Gate of Winter
Early Holy Symbol of the Raven Queen
Fist of Kord
Lvl 8: 2 damage
Critical: 2 damage with melee attacks until end of next turn
[Property: attacks made with this implement gain the cold keyword]
Distant (+2 damage with radiant powers)
Through his extensive insular studies of history as well as religion, Zjarr i Dimrit learned of the manifestations and symbols of the Raven Queen from the earliest years. Originally, winter was considered the manifestation of fate, particularly the inevitable fate of death. The rowan tree was regarded as a gateway to the winter in the spirit world, and knobs upon the tree were where this power coalesced, and so was closely associated with the Goddess of Winter.
A triple koru is the most basic abstraction of the goddess, each spiral one of her facets: death, fate and winter. Each facet is spun out of two counter-balancing states of existence: life and death, immortality and unmanifestability, undead and limbo. Commonly, the koru was carved into cold stone for the immutability of the goddess. The most learned priests, however, could couple the koru with rowan wood, and touch the goddess’s dominion.
Knowing this, Zjarr i Dimrit collected a solid knob of rowan wood during his avenger training and carved the triple koru directly upon the raised nodule. The bulge appeared to have been meant for such a design. Yet he did not immediately begin wearing the symbol, as it initially felt incomplete and disconnected.
On the morning he first began to feel the stirrings of travel within himself, Zjarr discovered a dead and broken wren on the doorstep of the monastery’s bunks. Grasping the shattered bird, he noticed that one wing bone was mostly visible, almost ripped from the bird entirely. He stared at the bone a moment, and then, with neither thought nor instinct, removed the bone and immediately went to his workspace.
Boring into the rowan triple koru at either end with his sacrificial toki, he created a space for the wren bone to connect through the rowan knob. He forced the bone into place, along the back of the knob with the bone protruding from the top and bottom. Briefly grinning, he attached a small length of twin and donned the now complete holy symbol. This was the early symbol of the Raven Queen, made from the tree that gathers the power of the spirit winter and the prey of the raven, first called the Gate of Winter.
Throughout his travels, Zjarr i Dimrit realized that something was missing from the Gate of Winter slung around his neck. He could feel it there against his chest, and could direct his vengeful wrath with it, but the connection he sensed in it he couldn’t make.
His first forays in Qeynos led him to the Palace of Pelor, which housed a rather large (although not inexhaustible) collection of religious and historical writings (a few even historic). While in Qeynos, he spent some time at the church, and was able to get some access to the writings. However, he discovered that the priests of Pelor were not especially open to an avenger of the Goddess of Death, regardless of how friendly they were to a fellow man of religion. He did manage to learn a bit more about early holy symbols before he turned his attention to matters more relevant to his goddess.
After returning to Qeynos again, this time with company and a more direct purpose, Zjarr recognized a chance to return to the library at the Palace of Pelor and perhaps learn more about the Gate of Winter. He was anxious to do so, as he had failed to learn much more at Guri i Kismetit than he had at his own monastery. And with the additional funds now available to him, he suspected he had a way in.
After meeting with Lennox and the skirmish with The Drakes, Zjarr made his way to the Pelorian church while his companions prepared for their journey to Breland. He met one of the monks he knew a bit inside the cathedral. Knew well enough to suspect he would be interested in a silver necklace for his mistress (and the silence about the mistress that went with it). That, and a donation of fifty gold to the church, granted him access to the oldest archives and the workrooms. Zjarr’s previous studies prepared him to find the ritual needed to solidify the symbol, bringing the disparate parts together as a whole. A night in a private workroom saw Zjarr the next morning as he always was, although hoarse and with scuffed hands.
The Gate of Winter now had a slight sheen to it. Or perhaps a glow. Or perhaps nothing at all, just the light from the candles of Pelor reflecting from the polished wood and bone. Zjarr i Dimrit lowered his head and grinned slightly, heading toward the docks.