The Summer Wife's Last Dance

Submitted by Mapache on Mon, 2003-07-14 05:00
The Summer Wife's Last Dance

The origins of this spear are lost in the mists of history. References to it date back at least to the Primordial War, and some suspect that it may be even more ancient. It consists of a wooden shaft as long as a man is tall, oval in cross-section, flaring out into a broad blade at the end. Even though the blade itself is made of wood, it is ever as sharp as fresh-spun Fae glass. There is a bronze cross-piece mounted behind the blade, and the length of the shaft is inlaid with eldritch runes in bronze which spiral their way from blade to end. They are in no language known to scholars of the present day, and none alive know what they say.

The blade itself drips thick, dark blood in great globs that drop to the floor, flow into the shape of leaves, then dry and blow away. They come slowly most of the time, one every few minutes, but when in combat they flow freely, a stream of blood-red leaves billowing away from the bearer.

There are many stories of how the spear got its name, and most of them are tales of woe. Some say that it is merely a metaphor, the last joyous dance of a young woman married for her beauty as her best trait fades in to the autumn of middle age. Others spin a yarn about a nomadic culture where the men moved each season and the women did not, and claim the spear is tied to the sad last dance a summer wife performs for her husband before he moves on, knowing she will not see him for many months. There is a similar version about a single hunter who wandered, keeping mistresses where it pleased him, and the young woman whom he married, lived with for a summer, then tired of, abandoning her with a full belly and no one to care for her. The darkest is that of a warrior tribe who routinely stole the women of conquered peoples and married them, then ritually sacrificed them to their foul god after three months. The strangest story of all is that the spear is the preserved phallus of a defeated primordial, claimed and wielded as trophy by the warrior maiden who bested him. Whatever the truth, it is likely the Fae know, for Nobles of the Fair Folk break into uncontrollable weeping at the sight of the spear, but none are willing to talk about it, perhaps due to an ancient oath.

  Speed Accuracy Damage Defense Artifact Minimums Attunement Cost
The Summer Wife's Last Dance +6 +4 +4L, Piercing +2 ••••• S••• 10 motes

The Summer Wife's Last Dance can affect all immaterial beings, and deals Aggravated damage to creatures from outside Creation, such as Demons and Fair Folk. It is said that the spear can kill even Primordials, and that indeed three of the Malfeans owe their current state to its sharpened point.

Legend also tells that the spear has a vague of will of its own, and that it chooses bearers who can further its inscrutable goals. Once it has chosen a wielder, it does its best to keep that wielder alive, healing one health level of damage from its holder for every health level of damage it inflicts to its enemies. The spear does not tolerate cruelty however, and this power does not function on those who did not mean harm to the bearer.

The Summer Wife's Last Dance can accept up to four hearthstones. It has no settings per se, but the wood of the shaft will flow to firmly grip any hearthstone placed against it.

The Summer Wife's Last Dance is not made of any of the five Magical Materials, though it is treated as such for the purposes of magical effects that either require them or are unable to affect them. Indeed, the spear itself is believed to be completely indestructible.