Demon Sword of the Dark Warrior: The Soul Devourer
As you can probably tell, this isn’t the weapon for your typical goody-two-shoes knight in shining armor. The elaborate design of the Soul Devourer sword is also clearly fantastical, rather than being based in history. So, this is an ideal piece for either displaying as part of a collection, or as part of a costume for a fantasy LARP event or Cosplay.
If you lean towards collecting fantasy weapons, you’ll be pleased to see that this sword comes with a wooden plaque which is designed to hang the sword up on the wall. If you want a weapon for part of a costume, this will also work very well, especially for certain outfits and characters.
The Soul Devourer isn’t from any specific fantasy work, which means that it can work for any generic evil sword-wielding characters. Sorcerers, dark knights, and otherworldly creatures alike may well wield a weapon such as this. However, it can work for some specific Cosplays as well.
Whether you want a display piece or a weapon to carry, the Soul Devourer will easily stand out from the crowd. The handle, available in shiny gold or dark grey, is definitely distinctive. The guard is adorned with an aggressive and intimidating horned ram skull design, which features some finer detailing.
The grip is textured with a diagonal spiral, which is shaped to allow for your hand. The handle is then topped by a unique spiked pommel. The textured grip itself accommodates one hand, but you could probably use the elongated pommel to grip hold the sword with both.
The unique design doesn’t end there. The blade of this sword is wide and has two sets of parrying spikes near the guard. Between these spikes, the blade is wrapped with black fabric that features a golden design. The blade is also etched with golden fantasy script that flows down to the lower set of parrying spikes. Other than these more unusual design features, the blade itself is polished to a mirror finish. It is long and relatively straight, with a deep fuller than runs down most of the length of the blade.
Overall, this is an impressive sword which looks great either hung on a wall or strapped to your back or waist.
Fantasy Swords: Enchanted and Cursed Blades
As we well know, swords and fantasy go together like cheese and crackers. Or peanut butter and jelly. You get the point; they work very well together. Fantasy does feature other weapons, but swords are by far the most common.
There are a few suggested reasons for this tendency in fantasy. It could be because swords were commonly status symbols in medieval times. Older fantasy works often featured lords and kings who wielded swords and perhaps the trend has continued. Or maybe swords are just cool.
In any case, swords are a fixture in fantasy. Generally, these fantasy swords are more elaborately designed than their historical counterparts. Fantasy swords are also often magical, either through an enchantment or a curse.
Magical swords are associated with both heroes and villains in fantasy, although they’re usually used by powerful characters. There are too many possible enchantments and curses to list, but we’re going to look specifically at life/soul draining swords.
This feature is usually considered a curse, but sometimes it’s a simple enchantment. This generally depends on the effect that it has on the user. Some swords drain the life of those it is wielded against or eats their souls or something. Other swords drain or corrupt the user, granting great power in exchange.
These swords are typically used by evil characters or are evil themselves. Sometimes the sword is cursed and turns the character evil, or the character was evil to begin with and uses the sword to empower themselves. As always, this isn’t a rule. But even if the character isn’t explicitly evil, they’re not likely to be a shining paragon.
Let’s look at a few examples of swords which have this enchantment/curse in fiction and see how they have been used and characterised. Again, there are so many other examples, but we can see the huge differences in how this magic can be used.
Frostmourne: The Cursed Sword of the Lich King
The World of Warcraft (WoW) universe is one of incredible magnitude, including years of lore and history and dozens of different races. This world was originally created, unsurprisingly, for the video games set in the WoW universe, although literature and even a film has sprung out from this world.
Specifically, we’re going to focus on the lore surrounding Frostmourne, an ancient and powerful longsword. It was a famous runeblade, which simply refers to a blade inscribed with magical runes. These blades were rare and very powerful, especially by the time period that we’re most familiar with.
The hilt of Frostmourne is very similar to the design of the Soul Devourer sword, featuring a ram’s skull adorned with fearsome horns. However, the blade is generally depicted as being blue, probably from the unearthly glow of the magical runes that give it its power.
Frostmourne was a cursed sword with incredible powers. Specifically, it had the ability to drain the life of those it slew as well as draining the souls of anyone connected to it, wielders and victims alike. It is linked to the Lich King, who can use it to communicate with the wielder and spy through them. In this way, the wielder is corrupted by the blade and the Lich King.
So, Frostmourne is an example of an evil sword which is wielded by an evil person, whether they are evil to begin with or are turned evil by the sword’s influence. Eventually, the wielder will become undead, and their soul and consciousness will be drawn into the sword.
Most famously, this process happened to a character called Arthas Menethil, a crown prince. Arthas was every bit the good prince, trained as a paladin and sworn to the protection of his people. One of the things he had to contend with was the plague of undeath unleashed upon his home by the Lich King.
Arthas turned to more and more desperate measures to help his people. This even included purging entire cities. Eventually, he discovered a powerful but cursed artifact and saw it as his last hope. This artifact was Frostmourne.
With Frostmourne, he finally had the power to stop the power behind this plague. Unfortunately, he soon lost his mind and joined the very forces that he had sworn to defeat. Arthas’s fall continued unabated, as he murdered his own father. Arthas also lost both his humanity and soul to Frostmourne, finally merging with the Lich King and ruling over the Scourge.
Arthas was defeated when Frostmourne was shattered, releasing all of the souls that it had captured. These restrained Arthas, allowing him to be killed. He died apparently as himself, expressing relief for his death.
Unfortunately for him, Arthas was ultimately held responsible for his crimes as the Lich King and was condemned to an eternity of suffering. Whether he deserved this fate or not is hotly debated.
Stormbringer: The Black Blade
Michael Moorcock was a prolific author who was best known for writing a series of fantasy novels following a character called Elric of Melniboné. Elric was an emperor who had albinism, as well as several other health problems. He was weak and sickly, requiring a constant cocktail of drugs and potions to keep going.
However, Elric was an incredibly gifted sorcerer and an emperor, so was no stranger to power. When a rival attempted to murder him, it actually started a series of events that led to Elric and his cousin encountering two runeswords, Stormbringer and Mournblade.
Elric took up Stormbringer and soon discovered that it was more than just a sword. It urged Elric to take his cousin’s soul, demonstrating both its main ability and its strange intelligence. Over time, Elric grew to both hate and depend on Stormbringer, continuing to wield it.
This is a case of a primarily good character wielding an arguably evil weapon. Elric is heroic, but it becomes evident that Stormbringer is not. It is a massive black zweihander, etched with strange ruins and wreathed in strange light and fire. The hilt of this sword features a large eye. Even the design screams evil.
Along with devouring souls and having a less than charming personality, Stormbringer can levitate, create portals, and even kill gods. Most usefully to Elric, it can grant him strength, allowing him to live without his usual medications. Less usefully, it tends to kill and draw the soul of his loved ones, regardless of his wishes.
Stormbringer has been characterised as a force of chaos and a force of great evil. It drives most wielders to murderous insanity, although Elric was apparently able to master and restrain it. To an extent. Eventually, Elric himself was devoured by Stormbringer.
Nightblood: Destroyer of Evil
Brandon Sanderson is a fantasy and sci-fi author who, among other works, is famous for his massive, interconnected universe of the Cosmere. This universe contains several worlds, each with distinct magic systems that draw from the same force, known as Investiture.
Anyway, we’re going to be looking at a sword that is found mostly in the Warbreaker book, although the interconnected nature of these stories does mean that it could pop up in other books within the Cosmere. This sword is called Nightblood.
Nightblood is described as being completely black, including both the blade and the hilt. The blade itself is a double edged straight blade, which is very long and thin. It is heavier than it looks when sheathed. Nightblood is contained within an aluminium scabbard which clasps shut, preventing the sword from being easily drawn.
Like some other life draining swords, such as Frostmourne, Nightblood has a distinct personality. However, this personality isn’t evil. In fact, Nightblood was designed to destroy evil, which continues to be its primary purpose. Unfortunately, as a sword, Nightblood is somewhat childlike and doesn’t understand what evil actually is.
One of the most notable abilities of Nightblood is how it affects other people. It categorises people as either “good” or “evil”. Those who are good or are pure and have no desire to use Nightblood for evil, feel nauseous around the sword and are repulsed by it, sometimes vomiting when they touch it.
However, those who are evil are drawn to Nightblood, seeking to possess it no matter what. When they have Nightblood, they are overcome with bloodlust and murder anyone nearby before ramming the still-sheathed weapon into their own bodies, committing suicide.
As it’s included here, Nightblood has life or soul draining properties. When sheathed, it enhances the wielder to an extent, especially when the clasp is undone. This effect becomes more pronounced as the blade is unsheathed. Even to those it drives to madness, we see that it grants the victim enough strength to drive the sword, sheath and all, into their own chests.
When drawn completely, it bonds to the wielder and grants immense power while consuming Investiture from the wielder at a rapid rate and spewing black smoke. This smoke is the investiture stolen from previous victims. While it does this, it causes extreme pain and blackens the body of the wielder, as it draws more and more Investiture. When the Investiture runs out, it kills the wielder. For a non-magic user, this usually means instant death.
As a sword, Nightblood is incredibly powerful and can cut through near enough anything, but the danger of using it is extreme. While it isn’t evil in itself and can’t be used by an evil character, it is undoubtedly deadly and has a dark side.
The technical specifications of the Soul Devourer sword are as follows:
- Blade Material: Stainless steel with mirror polished finish, fabric wrap
- Overall Length: 43.5 inches or 110.5 cm
- Handle Colour: Gold with black grip or charcoal grey with black grip
- Wall Plaque: Wood. Hardware included.