The vicious Ironbound Axe most often takes the form of a heavy one-handed battleaxe. Historically, they have been most popular in Varushka where they can provide a significant edge in fights against Wolves. Indeed, many creatures of this sort can be dispatched with a single mighty blow from an Ironbound Axe or similar potent weapon. It is equally useful, of course, when fighting enemies of a more mortal provenance, especially magicians and lightly armoured skirmishers. Properly employed, it can hobble an opponent or leave them incapable of wielding a weapon, implement, or shield - some wielders wax lyrical about its versatility.
The weapon takes several forms, but whether it is an axe, a sword, or a mace it usually appears dangerous and utilitarian. As a mace it is called a Schlacta's Fist, while as a sword it is known as a Limbhewer's Blade or Bloodthirsty Spatha. The weapon tends to have a brutal, utilitarian appearance and is rarely decorated. It is often marked with the Wintermark runes Verys or Tykonus, although a few artisans prefer to use the much more sinister Naeve or Yoorn. Over time, these weapons often become stained with the blood they have shed, and no amount of cleaning will remove it. Artefact versions, or Ironbound Axes that have been repeatedly reforged, often turn completely black over time from the amount of blood they have absorbed. Some superstitious warriors claim that the weapons somehow feed on the suffering of those who are maimed by blows struck with them - and that leaving a crippled foe alive makes the weapon "happy" in some indefinable way.
The ability to deliver crippling blows also made them the weapon of choice for captains and officers associated with the fearsome Iron Helms army. Stories are still told of Hunger (or Golod as it was known originally), the artefact weapon wielded by the generals of the Iron Helms since before the founding of the Empire. The deadly waraxe is said to have been carried by the hero Mihaela Malinovia when she "fell from the heavens" along with the other Vard. It was wielded in the battles against the Ushkan people, and passed down from hero to hero through Varushkans often troubled history. Today, it is believed to be in the possession of the Malinov family of Karsk who claimed it when the Iron Helms were disbanded in the reign of Empress Mariika. Only cursory efforts were ever made to recover the item for the Empire - it is said that it is so old and has shed so much blood that it has developed a dark spirit that urges its wielders to commit unspeakable acts in pursuit of their goals. Perhaps the Empire is better off without it.
- Form: Weapon. Takes the form of a one-handed weapon. You must be wielding this weapon to use its magical properties.
- Requirement: Any character can bond to this item.
- Effect: Three times per day, you may call CLEAVE with this one-handed weapon.
- Roleplaying Effect: You feel an urge to cripple or maim anyone who opposes you. The more this weapon is used to kill living foes, the stronger this urge becomes.
- Materials: Crafting an Ironbound Axe requires fifteen units of orichalcum, nine ingots of green iron, and five measures of beggar's lye. It takes one month to make one of these items.