The road not taken
Name: Potestas Vnitate (Power through Unity)
Cost: 970 gp
Shield bonus: +2
Maximum dexterity bonus: N/A
Armor check penalty: -1
Arcane spell failure: 15%
Speed adjustment: None
Weight: 15 lbs
Special properties: Masterwork, Bashing (when the opponent is hit from a bashing weapon, he must immediately make a Fort save with a DC equal to the damage dealt. Failure means that the opponent is pushed 5 feet back.)
This heavy steel shield bears the symbols of Legion XIII, perhaps the most famous Demerian military unit edeployed in Svorinn. The legion had a long tradition of military excellence and played an instrumental role in the conquest of Svorinn, before being disbanded when no longer needed. The soldiers that remained were either discharged or sent into the frozen wilderness under the command of general Verus Volusius, in a thinly veiled suicide mission of futile exploration. Those that remained behind grew older and more bitter as the years went by, but forgot neither their skills nor the glory of thirteen.
Such shields were standard equipment for the footmen of XIII centuries ago, but eventually they were replaced by more affordable wooden shields of similar size. As a result, few of these shields survive today. Most were owned by high-ranking officers of XIII, thus signifying a position of power and prestige. The legion’s motto is inscribed upon this shield: Potestas Vnitate-Power through Unity-and serves as a reminder of the unit’s highest-valued virtue. A group of arrows bundled together by a coiled snake also highlights the significance of unity and brotherhood amongst the soldiers of XIII.
This particular specimen was once in the possession of Markus Naevius, a Tribune who served as commander of XIII for several years. It has seen heavy use, as evidenced by the numerous dents on its surface. Its previous owners must have taken great pride in owning it because, despite its imperfections, it is well-maintained and must have been polished on a regular basis.