Tales of the Dragon Coast: A Forgotten Realms Adventure
A razor sharp axe that goes for the throat!
This impressive double bladed orc war-axe was hidden away for centuries in the underground halls of the original Temple of Elemental Evil. It stands approximately 5 and a half feet in overall length and actually seems quite light for a weapon of its size in the hands of an experienced wielder. Its grips are blood red and bound at the end with golden bands. The hafts leading to the blades are black as jet and the heads themselves are a stone gray. Most menacing of all, each blade is inscribed on both sides with the open screaming maw of a greater demon, their tongues lashing out and up along the crescent edges of the axes.
This weapon is heavily enchanted by the forces of necromancy and is made for bringing death and destruction. Nergal’s fangs acts as a +4 magical weapon of its kind and two other powerful spells were forged into it. One is the ability to inflict devastating wounds on the recipient of its touch that will continually bleed out unless repaired by a DC 15 heal check to staunch them.
But by far the most wondrous power of the axe lies in its ability to seek and snuff out the life of those who oppose its owner. Confirming a critical hit on a natural 20 die roll will summon up the spirit of Nergal the Soul Crusher and his spirit will guide the blades to take the heads of those whose essence he wishes to devour!
This mighty weapon was forged countless ages ago in the land that would one day be known as Impiltur. There in the vast heights of the Giantspike Mountains a particular band of barbarian warriors dwelt in relative peace with the lands below and were led by the line of chieftains known as the Winterfangs. For many generations these warriors fought just about damn near every race that made shelter within or without the mountains: dwarves, dragons, trolls or orcs, it mattered not. If the Winterfang tribe felt threatened or merely bored, they would engage the foe and they would win!
This attitude did come with its drawbacks and a massive orc incursion during a summer festival left a heavy mark on the tribe. Many warriors were slain and the chief’s own daughter was defiled by the orc war leader before she was able to gouge out his eyes and break his neck. The chief ordered his daughter to be removed from the village when it became evident that she held a bastard in her womb and rather than be led out, the girl took a greatsword and trudged out on her own, refusing to be degraded by those that would abandon their own kin. The baby came as it must, but the wild maid could not bear to destroy her own flesh and so raised the baby half orc child as her own daughter and taught her the warrior’s way.
Shiva the Lone Wolf became famed as a wandering warrior. She took on suicidal mercenary missions single handed, fought in the gladiator pits of Thay and drank and whored with the hardest of warriors. But fate brought her back home to the Giantspike Mountains, where the mighty demon fiend Nergal the Soulcrusher was seeking to crush her mother’s tribe and set up an outpost for his armies to invade the Realms. To that end, he had taken a personal standard of Shiva’s mother’s head impaled upon a spiked lance to break the spirit of the barbarian people. Seeing this sparked a rage in the half orc so terrible, it is said that even Tempus and Uthgar were left in awe by her battle fury.
When the battle had ended, Shiva had received enough wounds that she would perish without her babarian rage to sustain her life. Before passing, she demanded that she be buried alongside her mother, the only person who had loved her unconditionally and that they be laid in the grounds of the chieftains as weregild for her sacrifice. She also said that the tribe must make use of Nergal’s mortal carcass, which had been split from horns to groin by Shiva, even as the demon had hacked into her with a massive scimitar. The bones were fashioned into a staff and the demon’s fangs were ground down and integrated into the steel of the axe blades. This became the new symbol of the Winterfang tribe, until it was taken during the Wars of the Peaks some 500 years ago by the Temple of Tharizdun.
It was recovered 500 years later by the barbarian warrior Gargantuon during a quest inside of the old temple ruins. The half orc found that this was just to his taste and rechristened it the Eliminator XXL after his own person weapon, which had to take the vorpal axe’s place in the storage chamber where it was originally kept.