Rise of the Fallen God
The Axe of Justice
The Gerechtigkeitaxt is an executioner’s weapon what was once used to hunt down the enemies of the great Western Realms.
Any character who wishes to become the Gerechtigkeitaxt’s wielder must first have the legal authority to mete out justice and enforce the law. This requirement can apply to anyone with some modicum of legal authority, from a highborn judge to a lowly village constable.
Axe of Justice
The High Executioners
Many scholars hold that that in times long past, the Western Realms employed an elite group known as the High Executioners to track down and punish criminals who had been condemned to die. The most powerful of these warriors, the Lord High Executioner, was rumored to utilize a headsman’s axe with remarkable skill. His weapon, known as the Gerechtigkeitaxt, is a legendary tool that was passed from one Lord High Executioner to the next until it was lost the shadows of time. The Gerechtigkeitaxt was created after the great Western Realms rose from the ashes of a vast civil war and formed a new alliance that would last nearly a thousand years. The victors, eager to set history to rights, condemned their old enemies to death in absentia. A corps of professional executioners was established to aid in locating, capturing, and putting to the axe these so-called “criminals of war.” Known as the High Executioners, these men and women were granted legal immunity in the pursuit of their quarry, and few could stand before their lawful right to punish the condemned. They traveled singly or in pairs, their features concealed by loose fitting hoods sewn from black cloth. Most were masters of the sword and axe, utilizing such weapons to great effect in the course of their duties. The greatest of the High Executioners was Marcus Kreichar, a career soldier who had spent much of his adult life in service to his nation’s armies. It was Marcus who first wielded the Gerechtigkeitaxt, though none are certain who the craftsman was. Rumors abound as to the artisan’s identity, the most popular of which states that a celestial being created the axe in answer to Marcus’ fervent prayers. The very sight of the axe was rumored to drive the guilty to openly confess their crimes in the hopes that their miserable lives would be spared. In addition to being a powerful weapon, the Gerechtigkeitaxt also served as the Lord High Executioner’s badge of office. Kreichar, his axe in hand, stalked the lands alone in search of his prey, bringing many great foes to their ﬁnal judgement with a single heavy blow. Even with his face concealed behind his executioner’s hood, Kreichar was easily recognized by the black-hafted, broad-bladed greataxe that he carried. After Kreichar’s death, the Gerechtigkeitaxt was passed to his successor. This trend continued for many years, but was put to an end when a late Lord High Executioner failed to name an heir. Several eligible High Executioners came forth to claim the title, but none was willing to abide the others. While these men and women squabbled amongst themselves, the axe was left imbedded in a headsman’s block carved from an ancient stump that had been stained with the blood of countless victims. The king of the Western Realms saw that his own lawgivers, hungry for the power of the Lord High Executioner’s office, were resorting to the very crimes that they had once prosecuted in his name. Deeply troubled, he commanded that the High Executioners be disbanded unless they could reach some accord with one another and return to their rightful duties as servants of the crown. Few heeded his call, intent as they were upon claiming the Gerechtigkeitaxt and the station that it represented. Those who defied their liege were branded traitors. They were hunted down and brought to justice, much as they themselves had once hunted down those who had sundered the laws of the Western Realms. The organization ceased to exist, and the Gerechtigkeitaxt itself was lost from the memory of men. Attributes: The Gerechtigkeitaxt is an executioner’s weapon comprised of a heavy, single-edged steel blade mounted to a long piece of lacquered black wood. Runes of law are etched deeply into either side of the broad axe blade, and the name of each Lord High Executioner is carved into the weapon’s haft in chronological order. It has the following attributes.
Hardness/Hit Points: 25/74.
Value: To any character other than its battle scion, the Gerechtigkeitaxt appears to be worth as much as a +1 Executioner’s axe. (~1,000 gp).