ARTIFACTS Prologue 5: THE BLOOD SWORD

ARITFACTS Prologue 1: The Trinity

The World Doesn’t End in 2012.  It Ends in 2011:

Countdown to Artifacts

Newsarama Note: This is the official prologue to the upcoming series Artifacts. The team at Top Cow Productions brings us an exclusive inside look at each of the mystical Artifacts, as Sara Pezzini, Danielle Baptiste, and Jackie Estacado give their unique perspectives on the sources of power. Come back each week for more information on the other Artifacts.

Part 1 began with the Trinity looking at their own sources of power, and the exclusive first two pages of Artifacts #1, and can be read by clicking here.

Part 2 had the Trinity evaluating Finn and Glori, the Ice and Fire bearers.

Part 3, they took a deeper look at Angelus, discuss the mysterious curator, and introduce the one chronicling these conversations.

Part 4, it's the religious artifact, the Spear of Destiny, and its wielder, the Magdalena, descendant of Jesus the Christ.

Here in Part 5, The Blood Sword, the first Artifact wielded by someone who is already an Artifact bearer takes the focus.

Separately, 13 Artifacts guide the fate of the universe.  Together, 13 Artifacts will end the universe.

This summer, Top Cow Productions, Inc. kicks off the 13-issue world shattering event series with Artifacts #1.  The first chapter, presented by writer Ron Marz and artist Michael Broussard, marks the beginning of the path that will forever alter the course of the Top Cow Universe.

Reporting from the underbelly of New York for the weekly Twilight Alternative is Gretchen Fullmer, byline “Gretch.”  She is the go-to-girl for late-breaking news if you believe in Angels, Demons, or Homicide Detectives who bear supernatural gauntlets.  Her dedication to unearthing the news that the other scandal tabloids deem too fantastic and unbelievable for print keeps her in the know of the forces that truly guide this world.

There are 7 weeks remaining until Artifacts begins.

The Bitter Thirst of Steel

By Gretch

Twilight Alternative Staff

Robert Chambers isn’t the only thing pedestrians should be afraid of while walking down Central Park West at night.  Most New Yorkers are already afraid to venture into the park after sunset – and for good reasons.  We can all too easily imagine a shadowy figure gripping his gloved hands around our throats and pulling us into the darkness.

But how many of us suspect that even the well-lit façade of the American Museum of Natural History, with its welcoming equestrian statue of Teddy Roosevelt, holds mysterious horror behind its thick walls.  Imagine a bubbly blond from any fuzzy VHS copy of a Z-Grade 80’s horror movie running toward the museum, away from the dark nooks and things that go bump in the park, and we’re just as compelled to yell at the screen “No! Don’t go in there!” 

Forget about the family friendly one-liners from the goofy Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson film franchise.  We would be crazy to think that mannequins of Billy the Kid and King Tutankhamen come to life after visitor hours and play fetch with the fossil bones of the T. Rex in the Childs Frick Fossils Hall.  But heed the eerie feelings of premonition we get as the security guards usher us out at 5:45 just before dark.  Venture behind the mannequins and dioramas staged for the mind-numbing, Oxford-voiced audio tours.  The crates in the subterranean storage chambers warehouse the artifacts the public is not prepared to view.  Supernatural activity flourishes under Manhattan pavement, but there are few other areas where it’s as concentrated as it is under the Museum of Natural History.

Not too long ago, the body of a soft-spoken guard at the museum was discovered downstairs.  His head was found fifty feet away from the rest of his body.  If you Google the victim’s name – Nelson Ascensio – there is startlingly little information on the murder.  For a man who gave almost a decade of his life to patrolling the museum’s holdings, who knows what Ascensio had guarded.  Who knows what sort of artifacts Ascensio disturbed during his nightly patrol.

Ascensio was decapitated in one very clean strike.  Most people who know how to use a sword aren’t adept enough to perform such an attack.  Ask the night guard who took over Ascensio’s shift what happened and he might mention that he keeps an eye out for anything with a sharp edge to it that looks like it could become haunted.  He might even motion toward the fairly recent acquisition of an early 17th century suit of Japanese Armor that mysteriously lacks any weaponry.  Though clearly nicked and scuffed from heavy use in battle, evidence of the katana that defended the warrior is scarce.  On the museum accessions tag for the armor, however, the missing katana is clearly marked as having been received.

Larry Bethea, Director of Museum Security, presents himself as the stalwart individual who distinguishes the inspired and amicable history buffs that staff the Museum of Natural History staff from the gruff, “no touching” MoMA security guards.  But ask him about a ghost in Samurai Armor and he’ll noticeably go quiet.  Mention the same story to any of the museum scientists and they’ll openly chuckle.  But how often do they work in the museum at midnight?  And how often does their work place them in storage?

Scientists live in a sheltered world of books and controlled research experiments.  But it’s surprising to think that they have also become oblivious to the disturbing trend of cover-ups in the museum.  A few years back, the Fossil Hall was trashed.  Reports blame the incident on a gang war between Yakuza and the Italian Mafia sparked over a turf dispute.  But bullets and shuriken don’t cause the type of damage the Fossil Hall suffered. 

Yakuza rumors mention a mythical weapon known as the Ketsuma No Katana – or, the Blood Sword.  Interestingly enough, until recently, the same rumors placed the whereabouts of the Blood Sword in the backyard of our very own city.  For such an aggressive organization, the Yakuza hold a deep respect for the myth of Blood Sword.  They do not seek it out because they know that to wield it is to become its slave.

There is little written about the Blood Sword.  But all accounts agree there are only two ways to intimately know the Blood Sword: to be cut down by it or to be compelled to sate the blade’s hunger for blood.  Given the path of carnage the our Museum of Natural History has seen, Dracula must look like a lightweight compared to whatever demon is shackled to the blade.

The life of the katana is a life of terror. 

Want to know more about the Blood Sword?  Pick up Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #2 today!  Come back next week to find out more about the different Artifacts and their bearers!  Until then, pick up Magdalena #1, Witchblade #136, Darkness #84, Angelus #3 and Artifacts #0 out now!

What do you think so far? Which Artifact would you wield?

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