Full Item Description
The Tabards were once carried by the traitorous bodyguards of Nhil-Haress. They are made of a black silk of Elven make. The beautiful yet strong silk is produced by the Nellarian Larvae and prepared by the elves in a manner unknown by men. The Silk is slightly resistant to damage from fire and protects somewhat from cut. It is by no means a replacement for armour, but its abilities ensure that it neither rots nor is easily destroyed on the battlefield.
The black silk tabards are woven with silvery threads forming the shape of the phoenix bird holding a longsword horizontally in its talons. While some Elven tales claim that the prince had prophetic dreams and ordered this as his coat of arms, others claim that the uniforms have been changed after his demise to reflect how he struck out against his mother even in death.
The tabards were discarded by his fleeing bodyguards, and his followers put them in a sealed chest in his tomb.
Across the continent lay the tombs of an earlier civilization. These tombs are guarded by powerful wards and those attempting to enter them are usually not heard from again. In one of these tombs lie the remains of the Nhil-Haress, an Elven Prince long dead. The PCs could find these tabards while “exploring” said tomb, or they could find them in the possession of brigands who have robbed the tomb.
Nhil-Haress was known as the warrior prince, a faithful worshipper of the Goddess Lumaratha. His death was so shocking that he is remembered as one of the greatest Elven tragedies even today; his name is softly sung when the star constellation “The Valiant Knight” dominates the night sky. The Prince, Nhil-Haress, was murdered by his own bodyguards, by order of his mother, the famous Elven Queen who worshipped the God Natal, otherwise known as the dark god.
It all began when the Queen prepared the people to war against the rising might of humankind. They were cattle in her eyes, and in the holy book of Natal they are indeed mentioned as inferior beings. Nhil-Haress, her own son, was her fiercest opponent. He spoke to the people, urging them to remember their true selves. The elves were the gentle guardians of nature, and not heartless and jealous butchers of other races. So successful was Nhil-Haress, so charismatic, that even in the middle of the war against the first human civilization; the Men of Bluethon, an Elven civil war threatened.
But for Nhil-Haress there would be no war. He was murdered by his own bodyguards while sleeping in his island grove. And thus his people found him, slain among the flowers of red and crimson, while his traitorous bodyguards fled across the ocean, to the city of the Elven Queen.
There was great lamentation and the women and children cried while the men walked with their heads hung low, for their champion was no more. They would never hear him laugh nor sing again, yet they could feel no despair, only silent, burning anger. And his brethren, hitherto neutral, joined his cause; for this was an injury too deep to heal. Thus the Elven nation mustered under the banner of the Prince of Nhil-Haress and in her halls the Queen knew fear; for what she had gained by this sacrifice was now dwarfed by the might of the opposing forces.
The tabards can easily be sold, but no one but the most learned sage will understand their true value. The tabards will easily bring a nice amount of money due to its strong and supple nature, along with the masterful quality. The phoenix symbol will be unrecognizable by people in general and is masterfully made. It is a tabard fitting the household guard of a King or Emperor. A tabard will typically cost the same as a suit of chainmail.
Usage and hooks:
While the tabards will command a nice sum, they will by no means make the PCs wealthy. A few months of partying and the money will be gone. If the PCs decide to keep the tabards a number of things might happen:
* Nature remembers! Elves live for millennia and become a part of nature itself, in the same way as oaks and yew, forests and hills. And nature remembers the elves and the Prince Nhil-Haress in particular. While the elves lament his loss with songs sung under “the Valiant Knight” constellation, nature too mourns his passage. And when the PCs wearing the traitors’ tabards pass through a mountain pass the wind blow strangely hard. When the PCs walk through a forest, the trees creak and groan. And when the PCs sail across the ocean, even the most experienced seamen get confused by the fey winds and strange currents. For the Prince was loved by Lumaratha, the Elven Goddess of Nature and her spirits loved him too. And they loathe seeing the “bodyguards” walk the earth once again, proudly displaying the coat of arms they betrayed.
* The Tabards remember! The tabards have become a symbol of shame and betrayal and the emotions of nature and the entire elven race has been infused within the fabric of the cloth. Anyone wearing the tabards will feel shameful and uneasy.
* The Clothes make the man! The PCs walking around in the tabards look like the heroes of legend. Their dashing good looks are emphasized utterly by the tabards and make them seem larger than life. They will become the objects of undue attention, even open mouthed staring. They will be marked for robbery by thieves and invited into the house of the mayor. The PCs will discover that the clothes do indeed make the man.