An Axe to Grind is a skill book in Book III.


  • Grants the skill Cleaving Weapons if the player character has not learned it.
  • Grants 2 points in the skill Cleaving Weapons if the player character has learned it.


You have discovered the biography of woodsman-turned-warrior Richard Redbeard. Richard was a fairly simple man of great character whose life was irrevocably altered the day his wife and young son were brutally murdered during a goblin raid in the year 710. Currently, he serves the Commonwealth as an instructor for soldiers who wish to master the use of an axe.

This book serves to tell Richard's story. from his early years as a woodsman to the decade he spent consumed with the need to avenge his family. and finally as an instructor to soldiers of the realm. Along the way he offers some unique insight of what it is like to be the master of the greatest of cleaving weapons known to mankind. Leafing through the biography, you find a particular passage that leaves the greatest impression:

"See, the axe, or any cleaving weapon for th'matter, is based on the simplest o' principles... it's a wedge that reduces yer effort in splitting the desired object." (He picks up another hatchet, walks over to a chopping block, and splits a small piece of wood) "The longer the handle, the more force ye can apply." (This time he hefts a long-handled wood axe and chops a thick log.) "Obviously the larger the axe head, the more potential damage, but ye want to try to keep it as balanced as possible." (He motions to a nearby soldier acting as his assistant. The soldier wheels over a large cart that is piled over with medium sized hatchets.)

"Okay then, everyone grab an axe!" (There is an excited buzz of commotion from the students, who clearly were not expecting combat practice on the first day of training.) "Once yer all equipped. ye can come with me out back and we'll get started choppin' some wood. It's goin' t'be a cold winter this year. and I'll need all I can spare t'keep my home warm an' toasty." (The excited chatter dies down immediately, replaced by expressions of puzzlement.) "Yes, ye heard me right. It be the most basic of trainin' if yer going to master the axe. If ye can't properly chop through a motionless limb th'size of a man's arm, do ye really expect to do the same to a fully armored limb that's constantly movin' around? Right then, let's get a move on... chop, chop! The firewood isn't goin' t'cut itself!"