I hate this work.
The cycle of nature is no stranger to me, the often brutal necessities survival demands. I have hunted down and killed animals, avoiding cruelty. I have eaten their flesh. These are not animals, not even whole plants. Just parts. They are not even alive to begin with.
And yet, this bothers me more than killing beasts or intelligent creatures. Some days, it feels like I can hear them screaming.
When finished, the arrows don’t look very different, perhaps a little paler than your generic wooden sort, as if a little frost was left on them from the early morning. Skilled archers know the difference, but they are rarely marked with different feathers or paint: this variety is cold to the touch.
The Elves make them only in deep winter. The wood is left to freeze outside, over and over. As the bark is slowly stripped away, the piece is drenched in water, and left to freeze again, day after day. Mystical phrases are uttered, words meant to heal and restore, they vary as those who make use of them. The wood is allowed to rest, then cruel winter bites into it. And the process continues - parting into shafts, all the adjusting, adding the vanes, and so on.
Meanwhile, the wood has been frozen to cold death and restored many times; less than a third will come out of the process in a usable form. For the makers, it is a long, tiring work. But the result seems worth it, just be sure to employ them before next winter… they will not bear another.
In shooting, it is a weak magical missile (it can be your generic +1 arrow). But if it hits living matter, it becomes more. The suffering of winter cannot be born anymore, the wood warps and splits like it should at its birth, likely increasing the damage caused, and making the removal a horrible mess. Besides the pain caused by the wound itself, the biting cold it absorbed is discharged, potentially shocking the victim to its core.
The arrow is sometimes called Rank-Breaker, and if used correctly it can shake even massive war beasts, normally impervious to little wooden sticks.