When you first arrive in the world of Boundless, you're not going to have much to work with. No fancy hammers and axes in your inventory, no torches, no nothin'. Just your bare hands and... well, okay, you'll have a big stick for hitting things, and a bockety Oortcube you scavenged from somewhere to shed a bit of light on the situation. Put these two items together and you get what we're currently calling the Totem, a basic tool for when you have nothing else to hand.
The 'stick' part of the totem is pretty straightforward: it's a stick, and you can hit things with it to break blocks. It's not as good as a crafted hammer or axe, but it will never wear out and you can't lose it.
The Oortcube is similar to the cubes in crafted tools and weapons, only... well, it's seen better days. It's worn, overgrown and a bit broken, so all it's good for is casting a bit of light every so often. Give it a shake, and it'll light up for a little while so you can see where you are. It's not as good as a torch and you can't place it in the world for illumination, but it doesn't wear out and you can't lose it, so even if you're lost in the deepest, darkest cave you can still have a bit of light to see by.
The Totem will be a two-handed item(meaning you'll hold the stick and cube at the same time) that cannot be dropped, destroyed, crafted or lost. It's a little helping hand for new players, and an emergency backup for otherwise desperate situations.