Name: Reginald "Reggy" Townsend
Race/Symbol: Marked - Sword
Weapon/Ability: Durandal (See Below)
Appearance: Reggy is a well built man, tall and muscular, in the peak fitness of his life. His features are rugged and square and his eyes a piercing blue, while his hair is a shock of red, scraggly at the moment. He wears simple, yet durable, clothes, always prepared for things to take a turn for the worst. Despite his broad build, he moves with the grace of a jungle cat, dangerous and smooth at once.
Personality: Despite his background, Reggy is a laid back fellow during his off hours. He's content to relax and blow off steam at a bar, or go clubbing, or take a different woman home with every night. On the job, though, he is more serious, the epitome of professional. While not broadly educated, he doesn't lack intelligence, and is quite knowledgable about soldiery and weaponry.
Biography: Reggy was an all-American boy. The center of the defensive line in high school, and a patriot above all else. He joined the military right out of high school, despite the promise of a football scholarship, simply because he thought it was his duty. It definitely helped that he was a third generation army brat, though his father never pressured him to join the service.
He had a distinguished career for nearly six years, when a convoy he was escorting to Baghdad was caught in an IED. The shrapnel from the blast crippled him, and the doctors claimed he had suffered from permanent spinal cord injury. He would receive the best possible medical care, though, and was laid up in the army hospital in Landstuhl for several months to recover from his other injuries.
He nearly gave into despair, at the thought of never being able to walk again, of never being able to engage in the physical exertion that he derived so much pleasure from. But something strange happened during his stay at Landstuhl, which to this day he continues to chalk up to an hallucination brought from the drugs he was on.
A ghostly figure appeared in his room, lacking a head, and carrying a small wooden case. Despite being headless, the figure navigated the room with ease, setting the case near Reggy's bed side. And words entered Reggy's mind, words of comfort and of courage and of hope. Even if the whole thing wasn't a hallucination, the details were lost to the fog of drug intoxication.
But the case was real and inside laid a silver-plated Desert Eagle, with the word "Durandal" etched onto the barrel. After receiving the mysterious gift, Reggy's condition miraculously improved. He still had to go through months of rigorous physical therapy, but Reggy walked out of the hospital and went back to his home in New York City. He still keeps the Desert Eagle at his side, whenever possible.
His injury, though, had already led to him being honorably discharged, and he is able to make a comfortable living off of his medical reimbursement and his pension, but it's not enough. He feels the call in his heart to right wrongs and help those in need.
The most legendary sword in all of European history is, indubitably, Excalibur. It should be noted first and foremost that Durandal is not Excalibur. Excalibur is the weapon of a king, an indicator of status as much as a weapon of war. Durandal is a soldier's weapon, a knight's weapon, a tool of war and war alone.
Transformation: The blade can change its shape, assuming the form of the weapon most comfortable to its wielder. Once fully attuned to its power, the Marked can willfully change the form of the blade, allowing it to take the shape of whatever weapon desired.
Excellence: The wielder of Durandal finds their skills in battle increased, their knowledge of small tactics, their ability to read their foes in battle. As the wielder becomes more attuned, the more they excel, and it is said that a warrior fully attuned to Durandal can only be brought low by treachery, though the raw might of the fae may be able to challenge that claim.
Enhancement: The wielder of Durandal also finds himself transformed. As with their excellence, this increases as the attunement becomes complete. The wielder grows faster and stronger and tougher, and even becomes able to return to full strength faster, even if laid low by a blow that would cripple an ordinary man. Even at its full power, Durandal cannot reverse death.
Attuning to the blade requires two processes. First, the wielder must become open to the world of the fae. Second, the wielder must come to embody the aspects of the blade. These aspects were imprinted by the most powerful personalities to wield it in battle, and a current wielder can embody either the positive or the negative aspects: the virtues and the vices of his previous incarnations.
Courage and Rage
Roland may not be the first man to wield Durandal, but he was the first to imprint his personality onto it. He battled against the Saracens on behalf of Charlemagne without fear and without question and without mercy. He waded into battle and his blade sliced his enemies to pieces, a hundred men falling to his fierce skill. If not for the betrayal of his closest companion, he may have slaughtered the entire army himself, but he did fall, as all wielders of Durandal fall.
Honor and Obsession
The next wielder to imprint upon the blade was the last true knight. In an age that had become to move on, the magic of the world fading into disbelief and humanistic doubt, he clung to his old beliefs. He charged into battle against giants, though his peers thought he was merely tilting at windmills. He lived long, though, to a ripe age, before the changing of the times his own increasing frailty led to a catastrophic defeat. Durandal was broken and the knight was slain in battle against a potent minion of the Fifth.
Justice and Cynicism
All was not lost though, as the loyal squire of the knight travelled the lands to recover the fragments of the broken blade. He did not live to see his task completed, and so he charged his own squired to continue the journey. It would be centuries before the fragments were recovered. They were not reforged into a sword, though, but into a gun, a symbol of the new era. A nameless gunman was chosen by Durandal and he went into the wastes of the Wild West, using his revolver to bring justice to an unjust land and seek the salvation of the innocent. He died, though, alone and betrayed, after his quest for justice pushed him too far.
Compassion and Passiveness
The raging heart of the blade had consumed many of its masters, driving them to dark deeds of violence and destruction and hate, even as it endeavored to bring new light to the world. The last wielder of the blade was a young man, drafted to fight in the war to end all wars. He had no desire to fight though, and his conscience rebelled against violence. Strange then, that his fate would lead him to grasping Durandal in his hands. He should have been broken. His heart should have been torn out by the raging inferno of the blade, but this young man, pure of heart, pure of intention, and driven by the noblest of convictions, mastered the blade. He became famous for capturing over a hundred soldiers, single handedly. He is less known for the calm that he brought to the blade, and the salvation it might now offer to those that wielded it rightly.
There were others as well, champions from a hundred times. Was Durandal Balmung of the Gae Bolga? These things are lost to the tide of times. What is known is that the last man to wield before its current owner was also a man named Roland. He was a Thompson Gunner, who died aiding the Congolese resistance, and lost his head for his troubles. Will it bring such a dark fate to its new owner? Or will its new owner become a part of the blade and imprint new virtues upon its soul? Only time will tell.