Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Axiels von Gerick, Jul 23, 2018.
Needing some ideas about holy swords/weapons and powers that they can unleash
Well, try to start with something to fit your particular world. What are the Holy Orders that deal with such fearsome weapons? Is there any taboo on the holy ones spilling blood, thus bringing in blunt weapons? What are the gods of the paladins and other holy warriors that wield them like? Do you want lances that shoot holy light in a laser beam sort of thing or a weapon that's holy power melts faces or a holy knife of healing (by way of stabbing) or a golden cup filled with a holy warriors blood of which they drink and gain the saints powers?
It's all sort of vague with the question, so more questions.
Or do you want a holy relic that smites the sinners and cries with the saints.
The questions I would start to ask would be about all the stuff that would be behind the sword that brought it about. Such that, it would seem some deity or deities found need to fashion it, and they must have had a purpose. Why let it loose into the world of mortals unless it is to serve that purpose? What problem was it meant to solve? What would the nature of the deity's blessing upon it be? And what is required of a wielder to wield it?
If the deity is wanting mankind to struggle and solve their own problems, but finds they need a nudge in the right direction, I would think its power would be limited. If, on the other hand, the deity was actively solving problems, it might be extremely powerful (but then, why have a weapon when one can act in person?) So I would work out what is the real purpose of this? What role does divine magic and interference play in the world, and why? How did it come to be, and who was it meant for?
Further, I might also explore what is the reaction of others to it. If it was created to destroy Sauron, for instance, what would Sauron do about it?
In my current WIP, and holy weapon plays a prominent role. In my case, it is very powerful. I took the approach that the deity behind it, having near unlimited power, and finding itself in a position of becoming known, was not bound by limitation as to what 'miracles' it might provide. So the weapon can become what is needed. There are limits upon it though, the wielder of the sword has fear of using it, and is themselves limited, and does not understand the limits of their own faith, or even what it means to decide to be on this side or that. The story features a great deal about the relationship between the two. The weapon is truly not needed, its just a vehicle by which things happen and interaction takes place. That was my choice. But it could just as easily have been something much weaker, a cup that cured the sick, or a beads that gave off light. To those without magic or miracles, that would seem miraculous enough.
Man, you guys are no help. This guy just wants some superpowers for his swords and you guys start throwing questions at him.
This is the reason why I rarely ask for advice/ideas on this forum.
Anyways, the "sword beams" or a sword having the ability to shoot lightning or fire common for magic swords but it's also pretty video game-y.
I really like the idea of swords that can restrain themselves. Like they can only hurt certain people but are completely incapable of cutting others.
Maybe a sword that has a blade that infects people with some kind of disease but that's not really "holy".
I guess I'll point-out now that "holy", in addition to meaning "sacred", means to be incorruptible . So, a sword that can not be tarnished physical or be used for evil would make sense for the moniker "holy sword".
Maybe the sword can have some non-combat uses such as emitting light in darkness or warmth in cold. So, when the knight is in the woods in the dead of night, he just sticks his sword in the ground and it acts as a campfire. That might be a nice little scene to demonstrate the power of this sword.
So, that's all I got off the top of my head.
Well, I disagree with the assessment that we are no help, but mileage may vary, and I hope you don't really feel that way, if advice is needed, then I would hope you would ask.
Generally, when one asks a question and is returned with more questions, it is an indication that the original question was too broad, and forum members found it too hard to focus their comments. But, the answers given are not necessarily designed to give out a fish, but rather to teach one to fish. So yeah, I could lay out powers. Beams of light that disintegrate undead, by touch it heals the pure and slays the damned, it resonates with the sound of the music of the angels and inspires all around it to fight the good fight, it cures disease and sickness to all who behold, it causes instant change of heart in all demons it strikes <--there are some. But a random assortment of powers is not the challenging part of telling stories. If that is the question, then I think something is off in the approach to story telling. And so I am trying to steer them into a thing that I think will make them better at it, and not just leave them as they are. I could be way off, and its not helpful at all, but I have a suspicion, if you see the bunch of questions and draw from that that this is a not a place from you, you probably are not ready to be a writer.
So the communication is a two way street, what got posted drew return questions. If that misses the mark, then there is a disconnect between what is being asked, and what is being returned. In that case, something ought to be clarified. In my view, the question in the original post does not provide sufficient substance to let me know that a list of random powers is the best answer.
Sorry if that turns out to be no help, but I tried.
Even with your answers, it still does nothing to actually help that he couldn’t have accomplished on his own by asking the same questions we just asked. Besides a holy sword could be one that could smite the world or heal a person. And the proper power depends on the story to be told and we don’t know that so can’t give anything besides generic and unhelpful responses.
Essentially, the list of attributes and powers is potentially infinite. It's whatever you want, what works in your world, what will best make your story what you want the story to be—and it could be just about anything, depending on these things.
Just for instance, the "holiness" might depend greatly on the type of religion that exists in that world, the sorts of gods revered by the people. The corresponding powers will also probably depend on this.
A little more info about your world, your story, and the kinds of ideas you've already considered might help us brainstorm with you.
It is a bit broad, which I felt like mentioning in the first post. Without knowing more of the world and the deities in it, holy swords and weapons come up as all sorts as has been pointed. And I ask to find out more and maybe work something out for him. Otherwise might just end up with a +2 Broadsword that does Holy Damage to Evil Aligned creatures and people.
Could summon angels
That'll end the battle right quick. I'd think of that as the sort of the nuclear option depending on the class of angel involved. End of the world? Use the Holy Sword.
Heh, these made me think of a workaround.
Let's say that the general plot, milieu, etc., is that the world is being overrun by demonic beings and monsters. The angels and whatever passes for Heaven in that world keep these demonic forces at bay just by existing. This would be something like a passive effect. The demonic beings still cause mayhem on the world below, but their ability to cross the threshold leading to world domination is limited.
Now, give the MC a holy sword that can summon angels. Let's say, when the going gets very tough, he summons an angel to fight whatever demonic being surround him. BUT, there's always a chance that the angel will be slain by the demonic forces in that battle. So now there's a quandary. Even the loss of one angel could unbalance the equilibrium. Let's say angel's don't reproduce; there are a limited number. Unlike the demonic beings.
So each use of the sword in a way may weaken Heaven and be counterproductive to the long goal.