Ares originally disguises it as a hunting knife when he first meets Annabeth Chase, Grover Underwood, and Percy Jackson. He uses it to clean his fingernails, threatening the mortal waitress to take the golden drachma as payment for the burgers that the three demigods eat. He also cloaks it as an aluminum baseball bat shortly before dueling against Percy. In addition, it is seen by mortals through the mist as a shotgun.
When Ares encounters Percy again, he instantly pushes the point of his sword under Percy's chin in a threatening manner, though he later lowers the weapon, not willing to make himself look unattractive to Aphrodite, who wanted to speak with the demigod.
During the Seven Heroes of Olympus's final battle with the Giants in Athens, Ares arrives, helping Frank smash through an entire phalanx of Giants, disemboweling them with his sword "as easily as a child destroying piñatas."
Although the sword can morph into whatever weapon Ares wants, such as a shotgun or a baseball bat, its true form is that of a long sword (longer than Riptide) with a skull-shaped pommel and a large ruby embedded in the skull's mouth.