Congratulations you obtained the Yamato!

Its power fills you with motivation

Reaching for the sword, the hairs on your arm are lifting, the skin on your fingertips gets colder. Gripping the handle releases a strangely pleasing sensation of warmth from within the middle of your chest.

The warmth is pulsating and expanding outwards to the rest of the body with a steay beat. Your chest is getting really hot, too hot! But you like that kind of hot, it brings back good memories, memories you've never experienced but still good memories.

This fire.

This déjà vu.

What is this sensation? Arousal of the soul? Is this...could this be...could this be love? Why are you crying for!?

Frustration is getting bigger

You are getting more eager to find answers.

You release a spotaneus uncontrolled scream, strong enough to bleed your eyes, strong enough make you forget everything, all that matters to you now is power and might, for when you are weak you can't even protect the ones you love, let alone protecting yourself.

Now you are motivated.


I want the sword to give the above symptoms when in contact with people.

What non religious explanations are plausible for this sword?

The sword should give similar sensations even if touched by someone who has never seen or heard of the sword before, so no brainwashing or dogma induced emotions.

Technology = irrelevant, but a high tech sword that simply injects or releases drugs is not acceptable as eventually the drugs will run out and a mini pharmacy inside the sword will only make the sword either too bulky to be handled or too fragile to be used.

This is a perpetual motivational sword, not a one time wonder.

Notice the lack of magic tags

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ No biology, no religion. So magic? $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 17:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @trioxidane no, hypertech. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, the limitations are a bit vague. Also, is it a specific motivation, or are they just full of drive and energy to do whatever needs doing? Does it affect you from touch, presence, intent to use? When does the motivation stop (i.e. does carrying it not work, but touching does)? Is there a duration after contact, or is the effect lost the moment you stop touching it? Can it work for more than one person at a time? $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No magic, must touch it, general drive $\endgroup$
    – user89947
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ You want the effect instantaneous on grabbing the hilt and not built up over time? $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 19:43

4 Answers 4



The sword is ancient yet futuristic technology. It is one of the few that still are able to interface with the semi-dormant nanobots in the blood, which exist in everyone. When someone picks it up, the nanobots react to the programming in the sword. Like a credit card being swiped, they read the practically no energy costing commands and pass it on to the rest. They then set to work to execute it, moving to the brain areas for stimulation, producing the right feelings directly as well as hormones for indirect approaches. This makes the symptoms appear.

The sword was one day just a novelty, like if you would buy one from a shop nowadays. Now it's real use has been forgotten, but it's still around to interface with the invisible self replicating technology that was invented to help humanity so long ago.


Higher tech than any internal pharmacy, and potentially as sturdy and physically tough as the steel of the blade: a bioelectrically powered computer controls a highly advanced offshoot of a transcranial inductive stimulation device.

On skin contact, the sword "wakes up"; the computer boots in a few milliseconds (ROM operating system with persistent flash RAM, all at millions of times today's best density and write cycle life), then automatically detects the nervous system of its new "owner" and connects by directly stimulating nerves (this works on any skin contact, by the way; it need not be a hand).

Once connected to the "owner's" nervous system, the sword can then stimulate any given center in the brain -- originally, when new, it was able to accept wireless orders from a central host and "guide" the "owner" into doing battle for the makers of the sword(s), but the network and central host computers are long gone, so the sword continues on its base programming: to give the "owner" high motivation for whatever purpose might cross the biological's mind.

Failsafes exist -- it will only work for the correct species (or select list of species, of others than humans were present when it was made). It won't reinforce purposes that are directly harmful to the "owner" (and has a very extensive database of what's harmful -- sorry, guy, you won't be drinking any more), and once it's been held for an hour or so, it stores enough energy to operate for weeks, and has the ability to continue motivating without direct contact (at a somewhat lower level) throughout that time.

As an incentive for the "owner" to continue touching the sword periodically (to keep the energy storage filled), the sword additionally produces a very mild pleasure center stimulus when directly motivating the "owner" -- thus producing a mild addiction, over a short time, to handling the sword.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I know the premise of the question makes answers on the edge of absurd anyway, but for me there would be too much magical thinking here. Triggering all these emotions from stimulating the skin and thus the nerves can't give all those emotions and motivation. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Trioxidane Ever seen the (vacuum tube era) device that plays sound into the skin? There was a circuit diagram for it once. Now, add, say, 500 years of tech improvement. We're really talking "Clarke-tech" here -- technology that's indistinguishable from magic, so "magical thinking" is probably just about right. For that matter, doesn't seem any harder to take than all humans still having nanobots in their blood after how many generations? $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:29

There is a miniature pharmacy/GMO bacteria inside the blade&hilt.

Four examples:

  • there is a fungus that infects ants (also called zombie ants from then on) then encourages this ant to walk to a high spot where it dies, a fungus grows out of its head where it releases spores to infect more ants.
  • a parasite exists that wants to live in cats. To get there it gets into mice, the mice are then manipulated to like the smell of cats and move towards it instead of away. Mice gets eaten, parasite enters cat.
  • our gut bacteria reward us for feeding them. If you eat a lot of meat more meat-bacteria will be in your gut and the reward will be greater, steering you to eat more meat. If you eat more greens then you'll like it more as that bacteria population grows.
  • rabies disease cant stand water too well and makes humans hydrophobic to protect itself.

The sword acts like a fungal/bacterial machine which infects its host and causes the feelings described, essentially using biological macrobots. The fungus/bacteria could act on a signal send from the sword, and the sword's fungus/bacteria are spread far and wide causing most people to be infected prior to handling the sword.


The emotions must have somehow been around the physical object in order to get absorbed into it.

This might have happened through repeated exposure to the emotions (like if the sword was used for many years in an intense emotional ceremony, or if a happy enthusiastic killer slew with it for his whole career) or in a single event of particular intensity, perhaps at the moment the sword was forged.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The OP requested a non-religious, non-magical explanation. I'm not sure there's a scientific explanation for emotions being absorbed into a thing and then being replayed later. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime -- I don't think the answer is either religious or magical. Anyway, it's part of the community's job to either find or make up (pseudo-)scientific explanations for things querents are asking for. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 0:37

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