The Bastard Axe is a common weapon of the warriors of Vikingheim, a sturdy weapon that can be used with one or two hands, or simply thrown at an enemy
"Come on,, chop chop, I haven't got all day." The last words of Sir Percy Quantril before being beheaded for his attempted coup against Queen Yocasta.
An axe of extraordinary power. There couldn't possibly be anything harmful about it- right?
When running a new party, get around the question of plot density by having the first discovery to be a deck of fate, or whatever you call it. If you use a real deck, you should definitely stack it to have the desired outcome, which is to curse the party to attract weird things to happen and involve them. This should not be told to the players at the time, so that they won't just up and try to get themselves 'decursed'. Though quite why they would want to is beyond me.