The Dagger Pieridae
Nelly's favorite dagger, which she bought by luck at a traveling market in Dunfell.
The dagger Pieridae is an ornate dagger, etched with the symbol of a butterfly in a heart. Its handle is wrapped in red cord, and a cut red ruby caps the hilt.
The dagger Pieridae is a dagger+2, with the following powers.
1/day Butterfly Swarm: Whomever grasps the handle of the dagger may becoming a cloud of butterflies as a standard action. In swarm form, she has a space of 10 feet (roughly filling the entire area) but can shape this space to fill four contiguous squares (such as a 5-foot-by-20-foot line, an L-shaped cloud, and so on) and can squeeze through any space large enough to contain one of her component forms. The swarm can fly at a speed of 40 feet (good). Like any swarm, it can occupy the same space as another creature regardless of its size. Any creature that begins its turn sharing a space with a swarm must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 18) or be nauseated for 1 round. Unlike most swarms, a character in swarm form does not do swarm damage to creatures she’s swarming over. The swarm form is immune to weapon damage but is vulnerable to mundane fire attacks (torches, alchemical fire, burning oil, and so on), and energy attacks from weapon (such as flaming and frost) deal full damage even though the basic weapon damage has no effect. Although a swarm cannot make attacks, the character can cast spells as normal while in swarm form (although spells with material components could prove difficult). A character can maintain the swarm form for 5 rounds. Changing back to her natural form is a standard action.
A Story from the Chronicles of Krusk Firstborn:
Long ago, before our lands became desert, our people were wealthy and numerous. The Orcish peoples were united under the wise and just rule of Krusk. One day, Krusk walked amongst his people (as he was won’t to do); to understand their needs and dreams. For he was the greatest king.
While walking among the fertile fields of his people, Krusk came upon two young Orcs. One male, one female, axes drawn and glaring at each other.
“Come younglings,” said Krusk, “why do you duel for your honor?” And he stood between them.
“Orc-Father,” shouted the female. “This Orc claims me as his bride, and I do not wish it. My wanderlust and curiosity grow bigger than this place. I long to travel these lands, and feel the rumbling of the spirits in every corner of the earth.”
“But youngling,” said Krusk. “Does not your honor demand your marriage as well?”
The She-Orc thought on Krusk’s wise counsel. She married her suitor, and began to hide the longing in her heart. Seeking the shaman of her tribe she begged him for a boon: the power to travel the earth, at least in dream. And with practice she soon learned to release her soul from her body, and see the lands she loved.
One day, as her husband was hunting, the ancient enemy of the Orcs, the giants, came upon her village. (For the giants were cunning and decadent in those days; and only their savagery remains in the present.). While she dream-traveled, they slain every adult and child in her tribe. The giants left with their spoils. Waking up to the devastation around her; she wept.
“Oh cruel spirits,” she cried. “Why did you let me choose a dream over my honor?”
And no spirit answered…
Ashamed of her weakness, she let her soul wander one last time. As her soul flew out of her mouth, as a beautiful azure butterfly, she plunged a dagger between her breasts. And to this day, Orclings, butterflies are the spirits of Orcs who forget their honor…
Later, near the end of his reign, did Krusk hear of what became of the She-Orc he advised. After many journeys, he found the dagger, and gave it to his betrothed.
The dagger Peiridae has a long history in Orcish culture. As a symbol of unfaithfulness, and a warning against desire. It was lost to history; after the death of Krusk’s wife Leraj. It has been rumored to show up in later time periods; always in the hands of those who have to choose between their duty and their heart. This weapon is a valuable piece of Krusk Firstborns history, and many Orcish historians would go to great lengths to posses it.