Runefangs are the twelve magical swords which serves as the badges of office of the Elector Counts of the Empire. 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.
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
Each Runefang has its own name, listed below with their associated province:
- Runefang of Averland - Mothers Ruin
- Runefang of Hochland - Goblin Bane
- Runefang of Middenland - Legbiter
- Runefang of Nordland - Crow Feeder
- Runefang of Ostland - Brain Wounder
- Runefang of Ostermark - Troll Cleaver
- Runefang of Reikland - Dragon Tooth
- Runefang of Stirland - Orc Hewer
- Runefang of Talabecland - Stone Breaker
- Runefang of Wissenland - Blood Bringer
- Runefang of Solland - Grudge Settler
- Runefang of Drakwald - Beast Slayer
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th edition, 2006)
- McNeill, Graham (2009). Empire