.
In -4000 DR, Coronal Oacenth of Jhyrennstar fell ill, and his fever proved incurable. As a prophet of Labelas Enoreth, he spoke the famous words that would prove to one day unite the elves under the great Kingdom of Cormanthyr:
|“||If we are to survive as is the Peoples' right, one Coronal must vow to unify the tribes of this great land. One Coronal must unify sun and moon, sky and sea, earth, tree, and root, and his promise to all is long-lasting peace and strength in unity.||”|
At the Coronal's wish, young clansmen worked to prove their mettle, from which three candidates emerged, and these candidates were given the newly forged Elfblades to mark their rulership. It should be noted that a priest of each Seldarine god was necessary to create the blades. As Kahvoerm Irithyl drew the Rulers' Blade, he became ruler of Semberholme, Jhyrennstar, and Elven Court, which later became Cormanthyr.
While each Elfblade is unique, they share common characteristics among the three of them.
- Each must be attained by the ritual of Blade-rite, a ritual overseen by Elven High Magic.
- When the wielder of an Elfblade dies, the blade is rendered inert until drawn again as part of a Blade-rite.
- Any thief who draws the blade suffers as if failing a Blade-rite.
- Any N'Tel'Quess (non-elves or drow, but not half-elves) who draw the blade have been known to be struck dead.
- Each sword is a powerfully enchanted longsword that grants a ward against attacks as well as increasing the wielder's reaction time.
- Each sword can shed light from a flicker to the strength of the highsun.
- Each sword adds life to its wielder; the Ruler's Blade extends a wielder's life by up to six centuries, the Warblade returns an elf to the peak of physical age (usually a year after adulthood is gained), and the Artblade reduces the current age of its wielder by up to six centuries, though never beyond his first year of adulthood.
- Each sword is intelligent, is good-aligned, and can speak audibly and telepathically in Elven.
- Each sword responds negatively to unannounced changes in race, sex, or alignment on part of the wielder, sometimes forcing a new Blade-rite, causing the wielder jolts of pain, or simply dominating the wielder and forcing him or her to return the blade to the High Mages.
- Each sword bonds with the wielder during the Blade-rite, allowing the wielder to summon it to his or her hand at will, regardless of physical barrier, so long as each remain on the same plane of existence.
The characteristics of the weapons were revised in the 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons as follows.
- Each Elfblade is a powerfully enchanted longsword with a magically keen blade that is imbued with holy energy.
- Each Elfblade retards the wielders aging process so that he ages at half the normal speed.
- Each blade can be summoned to the wielder's hands with a thought.
- All candidates to draw the Elfblades must be good-aligned.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves, p. 27. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves, p. 134. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves, p. 33. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves, p. 47. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves, p. 155. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn, p. 157-159. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.