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    Canonfire :: View topic - About the nine swords of Kelanen
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    About the nine swords of Kelanen
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:22 am  
    About the nine swords of Kelanen

    Hi guys, I need some infos about the nine words crafted by Kelanen...
    Is there some book that describes them?
    I also need some historical news about these blades...
    thanks
    Smile
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    GreySage

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:41 am  

    1st edition Unearthed Arcana and 1st edition Temple of Elemental Evil, and given 3.5 stats in Dungeon #106. They're either called the Swords of Answering or the Final Word swords. There are nine of them: they were patterned after Fragarach the Answerer, which Kelanen wrested from a god of elsewhen.

    Their names are Answerer, Back-Talker, Concluder, Last-Quip, Rebutter, Replier, Retorter, Scather, and Squelcher. Each has a different alignment.

    Fragarach was the sword of Prince Thrommel of Furyondy until he was captured by the forces of Elemental Evil, upon which time Zuggtmoy's minions got a hold of it. If the sword is retrieved and given to Thrommel, he offers Scather to the PCs as a reward.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:58 am  

    Kelanen didn't originally create the final word swords, though I think he is being given credit for it now. It seems that any similarities either numerically or in appearance in Greyhawk MUST ALWAYS be attributed to each other. Confused And so it goes once again. The "final word" swords were originally from "elsewhen"- taken from real world myth actually. Kelanen’s holy symbol is now being attributed to the 9 swords that he supposedly made, rather than the 9 Tests he underwent to become an immortal.

    In The Temple of Elemental Evil, Prince Thrommel bears Fragarach "The Answerer", which is incorrectly listed as being of CG alignment which would shock the LG paladin Thrommel every time he touched it! Laughing You can find information on the "final word" swords in first The Temple of Elemental Evil(where there are 6), and secondly in the 1st edition Unearthed Arcana(where the number of swords grew to be 9). EGG probably revised the purpose of the blades, basing them on the 9 alignments instead, and changed the number accordingly. EGG is very good about answering people's questions, so you might try looking for a forum where he posts to get more info direct from the source.

    At any rate, if you choose to have Kelanen making the 9 blades, all of which are keyed to one of the 9 alignments, you might say that Kelanen imprisoned a being of each alignment in one of the swords for the purpose of "aiding the balance", however you choose to explain that. Irregardless, the individual blades serve only their own alignment.

    I personally prefer to view Kelanen’s holy symbol as representing what he stands for (mastery of the sword through the 9 Tests), not as representing something he made. It is of note that “It(Fragarach) was originally fashioned for a demi-god of elsewhen, and eventually passed into the World of Greyhawk Setting.” –ToEE. As Kelanen is from Greyhawk, this would disabuse the notion that he created Fragarach at the least, but could have patterned the other blades off of it. As some wish to ascribe the swords as originating from him(once again that numerical similarity thing in Greyhawk which CANNOT be deviated from), so there you have it.

    Edit: Dang! Rasgon beat me to it! Happy


    Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:05 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    As Kelanen is from Greyhawk, this would disabuse the notion that he created Fragarach at the least, but could have patterned the other baldes off of it.


    That's the take Living Greyhawk Journal #3 suggests: it says Kelanen wrested Fragarach the Answerer from an alien god, and forged the others.

    In IRC chat, Mortellan suggested that the "demigod of elsewhen" was Mayaheine. I think maybe it should be one of the immortal proxies (Evreth and Tchunim) of lost gods who dwell in the Last Spire in the outer planar waste of Pelion in the 2e adventure Dead Gods, as it seems like an appropriate place for a sword called "the Final Word."
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:00 pm  

    thank you guys!!
    Wink
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:57 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    In IRC chat, Mortellan suggested that the "demigod of elsewhen" was Mayaheine.


    What's that boy smokin'? Laughing Mayaheine was no demi-god when Pelor nicked her to be his servant in Greyhawk. Idle speculation. Idle speculation. Wink
    Forum Moderator

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    Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:14 pm  

    Well Frag' Mad

    Try this then....the alien god the sword was wrested from was of Olman or Touv origin.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:56 am  

    Quote:
    rasgon wrote:
    In IRC chat, Mortellan suggested that the "demigod of elsewhen" was Mayaheine.


    What's that boy smokin'? Mayaheine was no demi-god when Pelor nicked her to be his servant in Greyhawk. Idle speculation. Idle speculation.

    yes, in fact she was only a paladine... but maybe the world from which Mayaheine came could be same of that god...
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:22 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    Try this then....the alien god the sword was wrested from was of Olman or Touv origin.


    Shocked

    Now yer just plain talkin' crazy.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:40 pm  

    Eldiel wrote:

    yes, in fact she was only a paladine...


    Paladine? Now we're talking Krynn here...
    Laughing
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    Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:51 am  

    How have peoplr handled the 'aswering' ability handled in 3.5? I was thinking of giving wielders an attack of opportunity (possibly combined with True Strike?) against any one opponent who has hit them in that round. Same for Fragarach except the sword grants Combat Reflexes for the purposes of such opponents. These attacks do count against attacks of opportunity in the round.

    How have others converted this? Is there an 'official' conversion? I recall that Dantalion had one sword but don't remember what the description was or whether I liked it... Wink
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    Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:53 am  

    Excuse poor spelling and grammar! I'm typing one-handed while on hold at work!
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:25 am  

    As for me, I just decided to carry over the "always strikes last, but always hits any target that attacked the wielder" aspect of the sword. You still roll to hit, but only to see if it is a critical hit; otherwise the target is automatically hit if it attacked the sword wielder earlier in the round. A target that hasn't attacked the wielder is not auto-hit: roll to hit as normal.

    In our 1e ToEE campaign, there was character who wielded two weapons, one of which was a "final word" sword. The character struck in regular initiative order except for the "final word" sword which always struck last. Only the "final word" sword strikes last, not any other off-hand weapon. It is simple enough to do this in 3.5e as well. The "final word" sword strikes last in the initiative order, the other weapon strikes at the character's regular initiative order.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:44 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    How have peoplr handled the 'aswering' ability handled in 3.5? I was thinking of giving wielders an attack of opportunity (possibly combined with True Strike?) against any one opponent who has hit them in that round. Same for Fragarach except the sword grants Combat Reflexes for the purposes of such opponents. These attacks do count against attacks of opportunity in the round.

    I have seen it convereted (but not officially) by granting the wielder Combat Relfexes and Karmic Strike (a feat from Complete Warrior that allows you to take an AC penalty and get an attack of opportunity against anyone that makes a successful melee attack against you). If you wanted to tie the weapons more thematically with the nine alignments you might also want to make the weapons holy, unholy, anarchic, etc.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:58 pm  

    gargoyle wrote:
    Eldiel wrote:

    yes, in fact she was only a paladine...


    Paladine? Now we're talking Krynn here...
    Laughing


    Drat, I was going to post the same thing Happy
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    Thu May 31, 2007 2:04 am  

    Now having had a new look at this topic, I feel the additional 3 Answerer swords from UA were unnecessary for Kelanen's '9 sword symbol'. The 6 swords from TOEE, Fragarach and his personal swords, Swiftdoom and Sureguard make nine. Too easy?
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:43 pm  

    One thing I forgot to mention about converting the answerer swords to 3.5 was that the auto-hit function only applies up the maximum allowed attcks of the wielder. The sword is therefore much more dangerous in the hands of a higher level character with lots of attacks. You don't get any free attacks just because somebody swung a weapon at you. This is a very important distinction.

    One other thing that I don't like about Kelanen creating these swords is that Kelanen is about the Balance above all else, yet each of the answerer swords are aligned weapons. Yes, one might say that because each alignment is covered under the blades that this is representative of balance, but the Equalizer of the Gran March is much more about upholding balance than any of these blades. It would have been better to have had Kelanen creating 9 Equalizer type swords, as they only serve neutrality and not some drastic alignment like LG, LE, CG, or CE.

    I see Mort is still reaching at straws. Laughing
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    Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:28 am  

    Cebrion wrote:

    One other thing that I don't like about Kelanen creating these swords is that Kelanen is about the Balance above all else, yet each of the answerer swords are aligned weapons.


    Yes but if he wrested such a powerful sword from an alternate plane and brought it to Greyhawk wouldn't he want to bring things back into balance by allowing similar swords to be created for other alignments?
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:25 pm  

    See the latest WOG, as it illustrates the folly or your reasoning(somewhat). Happy http://www.greyhawkonline.com/wogcomic/title/wogstrip124a.htm

    People were trying to convince me last night on the chat that Fragarach is actually Chaotic Good, and that "The Answerer" is the Lawful Good sword- one of the 9 swords patterned after Fragarach. I know that Unearthed Arcana changed some minor points on the swords, but I also know that Temple of Elemental got the alignment of Fragarach wrong, and EGG admitted that this was missed in editing. The more important point is that Thrommel does not have in his possession "The Answerer", but Fragarach itself. And of course the only way a PALADIN could use Fragarach is if it wasn't Chaotic Good. So, I rightfully call Shenanigans against them all. That's what you get for taunting the RED PEN OF DOOM!!! Now I must think of a suitable torture for a cartoonist and a couple of other corroborators. Perhaps I will task them with writing something...

    Kelanen wouldn't make a bunch of swords that champion even the non- True Neutral partially neutral alignments, let alone four more that are diametrically opposed to his own goals of upholding The Balance. He would make a weapon like the Equalizer of the Gran March that opposes the non-True Neutral alignments (the more the target opposes The Balance, the stronger the weapon becomes). THAT should be the archetypal sword of Kelanen, as it actually represents his purpose. Kelanen doesn't come off as a meddler, which creating one sword for each alignment seems to be doing. Instead of one True Neutral variable that has the sole purpose of serving The Balance, let's create NINE variables, just to screw with things. Yes. That's a great idea. Happy

    With regard to these swords and Kelanen, somebody has been reading too many Fred Saberhagen novels and wanted to link them. One sword for each alignment. And what do you know? Kelanen’s symbol is a burst of 9 swords! It MUST be related!!! Shocked Whoever had the idea to link the swords to Kelanen had to also link the finding of Fragarach to him as well. It’s just a bad idea.

    Besides, there is another flaw in the whole reasoning.

    Let us say that Fragarach actually is Chaotic Good, and is the original and most power sword of this type. Then Kelanen made 9 additional lesser swords (one of each alignment) patterned off of it. See the flaw in the "Champion of Balance" Kelanen's actions? This is another HUGE reason why Kelanen making the swords does not make sense. I rest my case. Don't make me use the Chewbacca Defense.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:16 am  

    *has to stop laughing before he can post*

    sigh, okay...

    In the interest of avoiding the Red Pen of Doom I do not refute much of the Saberhageness of your rant. That was a very good observation. One side thing I will argue for arguing's sake is how a paladin can't use a CG sword. Why not? There's two assumptions in that statement I will shoot down. One, the only sword a paladin truly needs to be LG is a Holy Avenger (they are normal to anyone else) which Fragarach is surely not and Two the alignment conflict is only an issue if the sword wins an ego contest with the paladin thus forcing him to do something that will lose his paladinhood. That however is not a guarantee to happen either, CG isn't CN nor CE for Pelor's sake.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:46 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    In the interest of avoiding the Red Pen of Doom I do not refute much of the Saberhageness of your rant. That was a very good observation. One side thing I will argue for arguing's sake is how a paladin can't use a CG sword. Why not? There's two assumptions in that statement I will shoot down. One, the only sword a paladin truly needs to be LG is a Holy Avenger (they are normal to anyone else) which Fragarach is surely not and Two the alignment conflict is only an issue if the sword wins an ego contest with the paladin thus forcing him to do something that will lose his paladinhood. That however is not a guarantee to happen either, CG isn't CN nor CE for Pelor's sake.


    Rebuttal: Why not? You are perhaps not thinking in 1e or 2e terms. Here is a rather relevant quote from the 2e PHB:

    "Any character whose alignment does not correspond to that of the weapon, except as noted by the asterisk above, will sustain points of damage equal to the number of ego points (see Table 119) of the weapon. This damage is suffered every time (or for every round) the character touches any portion of the weapon unless the weapon is in the grasp or possession of a character whose alignment is compatible with the weapon."

    Thrommel would therefore be dead in short order, but it gets even better as this excerpt doesn't even need to be referred to, as there is something else oh so much better. Looking in ToEE under the Fragarach entry it says the following:

    "Any Lawful creature trying to grasp it (Fragarach) takes 1-6 points of damage and falls senseless for 1-10 rounds."

    No saving throw. Shocked

    No wonder Thrommel was such an easy mark for his kidnappers- he must have made the mistake of drawing Fragarach to defend himself!!! Laughing This is of course why it is such a glaring mistake in the ToEE, and why EGG owned up to it. You will note that this also makes your second point moot as well. :D

    You just had to go and poke the RED PEN OF DOOM!!! with that pointy stick now didn't you Mort? Laughing Laughing Laughing

    P.S.: The solution to the Fragarach alignment dilemma did appear in Oerth Journal #12 on page 8 in the Gary Gygax Q & A article:

    "Q: In T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil, Prince Thrommel,
    lawful good, is allowed access to Fragarach, a chaotic good
    sword of answering. The description of the sword indicates
    the Prince, not chaotically aligned, would be seriously
    harmed were he to grasp the sword. Was this simply an
    editorial blunder or a last jape by his kidnappers? If an error,
    was it the name of the sword or its alignment that was
    incorrect?
    A: It was an editorial error. The sword should have been designated
    as LG.
    "
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    GreySage

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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:02 am  

    Well, the whole link with Kelanen implies a few revisions:

    1. The true Fragarach is true neutral. If you assume it was created by Mannanan Mac Lirr (who is also true neutral), this is a necesary assumption.
    2. Thrommel had one of the lesser swords, not the true one. Most likely the lawful good one.
    3. Creating the lesser swords of answering was part of the test that Kelanen had to pass in order to become a quasi-deity. That is, he created them not because he was otherwise inclined to make aligned swords, but because doing so allowed him to become the Prince of Swords.

    This, as I said, requires revising the original ToEE text somewhat, but I think it's worth it to do so. The original text is, frankly, pretty lame.
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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:10 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    "Any character whose alignment does not correspond to that of the weapon, except as noted by the asterisk above, will sustain points of damage equal to the number of ego points (see Table 119) of the weapon. This damage is suffered every time (or for every round) the character touches any portion of the weapon unless the weapon is in the grasp or possession of a character whose alignment is compatible with the weapon."

    Thrommel would therefore be dead in short order, but it gets even better as this excerpt doesn't even need to be referred to, as there is something else oh so much better. Looking in ToEE under the Fragarach entry it says the following:

    "Any Lawful creature trying to grasp it (Fragarach) takes 1-6 points of damage and falls senseless for 1-10 rounds."


    Um...er...that's what laying on hands is for? AH hell I give up. Rasgon's summary works for me too.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:54 pm  

    The initial entry on Fragarach implies that it found its way to the World of Greyhawk, where it came into use. The sword's power became renowned, such that varied people created (what could only be) lesser copies of it.

    As to the blade's origin, Mananan made it and wielded it to a purpose, and then he gave it over to Lugh Lamfada(Cuchulain). A god of that power can certainly be immune to the effects of a weapon that they made. The blade's alignment is not a factor there in those original tales, as it doesn't have one. In the D&D sense, Cuchulain is an oath keeper, and ultimately good, though who knows what his AL is in the 1e Deities & Demigods. It is probably not Lawful Good, just because it would be inconvenient. Either way, it is Cuchulain who has Fragarach last, and when he bought the farm it somehow passed into Greyhawk. I'm fine just leaving it as having got to Greyhawk through unknown means rather than having Kelanen as the one to have cut down Cuchulain and brought it home as a trophy.

    As to the tests of Kelanen, I prefer the swords in the holy symbol to be representative of them, but nothing else. Also, I prefer that Kelanen is not a proxy or was even sponsored by a god(Boccob or otherwise). He did it on his own. He sought challenges to test himself to the utmost, and as he sought balance in all things he knew he must pass a test set forth for him by a representative minor power of each of the alignments. This also sort of emphasizes that Kelanen did not have achieving divine ascension as his goal- that just came along as a result of what he was doing to test himself. Also, it represents his questionable status as a god, which to me is appropriate as I don’t think any real sponsoring god worth their divinity would do such a half-assed job of things.

    The flaw that I left out of the comic is that 9 lesser copies were made of Fragarach. The 9 swords can be said to balance each other surely, but then you still have the more powerful Lawful Good Fragarach to screw that all up. The end result is, of course, a lack of balance. D'oh! :D This is yet another reason why the whole thing it doesn't make sense. Another point of note is in this original ToEE entry:

    OTHER SWORDS OF ANSWERING

    GP Sale Value: 50,000 XP Value: 10,000
    (plus scabbard: 16,000 gp)

    When Fragarach first came to the world, it received immediate attention and quick renown; so much so, in fact, that sic other swords like it were forged and enchanted. These are lesser weapons, of course, and their alignments vary. Each has a +2 bonus(and cannot hit opponents only struck by +3 or better weapons). On a natural “to hit” roll of 1, no bonus applies; on a natural 20 like their predecessor, the bonus is doubled( to +4). These lesser swords are identified by he differing gems set in the guard and pommel. They are reported to be amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, peridot, topaz, and tourmaline stones, with combined value of about 24,000 gp per weapon, 16,000 per scabbard. These weapons are named Rebutter, Scather, Replier, Retorter, Squelcher, and Back-Talker, in honor of Fragarach.

    So, you can see that it is more than implied that the sword came to Greyhawk, a bunch of folks heard lots about it, and a bunch of mortals made up the lesser copies- not Kelanen. The Kelanen link is just a completely screwed up retcon very worthy of being ret-conned itself. It would seem that it was SKR who penned this into Kelanen's background, as it appears in the Living Greyhawk Journal #3 for the first time as far as I know. The quote is as follows:

    "His myths say that he discovered the resting place of three of the swords known as the Pillars of Heaven, and that he wrested the now-lost blade Fragarach from an alien god. He created the legendary "final word" swords, from which his holy symbol (nine swords in a star shape, points outward) is derived."

    The simple retcon is to just alter the above to read as follows:

    "His myths say that he discovered the resting place of three of the swords known as the Pillars of Heaven."

    As to the original ToEE entry for Fragarach, the properly edited version reads as follows:

    FRAGARACH

    GP Sale Value: 90,000 XP Value 18,000
    (plus scabbard value: 35,000 gp)

    This hefty steel broadsword bears a mighty enchantment. It was originally fashioned for a demi-god of elsewhen, and eventually passed into the World of Greyhawk Setting. It served well for a short time, all too soon falling into the hands of the minions of Chaotic Evil. It has been in their grasp for a decade or more, resting in hiding in the Temple of Elemental Evil, guarded by the worst of elemental grues. Fragarach means “The Answerer.”

    The sword is of Lawful Good alignment. Any Chaotic creature trying to grasp it takes 1-6 points of damage and falls senseless for 1-10 rounds. A Neutral creature holding it only takes 1-3 points and swoons for 1-4 rounds. In evil hands Fragarach has no “to hit” bonus whatsoever; in Lawful Neutral hands, it will strike but one opponent per round. The word functions perfectly only or a lawful Good user. In such hands, its +4 bonus always operates, and it will strike as many opponents unerringly as have struck at its possessor. Fragarach always hits all such targets, the +4 pertaining to additional damage only. Note, however, that The Answerer always strikes last in a melee round. Against evil opponents, the bonus doubles(to +8) whenever a natural 20 is rolled for “to hit” determination.

    The sword has a hilt of silver and gold wire, most cunningly wrought. Its guard and pommel are set with perfect emeralds(corundum)- 7 gems, total value 65,000 gp. Its scabbard is likewise trimmed with many gems of green and golden hue, worth another 35,000 gp.
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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:24 pm  

    Alright, I have listened to it all, and I like the following: Kelannen is the prince of swords because he is the best with a sword, and expects his adherents to be. Period. Frag et. al., are later additions to his myth and power. He did not create them, nor are they tied to him. He is just a interesting corralary of the story. Kelanen (in my game) likes the ability to use a sword, not a really powerful sword.

    So, what is the Chewbacca defense?
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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:56 pm  

    After reading all this can anyone else picture Iuz offering one of the magic sword to a prisoner and possible freedom only to cackle as the desperate prisoner swoons.

    Iuz; who should I "free" today, it is so hard to find amusement when you are a demi-god.
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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:46 pm  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    So, what is the Chewbacca defense?


    OK, you asked or it.

    ***Cebrion casts ressurection on Johnnie Cochran***

    Johnnie Cochran: Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, Mortellen’s attorney Rasgon would certainly want you to believe that his client is correct about Kelanen making the “final word” type swords and Fragarach being Chaotic Good. And they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself! But, ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca (points to illustration on poster board). Chewbacca is a Wookie from the planet Kashyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

    Rasgon: Damn it!

    Mortellen: What?

    Rasgon: He's using the Chewbacca Defense!

    Johnnie Cochran: Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending Fragarach not being Chaotic Good and that Kelanen has nothing to do with the “final word” type swords, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

    Wikipedia has a nice explanation of the orign of the Chewbacca Defense.
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    Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:34 pm  

    "Droids don't pull your arms out of the socket when they lose."
    "I suggest a new strategy, let the Wookie win."
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