The earliest storm swords were battle blades devised in the early days of Cormanthyr. Never numerous because their nature made them dangerous and this soon became obvious to everyone, these proto-storm swords (+5 long swords that glowed when erupting and whenever their bearer wills) were so named because they could unleash many lightning bolts of awesome power (one bolt per round, of 12d6 damage, bolt can fork if desired, 7d12 bolts per day). If the wielder of an early storm sword cast any spell that caused hp damage 'into' the blade, the spell was absorbed by the sword (no spell effect manifested), but the destructive power (damage dice) of the spell could be added (by mere act of will of the wielder) wholly to any one bolt unleashed by the sword. A proto-storm sword can only hold one such spell; casting a second one into a sword already storing a spell causes a spontaneous chain lightning to instantly erupt from the blade. (If persons other than the wielder of the blade try to cast a spell into or at a storm sword, the spell is deflected in a random distance and direction, perhaps menacing unintended targets.) The perilous side-effect of all proto-storm swords is that mere proximity to wards, mantles, and any being, item, or area upon which three or more spells have been cast and remain in existence (even if inactive), causes a storm sword to spontaneously try to drain the nearby magic. A bearer who knows what this property is (any bearer can feel it awakening or in operation) and makes direct physical contact with the proto-storm sword can mentally wrestle the blade into leaving the enchantments alone, but this curbing takes the bearer's entire attention and concentration, allowing the bearer to perform only simple tasks (such as movement, evasion of obstacles or approaching persons or objects, moving or drawing or sheathing the blade, and engaging in simple verbal communication or making gestures) as the curbing is going on. Certain proto-storm swords damaged VERY precious elven family enchantments to the horror of their wielders and everyone else, so they were soon replaced by the blades I detailed in DRAGON Annual #2. The earlier weapons were ordered destroyed, and several were -- but in any time and with any race, there are those who value power and the illicit. So several proto-storm swords were hidden away, and presumably survive today. Please note that these would be unknown outside the elves, and referred to by elves as "the old stormblades," NOT "proto-storm swords."