A spear that reflects the life of it’s owner trough small Haiku like poems. As the soldier lives his life the spear casts a shadow of his great exploits. Small runes are carefully etched in the ash shaft after a great battle or another important event in the warriors life.
When was the last time a character caught a cold or flu? Real people get them every now and again even with solid heating and dry interiors. Your characters are out in the cold and wet, and even inside is not always dry and warm. Imagine having to stop your dungeon crawl, sitting in a tight defensive position, while you all are feverish.