Sky Cleaver has the power to cut to the heart of any matter.
  — Basil of Lyndusfarne[1]

Sky Cleaver was the axe of Annam All-Father, god of giants.[2]


Sky Cleaver was a massive handaxe. It had a dark, obsidian blade and a handle of ivory that was eight feet (two and a half meters) long. The axe head was held to the shaft by golden cord. The haft was covered with intricately carved images of the gods.[3] Among the images displayed were Stronmaus smashing moons with his hammer, Hiatea slaying a 50-headed hydra with her flaming spear, and Iallanis joining the hands of Memnor and Karontor together.[4]


Sky Cleaver was said to be able to cleave anything, both physical and non-physical. For example, not only could it cut through any material but also could it separate the truth of a matter from the falsehood.[4]

To activate its power to cleave something, the wielder simply had to invoke this power with the word "cleave" spoken in the ancient language of the giant pantheon.[4]

The axe also had the power to control the weather.[3]

In the name of Skoraeus Stonebones, Your Maker, O Sky Cleaver, do I summon you into the service of my hand.
— The ritualistic words used to call Sky Cleaver to oneself[3]

The only way to wield Sky Cleaver was to recite a specific sentence in the ancient language spoken by the giant gods.[3][5] One with more powerful emotions could steal the axe from another by reciting the same words.[6] The axe would then fly into the hands of the one calling for it. Even then, it would be wrong to say that the wielder controlled the axe. Sky Cleaver seemed to have a will of its own, and anyone even near its presence was filled with a powerful desire to possess it.[3] Once possessed, the wielder was constantly filled with fear that someone else would try to take it.[5]

Bearing the axe came with both benefits and severe detriments. Anyone holding the axe was defended from nearly any kind of harm.[4] On the other hand, simply touching the axe began to drain one's corporeality and calling upon the power of the axe directly to cleave something caused this process to occur more quickly. Someone in the presence of the axe for long or who had used its powers would become aged, deformed, and transparent.[3][5][4] Eventually, the axe would severe the ties binding one's spirit to the body.[4]


Sky Cleaver was forged by Skoraeus Stonebones for his father eons ago.[3]

Sometime between −9000 DR and −8000 DR, Annam discovered his wife Othea's affair with the god Ulutiu. In a fit of rage, Annam cast his axe to the earth, splitting a mountain in two.[3]

For a hundred centuries, the axe's location was forgotten to all but those who had stumbled upon its resting place. There were hundreds of such individuals over the millennia, but none of them were able to remove the axe from its place, buried deep in a granite cleft. Nevertheless, the axe's power held them captive with desire. These guardians would remain with the axe, being stripped of their corporeality until another would stumble upon the cave and either be slain or slay the guardian.[3]

The location was found by Basil in 1369 DR.[1] He convinced the firbolg ranger Tavis Burdun to seek out and claim the axe, to use it as a weapon to defeat the titan Lanaxis and free Queen Brianna and her son Kaedlaw.[3]

They succeeded at recovering the axe, which was so large that Tavis had to magically enlarge his form to wield it as a battleaxe.[5] The first use of the axe by Tavis was to cleave Othea Tor, permanently exposing the Twilight Vale. Lanaxis then summoned the undead forms of his brothers, ordering them to kill Tavis. Tavis, in response, used the axe's power to defend himself and his friends Basil and Galgadayle. Then, they used the axe to reveal the truth of Lanaxis' betrayal to the undead giants. The giant zombies suddenly understood that it was their own brother Lanaxis who had poisoned them and Othea in the ancient past. They turned on Lanaxis, but his powers of strength and magic were greater, and he defeated them all.[4]

Tavis then rushed to face Lanaxis. The great titan used the ancient command words to call the blade to himself and nearly succeeded. Tavis held tightly to the handle as it began flying toward Lanaxis' open palm, dragging the firbolg with it, but Tavis then called on the axe to cleave, and he fell through the air again and was able to slash at Lanaxis' leg above the knee, badly injuring him. The titan then retreated for a time.[4]

Tavis took this opportunity to find and reunite with his wife in what was left of the Bleak Palace. Disfigured and aged beyond recognition from his battle with Annam's terrestrial sons, he dared use the axe's powers another time. Laying the flat of the axe's blade against his son of mysterious birth, Kaedlaw, he asked Sky Cleaver to reveal the truth. From that moment, Kaedlaw looked neither like a handsome infant nor like a hideous ettin; instead, he looked like a rather normal baby (albeit of giant size). Basil interpreted this to mean that only how the child was raised would affect his destiny.[6]

When Brianna recognized that Tavis had no hope of killing Lanaxis with the axe, since Lanaxis would surely be able to steal control of the axe for himself by means of his lust for power, she suggested another plan.[6]

When Lanaxis reappeared, in the form of the shadowroc, he took Tavis by surprise by appearing from underneath him and catching him in his talons. Tavis dropped the axe, which was picked up by Basil, immediately deforming him. Basil tried to throw Sky Cleaver but was blown back by a blast from the shadowroc, and he too dropped the axe. Tavis managed to crawl free from the talons, first hiding in the shadowroc's feathers and then grabbing hold of the shadowroc's nostrils. From here, he summoned the axe again. It flew to his call. Catching the axe, Tavis struck with the flat of the blade, not the sharp edge, and asked the weapon to cleave Lanaxis' madness. Instantly, Tavis found himself transported to Annam's presence with Lanaxis, where Annam scolded his son. Tavis returned Sky Cleaver to its rightful owner. Tavis and Lanaxis were returned to the Material Plane. The shadowroc departed, never to be seen again.[6]

Annam restored the normal appearance of Tavis' body, but his hair remained gray. Basil, however, remained disfigured for the rest of his days.[6][7]

Notable WieldersEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 Troy Denning (September 1995). The Titan of Twilight. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3798-X.
  2. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Troy Denning (September 1995). The Titan of Twilight. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 14. ISBN 0-7869-3798-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Troy Denning (September 1995). The Titan of Twilight. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 16. ISBN 0-7869-3798-X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Troy Denning (September 1995). The Titan of Twilight. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 15. ISBN 0-7869-3798-X.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Troy Denning (September 1995). The Titan of Twilight. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 17. ISBN 0-7869-3798-X.
  7. Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
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