The Armour of Arrogance
The Armour of Arrogance would seem to be the answer to a coward's prayer, but he or she normally ends up wishing that it had never been worn, for it exacts a price of it's own that may be even worse then the price of cowardice.
Full Item Description
The Armor of Arrogance is a suit of black iron embossed with gold, that never rusts even in the rain due to the magical power wihin it.
Sir Rufus was a knight with a terrible secret that he dared not tell anybody.He was a coward with a great fear of death or injury, who would have prefered greatly to join the Church. As an only son however, he had no choice but to be a knight like his father and grandfather had been, or his family would lose their nobility and the rights and priviliges that came with being noble.
On his way to the Royal Court to present himself to the King he came across a group of housecarls dragging a bound and tightly gagged young woman between them. When he asked why they told him that she was an unauthorized magic user and a heretic too and she was being taken to the gallows. Sir Rufus ordered them to set her free and to give her the nescessary paperwork to practise magic legally, and being his subordinates they had no choice but to obey.
When they were alone he asked the girl for her name. She told him she was Emma, the only daughter of a family who practised magic illegally. She had done it too openly and been caught. Sir Rufus promised that he would give her parents legal status if in return, she would cast a spell upon his armour to take his fear away.He kept his promise, and she kept hers. She didn't let him see what she did to his armour, but he felt much braver after wearing it.
When he arrived at the Royal Court, he was expected to take part in a tourney, and thanks to his enchanted armour he managed it without getting captured and ransomed or accidently killed. After that it was quite a while before he had to wear the armour again, when a border dispute between Karnivhal and Vallermoore turned into a bitter three day battle. Not once did he have a chance to take the armour off.
On the first day, the enchanted armour did it's job and he was able to hold the line instead of fleeing. By the second day, he felt like a hero, to the point where he took great risks and was lucky to survive. Day three came, and realising the vast expense to both countries, not to mention the dead and the maimed, both sides made peace and divided the disputed territory fifty/fifty between them.
At the royal banquet that was held afterwards, Sir Rufus grew obnoxious and belligerant, insisting that it was his acts that had won the battle for them. As he grew louder and then began swearing, the King of Karnivhal himself ordered him to leave. Furious, he drew his sword and had to be wrestled to the ground. Because he had indeed done well in battle, the full penalty of death for trying to attack the king was not applied, but he was thrown out of the army, had his knighthood and rank of noblity taken and had three fingers cut off.
What happened to him afterwards is unknown. One source says that he died of infection, another that he met the now legal witch and they fell in love,married and had three beautiful daughters.
The armour of Sir Rufus was forfited to the King, and he took a great liking to it and wore it often, both as a protection against assassins and because it made him feel good.After a month he began to be greedy and encouraged loggers to cut down the Wyldwood. This greatly angered the elves and dryads who lived within it and they killed several of the loggers, giving the king a pretext to invade with a whole legion.
The elves and dryads retreated before his army, then ambushed it in a narrow and marshy area and destroyed it, sacraficing the survivors. The armour fell into the hands of the Elven King, who took to wearing it on his rare forign trips.He didn't wear it all that often, but after a few years he too became arrogant and warlike and spoke of occupying all the countries of the humans.
The royal wizards managed with great difficulty to convince him that the armour was cursed and that he should take it off and destroy it, but the elf who was supposed to melt it down secretly sold it instead to a human who lived near the Wyldwood.
Of those who have warn the armour since then, the lucky ones ended up in disgrace and in prison, the unlucky ones have met death in battle, in tavern brawls, on the gallows or by cold blooded murder. Noone who wears it for long can escape it's curse.
The armour is not in fact cursed, but because of the way it was enchanted, it's effects are cumalative and grow day by day, in much the same way as a slow acting poison.
Day one-When wearing the armour, any feelings of cowardice will vanish and the wearer will be brave in battle.
Day two-The wearer will be brave enough to take risks. The armour is also enchanted to repel blows better then normal, but it is far from uber-powerful.
Day three-The wearer will become almost suicidaly brave in battle.Surrender and/or retreat is almost impossible. The wearer will also become an obnoxious braggart, boasting all the time, picking fights with random people, friends,family members, bouncers, even City Guards.
Day four onwards-The wearer will find it impossible to surrender or retreat in battle, and is a walking timebomb in peacetime,ready to start a fight at the slightest provocation.
Since most people do not wear armour all the time,but take it off at night, it will take most people eight or more days to reach the final stage. If they are good at controlling their temper, or only wear the armour rarely, it may take weeks or months to reach the final stage.
The armour was enchanted by prayers to a demonic War God who filled it with his essense and over time, will possess the wearer,although only whilst the armour is worn.
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? Responses (5)-5
Well, this is a rather mediocre item, with suitable powers balanced, or cursed by the drawbacks associated with it. However it shines in the area of backstory. Illegal magic, acts of kindness, and all repaid with duplicity. In addition to be being well written and engaging, there is a moral here to be careful of what you wish for... Kudos Cheka
Its a good item, but it's the backstory that's the backbone of the post.
A more imaginative name would be preferred, though, Cheka. One does not call Excalibur a Sword of Not Bleeding and Doing Lots of Damage after all.
A decent post.
Be careful what you wish for, indeed.
Indeed good backstory for a otherwise unimaginitive armor. Stil a nice way for the DM to get the party in trouble...
Good backstory, though it is certainly, by all but the most strict definitions, cursed.