The Elfblades are three specific magical swords created with Elven High Magic by spellcasters from the Elven Court in −4000 DR. The three swords—the Rulers' Blade (the Ar'Cor'Kerym), and the two Defenders' Blades, the Warblade (the Ary'Velahr'Kerym), and the Artblade (the Ary'Faern'Kerym)—were wielded by the rulers of Cormanthyr and used to determine who is worthy of such responsibility by the ancient ritual of Blade-rite.
In −4000 DR, Coronal Oacenth of Jhyrennstar fell ill, and his fever proved incurable. As a prophet of Labelas Enoreth, he spoke the famous words that would prove to one day unite the elves under the great Kingdom of Cormanthyr:
At the Coronal's wish, young clansmen worked to prove their mettle, from which three candidates emerged, and these candidates were given the newly forged Elfblades to mark their rulership. It should be noted that a priest of each Seldarine god was necessary to create the blades. As Kahvoerm Irithyl drew the Rulers' Blade, he became ruler of Semberholme, Jhyrennstar, and Elven Court, which later became Cormanthyr.
- Each must be attained by the ritual of Blade-rite, a ritual overseen by Elven High Magic. All candidates to draw the Elfblades must be good-aligned.
- When the wielder of an Elfblade dies, the blade is rendered inert until drawn again as part of a Blade-rite.
- Any thief who drew the blade suffered as if failing a Blade-rite.
- Any N'Tel'Quess (non-elves or drow, but not half-elves) who drew the blade was known to be struck dead.
- Each sword was a powerfully enchanted longsword that granted a ward against attacks as well as increasing the wielder's reaction time. They had magically keen blades imbued with holy energy.
- Each sword could shed light from a flicker to the strength of the highsun.
- Each sword added life to its wielder: the Ruler's Blade extended a wielder's life by up to six centuries, the Warblade returns an elf to the peak of physical age (usually a year after adulthood was gained), and the Artblade reduced the current age of its wielder by up to six centuries, though never beyond the first year of adulthood. Alternatively, each Elfblade retarded the wielder's aging process so that they aged at half the normal speed.
- Each sword was intelligent, was good-aligned, and could speak audibly and telepathically in Elven.
- Each sword responded negatively to unannounced changes in race, sex, or alignment on part of the wielder, sometimes forcing a new Blade-rite, causing the wielder jolts of pain, or simply dominating the wielder and forcing him or her to return the blade to the High Mages.
- Each sword bonded with the wielder during the Blade-rite, allowing the wielder to summon it to his or her hand at will, regardless of physical barrier, so long as each remained on the same plane of existence.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 134. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 47. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 157–159. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.