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The Helm of Dirov

by Alex Benson

Stats: Helm gives the wearer +1 to Armour Class; +10 hit points to user; once per day Haste.

Myortov crafted this helm with a very simple design. Time was not in the Traldarans' favour and the bronze weapon technology was essentially new. The enchantments are simple and straight forward, their intent being to help an outnumbered Traldaran force boost their individual fighting ability.

Description: The Helm of Dirov is crafted of bronze and shaped like a common simple conical helm with a nose guard. The conical helm portion has a slightly tarnished appearance that remains no matter how hard it is cleaned or what type of weather it is exposed to. The helm has a fine chainmail apron attached to offer the wearer protection to the neck and throat. The chainmail is noticeably lighter in hue than the rest of the helm. Adornment is limited to a series of runes engraved upon the brow.

Historical Lore: The Helm of Dirov was crafted by the Traldaran mage, Myortov, to assist the Traldarans in their fight against the "beastmen gnolls". It was crafted by the then new bronze alloy rediscovered by Halav. The helm's intended user never got the helm. Gnolls arrived in the area and Myortov was on the defensive. When the gnolls stormed his tower, they found the helm among the assorted treasures.

The helm resurfaced years later thanks to the efforts of an adventuring band led by the young Traldaran warrior Dirov. Dirov wore the helm throughout his adventures, hence the item being so closely associated to him. Upon his death, ironically at the hands of gnoll raiding party, the helm was buried with him, his armour, and weapons.

Decades after his death, Dirov's descendants opened the tomb to retrieve the helm, armour, and weapons. The family had become highly involved with the Following of Halav. The clerics thought that the items would serve the Traldarans better in use than rusting away in some crypt. The items would be donated to the Following.

The helm served on through a variety of Traldaran warriors, each embarking upon tasks for the Clerics of Halav. Dirov's own legend grew as "his" helm was seen in a series of clergy funded expeditions. The helm went from being a cherished item of a dead minor Traldaran hero, to being a veritable relic of a legendary Traldaran warrior.

In AC 580, the Following of Halav sponsored an expedition to track down the infamous Thyatian pirate, Zerath the Black. The expedition pursued the pirates for months and eventually defeated them. Unfortunately, the Helm of Dirov was lost in the closing moments of the sea battle as its user was knocked overboard and was dragged under the waves by the weight of the armour.

In AC 740, the Helm was discovered by a group of Merrow. The Helm passed from Merrow to Merrow until it was traded to a Minrothad Merchant Prince in AC 960. Merchant Prince Daelsann recognised the item's magical nature and over a period of years managed to piece together its identity.

In AC 965, Daelsann approached the Thyatian governor of Traldara about the Helm. Daelsann was not interested in the good graces of the clergy, nor was he interested in selling the Helm. He wanted to expand his markets into Traldara. Therefore he needed to deal with the ruling Thyatians. Unfortunately, the Thyatians already had trade agreements with other merchants and had little interest in acquiring the Traldaran relic.

Word leaked to the Halav Clerics of the discovery of their lost relic and its potential sale to the occupying Thyatians. The clerics approached Daelsann and demanded the Helm be returned to them. Offended by their rudeness, Daelsann refused the clerics' demands and eventual monetary offers for the Helm.

In AC 968, Daelsann's home was burgled, Daelsann's wife, nephew, and several servants were slain. Unsurprisingly, the Helm was among the items taken. Though the Following of Halav was immediately suspect, nothing ever happened. It was only during the Marlinev Rebellion that the Helm was seen and the Traladaran's involvement confirmed.

The rebellion failed and the Helm fell into the hands of Stefan's forces. Realising the significance of the Helm, Stefan was unsure what to do with it. He saw the Helm as a relic of the Traldaran people. At the time, the Church of Traldara would have been more appropriate, however Stefan wanted the Helm to become symbolic of the future and not the past.

Stefan handed the Helm over to Olliver Jowett and his developing Church of Karameikos. With its mostly Thyatian following, the Helm held little significance to the Church. This attitude was frequently noted by the Church of Traldara and the Cult of Halav. Eventually, Patriarch Jowett presented the Helm to the Church of Traldara as a gift from Duke Stefan.

In AC 990, the Church of Traldara decide to resume loaning the Helm out to clerics embarking upon sponsored quests. So far, they have had little trouble in keeping the Helm. However, rumours persist that others still have their eyes on the relic.

DM Notes: The Helm of Dirov is not an overly powerful magic item. Born of a time of great need, it is a practical item with an intended purpose in adding to the combat abilities of the wearer. Its significance is as a historical relic to the Traldaran people.