When cast, a six-foot (1.8 meter) beam of frost four inches (10 centimeters) in diameter emitted from the caster's hand. It was flexible like a whip but insubstantial, passing through objects and foes alike, attacking all within its reach if swung about. On a successful swing it touched or passed through a creature, chilling the target(s) with magical cold. Each opponent had a chance to resist the magic of the spell and, if successful, suffered only half the damage normally inflicted. The wielder could also brandish it in front of his or her body, or wave it across an opening, forcing enemies to try and avoid its touch or charge through it and accept their fate.
The frost whip lasted long enough to make three consecutive attacks or actions (higher level casters could extended this duration), until it was dismissed, or until the caster began casting another spell, whichever occurred first. If desired, the wielder could forego an attack and switch the whip from the hand to another extremity, perhaps because the original whip-hand or -arm was pinned, or to discourage pursuit while climbing.
If wielded with finesse, the frost whip could be used to freeze water (even inside a pipe or a vessel), freeze a window shut, make a surface icy, chill items so they become fragile, or spoil fruits and vegetables.
Only verbal and somatic components were required to cast this spell.