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Shattered Shield of Arnisant

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This article contains spoilers for the following products: The Shattered Shield, Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path
Shattered Shield of Arnisant
(Magic item)
Aura Strong abjuration
Caster Level 20th
Type Major artifact
Slot Shield
Origin Xopatl
Affiliation Tar-Baphon

Source: Gods and Magic, pg(s). 61-62

The Shattered Shield of Arnisant is the holiest relic of the Shining Crusade. It is kept in the Crusader War College within Castle Overwatch in Vigil. The relic is enshrined in the ground floor of the great tower of the castle.[1]

History

The Shattered Shield of Arnisant is all that remains of the artifact known as the Shield of Aroden. The Shield of Aroden was first forged in the Arcadian nation of Xopatl, using materials Aroden learnt in Arcadia during his time wandering Golarion;[2] this history is largely unknown to scholars, who only believe that Aroden carried it when he was a mortal, or that it was fashioned by Aroden after his apotheosis and gifted to his first priest. What is known for certain, is that it was carried by the Taldan General Arnisant in the final battle with the Whispering Tyrant during the Shining Crusade.[3][4] The general used the power of the Shield to great effect during the war, rallying or rescuing his troops, and keeping defeats from becoming slaughters. In the climactic battle of that decades-long war, the Whispering Tyrant attempted to transport Arnisant's still-beating heart into his hands by means of a wish spell. The Shield blocked the spell, but was shattered into twelve pieces by the power of the lich's magic. One of the splinters of the Shield buried itself in the Whispering Tyrant's hand, consuming him in holy fire and destroying his mortal form. His spirit then fled to its phylactery deep in the dungeons below Gallowspire.[5][4][6]

After the end of the war and the establishment of the nation of Lastwall, the remaining shards of the Shield were moved to Vigil, where they became a ceremonial object used by the Watcher-Lord during the swearing of great oaths.[4][6]

Description

The artifact is displayed in Castle Overwatch and appears to be an ancient, yet simple black wooden shield broken into 12 pieces, with the center piece missing. If the pieces are assembled, it becomes clear that the front of the Shield carries Aroden's holy symbol: a winged eye in a circle. The Shield of Aroden was designed to absorb harmful magic targeted at the wielder into itself, often cracking in the process. Aroden was always able to reassemble it, but no one else could; after its destruction at the end of the Shining Crusade, the Shield has remained shattered and powerless, but is of great historical importance to the people of Lastwall.[4][2] However, it survived an attempt to destroy it in 3971 AR, and cannot be destroyed by anything less than a chaotic neutral demigod or deity.[7][6]

Recent events

In 4717 AR, all but one of the shards of the Shattered Shield of Arnisant were stolen from Vigil by the Six Wise Crows, a band of thieves working for Tar-Baphon via his seneschal Jomah Gildais, who replaced them with fakes and handed them to the Whispering Way. However, before that, one of the thieves, Jasaxi, had taken one of the shards for himself, after having coerced the smith responsible for crafting the fakes to create an extra one. As the extra fake was handed to the Whispering Way, the real shard it replaced ended up in a black market in Azir, capital city of Rahadoum, in 4719 AR.[8]

Using the magic-absorbing property of the Shattered Shield, the Whispering Tyrant fashioned his new superweapon, the Radiant Fire, which uses the shards of the Shield as ammunition.[2]

References