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Crusader was the magical longsword belonging to Gareth Dragonsbane, the paladin king of Damara in the mid–14th century DR.[1][2][3][4][5][8]

HistoryEdit

Gareth acquired a holy avenger while he was still an adventuring knight.[1][2]

This sword, Crusader, shall henceforth be your sole weapon against evil, and with it you shall conquer, so long as you be faithful. Slay a great demon with this sword, and it shall gain its full powers.
— Lalibela to Gareth[7]

In another account, in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, at a small, crystal-clear subterranean lake in the Deepearth region of the Underdark beneath Damara, the paladin encountered Lalibela, the demigoddess of nixies, who believed him to be of pure heart. Via telepathy, she bade him set aside his armor, weapons, and equipment, and walk across the lake. Rising out of the lake, she granted him Crusader, but spirited away his other weapons and tools before she sank back beneath the water. When this sword slew a major demon, it gained extra powers.[7] Gareth would go on to fight with the weapon all through the Bloodstone Wars and his adventures around it.

Afterward, by 1359 DR, Gareth, now the Baron of Bloodstone Barony, was famed for riding out across the land atop his warhorse Glendan, espousing the cause of good with Crusader raised over his head.[5]

In the Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, King Gareth wielded Crusader in battle against the forces of Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle when they claimed a replica Castle Perilous in Vaasa.[8][9]

DescriptionEdit

The sword was described as "brilliant".[8]

PowersEdit

Crusader was a +5 holy avenger longsword, with all the magical powers that went with such a weapon, namely dispelling magic and doing extra harm to evil creatures.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Furthermore, once a day each, it could heal the injured of all their wounds (as with heal); increase the wielder's strength (as with strength) when in combat against evil, and charm people on touch (as with charm person).[7][3][4][5] These powers were gained the first time it was used to slay a major demon. Once a week, it could also be used to commune with Lalibela.[7][3][4][6]

It also had a chance to utterly obliterate (as with disintegrate) a demon or any of the weaker denizens of the Lower Planes on striking them in battle.[7][3][4][5][6]

Crusader was an intelligent weapon, being able to communicate telepathically with its owner. It had the special purpose to slay demons, and while it wouldn't drive its wielder into reckless or suicidal actions, it loved its job. If its wielder fled from a demon once, it would howl in anguish. If they showed cowardice a second time, it would depart itself, teleporting back to Lalibela and abandoning its former owner to their fate.[7][3][4][6]

AppendixEdit

BackgroundEdit

An unnamed, standard holy avenger longsword is assigned to the Gareth Dragonsbane sample paladin character in Bloodstone Pass and The Mines of Bloodstone. However, in the "Lady of the Lake" optional scene in The Mines of Bloodstone, an enhanced holy avenger named Crusader is given to a paladin player by Lalibela, removing the player's former weapons and equipment in the process. In the later adventures (The Bloodstone Wars and The Throne of Bloodstone), sources (The Bloodstone Lands), and novels (Road of the Patriarch), Gareth has Crusader itself, implying this event happened the same way for him. For Gareth, it is unclear if Lalibela simply replaced one holy avenger for a better one, upgraded the existing holy avenger to Crusader, or if he never encountered Lalibela and his sword was granted and upgraded by other means.

ReferencesEdit

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