Real Identity: “Inferno”
Ultimate Form: Night Terror
Realm: The World
Featured In: The Soul Series
I admit, when it came to choosing a horrific item to place on my list, I had a tough time choosing between the Necronomicon and Soul Edge but as Lovecraft himself had said, whomsoever tries to define that which makes all shudder with the finite details will find themselves disappointed. That and, in all honesty, Soul Edge frightens me far more than that book ever could.
Soul Edge, despite its name and appearance, is not an actual sword in the strictest sense of the word. It is in fact a demon the likes of which has no true name to utter and whose very existence is a cancer in the life’s blood of the world and its denizens. Given the name of “Inferno” for its appearance as a skeletal figure ablaze in the fires of Hell itself, the creature appeared on Earth not in its natural form but in the body of a seemingly ordinary sword. A sword whose power was without question even at the dawn of time itself when the blade was but a fledging to the monster it would soon grow to be.
Though it is unknown if another had wielded it before him, the first known possessor of the sword that would eventually become known as Soul Edge was the legendary Hero King, Algol whose strength of will surpassed that of the demon’s own. The same could not be said of his son though and the prince, having grown jealous of his father’s might, stole the blade and immediately became possessed by the wicked intelligence thriving within its metal shell.
Fighting desperately to stop the machinations of the sword, Algol failed twice over as the battle was won at the cost of his son’s life and the Soul Edge disappearing from the battlefield with naught but shattered pieces remaining. Swearing vengeance upon the accursed blade, Algol had the pieces blessed a thousand times over and forged into Soul Edge’s opposite, the Soul Calibur.
It wasn’t until several thousand years later, sometime in the 16th century, that Soul Edge would reemerge and begin a new tale of blood and death. It would first be in the hands of the pirate king Cervantes de Leon but it was in the grasp of the knight Siegfried Schtauffen that its tale truly began. Rather, what Siegfried and his accursed azure armor would later be known as…
What makes Soul Edge, and by extension the monstrosity within it, so utterly terrifying is its ability to devour souls. This in itself is not wholly distinct but it is not the act itself that makes one tremble but the results of it. Whenever Soul Edge devours a soul, it is gone, completely and utterly, into it with no chance of ever being released into whatever realm in the Hereafter it was meant to go. Worse yet, Soul Edge grows not only in power with every soul but in knowledge and skill as well with some souls being powerful enough for it to change its very form.
While it is always in the form of a weapon, the Soul Edge can change its form to fit that of its wielder and even bestow upon them techniques and skills they had yet to learn or know to execute. Of course, the cost of such gifts is the wielder’s sanity if not their own soul and body as the Soul Edge claws its way into the darkness within their hearts and changes them to suit its own wicked intentions. At its current age, there is literally no limit to the variety of weapons that the Soul Edge can become so long as it has devoured a soul who has wielded such a weapon before.
That in itself isn’t too terrifying a thought when one considers that Soul Edge is bound in the form of mortal weapons and can be overcome by those whose will or souls are greater than its own terrible power. Yet, consider for a moment, what would happen should Soul Edge manage to survive into our own modern world where there are weapons far deadlier than any blade. Soul Edge can already turn into a primitive pistol in the undead hands of Cervantes de Leon… what could happen if it became something more powerful? Worse than that…
What if it became powerful enough to not need a body to hold it, that its own force of will became strong enough to break what few rules bind it to the form of a weapon? What if the demon resting in the heart of that accursed blade walked the Earth as it had desired to do so many eons ago? In one particular ending in the Soul series, it had…
And it well and truly deserves the name of Night Terror.