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Petran Sheildby Donald Eric Kesler
This weapon appears very similar to a typical round shield. Closer inspection will reveal that it features an unusually heavy steel rim and boss. (Antique versions of this weapon feature these same components fashioned out of bronze.) Both of these elements, the heavy boss and rim, add an additional five pounds to the weight of this shield (Encumbrance: 150 coin).
Typically, the flat wooden surface of this shield weapon is covered in a thin layer of bronze. Quite often this area is etched with images inspired by the Song of Halav. The Traldar stopping the Beast-Men invasion at the Volaga river is the most popular image. Both the bronze and steel portions of this weapon are polished to a mirror like brilliance.
Cost: 50 gp
Encumbrance: 150 cn
Level Damage Defence Special Effects BS 1d4 A: -1 AC - SK 1d6 A: -1 AC Second Attack EX 2d4 A: -2 AC Second Attack MS P = 3d4 A: -3 AC Second Attack + Deflect (1) S = 2d4+1 GM P = 4d4 A: -4 AC Second Attack + Deflect (2) S = 3d4
The Petran Shield is a medium sized, one-handed melee weapon. It is never thrown in battle. Generally, it is carried in the off-hand, and allows a cleric of Petra to make a second attack in melee combat. Unlike other shield weapons, the Petran shield is a very sturdy weapon and there is no need to check for breakage. Also unlike other shield weapons, the off hand penalty is not negated until the wielder attains skilled or greater level of weapon mastery.
Both the weapon itself and the training required to effectively employ this weapon are not readily available. Knowledge of the mastery skills required to use this weapon are considered sacred by the followers of Petra and would never be shared with those outside of the clergy. Some Paladins of Petra have acquired the skills, but these are rare.
At any point after a cleric of Petra attains third level, he or she may ask a Patriarch or Matriarch of the faith to perform the ceremony of the Priest or Priestess. This ceremony serves two functions. First, it recognises that the cleric is no longer a Novice of the faith and bestows upon him or her the rights and duties that accompanies being a Priest or Priestess of the Church of Traladara. Secondly, the newly ordained Priest or Priestess magically gains a basic level of mastery with the Petran shield. This free level of mastery does not count against the normal number of weapon mastery choices available.
It is possible that the Novice is considered unworthy to receive this ceremony. This happens when a cleric has committed acts that raise questions about his or her dedication to either Petra or the Church of Traladara. Naturally, it might be possible to trick the mortals involved, but Petra herself would not be so easily deceived. During these rare instances, the Novice will be instructed to perform some sort of quest of atonement in order to prove his or her worthiness to receive this gift from the Immortals.
Higher levels of weapon mastery with the Petran Shield may only be learned from higher level Clerics of Petra. Naturally, anyone who has fallen out of Petra's good graces will not be able to attain higher levels of mastery. In extreme cases, the offending Cleric may be stripped of the weapon mastery levels he or she has already attained.
Some enchanted version of this shield are present in Karameikos; however, these are very rare. Low level parties might be asked to go on quests to recover lost Petran Shields that bear an enchantment. Clerics of Petra would not wish to see such a weapon in the hands of the unfaithful and would seek to recover such items for the Church of Traladara.