SLL: Maul of Eightfold Miseries
Legend tells us the Maul of Eightfold Miseries was wrought in the glorious prehistoric days of Old Habadad, centuries before the founding of Ka-Rone, not as a functional instrument of war, but was a symbol of temporal authority. For an indeterminate number of years it was held in succession by the viceroys of Quarry Island, until the giants conquered that land early in the conflict with Habadad. During the chaos of battle, the Maul was lost, and thought destroyed by the aristocrats of Quarry Island, to spite their new overlords.
The Maul reappeared centuries later, as part of the Tithe of 843, and (along with divers other relics) interred in the vaults beneath the Tower of Tongues. Agents of the Empire of Perfection stole the Maul during the Last War, but it was again lost during the First Dissolution, most likely spirited south to a cache in the Storm Peaks.
Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp, the Unifer, Eighth and Final Prefect, carried the Maul of Eightfold Miseries into battle during the campaigns of reconquest, though it never wielded the thing, favoring rather its athame. After the capture of the Citadel of Rosepetals, Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp turned the item over to its lieutenant Ith’rr Rith’rr, who led the newly-minted Prefect’s army into the Arid Hills and smashed the symbols of state. After Ith’rr Rith’rr’s death, the Maul was sent with his body back to the Citadel of Rosepetals, where today it is kept under lock and guard against the day it will be needed once more.
A long-handled hammer, shaft of gold and head of gem-crusted platinum, the Maul is useless as a conventional weapon. Its power lies in the Eightfold Miseries stored within it, which are unleashed at the whim of its bearer. First is the Misery of Heartbreak; the Maul smashes what once was loved. Second is the Misery of Treason; the Maul smashes what once was loyal. Third is the Misery of Violence; the Maul smashes the pure and the peacable. Fourth is the Misery of Enervation; the Maul smashes what once held strength. Fifth, sixth, and seventh are the Tripartite Miseries of Greed, Despair, and Fear; to experience these miseries is to lose all faith. Eighth and greatest is the Misery of Alienation; the Maul smashes that part of the self which felt kinship with other living things.
During the reconquest of the Arid Hills, the warrior Wolves Run in Packs/They Know the Truth/None Exists Alone (called Pack-Runner) felt the sting of the Maul and lay in delerium for two days before succumbing to death. Her son Dark-Tidings recalled some few of her words:
“I see you, child, and I know that once I would have died to protect you, but I don’t know why. Did you enchant me? You are weak and perhaps I could break you to my will, if I could but stand. But maybe you hide something — maybe I should submit to you. I must protect myself from the things outside. The rain burns me; which enemy sent the rain?”
SEE ALSO the Citadel of Rosepetals, Ithirr Rithirr, Yellow Teeth Remain Sharp
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