- "Its blade shone like captured moonlight, its edge keen enough to cut the veil between worlds. Etched runes ran along its length, carved into the very heart of the blade. Sigmar had never seen a more perfectly forged weapon."
- —Sigmar is presented with the first of the Runefangs.[3a]
The Runefangs were created by the renowned Dwarf Runesmith Alaric the Mad, and were intended for the 12 tribal leaders who had united under Sigmar's rule. However, such was the skill and time required to make them, that it was not until 100 years after the Battle of Black Fire Pass that Alaric was able to deliver them all to the new Emperor. Runefangs are blades of unsurpassed power able to carve through gromril and Dragon scale.
Only one of the Runefangs, most likely the one that currently belongs to the Elector Count of Middenland, was used in battle before this. It was given to Sigmar's childhood friend, Pendrag, the newly appointed ruler of Middenheim, who used it when a Chaos army besieged the city. When Pendrag fell during the ensuing battle, the sword went to Myrsa, his successor.
Although there are 12 Runefangs, there are only ten Elector Counts. The province of Drakwald was stripped of its statehood in the early 14th century, while Solland was destroyed by the Waaagh! of Gorbad Ironclaw in the early 17th century IC. The orc warchief took the sword (along with the Elector Count's head) as a trophy, and it was lost for many years before being recovered in the Worlds Edge Mountains and returned to the Imperial Capital of Altdorf.
In the dark periods known as the Age of Wars, the Age of Three Emperors and the Dark Age, Runefangs became highly sought after. Wars were fought between noble families for the possession of a Runefang, as the ownership gave a noble house the right to claim itself a Royal house.[7a]
Today the Runefangs are divided between the 10 elector counts, (with the Emperor himself choosing to wield it or Ghal Maraz into battle), while one, formerly belonging to the province of Solland, is wielded by the Reikmarshal Kurt Helborg. The last one, the Runefang of Drakwald, is kept locked away in the Imperial Armoury, and is sometimes, temporarily, wielded by worthy generals during times of strife.
List of Runefangs
- Runefang of Averland, known as Mother's Ruin[1a] and the Sword of Ruin.[4b]
- Runefang of Hochland, known as Goblin Bane.[1a]
- Runefang of Middenland, known as Legbiter.[1a][6a]
- Runefang of Nordland, known as Crow Feeder.[1a]
- Runefang of Ostland, known as Brain Wounder.[1a]
- Runefang of Ostermark, known as Troll Cleaver.[1a][5a]
- Runefang of Reikland, known as Dragon Tooth.[1a]
- Runefang of Stirland, known as Orc Hewer.[1a]
- Runefang of Talabecland, known as Stone Breaker.[1a]
- Runefang of Wissenland, known as Blood Bringer.[1a]
- Runefang of Solland, known as Grudge Settler[1a], Grollhalter (meaning "the Grudgebearer"), Lightshard, Helbringer, Warpsbane and Klingerach (meaning "the Sword of Vengeance").[4a]
- Runefang of Drakwald, known as Beast Slayer.[1a]
- 1: White Dwarf #325 (UK Edition)
- 1a: pg. 73
- 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition)
- 3: The Legend of Sigmar: Empire (Novel), by Graham McNeill
- 3a: Chapter Twenty
- 4: Sword of Justice (Novel), by Chris Wraight
- 5: The End Times Vol I: Nagash
- 5a: pg. 259
- 6: The Lord of the End Times (Novel), by Josh Reynolds
- 6a: Prologue
- 7: Enemy in Shadow Companion (4th Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 7a: pg.12