Everyone in the Tablelands knows the legend of the Jewel Sword, sometimes called the Warlord’s Blade or the Silencer of Bodach. According to the stories, Bodach was a nomad chieftain of no particular note, until his son was killed by a sorcerer-king’s templar. (In most versions of the story, the templar is from Urik, but Nibenay and Draj are popular villains as well.) Bodach swore revenge, and a sympathetic spirit gave him the sword, or he pulled it from the beating heart of Athas, or he spent years forging the perfect blade; tales differ, but Bodach acquired a sword of great power made entirely of gemstones.
With the sword’s power, none could stand against Bodach. He united the nomadic tribes under his banner. The sorcerer-kings sent armies to crush him, but Bodach’s forces triumphed again and again. In one of these battles, Bodach slew the templar who killed his son, but he was not satisfied. He swore he would have the head of the sorcerer-king responsible. His army marched on Urik (or Nibenay, or Draj, or Balic…).
It was a tremendous battle, and Bodach’s forces eventually breached the city’s gates, but not even the Jewel Sword could stand against a sorcerer-king in his place of power. Bodach was blasted from the face of Athas, his followers were scattered to the four winds, and the sword was lost.
There are verified histories of the Jewel Sword resurfacing in the hands of other warlords who attempted to unite the nomadic tribes. These warlords tend to be initially successful, annihilate a few powerful tribes or merchant houses, and eventually pick a target too powerful to defeat and get killed. Scholars argue about whether these warlords truly found the Jewel Sword, or whether they made it up in an attempt to rally support.