The Lady's Hand
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|This slender steel scepter is topped with a gilded, feminine hand, each finger ending in a delicate mother-of-pearl nail. It was forged and crafted by the smiths and artisans of Delwin, a small town in the foothills of the Magmear Mountains in the southern reaches of the Aedyr Empire. The recipient was Lady Ryga Adalwan, 3rd Margréfa of Maghanon, who had recently emerged victorious from a brutal campaign against her march by barbarians and agents of a rival family. In leading the defense of the march, Lady Ryga had lost her left hand. The emperor had this scepter created to reward her sacrifice during the protection of what was then the empire's southernmost territory.
Unfortunately for the Adalwan family, they only held the Maghanon territories for two more generations. With little money and no land, the family set out for the young colonies of the Dyrwood. The Lady's Hand saw renewed use in battle by Branon Adalwan, Thayn of the Low Meadows, during the War of Black Trees. There, Branon used it to defeat Glanfathan warriors and spirit-animated trees that were marching out of the deep woods. For his service to the colonies, Branon was made an erl of the new territory of Blackstand. But bad luck struck the Adalwan family twice. Only a year after establishing a fort on the frontier, Branon was ambushed by Glanfathan resistance fighters. Finishing their main mission, the assassins then pursued his small family and killed every member, leaving no heirs to the house of Adalwan.
Following the reinforcement of Blackstand's fort by its new erl, the Adalwan family's belongings were distributed according to the known wishes of Branon. Notably, the Lady's Hand, his great-great grandmother's gift from the emperor, was bequeathed to Sir Hareg Kardaf, a minor knight of New Heomar, alongside whom Branon had fought in the War of Black Trees. More comfortable with sword and shield than scepter and grimoire, Sir Hareg displayed his friend's gift prominently in his home, but it never saw use in battle again.
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