Age of Worms: The Return
Crown of the Wind Dukes
The Crown of the Wind Dukes is an ornate circlet made of solid steel but given a slightly blue tint by the color of the metal. The Crown features a simplistic but beautiful design, with smooth arcs around the top of the circlet, giving it an airy appearance. The Crown is light and always cool to the touch, and is covered in delicate runes that swirl around its outer edges. The glorious and proud heritage of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa is bestowed upon the beautiful circlet. When worn, the bearer feels a constant light breeze that lifts hair and moves bits of clothing around, even when indoors or no normal wind is present.
In ancient times, before the dawn of the mortal races, a great war between the forces of Law and the forces of Chaos raged across the planes. The battles of this great war touched every corner of the multiverse, and battles took place on every plane from the deepest layers of the Abyss to the highest peaks of Elysium. Gods walked the earth, fighting on either side of the conflict, and clashes between Law and Chaos shattered worlds and drew mountains up from the ground. Fighting on the side of Law was a group of warriors known as the Wind Dukes of Aaqa. These Wind Dukes, belonging to an ancient race of elemental lords known as the Vaati, hailed from the Plane of Air and were among the most influential warriors on the side of Law. The Wind Dukes played a critical role at the Battle of Pesh, a struggle that supposedly took place on the Material Plane that also saw the destruction of a great leader of the forces of Chaos.
During the war between Law and Chaos, a small group of Wind Dukes banded together to seek out a weapon capable of tipping the balance of power in the war. Over the course of their travels they discovered the means of creating an artifact so powerful that it could be used to slay any enemies that it faced. The Wind Dukes forged this weapon, which came to be known as the Rod of Law, and brought it to the Battle of Pesh. There, the Wind Duke Icosiol used the Rod of Law to slay one of the Queen of Chaos’ most trusted allies, a being known as Mishka the Wolf-Spider. Zosiel, another Wind Duke and one of Icosiol’s closest allies, witnessed the battle between Icosiol and Mishka from afar, and was elated to see his comrade victorious. Zosiel’s celebrations were short-lived, as Mishka was able to slay Icosiol with his dying breath. Unfortunately, at the Battle of Pesh the Rod of Law shattered, its pieces scattering to the four winds, lost and separated forever. Over time, the Rod of Law came to be known as the Rod of Seven Parts.
Following the death of Icosiol, the Wind Duke Zosiel continued his ally’s efforts and forged ahead in the war. Over time the Wind Dukes began to fall in battle, until only a few (including Zosiel) remained. Seeing that the Vaati were waning, Zosiel sought out a way to preserve their legacy now that the Rod of Seven Parts was lost to them. Zosiel was in possession of a silver circlet that had once been given to him by his ally, Icosiol, and it was from this item that the Crown of the Wind Dukes sprang. Seeking out a great Vaati craftsman and enchanter, Zosiel poured much of his own essence, and that of the other Wind Dukes, into the circlet in the hopes of preserving some of their legacy. The Crown of the Wind Dukes became more than just a potent magic item, it became the last bastion of the essence of the Wind Dukes.
With Zosiel’s eventual death, the Crown of the Wind Dukes was entombed with him in the Whispering Cairn. Before his death, Zosiel had predicted that a time would come when the Wind Dukes would be needed once more, and that the crown would be the key to revitalizing them. As he died, the Crown firmly on his brow, he willed the last of his own essence into the crown and imbued it with the most primal energies of the Vaati. The crown was buried with Zosiel, though the few remaining Wind Dukes knew that one day the Crown would be unearthed and the Vaati would rise again. The Crown of the Wind Dukes became more than just a powerful artifact, it became the very core of the Wind Duke legacy that would one day transform a mortal bearer into a new Vaati Wind Duke.
Wind Duke AscensionThe Crown of the Wind Dukes is an artifact that, when worn for any length of time by a single user, slowly begins to transform the bearer into a new Wind Duke of Aaqa. It slowly confers the following benefits on its bearer:
- The bearer is protected by magical winds that deflect incoming projectiles
- The bearer always gains the benefit of feather fall
- The bearer becomes more resilient to persistent effects
- Once per day, the bearer can fire lightning bolts and chain lightning
- The bearer gains darkvision
- The bearer becomes a creature of the outsider type
- The bearer can fly once per day
- The bearer can cause gusts of wind to knock down his or her enemies.
- The bearer can cause his attacks to deal lightning or thunder damage instead of their normal damage
- Twice per day, the bearer can create a wall of force