E is for Embercleave

alphabet (e)Embereth, the red-aligned court of the Realm on the plane of Eldraine, exemplifies the virtue of Courage and is home to the legendary magical Irencrag. The court is romantic and elegant, and is known for its feasts, jousting contests and tournaments. To the locals, Embereth refers to the entire surrounding free city, while the large tournament complex some call a castle is known by its “true” name: The Burning Yard. The Burning Yard is a large collection of competition arenas, training rooms, and grandstands that hosts a never-ending tournament that features jousting, wrestling, horseback melee, one-on-one combat, archery, and other martial skills. Participation is open to all brave enough to enter.

“Courage is the only shield I need”.

The Burning Yard is built beside the Irencrag, a massive boulder glowing with volcanic heat. In order to become a knight of Embereth, an aspirant must first face the fear inspired by its red-hot surface in order to plunge their sword into the boulder. If they are truly courageous, they can pull their sword back out, but if they are cowardly or hindered by fear, the sword remains stuck in the Irencrag. The Irencrag speaks to aspiring knights in a voice only they can hear, often taunting them as a test of their courage. Occasionally, when the Irencrag finds a knight particularly worthy, it will bestow their sword with a legendary name, forever imbuing it with its power. One of these is the legendary magical sword Embercleave.

In place of a single ruler, Embereth has a ruling council made up of its knights and its noble class. Embereth’s knights are famously optimistic, singularly certain that anything is achievable so long as you face it head-on. They believe that courage is the highest virtue, as nothing done without bravery can truly be considered virtuous. They are particularly skilled at facing monstrous threats, but also undertake quests to conquer their own personal fears. Embereth knights never carry shields and often incorporate the broken shields of opponents into their armor. The elite knights ride giant lizards.

Mages who draw their power from the Irencrag must harness their emotions to wield it to its full potential. This often manifests as fire magic, but a rarer form of Embereth magic is “phobomancy,” the power to harness fear.

EmbercleaveIn Dungeons & Dragons

A mighty sword imbued with the power of fire is a Flame Tongue. Embercleave is much more than that: it embodies the value of courage held supreme by a knightly court. Also, it has flash (the MtG mechanic equivalent to a very high initiative).

Any sword can become an Embercleave. As a magic item, it becomes rare and it requires attunement by a knight of Embereth (this can be reflected by a specific background or by the paladin or fighter classes).

As its wielder, you can use a bonus action to speak this magic sword’s command word, causing it to appear in your hand if it’s within 60ft of you, flames erupting from the blade. While activated, the sword deals an extra 1d6 fire damage to any target it hits and you fight with ferocity and blinding speed. While holding the sword as long as it’s active, you gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on Dexterity checks and Dexterity saving throws.
  • You get a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls.
  • You can add your Dexterity bonus to your melee damage rolls.
  • You can do an extra melee attack to an enemy you have hit already the same turn.
  • You have immunity to fear effects.

Additionally, even when inactive, you have advantage on initiative checks as long as the sword is within your reach.

In Eberron

When placing Eldraine’s five knightly courts into Eberron context, I decided to do it long before the current date in the setting. Embereth was one of the courts in service of Galifer I, who founded the epynomous kingdom approximately a millennium ago.

The relics themselves are wonderful and mysterious items with immense magical power. However, little is known about them other than that they are the physical embodiment of each of the five virtues and possess the power to judge that virtue within individuals who appear before them. Nowadays, after the Last War is over and the Kingdom of Galifar is no more, what to the knights of Emebereth want? Who will they serve?

 


And you, how are you going to use such a brave sword? Are you ready to join the knights of the Kingdom of Galifar? What virtue prevails over the others for your character?

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