The Metal Maiden
The Metal Maiden, sometimes abbreviated as simply The Maiden, is an enchanted sword of exceptionally high craftsmanship. Though typically attributed to David, it was most likely forged during the high Dynastic Period of the Mage Wars, owing to unbelievable degree of quality.
A single-edged cruciform sword with a curved blade, the weapon is notable for being comprised of a single piece(instead of a separate cross guard, hilt, and tang). Much like an over-sized knife. The sword is furthy notworthy for the shaped feminine figure on the handle(from which it draws its name). From a pure craftsmanship standpoint, the sword is possibly the finest example of smithing ever recorded.
The enchantments are similarly extremely powerful. The edge can cut through most enchanted armor, and the spine has similar properties to a Hakens Guard(a strike with the spine will produce an effect similar to striking with an extremely heavy weight, while the sword remains light in the wielder's hand). The sword is also preternaturally light, as if hollow and made from aluminum, yet strikes from it deal considerable force. The blade can produce Izuna in the hands of even an amatuer, and it is thought that simply holding the sword confers some level of capability.
The sword is most likely made of an alloy of some kind, extremely strong in its own right and backed up by powerful permanent enchantments. The alloy may even contain Mithril, though no accounts survive of a mage holding it.
Most of the stories attached to the Metal Maiden claim it was wrought by the great alchemist known as David, but the style of construction and quality date it to a later period. Most telling, because the figure of a woman makes up the handle and cross guard, it could not have been made by the Marcon Alliance. Some historians speculate the specific form was created expressly to keep the Marcons from ever using the blade.
Another proposed origin is The Dragonlands, though this is hotly disputed. The sword is clearly made to be wielded by a human(dragons carry considerably larger weapons), and the rulers of The Dragonlands would be very unlikely to let such a powerful weapon be made for and by their human serfs. The form and design certainly fits, and some historical accounts describe a similar sword being carried by Lelerough. However the design dates the sword to significantly earlier than Lelerough's time.
Some people outside academic circles have proposed that The Metal Maiden is of divine origin similar to the fabled sword Echbaldam, but that it was handed down to mortals by "a goddess" attributed to a variety of religious doctrines. It is named as a holy relic by these believers.
This theory is rejected by most mainstream scholars who point to the historical origins of the weapon, and by archeologists who pint to the obvious hand-made nature of the item.
Another proposed theory is that the sword was the work of a group called "The Sacred Smiths", a religious order of blacksmiths who's descendants would later emigrate to Ataya and provide the needed skill to forge Echbaldam. The very existence of The Sacred Smiths is rejected by mainstream historians, though some evidence of a fraternal order of craftsmen does exist.
The earliest documented use of the name "Metal Maiden" dates from the early Second Chaotic Period, though several different swords are described. Earlier descriptions of similar swords place them in the hands of great warriors nearly always opposed to the Marcon Alliance. One account even places the sword in the hand of Lelerough, Destroyer of Worlds.
Towards the end of the Second Chaotic Period, the sword came into the hands of Kimi Bur'I while she was one of Lieber's lieutenants. She carried it all through Eieber's Long March but commissioned a new sword for herself before becoming a Slayer Dragon. According to Kimi's Honorarium, she believed The Metal Maiden held some sort of sinister purpose "deep within herself" and that despite the sword's obvious power she would rather have a weapon she knew served only good.
However, Kimi was the only documented owner of the sword to express such feelings. It had been used by dozens of warriors, both male and female, in the hundreds of years prior.
After the Mage Wars, the sword continued to change hands. Curiously, while other Mage Wars-era enchanted items began to skyrocket in value, the perceived worth of the Maiden went down. Even as a Slayer Dragon artifact, it shoul have been quite highly valued. However, its last reported "sale" was when it was lost in a hand of poker sometime around A.Y. 1134.
For over two thousand years, The Metal Maiden appeared in the catalogue of artifacts held in The Arsenal of Freedom, but was never actually publicly displayed. In A.Y. 3212, authorities on Arden Song admitted that they did not, in fact, own The Maiden, and stated it is possible they never actually did. Numerous attempts have been made to track the swords whereabouts during that time, but none succeeded.
The sword next appeared in A.Y. 3275 during the Necromanic Wars where, in a cruel fit of irony, it was often used directly against the Slayer Dragons. During the 108-year course of the war, it changed hands many times. Lal Soratami famously swore that if he were to capture the sword, this former Slayer Dragon relic would be cast into the nearest volcano.
Unfortunately, the Slayer Dragons failed to capture the Metal Maiden, and it once again passed out of all knowledge. It was believed to have been buried with a Grey Temple Lich. Since the Grey Temple necromancers were largely slaughtered at the war's end, anyone with knowledge of the sword was most likely killed.
The sword emered again during the Age of the Dragon, in the hands of the Cult of the Dracolitch. This time it was reportedly captured by the Slayer Dragons, but never turned over to S.A.C.C.. Its whereabouts following the Battle of the Last Stand and the end of the old Alliance are unknown.