Feram's Leech

I'd often wondered if it was possible to build a full-scale sword that would be sturdy enough to handle. From hilt to tip I stacked three rows of 1x16 Techic beams. Both sides are held in place by 2x2 plates with the half friction peg on the bottom. I used every one of these in my collection to make sure the model would be strong, yet still retain some flexibility. The edges of the hilt guards are held together with droid arms.

* This is also the first MOC where I've written a backstory about the model. It's a totally shameless rip-off on Tolkien, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!

* Of special significance is that this model was featured in my 5 minutes of cable fame on the Home & Garden channel's show "Ultimate Collector's", which aired Saturday, May 24th, 2003.

In the beginning, men lived in a dream of peace and beauty. Every day was as fair as the one before, the world was filled with beautiful flowers of every scent and hue, the air was as crisp and clear as water from a mountain stream, and the trees grew to great, magnificent heights, scraping the very clouds from the sky. Everywhere there were wondrous miracles of nature's beauty to behold. However, balance had yet to come to this idyllic time. For this paradise of pleasure did not inspire men to seek knowledge and preserve it for future generations. They built no great structures of marble learning, and instead spent their days singing and playing and dreaming.

Meanwhile, beneath their dancing feet, the stagnation of their ignorance bred its own evil, and dark and terrible things began to grow and propagate in the obsidian bowels of the earth. Horrible, noisome creatures quivered and slavered in the shadows, waiting for their time to rise. Only one man perceived that todays dreams would give way to tomorrows nightmares. The first (and only!) scholar and sorcerer, Feram, prophesied that the world would soon undergo a terrible time of testing between the forces of light and darkness. Easily swayed by the rose-scented breezes and the dreamy haze before their eyes, men naysayed this frightening fortune and ignored Feram's warning.

Angry that men would not heed his words until their wet, crimson blood spilt out onto the soft, emerald grass of their own gardens, Feram began to prepare for the coming of the shadow. Far away and deep in his mountain hold, Feram's powerful magic was such that he was able to capture the first of the broken-tusked beasts that dared to venture forth from the deep tunnels in the mountains. Furious at the scoffing of his prescient powers, Feram in his infamy sought to create a weapon that could tip the balance of the coming battle, depending upon whose hands or claws grasped its hilt. Made from the bones and teeth of these first horrors and imbued with their ravenous thirst for blood, Feram created the Leech and set it loose upon the world.

Part sword, part mace, Feram's Leech conveyed upon whomever grasped it a powerful strength and an almost overwhelming desire for battle. Most terrible of all, the demon bones that lay within it not only drew the blood from the slain, but drained their life essence through its blade and from its hilt into the very soul of its wielder. With each kill, whomever held Feram's Leech would grow madder with bloodlust until, bereft of opponents, the wielder would turn the Leech upon themselves so that the gushing, coppery ecstasy of liquid life would continue to flow and the Leech could pass to a new servant.

Though men were slow to awaken from their visions of endless beauty, they soon gathered great armies under many kings and rallied magnificently to drive the nightmarish hordes back to the deep. On the many fields of countless broken bodies, Feram's Leech went from hand to claw and back to hand again. Then it mysteriously disappeared. Fearing that Feram had regained his terrible weapon and would use it for his own twisted purposes, the armies of men stormed Feram's mountain fortress and finally overcame him in his deepest chamber, where the terrible weapon had been forged. Yet, the Leech itself could not be found, and with Feram slain, there was no way to know where it had gone. Only the tools and other obscenities Feram had used in the forging remained to hint at the great evil that now lay hidden somewhere, waiting to cleave and drink its way through the world again. For generations afterward, the question haunted seer and believer alike: What happened to the Leech?

Many centuries later, a sheepherder was collecting his strays for the yearly wool harvest in an area of the mountains near his new home that he'd never been to before. Caves were common here, and since Yavel was born and raised in the land of mountains, he explored them all since they sometimes yielded a spring that could carry an entire flock through a dry year. To his delight, that is exactly what he found, though as he explored along the subsequent stream, it mysteriously vanished underneath a wall that Yavel knew instantly was not a natural formation. Forgetting his strays and the spring, Yavel got out the hammer and chisel he used to mark his land and set to work. His excitment rose as each stone fell away for Yavel knew that ancient tombs were sometimes found here, yielding great riches. Inside, he did indeed discover the tomb of a long dead king, but the riches that lay within were of a decidely different kind.

The hastily hidden grave was that of Marse, one of the many kings who had rallied to drive the darkness back in the great battle many now regarded as legend, and even this many lifetimes later, he was still remembered as the king who despised magic. However, this is exactly why he was chosen to lead the main surge of the last battle against the dreaded army and why he dared to engage in single combat with the leader in whose ghastly talons Feram's Leech was clutched. Yet none of the other kings would have dared guess as to the true motives behind Marse's seemingly heroic actions. The toothsome demon leader and Marse clashed and raged their way away from the front, with the tide of battle roaring past them, until they were fighting alone, isolated specks in the gray afterdust of the battlefield.

Marse finally succeeded in hewing the Leech from the arm of his foe and then finished him. The demon sword lay at his feet, the claws still tightly gripping the hilt. Marse then took the Leech deep into the mountains and carried out his secret oath to contain the evil weapon until such time that it could destroyed and the evil banished forever. He almost succeeded. For though Marse hated magic and sorcery, he was still not able to escape the seduction of the Leech, and the sight that greeted Yavel's eyes as light spilled into the tomb was enough to drive him all the way home on bloody heels without a single thought of his flock or the wonderful spring he had found.

There on the floor lay the corpse of Marse, his rusted armor still clinging valiantly in some places to protect him from dangers unseen. Yet there could be no protection from the inner demons of temptation, for just as Marse had finished sealing his tomb, the Leech finally overcame him and the lust for blood was ignited again. Having no opponents, Marse had turned the Leech on himself and still lay there, doubled over in suicidal agony. However, Marse had made a critical mistake, and even Feram could not have foreseen the abomination that would follow.

Though Marse's self-inflicted wound was mortal, he had kept his hands on the Leech's hilt and begun to drain his own waning lifeforce back into himself, replenishing him, even though he lay dying. Even after his spilt blood had dried and his skin had shrunk and his linens had turned to dust, even after over four hundred years, Marse was still not finished dying. However, it was not the sight of the impaled body that frightened Yavel half out his mind. It was when the silence of the tomb was shattered by two sounds. The first was Yavel's terror-stricken gasp as the other hand of the corpse that was not still grasping the sword's hilt rose and reached for him. The second was the hollow clattering of the undead horror's dusty bones as it struggled to rise and crawl towards him.

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