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From a world time forgot, a place shrouded in the cosmic aether of souls, you come. From across the distant reaches of time and space...

Eh, you sent in your application and waited in line. After working your way up from intelligent spoon and pet rock, you did a stint as an intelligent ring and have finally earned your way into the big leagues, magic sword. (Joke ripped off from The Forge, property of Greg Dean.) A few good years with a proper hero and you might even make Legendary. That'd certainly be something to rub in the faces of those snooty souls at intelligent item school. "Never get past soup dish," indeed.

Why, with a good owner, you could do great things! With the state of the Kingdom, you might just manage to pull off a world-saving rescue! That'd shove you into Legendary for sure.

Coming to consciousness a little fuzzily, you awaken your senses to the area around you. Hmm. Nice workmanship on your new body. Sturdy sheath, looks like somebody pays attention to their weapons. Looking good so far. Let's take a look at your owner.

Oh, no. No way. Uhn-uh. Not a chance. There is no way that _you_ are going to put up with being wielded by _that_. He's completely anti-social, doesn't care about anything or anybody, and is just out for a buck. There have been some pretty decent mercenary swords in the past, sure, but that's just not _you_.

So, let's see what can be done about that, hmm?

Well, it seems you have the ability to turn invisible. That's rather handy. You can sense some other growing abilities that you imagine you'll be able to access soon, but you're still a little groggy from the soul-transference process.

Still, that can be dealt with later. At the moment, priority has to be given to finding a new person to wield you. Wait for the right moment... bingo. Invisible sword. Not here, really.

Time passes. Getting a little tired, you let the invisibility go. Looks like the bar you were in has emptied out, and there's just a single barwench cleaning up. She happens to pick you up, presumably to move you to somewhere out of the way, when you happen to get a sense of her heart and mind.

Wow. This girl has potential. Strong heart, smart, quick on her feet... not much training, admittedly, but you're confident you can make up for that. You're so happy with your find that you send telepathically - "Ah, that feels good. I can tell we're going to be quite a team."

The next thing you know, you find yourself wrapped in a towel and stored in a cupboard. If you had eyes, you'd certainly be blinking in surprise. You spend a few hours without much to do other than ponder this odd turn of events, when the cupboard opens. The barwench takes you out and examines you a little closer. You feel her extending her mind in a rough probe of you, presumably to make sure you're really there. "Ah," you think, "she's not used to intelligent items. I should tread softly." You let her know that yes, you are quite there, and quite intelligent.

"So what do you mean, 'a team'?" she asks suspiciously. "And I'll have you know that I'll use you for cooking for the rest of your life if you don't get a few ground rules. One, I'm in charge. Two, no smart ass comments. That's my job."

Oh, my. It appears Legendary might be a little harder to achieve than you had expected.

"Oh, no," you reply. "I know what your game is. You want me to pretend to be meek and submissive, but all the while be subtlely manipulating you to greatness. I won't let you off that easily; I wouldn't have said anything to you if I didn't think you were perfectly capable on your own. No, I intend to do exactly what you ask me to, except when it's an incredibly bad idea that's get you killed and me disembodied, and then I'll tell you exactly why. As for being a team, I should think that's pretty obvious. You grew up around here, so you know this country better than I do. You can also wield me; it's a bit difficult for a sword to get around on its own in these parts. On the other hand, I am an inherently magical object; as such, I'll wager I know and can manipulate the workings of magic in ways that you'd not be able to match. If we stick together, we might find both our paths to be much improved: and I'm talking about a happily-ever-after, fulfilled-her-hearts-desire, songs-that-are-sung-by-your-descendents-for-generations-to-come level, not just some piddly little thing. Interested?"

The barmaid spends a moment and thinks, and then replies, "Clearly I'm not the optimal apparent choice - I've handled skillets and kitchen knives in dire straits, but I'm not a swordswoman. You could have easily found someone much more qualified. Still, you probably have mysterious reasons of your own, so I'm willing to let it go at that."

She pauses for a moment again, and sighs.

"What have I got to look forward to here, anyway? A lifetime of mopping beer and dodging probing fingers? Memorizing fourth and fifth verses to the ever-present bawdy songs? My other 'weapons' will only be good for a few more years. How long before they start to sag and I'm outta luck?"

Well. A little more... earthy than you might have expected, for your first wielder, but she's certainly got spirit.

She seems to come to a conclusion, and nods at you. "Okay, but I need training. You don't get good at using a sword overnight, though I've known some men who seem to have that opinion of themselves. Training, on the other hand, can get tedious, and can involve things like pain and blisters. Still, I'm not about to go out and try to beat something up before I can at least look like I know what I'm doing."

And blessings of blessings, she's not suicidal or stupid. She doesn't seem to have the best of opinions regarding your powers, but that'll be fixed with a little experience.

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Last edited March 6, 2002 23:08 (diff)