Damascus is the first thought of those who lay eyes upon Steel Judgement. Even the foolish swiftly realize that they are wrong, for though they see the swirling beauty of the blade, it is all the colors of the metallic rainbow. No less than twenty seperate alloys are folded into this colorful blade, and only but a few of them are based upon iron.
A full yard and a quarter in length, the blade is not the arrow straightness that instantly appears to the eyes, each edge ever so shallowly curved. Meticulous survey will prove that the blade is widest half way between the hilt and point.
Though undecorated, the hilt and crosspiece are forged in timeless fashion, curving gently towards the point of the blade.
Forged by the progenitor of the Ironspirit clan of warrior-smiths, Nial Ironspirit, this sword is considered by many to be the magnum opus of one of the finest smiths to ever raise his hammer.
Though less renowned upon the field of war than upon the anvil, Nial was feared not for his nigh-inhuman strength, nor for his quite limited tactical abilities, but rather, for the trail of jagged, shattered steel he left behind. Even as a skilled musician might completely categorize an instrument and its player from a single note, so too could the warrior-smith understand fully a foes blade and armor, striking unerringly for weaknesses and flaws, all the while defending with only the strongest aspects of his own armor and weapons. This skill he imparted to his son, and he to his son after him, and so forth, until the legacy became as bound into the family blade of the Ironspirit clan as to the wielders of the sword.
By correctly identifying the imperfections and merits of a particular work of the forge, the wielder of Steel Judgement may ‘Judge’ the work. Should he deem the work ‘Poor’, the item is downgraded one rank of effectiveness, until such time as the bearer of Steel Judgement rescinds the judgement, or until the next natural transition of time, usually dawn or dusk. Masterwork items become Normal Quality, Normal Quality items become Poor Quality, and Poor Quality items cease to have useful function, possibly even impeding their owner. Should he deem the work ‘Skilled’, the item gains one rank of effectiveness, again until the next natural time transition. Poor items become Normal, Normal items become Masterwork, and Masterwork items temporarily become effectively Magical. If the flaws / merits of the forging judged do not actually match the wielder’s appraisal, the Judgement is ineffective. Further, this applies to the quality of forging only. Short swords cannot be deemed poor because the wielder happens to believe them poor weapons!
Of its own merit, the Blade is a Grand Masterwork weapon: In addition to the normal merits of masterwork weapons, the balance is so exquisite that a skilled wielder can use it with all the speed and reflex as if it were a weapon one size category smaller than it really is, while retaining the damage bonuses of the greater size.