The Fairborn Family And The Blade of Dragon Woe

The Fairborn family lineage is one of Tygan’s most revered, though Sir Slight Fairborn and his immediate family are but the latest branches on an elaborate tree.

Their ancestry can be traced back to times prior to the First Great War where the humans and dwarves rebelled against their Elven masters. This was where the first hero of the bloodline was forged, where one slave woman named Gatlin Fairborn joined humanity and dwarf kin’s battle for freedom. Not much is known about the lineage beforehand as much of the records on slaves were destroyed in the conflict. It is known that Gatlin survived the war and birthed a child by an unknown lover, presumably someone who didn’t survive the conflict. Gatling and her child settled in the city of Ganbury and became a merchant, solidifying the family’s reputation as some of Ganbury’s own.

Recovery in the post war period was a long process, something the Fairborn family got into with roles in produce and architecture. They eventually climbing the hierarchy to manage efforts of a post war world, and it was here they made their fortune. Their first nobleman, Sir Christopher Fairborn, is quite a revered figure in the country of Haiden, remembered as a generous philanthropist and fighter for the rights of humans and dwarves throughout his life.

Sir Christopher instilled in his relatives a code of ethics that has survived intact across the generations. Though their considerable wealth offers a security most on Tygan can’t dream of, the family still puts great emphasis on personal effort and accomplishment. Every member the family has enrolled and graduated from Haiden’s most prestigious schools, securing careers outside of the nobility so they may contribute greater to the public at large.

Slight and Butoric were the latest of the Fairborn lineage, born to Lord Vernon Fairborn and his bride Lady Ashton Hawn Fairborn. Slight was born two years prior to his brother, though the two attended Librandretta University in the Haiden’s Capital City of Ravenwood at the same time. The two gained a reputation as womanizers, but graduated the college with high honors, gaining particularly high scores in commerce, history and sword combat. It was during his courses in biology that Slight first gained a fascination with dragons, decided to make dragonlslaying his trade.

The two brothers were knighted shortly after graduation as per their family traditions, though their rest was short lived. Much of the personal lives of the two is not known after the Lich Uprising, which they both took part in. It is rumored that Butoric took to alcoholism before his marriage to the Flatlander woman, whose name eludes historians. Butoric fathered a child in this time, but both Butoric and his son were killed in a murder suicide by his bride. Butoric was given a public funeral where his remains were interned in the Fields of Nobility. Mysteriously, the remains of the mother and child were never found. Some feel Slight’s version of events are suspect, but nothing has been made of it outside of the occasional whisper or odd conversation.

Slight’s public life was well documented, having many tenures as a knight in Haiden’s most spectacular cities. He made dragon slaying his full trade in this time, having killed many notorious wyrms, some as old as five hundred years. Slight has stated his ultimate goal is to slay one of the rare thousand year old elder wyrms and present its head to the town lord of Ganbury, the brave sir Compton Blaine, as a testament to his worth. Slight hopes this gesture will earn him a place in Compton’s personal guard.

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One of the most famous artifacts in the Fairborn family line is the Blade of Dragon Woe, Slight’s personal sword.

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The sword was forged by the human Grandmaster Verdo Caem while he was teaching the art of forging at the University of Librandretta. It incorporates the school’s hallmarks of detailed etching and a narrow convex-ground blade.

Verdo first ordered two billets of pure low-carbon steel and one large billet of Sapphire-steel, a rare alloy named for both its hardness and crystalline grain. He then spent a full week drawing out each of the three billets individually and folding them eight times to produce a rich pattern in the steel. The purpose of this pattern was to house the laced poison that slayers use to bring down their targets quicker, though the perfect poison for dragon killing had yet to be perfected.

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The second week he spent bonding the metals together with the help of an adept wizard by the name of Holoth Gardner, who enchanted the billets with spells of strength, wear resistance and sharpness. This process created the characteristic ‘tendrils’ of Mitrian-style Slayer’s swords, where the Sapphire-steel intruded into and bonded with the carbon steel billets that formed the sword’s spine.

After finishing the blade’s basic shape, Verdo went over the blade with increasingly fine grits of waterstone, finishing with a specially-commissioned 20000 grit stone to perfect the blade’s polish and give it an edge that sliced through cured leather simply by touch.

He gave the sword a ‘Slayer’s Fuller,’ a steep-sided center groove which made the blade more rigid to help it pierce scale and plate armor alike, as well as ensuring that any poison applied to the blade would stay where it was needed. Verdo engraved the fuller with serpentine patterns and applied a gentle acid-etch to enhance the blue color of the exposed Sapphire-steel. Finally, he tempered it to maximize the blade’s durability.

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While the Wizard further enhanced the blade with spells to help it dissipate shock through vibrations, causing it to ‘sing’ when struck, Verdo sanded down two oak underlays and wrapped them in black leather to form the sword’s grip. He forged and hand-etched the sword’s guard from steel laminated in silver, adding reliefs of Slight’s rise to fame and images of a sailing ship and the estate of the Fairborn family’s current patrons.

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Between the images the images of the ship and estate Verdo left the simple missive, “Master Verdo, For Sir Fairborn” along with the Mitrian Smiths’ Guild emblem of a chisel etching a sword blade. The signature is conspicuous for its sloppiness, a sign of authenticity as it mirrors Verdo’s actual handwriting.

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On the reverse side of the guard, two separate panels tell the story of Slight’s first kill, a dragon he slew during an attack on a trading outpost, although this first kill was by a different blade. Between the panels is a Slayer motto, “One man may do what many cannot, if his heart is pure and his hands skilled.” Verdo is said to find the irony of this statement unbearable. 

The sword bears the Fairborn family coat-of-arms on its pommel, and for the finishing touch Verdo set off the color of its fuller with two brilliant rubies.

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Equally impressive as the sword itself is its sheath, decorated with elaborate murals and pictures depicting Slight’s life and heritage. The opening of the sheath was modeled after a dragon’s mouth, so that ‘the blade would appear to be smiting evil even in rest’ according to the knight.

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One side of the blade contains portraits of, in descending order, Lord Vernon, Lady Ashton Hawn, Butoric, and Slight.

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The opposite side of the sheath contains various sculptures depicting events throughout Slight’s life, and some well wishes for his murdered brother. The inscription reads as follows.

To my dearest kin, Butoric,

Brother, you were taken from us far too soon, and more cruelly than you’d have deserved were you one one-hundredth the man you were. It will forever be my greatest shame that I did not see the madness of that demon in woman’s flesh. As you so often saved me, I should’ve saved you. All Tygan is poorer for the loss of you, and I am poorest of all.Your might and virtue are my great inspiration, Brother.

May you cut through the flames of wyrms in eternity.

In Your Memory Always,

Slight

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The sword’s worth has been estimated to be in the millions of gold pieces, more than five estates of Haiden’s average families. Though the school Museum of Ravenwood has expressed interest in adding the blade to its collection upon Slight’s passing, he has expressed interest in having it added to the Every War Tower in remembrance of he and his brother’s deeds during the Lich Uprising.

In spite of the clear effort that was put into the blade, Verdo Caem was not particularly fond of the young knight. Of making the blade for the famed Sir Slight, Verdo had this to say.

“Anytime I forge a blade for a spoiled one, there’s a fear on me that I’m making a weapon too fine for its master. I remember I felt that when I forged Sir Fairborn’s piece, and I thought I was doing him wrong, then. Imagine, doubting someone of the Fairborn lineage! But fame is treacherous for it can be bright enough to mask the darkness. The steel tried to warn me, but I ignored it. It’s a good blade. One of the best I’ve ever forged. Hurts to think what that prick may’ve used it for.”

After his comments, Verdo’s employment with his school was mysteriously terminated. He has since emigrated across the sea to Ithacha where his career has since flourished. His opinions of the Fairborn family, and Slight in particular, have not softened, and he holds them responsible for unceremonious his removal from Librandretta University.

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