A Vorpal Sword is a powerful weapon that grants extensive additional power to a heroic warrior, as well as putting even an unskilled fighter on par with a skilled soldier.

These enchanted blades have a long history, generally cropping in tales of monstrous incursions. The best known name originates from the obscure Varushkan vale of Vorpa, where according to legend, such a blade was used to slay a poorly defined but vicious monstrosity, the nature of which changes with every teller of the tale. In the Brass Coast, the stories speak of an axe with similar powers being used to slay an enormous dire ostrich, while the Marchers tell of a magical hammer which was used to crack the skull of an enormous weasel plaguing Upwold. The wealth of such stories has made it common practice to work parts of terrible and exotic beasts into the weapon, possibly as a hilt or haft, to draw upon the blade’s legend.

These fanciful tales mask the very real uses of Vorpal Swords throughout Imperial history. A skilled and spirited warrior armed with a Vorpal Sword can cut through lesser folk with terrifying ease. The Marcher general Tom Drake is said to have wielded one when he confronted and slew the tyrant boyar Alderei the Fair. During the invasion of Kahraman, the Freeborn general Jone i Arco i Erigo wielded a straight-bladed Vorpal Sword at every battle. Those who dislike childish stories call these blades “Conquerors’ Swords” and insist that there is no record of a battle lost by a general bearing one of these blades.

Artisans in Wintermark especially like to inscribe the rune Jotra on a Vorpal Sword along with one or both of the runes Verys or Hirmok. In Dawn these swords are often called Gryphon Talons.


  • Form: Weapon. Takes the form of a one-handed weapon. You must be wielding this weapon to use its magical properties.
  • Requirement: Any character can bond to this item.
  • Effect: Twice per day, you may call CLEAVE with this weapon.
  • Materials: Crafting a Vorpal Sword requires ten units of orichalcum, three ingots of green iron, and three measures of beggar's lye. It takes one month to make one of these items.

The battle raged around them but both magicians remained perfectly still. The barbarian's face was contorted with rage as he desperately fought against the magic that held them both in place. It was his own spell and yet still he fought it, the inevitable response, so unhelpful, so difficult to unlearn. The true danger occurs in the moment the spell first strikes, but her sentinels were well trained and had reacted instantly throwing themselves forward and pushing the line back, separating the two standing figures from their allies. Now the only thing that remained was to wait.

There was no need to count the seconds, better to relax and prepare. The ignorant often assume that poise is easy to maintain when paralyzed. She remembered the long years she spent learning to calm the mind as well as the body - to wait for the perfect moment to strike. This fight was already over, her opponent was already defeated, he simply didn't realize that yet. His struggles were the last gasps of a fish pulled from the water, floundering frantically for breath.

She watched his confidence bleeding from his eyes as they stood locked together. He ran through spells in his mind and settled on one. A repel probably, an entangle perhaps. Predictable - and under the circumstances entirely rational. If he could just complete his spell before she could complete her own then victory would be his. They were both magicians, what else could they do?

The barbarian's grasp of his staff tightened and his jaw dropped open as the spell released him. She reacted instantly to her enemies movement, breaking poise to begin her own strike. Her mage staff started its slow fall towards the earth the moment her hands left it and dropped to her waist. A single fluid motion to pull the short blade and drive it towards the magician's gut, her target cheerfully outlined by the gaudy decoration on his belt. Such a small weapon, so easy to overlook, so inconsequential for someone who has been convinced their opponent is just a magician.

She activated the Gryphon Talon as the long knife struck the belt. The magic parted his mage armour like tissue paper opening his belly and allowing his guts to spill forth. She stooped to kneel as she stepped back, allowing her to wipe the blade clean on the wet grass, before sheathing it once more at her belt. She collected her staff as she stood, the barbarian distracted by his agony and his weakening grip on his own entrails.

In Urizen, we are never just a magician. She allowed herself the moment of pride as she rejoined her sentinels.