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A holy avenger was a rare type of sword[note 1] that were forged to battle evil in all of its forms They were greatly prized by paladins from all across the Realms.[4] They possessed great and magnificent powers that were only fully realized in the hands of a benevolent holy warrior.[5][3]

One paladin famously said his holy avenger was his "best and last friend in any situation".[6]


Prior to the Spellplague a newly-forged holy avenger was merely a sword that had been forged from cold iron. Its true might was released only when it was placed in the hands of a paladin, whereupon it became a more powerful holy cold iron sword. The blade provided significant protection from magical spells and spell-like abilities to its wielder and their allies. When holding their holy avenger, they were capable of casting greater dispelling at will,[5] and inflicting more damage upon malevolent and unlawful foes.[7]

Those weapons forged during the century following the Spellplague delivered radiant energy unto any foe it struck. Any paladin wielding a holy avenger could use it as a holy symbol and once per day, channel its power to bolster their defenses along with any nearby allies.[2][8]

Holy avengers forged after the Second Sundering were particularly deadly when wielded against undead and fiends. Like those crafted during earlier centuries, they radiated a magical aura that benefited the wielder's allies. This radiance emanated out for 10 ft (3 m) except when in the hands of most champions. When it was wielded by the most skilled and veteran paladins, this effect extended out for 30 ft (9.1 m). In addition they only reached their true potential after having been wielded by a specific paladin for some time.[3]


To forge a holy avenger, a craftsman had to have both been of good alignment and have access to the holy aura spell. The creation of such a great holy blade required at least 60,000 gold pieces along with great amount of time and heroic levels of energy.[5]

Notable Owners[]

Notable Holy Avengers[]

A holy avenger was a powerful weapon against hordes of undead.



  1. According to the Player's Handbook 4th edition, the holy avenger property could also be added to axes and hammers, along with 'heavy blades'. This contradicts lore about holy avengers in all other editions. With the exception of this detail, all other information regarding the 4e holy avenger property coincides with the 4e iteration of the holy avenger weapon. As such it has been incorporated into this article.


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  1. David "Zeb" Cook (1989). Dungeon Master's Guide 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 140. ISBN 0-88038-729-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 224. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 174. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  4. Obsidian Entertainment (October 2006). Designed by Ferret Baudoin, J.E. Sawyer. Neverwinter Nights 2. Atari.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 226. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  6. BioWare (December 2003). Designed by Brent Knowles. Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark. Atari.
  7. Rick Swan (1994). The Complete Paladin's Handbook. Edited by Allen Varney. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 1-5607-6845-2.
  8. Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 234. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  9. Scott Haring (1988). Empires of the Sands. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-8803-8539-1.
  10. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 132–133. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  11. John Terra (November 1997). Four from Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-0646-4.
  12. John Terra (November 1997). Four from Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-0646-4.
  13. BioWare (September 2000). Designed by James Ohlen, Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Black Isle Studios.
  14. Black Isle Studios (August 2002). Designed by J.E. Sawyer. Icewind Dale II. Interplay.
  15. Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc), p. 92. ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
  16. Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
  17. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  18. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1987). The Bloodstone Wars. (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0-8803-8398-4.
  19. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 163. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  20. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 253. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  21. Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc), p. 23. ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
  22. Black Isle Studios (June 2000). Designed by Matt Norton. Icewind Dale. Interplay.
  23. BioWare (June 2001). Designed by Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. Black Isle Studios.
  24. Ossian Studios (June 2018). Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford. Beamdog.
  25. Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.


Item Qualities
Magical properties applied through enchantment

animatedarrow catchingarrow deflectionbashingblindingreflecting

Body Armor
coolingfire resistanceglameredhalfweightillithidwroughtinvulnerabilitymalleablesailingshadowspell resistancexorn movementwarming

All Armor
acid resistanceanchoringblinkingblueshineblurringcold resistancecomfortdeath warddrowcraftelectricity resistanceetherealnesseverbrightfortificationfreedomghost touchgnashinghealinghideousmagic eatingmaskingmenacingmirror imagenegative energy protectionnimblenessocularproof against enchantmentsproof against transmutationsanctuarysonic resistancestrengthundead controllingvermin controllingwarywild

radiant holding

Ranged Weapons

Melee Weapons
defendingflyingharmonizingmighty cleavingpowerleechsacrifical smitingspeedstalactitesunderingsweepingtentaclethrowingvalorousvicious

All Weapons
acidic burstanarchicaxiomaticbaneberserkerblindsightedbloodthirstycorrosivedancingdisarmingdiseaseddismisserdispellingdisruptiondomineeringdoomwardingdoomstrikedrowcraftelemental auraenervatingeverbrightexhaustingfinderflamingflaming burstforcefrostghost touchholyholy avengerhomeland championhornbladeicy burstillithidwroughtimpactjumpingkeenknockbacklight burstmercifulmetallinemorphingparalyzingravenousrustingscreamingsendingsizingshockshadowscourgeshattermantleshocking burstsmokingspeedspellbladespell storingsure strikingthunderingunholyvampiricvenemousvipervirulentvorpalwarningweakeningwounding