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ID: 5739


April 6, 2009, 8:09 pm

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Arista the Protector


"Did you remember to wash behind your ears?"

This mithral chain shirt has the image of a bird of prey on the front; gold, silver, bronze, and copper colored links interwoven in the mithral chain depict a colorful and ornate image of an eagle.  The shirt radiates magic.  The armor is noticeably warm to the touch, although it does not burn.  It is human-sized; ideally fitting a lean, tall man with the links extending well past the waist.  Anyone who dons the armor quickly gets the sense of another presence; indeed, the shirt itself is sentient and can communicate telepathically with the wearer (as they will soon learn to regret).

Orvand Seerslayer and Baba Rhea were about as different as two people could get.  Orvand, the silver tongued filcher of anything not nailed or tied down, and Rhea; the shrewish bookworm who had purportedly devoured the wizard Kadzock’s entire library in a single sitting.  It was no surprise that most people thought the relationship was doomed.  The girls of Kaleen Alley preened and waited; knowing their tomcat would soon return to sharpen his claws on more tasty morsels.  But when one month turned into two, three, and even a year, the local folk scratched their heads and said that it was proof that love was, indeed, blind.  Some of those with wagging tongues hypothesized that Rhea had placed Orvand under a compulsion of sorts. Indeed, she was an accomplished sorcoress; one local sot frequently blubbered into his ale about the time he had seen Rhea change a frog into a dragon.  There was no evidence to support the drunkard’s tale, but it was enough to earn him the occasional pint by the telling.

Eventually Rhea bore a son; young Alexon was the spitting image of his father, both in looks and deed.  At the green age of four, the little gremlin had managed to pilfer the ruby necklace owned by the vizier’s wife and coveted by almost every other girl in town. Quick in tongue and fair of face, Alexon was the delight of his father.  Even his dour-faced mother could never remain angered by his antics for any length of time; melting under the force of his radiant smile in a matter of moments.

Rhea had constantly warned Orvand that his dangerous ways would be the death of him.  Certain that fatherhood would relieve him of at least a little of his bravado, she was surprised to find that his daring escapades grew both in notoriety and danger.  One cold night, the law of probabilities finally caught up with Orvand.  A slippery misstep, a shattered bottle of wine, and Orvand quickly found himself outnumbered by Gronnice the Merchant King’s Scarlet guardsmen.  The fact that Orvand had stolen from Gronnice in the past did not improve the situation.  Deciding that Orvand would serve best as an example to other cutpurses, Gronnice had Orvand’s head mounted on a spike outside his tower warehouse.

Orvand’s death was a severe blow to Rhea; packing up their belongings, she left for South Arbin with the now teenaged Alexon in tow.  There, she buried herself in both research and work, while young Alexon began to follow his father’s footsteps in greater earnest.  The second time Alexon ended up in the constable’s office, Rhea realized that her son may very well end up the same way as his father. 

Countless naggings, reprisals, and punishments did nothing to cleanse her son of his dangerous attitude.  Eventually, Rhea realized that the father’s nature was far too strong to change or overcome in the son.  Rhea decided that, if she could not dissuade Alexon from a life of danger, she could at least use her magic to better protect him.

In a much earlier time, Rhea had "saved the life" of the son of a wealthy mine owner named Ragnor. A round, surly dwarf who oversaw the production of half of Bone Creek’s armaments, Ragnor cared for little other than his business and family.  His young son had contracted what appeared to be the walking death, but was actually a severe case of Hoit’s Heaves that would soon run its course.  A couple applications of catsclaw laced with dry root and the boy was up in no time; but Rhea allowed the boy’s father to believe that she had saved the child from a horrible fate.

Contacting the old dwarf, Rhea called in the favor; reminding Ragnor about his own words of "eternally grateful" and "anything you ever need".  She commissioned him to have his dwarves produce a strong, yet supple shirt of armor that could be worn under bulky clothing and would not hamper movement.  When the armor arrived, Rhea then applied the "final touches" herself; plying her own knowledge of the arcane to further bolster the chain shirt with a variety of enchantments and wards. 

As she neared completion of the various enchantments, Rhea was interrupted by a messenger at the door of her cottage.  Her son Alexon was dead; an icy roof, and not unlike the father’s fateful misstep, young Alexon had plummeted to an eighty foot death.  Rhea’s heart threatened to burst forth from her ribcage; her breath coming in ragged sobs, she stumbled back into her workroom and flung herself across a parchment covered table.  Reaching for the silver knife she had been using to inscribe runes in the armor, Rhea plunged it into her own chest.  As her heart spasmed to a jerking halt, Rhea’s warm blood dripped to the stone floor; spattering against the enchanted shirt.

It is uncertain as to whether a part of Rhea’s spirit inhabited the armor, or if the armor’s consciousness is a product of the enchantments; sealed by her blood.  In any case, from that point forth the armor had a sentience of sorts, as well as a personality not entirely unlike that of Baba Rhea.

The armor has passed through many hands over the years; tirelessly protecting whoever wore it.  Although some have found great value in the shirt, most have eventually tired of the shirt’s constant nagging.  Hence, most owners, although they derived great benefit from the item, were also quite relieved to sell or pass it on.

This chain shirt has a number of protective wards and enchantments; allowing the wearer to move a bit quicker than normal as well as more easily evade blows from opponents, almost as if the shirt is telling the wearer when to duck or dodge.  Extremely light, it can be worn under normal clothing without hampering movement in the slightest. In fact, the armor seems to augment the wearer’s own natural grace; allowing them to perform acrobatic movements that would normally be beyond their ability.

There is, however, a downside to the armor that becomes apparent over time.  The armor is extremely overprotective of its wearer.  Initially, when addressed, the shirt will make suggestions and recommendations towards the safest course of action through a given situation.  Eventually, however, the shirt will become quite protective of the wearer; giving unsolicited advice as well as urgings to avoid any and all risky situations.  Ultimately, the shirt will move towards a "mother hen" attitude; nagging the wearer about the need to stay safe and not doing anything foolish.  The armor may even start giving unsolicited advice in other situations as well; "No, don’t order the mutton.  You know it gives you heartburn!  Another serving of mashed potatoes?  You are already plump enough as it is!"

If shirked or argued with, the shirt can become rather mean-spirited and catty; nevertheless, the armor will never do or say anything that would place the wearer in danger.

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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

April 6, 2009, 20:09
Updated: Update: Added a section I had overlooked at first post.
Voted Cheka Man
April 6, 2009, 21:22
LOL, nagging armour.
Voted manfred
April 7, 2009, 18:30
A fun armor indeed. I particularly like, that it becomes so annoying over time, needing to get used to the wearer. Poor thing will always end up caring for whoever is inside, driving them crazy until they get rid of it. Care to trade one item for another? :)
Voted axlerowes
April 7, 2009, 18:45
First, this is a fun read that jumps from funny to morbid and back. I found the style of writing smooth and a pint of brown ale or a stout....served cool but not cold, particularly that first sip when there is so much head in the glass you can't give it more than a slight tilt.

but I digress, the back-up personality to the Heart of Gold has been a comedy surething in all my sci-fi games. This lets me bring it to a fantasy game thankyou.
Voted Pieh
April 8, 2009, 0:33
That was quite enjoyable, and i agree with the other comments made here as well. It looks to be quite complete and well thought out. I really don't have much to add. Good work.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
April 8, 2009, 1:53
Fun sub.

Otherwise: Mithril, Ithril, Mithral, Ithral.... or Gromril? Isn't it 'bout time we shed the shell of the fantasy nuklear waste called Tolkien?
Voted EchoMirage
April 8, 2009, 4:33
Nice one. Couldn't wear it for ten seconds.
Voted valadaar
April 9, 2009, 11:32
A nice set of armor and good backstory. The roleplaying nature of its side effect is excellent.
Voted klauston
April 12, 2009, 2:10
Love the mother hen armour.
Voted Phaidros
August 30, 2009, 5:40
Seems like the perfect gift for that foolhardy barbarian who allways rushes into combat but also whines he needs more protection.... Let's see if he can stomach the Mother Hen Armor!

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