Saturday, April 9, 2016
Magic Item - The Horned Helms of Toszar Khan
Toszar Khan is the name the Wildmen of the North give to a Shaman-King from their distant past. The people of the more civilized Southlands know little of him. He ruled a vast empire and united the North from the Shores of the Ice seas and the blue-painted savages that now inhabit the northern highlands of the isle of Ghosts to the endless eastern plains of ice and snow that the Reindeer People drift across in their colorful and luxurious caravans and whose command of the elements keeps them safe from their dangerous cousins and outlanders who would ravage them.
That Toszar Khan ruled a vast city of stone older than the memory of man is undisputed. The broken towers and weed-choked streets can be found half-sunken into the Ice Marsh close to the edge of the great north wall the Southerns built to stem the tide of northern raids. Toszar Khan raised the city from the marsh, supported its foundations of the backs of summoned elementals of stone and earth, and at his death by the sword of the hero Culen Fairhair it sank once again into its chilly slumber.
But during the time of the shaman-king the old chieftains were dragged from their barrows and adorned with the horned helms of Toszar Khan. These were his warleaders, his strongest guardians and the greatest shame of his people who honored the dead and their dead heroes most of all.
Three of these helmed corpses have survived the death of the shaman-king. Most often they can be found in the old city of stone Zar-Kelen within the broken ziggurat where Toszar Khan was slain, but they often travel to and dwell within their own violated barrows to the north and east of the city.
Once their had been a score of the helmed servants but now only three remain.
The Bear, the oldest of the three. His helm is topped with the skull of a bear and his face masked by a cross of bronze, His body is marked with the old symbols of his achievements and power. He was a shaman-king himself and he wields unholy magic as well as martial power. His helm not only animates his cold, dead flesh (as it all the helms will do) it allows him to summon the spirits of dead beasts to fight for and serve him,
The Corpse-King, he is seen here between his fellows. The youngest and one of the last chieftains who was honored with a barrow before the old ways were abandoned during the years of the great plague and the burning of the dead began. His flesh is unmarked, though a sickly cold green-blue with the dark-slime that runs through his body instead of blood same as his brethren, and his helm is graven with the markings from the old pre-human foundations of the city, and his face masked by the bronzed breast-bones of a man. He is the most skilled with weapons of his brethren fighting with a southern longsword in one hand and a short-sword from the old southern empire in the other. He can summon all those he kills to fight for him though their bodies rot quickly and within a week collapse into a pile of putrid flesh and bones. Animals detest him and flee from him. Animal dead will attack him on sight unless controlled by his brethren.
The Ram. His fleshed is inscribed with the marks of a chain. Once he was enslaved by the Southerns and fought in their arena of death. Somehow he returned to the north and claimed leadership among the outlaws and bandits of the northern mountains. His helm has the skull of a ram upon it and he can summon the elementals of earth and stone to serve him. His resting place was a barrow of stone at the foot of the first mountain in the north and it is rumored that great treasures were buried within him but deep within the mountains roots, protected by all those The Ram defeated in combat, from the south to the shaggy mountain tribesmen of the far north to great beasts and monsters that few other encountered and lived to tell the tale.