First, off, lets pick out all the maneuvers that are flashy from the list created earlier in this thread:
Disarming Attack, Evasive Footwork, Feinting Attack, Lunging Attack, Parry, Riposte
Second, let’s review a little bit about Sraece Telthorn (text by Ed Greenwood):
…is a smallish, agile, almost feminine man who can dance, tumble, balance, and spring with a skill and precision matched only by the greatest acrobats (once leaping off a parapet to land perfectly balanced on a sloping, protruding flagstaff far below, for instance, and often springing over the slashing swords of opponents). He teaches “swordplay” (fencing) in Yhaunn and Waterdeep, and is believed to travel between the two by means of secret portals of unknown origin and location. Telthorn lives simply, is unambitious (avoiding power and important patrons, and giving much of his coins away), and is beloved by many pleasure-lasses of Waterdeep, who regard him as a kind friend or honorary brother as well as a frequent client. (via Ed Greenwood/Candlekeep)
Third, let’s figure out how Sraece’ considerable talent at swordplay ended up in magic items that, if worn by a PC, allows him or her to pull off the flashy maneuvers listed at the top of this post:
1. Sraece was doomed, he just didn’t know it yet. But of course we’re all doomed in one fashion or another…though I wonder how many of us can say that we’ve earned the enmity of a dragon we skewered through the heart?
2. Sraece put his best sword through Iymrith’s heart when she was riding the body of one her many gargoyles.
3. Note: Not all gargoyles are the stuff of Elemental Earth come to life. Iymrith’s are of her own creation, and each successive generation is more sleek, powerful and deadly than the last.
4. Iymrith chose to travel on a lark, and to test a new magic of her own devising that allowed her to see and experience the world through the eyes of a specially prepared gargoyle.
5. She teleported herself as she would her gargoyles. She didn’t expect a human to be standing where she appeared, nor did she think he would attack with bared sword.
6. Sraece’s lunge was swift, his form perfect. Twelve inches of rapier emerged between the gargoyle’s wings, and the exposed length of steel was withdrawn just as swiftly. Iymrith felt little pain before she died.
7. For his part, Sraece did not linger in front of the Gate that had awakened at his presence. He assumed the arrival of the gargoyle was the work of an as yet undetermined foe who’d tracked his covert movements to one of the handful of Gates that carried him between his twin homes of Yhaunn and Waterdeep.
8. For her part, Iymrith had proved a theory that has passed among sages for centuries in the Realms: Teleport spells are not random simply because the magic is difficult to control, but because the presence of powerful magical objects like Gates (Portals to you young whippersnappers) tug on the magic of teleport spells, and sometimes cut the journey short. If your journey goes awry, it’s likely there’s a Gate nearby.
9. Iymrith did not die. Her defenseless essence was flung brutally back into her body, where the dragon laired in the heart of the nameless city she’d claimed as her own. Her agony and spasms lasted days. It took months for her to learn how to walk again, much less fly. Her stumbling movements destroyed much of what she’d labored to create, and the captive adventurers she’d kept close to her lair fled for their lives as the ground shook around them.
10. The Dragon of the Statues made learning all she could about portals her purpose. But more important was her vengeance. Thus Sraece lived a charmed life. He never saw another gargoyle, and he found that anyone who desired his doom soon discovered others to share their enmity with. Iymrith’s reach was long, and she would not allow a mortal to take what she desired most.
11. Sraece was torn apart on the day he died. The stuff of his person was slowly ripped away, one iota at a time, thanks to a trap that captured him when he stepped through a gate. His agony was a thousand times what the dragon experienced. But this was only the beginning.
12. Iymrith’s Gate Trap laid bare Sraece’ soul, and the dragon tore it apart. She took the essence of his personality and cast it into the silvery in-between that links any two Gates together (where it lingers still, invisibly peering through Gates at will), keeping only his battle experience and knowledge of swordplay. This she bound to his weapons and equipment, to make a servant out of it.
13. For decades after, a whirling and dancing creature composed of nothingness yet wielding rapier and wearing simple clothes terrorized Bedine nomads and anyone foolish enough to approach the Towers Unattainable.
Tomorrow let’s figure out how Iymrith lost control of her new servant, and perhaps start work on the sword(s) and clothing of Sraece that have been imbued with the essence of his formidable skill.