"I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."
-Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"
Full Item Description
Hazy and indistinct as it rests, hidden in swirls of freezing mists, Winter’s Tempest reveals its form only when grasped by one with the intent of wielding it, a form that varies slightly for each. In all cases, however, it is a short, and slim blade of some brilliantly clear crystal, shining beneath the snow and ice that always seems to kiss it. A terrible, biting cold seems to radiate from it, as it draws the warmth away into itself, to bring the destruction of ice.
Among the fees and treasures that Ironspirit has collected over the years rest many a forgotten artifact, many a thing whose power and potential is forgotten by mankind - But not by the Gods. To watch over these is one of the self-appointed duties of Grandfather Adan Ironspirit, from whom all of Ironspirit has descended. Among these treasures, once, rested a handful of artifacts imbued with the Shards of the Storm, imbued with the power of a Goddess far greater than himself. And he had thought to keep these artifacts from mortal hands, so as to prevent them from becoming a catastrophe upon the world. But even a Demigod can fail.
As Adan slumbered, a part of the price of the curse he placed upon the rapist Rulakir, it was the victim herself that sneaked into the treasure chambers, the divine locks falling away before her Ironspirit blood. And from them, she collected that which called to the hatred and destruction that lodged in her heart, and with them, she fled, far to the north, to the frozen ancestral lands of her mother, and her ultimate grandfather.
It was a long and difficult ordeal for her to extract the Shards from the artifacts that encased them, but in time, Alina Ironspirit held them, four pieces of destruction distilled, a conduit to the primal rage of the Storm. And she took up the hammer, and she took up the ice of the tundra, and she took up the shards, and without the touch of fire, she hammered them forth into a slim, slender blade, suitable for her hand. And all the while, whilst she hammered, the winds keened and the sky shook with the force of her blows, a frothing vortex of divine power surrounding her, the union of the Storm Queen’s lust for destruction and the shaping power of her own divine ancestry. More than one celestial power attempted to interfere, and yet into this vortex, none could penetrate, held at bay by the dread and baneful union of the two powers.
And she took up her blade, and as the chill winds descended around her, she let forth a terrible cry, a keening of hatred and shame that echoed across the glacier. She would show her defiler the true meaning of cold fury, as her frozen talons rent the beating heart from his flesh and froze it solid. She swore it, and began to stalk in the direction of that heartbeat, shattering all in her path with the strength of the arctic cold, be it man or material, demon or angel.
To take up the Blade of Winter’s Tempest is to die. Containing, as it does, a broad conduit to the power of the Storm Queen, it’s power will begin to cause immediate and irrevocable effects upon the body and soul of the one who wields it, as both physical and mental warmth are torn violently away from the wielder.
Rapidly, one who takes up the sword in anger or hatred, and accepts its power is transformed into a twisted and frozen mockery of their former selves, their flesh becoming cold, hard, and mummified by the caress of the winter wind. The mind, meanwhile, becomes full of a focused hatred, the cold, unending desire to destroy the chosen target, and the new frost-revenant will pursue its target with tireless furor, driven by the frozen winds that accompany him. Hunger, thirst, and fatigue all disappear for the wielder, newly sustained by only her thoughts of vengeance and destruction.
Even in the hottest of climes, the winter follows the sword, full of bitter winds and slashing ice, extending for miles around the wielder, becoming worse the nearer that the target is, yet somehow, the path of the bearer is never impeded by this weather.
When wielded in battle, Winter’s Tempest calls forth the frozen storm that surrounds it, every stroke of the blade accompanied by razor’s lashes of ice born upon the wind, and a frozen chill that can injure the unprotected even on a wild miss. There is no simple limit to the wielder’s ability to use the arctic clime caused by the sword to attack and defend, rather, it will continue until the remainder of the mortal soul is overcome by the raw divine power of the blade.
Should the target(s) be slain, the conjured winter will dissipate, and the wielder will expire, as his hatred is expended, and is no longer sufficient to hold onto this world.
Should the blade be picked up by one who chooses to reject its power, or who has no vengeance to wreak, it will become too cold to handle, either forcing the bearer to relinquish it, or slaying him outright through that same cold.
To a great many of the Powers that Be, Winter’s Tempest is a thing that should not be, and must not be. While the Gods are strictly sworn against direct, personal intervention, they are terrified that the destructive aspect of the Six may be too much for this world to bear, and that this weapon may even be used against one of their number with effectiveness. To that end, each of the Gods of Man has very likely selected a Champion, and given them the order to find Winter’s Tempest, and to shatter it, to scatter the Shards of the Storm to the winds once more.
However, for each of these Champions, there lies another faction, one who believes that the blade can be made to be of great use, either to have, and to hold as a threat, or to be used, in all the ways that a weapon of mass destruction might be used. These factions, too, have selected their agents, and sent them forth to retrieve the blade.
And finally, it has occurred to a few that if this is the lesser, then the whole must be that much greater. Many of these beings have begun to search out the remaining shards, intending to collect them all, and reforge the blades of legend, and claim them for themselves.
PCs may find themselves used by any of these factions, for help or to hinder others, or they may have their own reasons for seeking the dread blade. But each and any of them is likely to have to deal with the frost-revenant that wields the blade.