Blade of Cold Iron — Weapon
* Against Cogs or Mechorgs, this weapon adds 2 to your score in any Combat Test. Against all other opponents, the blade adds 3 to your score in any Combat Test. If you win a Combat Test against another character, they must exhaust 2 Merits.
* Whenever the Blade of Cold Iron is unexhausted, all of your Arts stay exhausted and unusable. All characters except Humans and Renegade Cogs must also roll a Might Trial difficulty 6 any time the blade is used in a Combat Test. If the character fails this Trial, the Blade is exhausted.
A character may not normally benefit from more than one weapon at a time.
I remember when I got this card. It was in the second Story Pack of King Ironheart’s Madness that I opened. I immediately loved this card, and this expansions. This expansion was going to be a whole lot different from the relatively idyllic world of The Wyld Hunt. Cold Iron? In Arcadia?
Cold iron is wrought iron. The Changeling: The Dreaming book (p. 247) explains: “Cold iron is what we know as wrought iron. The best way to think about cold iron is not as a thing, but as a process, a very low-tech process. It must be produced from iron ore over a charcoal fire. The resulting lump of black-gray material can then be forged (hammered) into useful shapes.”
Cold iron repels fae, and wounds them unlike any weapon. This is because cold iron leads to Banality, the power of disbelief and doubt that destroys the Dreaming, which is made of Glamour. A weapon made of cold iron therefore does not just cause physical harm to a changeling, but also harms his chimerical nature, his dream nature that mortals can’t perceive. Cold iron is officially banned from the society of changelings, though some fae do use it, as defence against other fae.
Finding cold iron in Arcadia is quite a surprise, therefore, because it is a substance that destroys Glamour, the very stuff that the world of Arcadia is made of.
This is why the Blade of Cold Iron does double damage to your opponent, and why you can’t wield the Blade—if you can wield it at all!—and use any Arts.
It is no coincidence that the Blade of Cold Iron is part of King Ironheart’s Madness (and not The Wyld Hunt). There is another reference to cold iron in this set. Have a look at the League card for Kelwrath’s Volcano:
“Kelwrath’s Volcano is the secret source of the Cold Iron used to bring the Cog Armies of Middlemarch to life.” In other words, King Ironheart’s cogs are not just mechanical creatures, but creatures imbued with cold iron (which is used to “bring them to life”!). This is why they have the power to cause so much havoc on the fae of Arcadia. And this is also King Ironheart’s madness! He is mad not just because of his megalomaniac plans, but also because he uses cold iron to achieve those plans, probably not quite aware that what he uses to accomplish his aims will kill him too!