Flame tongue swords are among the most iconic weapons in the game. Swords of fire and flame, many have been wielded by brave adventurers in their battles against evil.
Sadly, though, flame tongues are often described as nothing more than “a flame tongue,” when they fall into the PCs’ hands. This is a huge missed design opportunity. I’ve talked before about why you should design unique treasures for your campaign, and the same is doubly true for legendary items such as a flame tongue.
Thus, find presented below five flame tongues suitable for insertion in your campaign today. Use the descriptions below as a starting point; adapt and expand upon them as you see fit, so they add depth and flavour to your campaign.
Flame of Arndul
Tiny engraved images of leaping flames decorate this sword’s blade and its hilt is wrapped in some kind of well worn, ancient leather.
- Wielded Power: Writhing flames coil and writhe about this sword’s blade when it is drawn.
- Background: Remnant of a fallen kingdom, the Flame of Arndul has been wielded by kings and champions alike. It has been lost man times, but eventually it makes its way back into the hands of a hero of good.
- Rumour: The blade has other unique powers and it could harbour the soul of a powerful servant of good.
This sword’s blade is of black steel. The subtle smell of cinders hangs in the air about the weapon.
- Wielded Power: When wielded the sword’s blade bursts into leaping, incandescent flame and the faint sound of screams fills the air.
- Background: Forged in the dark years of the orc incursions, Nightbane was ever in the vanguard of the fight. The orcs know it as the “Scalding Flame” and fear it. Carried by the hero Praen Sirett during the final battles it was buried with him after he succumbed to his wounds. Twenty years ago, his tomb was broken into and the sword stolen.
- Rumour: Agents in the pay of an orc chieftain Narrel stole Nightbane, but they betrayed their patron and sold the blade to an unknown third party. The orcs yet search for the blade. Narrel wants the sword so be can destroy it and in doing so forge an alliance with other tribes. Nightbane’s destruction could give Narrel the political power to trigger a new orc incursion.
Twelve small rubies set in a spiral adorn the pommel of this slender longsword. Its blade sheds light as a candle.
- Wielded Power: When it injures a foe, the sword’s light momentarily dims as the target is scorched and burnt by the sword’s fiery power.
- Background: Glimmerdoom’s exact origin is lost in the depths of time, but its slender, subtly curved blade hints at an elven provenance.
- Rumour: Glimmerdoom was forged by the ancient elves for use against their black-hearted cousins, the drow. It was carried for centuries by their champions before it was lost in battle. Since then, the elves have lamented the blade’s loss.
Etched with eldritch runes of Abyssal power, this dull gray blade seems to suck in the light from the surrounding area.
- Wielded Power: Wreathed with invisible flames when drawn, an aura of heat surrounds Night Terror.
- Background: Forged in the depths of the Abyss and gifted to many mortal champions of evil Night Terror has slain both celestial and mortal enemies. Currently wielded by the antipaladin Ekur Lagash, many good aligned faiths would like to see the sword either destroyed or reconsecreted as a weapon of good.
- Rumour: Night Terror was forged in the Abyss and quenched in the blood of an angel. Only the willingly given heart blood of a demon can destroy the blade.
This sword comprises nothing more than a battered hilt and a stub of melted steel.
- Wielded Power: When drawn in anger, the melted sword blade transforms into a blade of leaping, living flame.
- Background: Named For its ability to incinerate its foes, Wildfire is famed as the weapon that slew the white wyrm Lothhlauth. Wielded by such heroes as Atro Laitnen and Viivi Varala, it hung for a while in the throne room of the frost giant jarl Hruthgar. When he was slain by a decade ago, Wildfire disappeared and has not been seen in the lands of men since.
- Rumour: Legends cluster thickly about Wildfire. Many believe it was the personal weapon of some elemental or otherworldly being and that its creator’s power still lurks within its blade.
Submit Your Own Flame Tongue
Why not add to the list above by posting your own flame tongue in the comments below and help your fellow GMs add unique, flavoursome weapons to their campaign today!