[Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

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[Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:59 pm

Page 73 of HR6 Age of Heroes mentions Hades' Hat of Darkness and page 75 mentions Hades' Helm of Darkness. But I can't find a description of either item.

There is an asterisk next to the Hades' Hat of Darkness namecheck and Invisibility Potion and Ring of Invisibility both also have asterisks (and are marked as being associated with (Hades).

I'm assuming there would be a hat (or a helm) that makes the user invisible. But does anyone know of a book that includes a Hat of Darkness/Helmet of Darkness or something else that does the same thing as a Ring of Invisibility?

Failing that, has anyone got any ideas of how this should look? Are there any common themes to invisibility items...or the church of Hades, that could be used for inspiration?

Is this a real-world legendary item that is described anywhere?
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Re: [Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:32 am

Yes, it's from real-world mythology. Here's the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_of_invisibility

1st edition Deities & Demigods says this in Hades' description:

The god also possesses a helm that renders him invisible to all beings, even in battle, though he is only allowed to use this device in service against the enemies of the gods of Olympus.


There's also a brief mention that Perseus has borrowed the helm (and yes, this is from real-world mythology).

2nd edition Legends & Lore says this in the equivalent place:

He wears a helmet which can render him invisible at will.


Neither source describes it any further than that. Here's an old statue of Hades, showing him with a hat on:

Image

Here's a picture of Hades and Persephone from a vase. He's certainly wearing something on his head:

Image

Here's a statue of Perseus, wearing Hades' hat (I think there are wings on it because the artist, Benvenuto Cellini, conflated it with Hermes' sandals):

Image

The Encyclopedia Magica Volume 2 has an entry for a magic item called the helm of darkness or nighthelm (originally detailed in FR4 The Magister, a Forgotten Realms accessory centered on magic items). It's an ancient, battered iron helm with a great black sapphire on its brow and 12 black opals set around it. It can cast darkness 99 times and the opals can protect the wearer once each against attack forms such as death spells, disintegrate, magic jar, energy drain, and polymorph. It can't be recharged and it crumbles into dust when its gems are gone. In the meantime, it allows its wearer to see in darkness, grants immunity to magical fear, immunity to ghost aging, immunity to dragon awe, half damage from cold, speak with dead, chill metal, and some other things. There's no indication that it's associated with Hades or any other god of the dead.
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Re: [Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

Postby Havard » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:31 am

Nice research Ripvanwormer!

The HR6 entries are a bit confusing, but the items on the list on p 75 are left to the DM to develop. For some reason the asterisk entry on page 73 is where it mentions that the Helm/Hat of Darkness bestows invisibility. No other details are given so I assume that is left to the DM.

I like some of the images from Ripvanwormer's post, but I think I would probably describe it as a variant of a greek style helmet, maybe something like this:

Image

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Re: [Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:08 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Yes, it's from real-world mythology. Here's the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_of_invisibility


Thanks for that. My Google-fu failed me.

There is some interesting stuff over there:
Cap of Invisibility at Wikipedia wrote:In classical mythology, the Cap of Invisibility (Ἄϊδος κυνέην (H)aidos kuneēn in Greek, lit. dog-skin of Hades) is a helmet or cap that can turn the wearer invisible. It is also known as the Cap of Hades, Helm of Hades, or Helm of Darkness. Wearers of the cap in Greek myths include Athena, the goddess of wisdom, the messenger god Hermes, and the hero Perseus. The Cap of Invisibility enables the user to become invisible to other supernatural entities, functioning much like the cloud of mist that the gods surround themselves in to become undetectable.


The term "dog-skin of Hades" is an interesting one. I wonder if that could mean that the cap or helm is made from the skin of a dog. (I wonder if blink-dogs are appropriate to Age of Heroes or if there is some sort of invisible dog that would work.)

A "cloud of mist" doesn't quite sound like invisibility to me.

Cap of Invisibility at Wikipedia wrote:One ancient source that attributes a special helmet to the ruler of the underworld is the Bibliotheca (2nd/1st century BC), in which the Uranian Cyclops give Zeus the lightning bolt, Poseidon the trident, and a helmet (kyneê) to Hades in their war against the Titans.


That's the exact sort of back-story I was looking for. Thanks! :cool:

Cap of Invisibility at Wikipedia wrote:In classical mythology the helmet is regularly said to belong to the god of the underworld. Rabelais calls it the Helmet of Pluto, and Erasmus the Helmet of Orcus. The helmet becomes proverbial for those who conceal their true nature by a cunning device: "the helmet of Pluto, which maketh the politic man go invisible, is secrecy in the counsel, and celerity in the execution."


Orcus! That will get Havard interested.

I guess that these alternative versions of the helmet are other opportunities to get more of a description. :)

ripvanwormer wrote:1st edition Deities & Demigods says this in Hades' description:

The god also possesses a helm that renders him invisible to all beings, even in battle, though he is only allowed to use this device in service against the enemies of the gods of Olympus.


There's also a brief mention that Perseus has borrowed the helm (and yes, this is from real-world mythology).

2nd edition Legends & Lore says this in the equivalent place:

He wears a helmet which can render him invisible at will.


Neither source describes it any further than that.


I guess that the "only allowed to use this device in service against the enemies of the gods of Olympus" of Legends & Lore and the "Uranian Cyclops give <snip> and a helmet (kyneê) to Hades in their war against the Titans" could combine to make the helmet into an item that works against Titans, but not the Greek gods.

ripvanwormer wrote:Here's an old statue of Hades, showing him with a hat on:

Image

Here's a picture of Hades and Persephone from a vase. He's certainly wearing something on his head:

Image

Here's a statue of Perseus, wearing Hades' hat (I think there are wings on it because the artist, Benvenuto Cellini, conflated it with Hermes' sandals):

Image


It's interesting how the artists all have a different idea of how it looks.

I was thinking that they can't all be right...but maybe they can.

Maybe there could be several similar items of headgear that are associated with Hades.

Or maybe there could be one item that changes it's appearance. A hat that nobody could easily identify could be fun.

ripvanwormer wrote:The Encyclopedia Magica Volume 2 has an entry for a magic item called the helm of darkness or nighthelm (originally detailed in FR4 The Magister, a Forgotten Realms accessory centered on magic items). It's an ancient, battered iron helm with a great black sapphire on its brow and 12 black opals set around it. It can cast darkness 99 times and the opals can protect the wearer once each against attack forms such as death spells, disintegrate, magic jar, energy drain, and polymorph. It can't be recharged and it crumbles into dust when its gems are gone. In the meantime, it allows its wearer to see in darkness, grants immunity to magical fear, immunity to ghost aging, immunity to dragon awe, half damage from cold, speak with dead, chill metal, and some other things. There's no indication that it's associated with Hades or any other god of the dead.


That does sound like a different item, with the same name.
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Re: [Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:44 pm

Havard wrote:Nice research Ripvanwormer!

The HR6 entries are a bit confusing, but the items on the list on p 75 are left to the DM to develop. For some reason the asterisk entry on page 73 is where it mentions that the Helm/Hat of Darkness bestows invisibility. No other details are given so I assume that is left to the DM.


The page 75 stuff was kind of normal, but the thing on page 73 didn't really make sense to me. I'm actually wondering if there was a line that got edited out of page 73.

Havard wrote:I like some of the images from Ripvanwormer's post, but I think I would probably describe it as a variant of a greek style helmet, maybe something like this:

Image


I suppose a Greek-style helmet would look better if a PC was wearing it.
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Re: [Fantasy Earth][HREF][HR6] Hat/Helm of Darkness

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:57 am

Big Mac wrote:I guess that the "only allowed to use this device in service against the enemies of the gods of Olympus" of Legends & Lore and the "Uranian Cyclops give <snip> and a helmet (kyneê) to Hades in their war against the Titans" could combine to make the helmet into an item that works against Titans, but not the Greek gods.


Athena once used it to conceal herself from Ares, though, while she was helping a mortal injure him.
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