Full Item Description
A beautiful white ivory spear that is carved all along it’s length with magical sigils, glows softly and feels warm to the touch even in the coldest weather.
The Spear of Light is a beautiful looking spear of elegantly carved ivory, carved from the tusk of a full grown Megamoth that was found dying of extreme old age by one of the small polar tribes that wander back and forth across the ice. As the beast lay dying the tribal shaman entered a trance and spoke with the beast, asking for its help and promising that if it donated a part of its soul then it would always be treated with great respect.
The dying beast agreed, in exchange for a merciful death before the Frost Owls could tear it apart whilst it was still alive. One of its tusks was carved into the spear and whilst the shaman retired to his yurt for days to cast the necessary spells, the tribe, having killed the beast as humanly as possible, made good use of the beast.
The fur was used for clothes or yurts, the meat was eaten, the entrails fed to the dogs, and the bones and the other tusk were made into tools, weapons, or jewellery. Not a part of it was left for the Frost Owls to devour. After the spells had been cast, the shaman came out with the spear. It glowed in the darkness with a faint glow that was still strong enough to see by, and whoever held it would not suffer from frostbite even in the coldest winters when the snows blew thickly. When it was hurled at a foe it was as if it guided itself to the target and the tribe fed well.
The times were moving on and small numbers of men from temperate lands moved into the area, exploring and prospecting for gold. These first intruders into the lands of the Peoples of the Ice were generally friendly, being too few in numbers to do anything else. They brought with them new and deadly weapons such as the Firebow but they often married into the tribes and only fought at all if attacked.
They brought trade goods too such as tinderboxes, metal tools and weapons and other such things that the tribes were eager to trade for, swapping furs or the yellow metal that the strangers desired so badly and that the tribes had no need for, as it could not be forged into anything useful.
These friendly people were followed within decades by others who were not so pleasant, and who founded mountain towns on tribal hunting grounds without compensation for the lost land and dug shafts deep into the mountainsides in search of the yellow metal. Tribesmen who protested were beaten and flogged or even killed, and tribal women were abducted and raped.
The tribes fought back, only to face armies with massed Firebows that tore gaps in their ranks, and weapons and spells that were seriously powerful. All too often bone weapons and fur armour broke when they met steel weapons, whilst the tribal magics were no match for the stronger arcane and clerical magics of their foes.
Worse was to come, however. The most potent weapon that the invaders brought from the warm lands to the south was a variety of deadly diseases that the medicines and magic of the tribal shamans could do little to counter, and thousands died of diseases that often did little harm to those who were taking their lands. Those who survived fell back north only to end up in fights with the northern tribes who had no wish to share their tribal hunting grounds with the refugees.
The southern invaders hung back from full-scale confrontation with the tribes, instead helping some tribes to wipe out the others, and then turning on their allies when they were weakened by war. They also used their weapons to almost wipe out the animals on the plains so that the surviving tribal peoples were racked by starvation. Starving, diseased, losing hope, the remainder of the once proud tribes were hunted down and slaughtered like vermin.
It was in one of the last little battles that the holder of the Spear of Light fell to the blade of a prospector, John Argus. Arguss views on the tribal people were even more extreme then most of his fellow southerners. To him not only the adult males of the tribal people were a threat, but the women and children and even the babies. He felt pleased with himself as he took the Spear and headed back to the temperate frontier city of Maxwell, a city named after the first southern explorer to enter the polar wastes in search of gold and return alive to tell the tale.
Because Maxwell was still a bit rough and ready, law and order was not quite as good yet as it was further south and so people were still allowed to carry weapons within the city limits to defend themselves from the many robbers and worse that lurked in certain areas of the city and sometimes sneaked into the richer areas after dark.
It was not long after he left the polar snows that he began to feel unnaturally hot, as if it were the height of a particularly hot southern summer. He stripped down as much as he could legally do without the town marshals arresting him for obscenity, but fell quickly into a fever and staggered back towards the edge of town, his clouded mind wanting to get back to the cold of the polar wastes. As he passed a rich and plump merchant, one of the great nobles of the area that had got his claim in early on and now owned one of the major gold mines back north, the spear jerked in his hand and thrust itself deeply into the nobles stomach and then twisted, spilling the nobles guts onto the pavement.
Two town marshals that were on patrol saw the murder happen along with a dozen witnesses. They jumped on Argus who was too feverish to put up much of a fight and was swiftly disarmed, handcuffed and slung into the town jail. Once disarmed, the fever left him within hours. Whilst the townsfolk of Maxwell and even the marshals tended to let certain laws be broken in a way that would not be tolerated further south, the public murder of one of the richest people in town right in front of marshals was outrageous by any standards.
Within two days Argus was marched into court to face the town troika of three learned judges. Although he was allowed to hire a lawyer, justice was swift. He protested that he did not know what he was doing but the judges all found him guilty of murder. It could hardly be otherwise, given who he had killed.
The normal penalty for murder was a public hanging within hours of conviction but since he had slain such a rich and influential noble, he was gibbeted alive instead. They took him to the city gates still with his hands handcuffed behind him and locked him into a small cage, only large enough to sit in with his legs pulled up to his chest.
They pulled the cage up into the air and left him there to die, gagging him by night so his screams would not keep everyone in the area awake. By day they left him ungagged so his begging, screams of pain from cramp and pleas for mercy would act as an extra deterrent to future would-be murderers. As he could drink when it rained, enough to stop him dying quickly of thirst, it took him eight days to die, and his body was left to rot in the cage.
The Spear of Light was given to the nobles family but after they started suffering hot flushes and worse after handling it for more then a few minutes at a time, they sold it and where it is now, nobody knows.
The Spear of Light, unlike many magical items is powered not by a trapped spirit but by one that willingly allowed itself to be bound to the weapon. It glows softly, yet bright enough to see by. The holder is protected from the strongest extremes of cold. Frostbite will not happen, nor shivering, nor even chapped lips or any other perils caused directly by cold. Of course, if someone falls off a mountain or down a crevasse or gets attacked by someone or something he or she can still die in the normal way, and if someone slips and falls badly a broken bone will still happen. When thrown at a living target it will try and aim for a part of the target that will kill on impact. It does not return to the thrower however who must go and retrieve it in the normal way.
When brought to somewhere that is in any way warm or hot it will soon transmit the discomfort that it is feeling to the host to try and get him or her to move to a cold area again. The hotter the area is, the worse the effect on the holder will be, and if something is not done quickly enough the holder of the weapon will get a fever and could even die of it. The problem can be solved by either going back into the cold or cooling down the weapon in some way, with water, ice or cold magics. Should it find itself on fire and burning, the spirit might well flee to the spirit world resulting in the loss of all the weapons magical powers.
The Spear generally dislikes being stolen from its owner, and dislikes it even more so if the previous owner is killed. Should that happen, it will wait for the right time and then will try and cause severe trouble for its owner, by lunging at someone in authority, be it the local law enforcement whoever that is, the richest and most powerful person in the area, or just somebody who it is really not wise to fight with, attempting to kill him or her and then letting its new owner suffer the often fatal consequences.