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| Harsh Mistress:
This +1 frost trident consists of a straight piece of sea-weathered wood as its shaft, a three-pointed head of blue-green metal, and a wooden disk bearing Umberlee's symbol, all held together by a nail. The nail and tines look shiny and smooth but feel and smell rusty and pitted, and the painted symbol on the disk is old, faded, and partially worn.|
The church of Umberlee claims the weapon was created by a half-orc pirate captain of the Nelanther Isles named Galag Lam. Lam had put his ship ashore on a small island to collect fresh fruit after a successful raid, and when he wandered away to relieve himself his crew decided to make off with the loot and his ship. Finding himself abandoned on a tiny island with only a few fruit trees and seagulls for company, he swore to the Bitch Queen that if she helped him off the island, while he hunted down his mutineeing crew he would throw overboard all booty he acquired as a sacrifice to the goddess. She guided his hand and showed him broken pieces of old things left behind on the island, fusing them into a magic weapon that would aid him. It took him seven years and many journeys by boat, caravan, and horse, but he eventually found every single sailor who betrayed him and added their heads to his treasure offerings to Umberlee. Several times in his journeys Lam used the trident to fool his prey into thinking he was lost overboard, only to turn up later in the dark of night ready to stick Harsh Mistress in someone's gut. Lam died in a brawl in 1260 DR, and since that time the weapon has passed through over a hundred pairs of hands, most of them associated with the church of Umberlee, some of which added to the trident's magic. It was last seen in Westgate in 1371 DR, carried by a woman calling herself Kern, who may have been a disguised water genasi.
In addition to the primary abilities mentioned above, the wielder can easily pull the nail out--causing the weapon to fall into its component pieces--or press it in place again, but the weapon shows no inclination to fall apart on its own, nor is it any more vulnerable to sundering than a normal trident. When disassembled, the weapon's pieces do not radiate magic, so it is likely this aspect was created to help smuggle the item. Dissasembling or reassembling the trident takes one full round (though the wielder can make it fall apart in a haphazard way by pulling the nail as a move action, causing the pieces to scatter in a 5-foot-square area).
Harsh Mistress floats like an air bladder, effectively applying 300 pounds of bouyancy toward the surface when in or under water; the wielder can suppress or reactivate this ability as a free action (when unattended it defaults to floating). Because of this ability, the weapon has been "lost" at sea several times in various aquatic disasters or adventures, only to wash up on shore tendays later to be claimed by Umberlee's church.
When held, the weapon gives the wielder low-light vision and darkvision. It does not shed light unless the wielder wills it (a standard action to activate or deactivate), and only when on or in the sea or ocean.
Caster Level: 8th, Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, chill metal or ice storm, darkvision, feather fall, low-light vision; Market Price: 24,815 gp; Cost to Create: 12,565 gp + 980 XP.