Third-Arm Glaive

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"A war-spear with a five foot haft of peachwood that still smells sweet, capped by a two foot long, razor sharp blade of balanced orichalcum and steel. The tanka, where they meet, is red jade in the shape of a tightly coiled dragon. The thing's rear claws were open, probably for hearthstones, but the front claws and the jaw held a sash, ten feet of red-dyed orichalcum cloth, twisting even without a breeze. Have I got it? Is that what you saw?"

"Then yes, that's the Third-Arm Glaive."

"Of course I'm sure! I spent a thousand years and more with nothing to look at but that thing. Do you think I'd forget?"

"How? Some Solar or other made it in the First Age and gave it to his friend, but when things came down to it, the Solars fought each other and the one with the spear lay down dead. That's when they called me. They were afraid of the thing - they'd made it from a piece of the soul of the Solar who held it, and they thought it might come after them for revenge. But they couldn't just destroy it; they were too proud of their work making it for that. So they set me to guard it. They put me in a cave in the Summer Mountains and made me swear to keep the thing safe inside with me. If those stupid humans hadn't wandered in every now and again, I would've gone mad. Instead I got a nice coat. The leather's very soft. That was my thousand years."

"Free? I died, that's how. The damn thing killed me. Wrapped its sash around my throat and pulled tight until my black blood spilled out of my mouth and I wound up back here. I thought maybe the thing had just come to hate looking at me as much as I hate it, but from what you're telling me... Well, I can picture it, pulling itself along the miles like an inchworm, wrapping around the hand of a man until he took it further north, all so it could get to its master reborn. Maybe it just knew that he was back.

"If the thing hadn't killed me, I'd still be stuck there, bored and staring at it. I'm thankful to the thing. So thankful that I won't rest until I've snapped it in two, chewed the pieces into slivers and shat out its sweet-smelling remains."

-- Karacalla, Gorge of a Stillborn Promise, Demon of the Second Circle, Expressive Soul of the Ravine of Whispers

Heaven's Mandate