Created with exacting care by craftfolk employing methods that date back to the very origins of Ghyllian society, each vorpcara is genuinely a unique artifact. A vorpcarist will carefully select the materials and theme which will be merged into the final work. The heart of the vorpcara is chosen from any of a number of powerful fetishes. Whether it is a splinter of carapace from a beloved ancestor's burial tableau or a phial of whelping fluids, the vorpcara is inextricably associated with the individual who commissions it as well as the artist who crafts it.
Once completed, a vorpcara is then seasoned through a series of theoachemical processes that leave it hardened, lightweight and sharp. While less potent than the vorpcara itself, the vorpcarii – the vorpcara sling – is no less important. Formed from giant ickle scales and lined with darseed fluff, it is carefully fitted to the vorpcara to allow it to slide smoothly in and out.
Vorpcara range in size from small, single-handed styles through to the larger, two-handed styles. Each vorpcara is produced to exacting standards. The process is also only practiced by a select few craftfolk and few can afford a true vorpcara to have next to, or in, their coat of arms. The theft of a vorpcara is a serious crime and is usually only resolved through open conflict. Recovered ancient vorpcara are highly valued for this reason.
Children play "Looliers and Exingians" with vorpcara replicas. Because owning a vorpcara that has not been properly dedicated is believed to lead to bad luck, the use of the term replica is believed to avoid any negative effects. Such replicas are available in many markets and are sometimes decorated with local scenes or commemorative slogans.
The term vorpcara has its roots in the Olkuul word verp – ancient for hands or work – and the Untch concept of cleira or deference to the wisdom of the gods. The Ternary Script for vorpcara is both unmistakable and self-explanatory. The Modern Ghyllian (as opposed to Modern Standard Ghyllian) term vorpcara first appeared in Quester and Phorrus, which reported of the discovery within the Spires of Alezan.
Odgar IV writes in his song Wacksing and Waining, "To wield a vorpcara is to carry / the power of your ancestors into the field." Anyone who has carried a vorpcara, whether in conflict or ceremony, will attest to the honor and sense of power that such an duty instills.
--Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 20:02, 24 Mar 2005 (EST)