A Vorpal Wind is one of those complicated things that’s real hard to explain, but easy to describe (especially when you made it up in the first place.)
Not too long ago a vast interstellar war occurred in another dimension. During the final battle the KKjhasn decimated the Gak’n”e fleet leaving the KKjhasn the rules of the known universe. But the Gak’n”e flagship (a super-heavy dreadnought with an experimental ‘weave’ drive) escaped. The KKjhasn gave chase to the only surviving Admiral with his prize ship and soon had the Gak’n”e boxed in, ready for the capture.
Well, the Gak’n”e Admiral (Bob was his name), couldn’t bear to see his arch-enemy, the evil Commander Karok, pluck his prize ship, so Bob (the Gak’n”e Admiral) decided it was time to test the ‘weave’ drive in a desperate attempt to escape.
Bob rang the ship’s engineer, “Give me full power Scrottie,” Bob said, “I want to hit weave-9!”
“Aye Cap’n, Ah woul’, bu’ ah cain get noo powwerrrr!!!” Scrottie replied.
“Just do it, Scrottie,” Bob ordered firmly, “If she blows, she blows. And Scrottie, it’s Admiral, not Captain.”
Scrottie did as ordered, by shutting down all other ship systems he managed just enough power to engage the weave-drive at the untested nine factor. Unfortunately for all on board Scrottie had to down the life-support systems in order to get the power necessary to hit “weave-nine.”
The weave-drive was designed to literally “weave” the ship through the dimensional fabric that separates all alternate realities, without ripping or tearing the thin substance. Instead, due to damage sustained during the terrible battle, the drive malfunctioned and shredded a gaping hole in the fine vorpal fabric. The ship plummeted at ever increasing vorpal speeds ripping through one dimension after another and upsetting for the first time the laws of dimensional separation.
Dimensional pressures became unbalanced and the result was deadly Vorpal Winds blowing in seemingly random patterns between neighboring dimensions. The winds tangled up time-flow and caused all manner of other physical and dimensional side effects. The Vorpal Winds have now stabilized somewhat and though they appear to have no pattern, a determined player can figure them out.
--pages 9-10 of Excursion to the Bizarre by Brian Carlson and D. Wolfgang Trippe.