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A Writers Guide to Writing: Relics, Weapons and Legacy

Updated on August 1, 2017

Relics, Weapons and Legacy: A brief introduction

When writing in a fantasy world, or even a Science Fiction world, nothing quite grabs the attention of a reader like a powerful relic, a magical sword, or a family legacy.

What follows is my opinion on these things, ways to create them, and ways to add them into your story in a way that draws your readers in, and then hold them there.

I'll also give my opinions on how you can take any of these things, and mix them together to create a Legacy Relic,a Legacy Weapon, or even a Relic Weapon of Legacy (yes I went there) and really draw your readers into your work.

Without further delay, here is my guide to writing about Relics, Weapons and Legacy.

Creating Relics

Using word association, when I say the word "Relic" what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

For me, it's words like sprint shoes, Genji Glove, goggles and White cape, in other words, items of some level of power that provide some kind of protection or added bonus to your character, and while mine come mostly from Final Fantasy games, they are no less relics.

When making a relic, there are a few things to think about.

What does the relic do?

Why is it important?

Is it something anyone can use, or is it cursed?

There are other things to keep in mind, but these are the ones I feel to be important and should be focused on the most, especially if you plan to make them a main item in your story. And don't limit yourself either, something very simple can become a relic, its all in the delivery of the relic and the reason's behind why its important.

Maybe you have a white feather that came from an eagle, but through magic, this feather allows anyone who holds it the ability to fly.

Maybe you have a necklace that automatically casts a healing spell if the person wearing it in injured in some way.

When making a Relic, it can, but doesn't always have to be, an item of great power, with the only Limitation being your own imagination.

Creating Weapons

Using word association again, when I say the word "Weapon" what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

For me, its words like, Excalibur, Durandal, Masamune, Lightsaber, Gungnir,... Most of which are swords, but that's my personal preference in a weapon. But more to the point, a weapon should, if being used by a major character or if a key focus of the story, should at the very least have a catchy name.

Just having a sword called 'character's sword' doesn't really give the sword a name, it just more or less shows the ownership of the sword.

Same could be said for a gun, maybe the character has a Winchester 1873 he has had in his family for a long time, and it has the affectionate nickname 'justice' because it was always used by a person involved with fighting crime.

Of course, a weapon doesn't always have to be something destructive, maybe your main character is simply a boxer who uses antique gloves from his Grandfather he calls 'Oven gloves' because his Grandfather was known as the boxer with the flaming hands, or a golfer who has a special club given to him years ago by a former pro he calls 'long drive' because he always hits the ball very long distances when he uses it.

Yes, okay, I realize those are both really silly, but you get my point right?

A 'weapon' is not always what it makes it sound like, that's the point of making one for a character to fit into your story, and there are many ways to do that, you don't need to have just one weapon, either.

A weapon can be anything that is used for a purpose, as a weapon can be just another tool for your character, and sometimes that can open up a world of possibilities for your plots.

I'll go over how to mix a weapon and a Legacy a little late on in the hub.

One of the first things I think of when I think of a Weapon of Legacy

A replica of the Legendary sword Excalibur from the legends of King Arthur.
A replica of the Legendary sword Excalibur from the legends of King Arthur.

Creating Legacy

Let me set this up for you; Your 18 years old, all your life you've been told that there are good people and bad people in the world, your father is a police officer, your grandfather was a police officer, now, to carry on your family legacy, you become a police officer.

You now have a legacy.

You can replace Police officer with anything you want really, Knight, Sheriff, Hunter, Golfer, King, Emperor, even things not as nice like, Bandit, Dark Sorcerer, Cult leader, or whatever strikes you.

The important thing, is that Legacy tells a back story as well as setting up everything about your character. The Legacy should, in most cases, mean something to your character, and it doesn't always have to be pleasant thought.

Maybe your character hates the legacy of there family and wants to change what they stand for. The thing to do is explain why exactly your character doesn't like there legacy, maybe they feel that it puts to much expectation on them to be like everyone else, maybe they feel that because of the Legacy, no one sees them, just the child of someone before them.

Legacy can be a powerful thing, sometimes its also just one person, who does something great and is remembered for it for a really long time. Maybe you character is a member of a family who 2000 years ago help found an entire nation, and because of that, there family name has special meaning.

There is a lot that can be done with Legacy, a lot that can be done with history.

Mixing Relics, Weapons and Legacy

Now we come to what I feel is one of the most important parts, that is the part where we try to mix everything together into one neat package deal.

Lets say you have your main character, who is descended from one of the people who founded the main city the story takes place in, learn that a thousand years ago, the founder had a magical sword and an enchanted ring, but in a great war, the sword was shattered and the ring was stolen.

The main character can see the shattered sword on display in the Hall of Knights, and one day while on an adventure, he finds the lost ring of his ancestor and is able to return to the city with it, where it is put on display with the shattered sword.

Much later, another war breaks out and the main character has the ancient sword reforged into its former glory so he may use it to help stop the war, and when he wields the sword and the ring, he gains great power.

After the war, the sword and ring are returned to the display area, and the main character lives the rest of his life, passing on the legend of his ancestor and himself, and how that sword and rind saved the City and helped stop a war.

You have created a Relic of Legacy; the ring, a Weapon of Legacy; the sword, and a personal legacy all at once, and can say that you did so in a way that is appealing to the reader, and makes for a great story.

Of course it isn't really that simple, because that would be a short story to tell, but the basic idea is there and with a little work it could be turned into an epic tale of good verses evil, where everything is balanced against a magical sword.

Closing remarks

In closing, creating a legacy, and tying it to relics or weapons of power is a fun but often difficult process, as you do not want to create a weapon of Legacy too powerful and have it found at the beginning, unless your story revolves around that.

At the same time, you don't want to create a Legacy for a character that is only mentioned and then doesn't mean anything for the rest of the story.

Everything in balance is important when writing and trying to create these three things and making them all work together as one in the flow of your story.

An opinion poll on Legacy

What is the most important part of a Legacy?

See results

Real swords I used for insperation

On the left; Elexorien - the Sword of  War On the Right; Luciendar -The Sword of Light I used these swords as inspiration for a novel I'm writing.
On the left; Elexorien - the Sword of War On the Right; Luciendar -The Sword of Light I used these swords as inspiration for a novel I'm writing. | Source

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