The Opprobrious Pith Helmet
Opprobrious Pith Helmet
Due to the fact that this item of militant millinery must be created using some of the most powerful and nefarious magic known to human kind, it is an extremely rare (though curiously not much sought after) article. Although the Opprobrious Pith Helmet looks much like any run of the mill piece of expeditional headwear, it is in fact merely a vessel (something akin to a bottle of jinn, if you will) for housing the pugnacious spirits of various deceased, demonic matriarchs.
How does it work?
The spirit of the deceased may be that of a mother, aunt, grandmother or any other female relative of the one who is to wear the helmet. The effectiveness of the helmet depends entirely upon the relationship between the spirit and the wearer so in some cases a closer relationship is more desirable, whilst in others, clearly, not. (It has been known for helmets to fall into the possession of those with no family connection to the deceased but the results have usually been catastrophic.) When the wearer is in dire need, the spirit within the hat is bound to leap to their defense – this is the condition of a contract created between the magic user who created the helmet and the spirit. In exchange for this service, the spirit obviously benefits from the deal by being allowed back into the world to voice its opinions and interact with the populous at large, albeit in the restrictive form of a hat.
Set backs and possible limitations:
Obviously, as the hat, or at least the spirit inside it, has a mind of its own it may not be relied upon to always provide the most appropriate or helpful support to the wearer in times of jeopardy. In some cases, the spirit within has even been known to bring vast quantities of jeopardy upon the wearer, particularly where the spirit is one who takes a certain malicious delight in vexing the wearer or causing them physical harm or social embarrassment.
A true Opprobrious Pith Helmet is a rare thing indeed and, sadly, fakeries abound. The most common of these use a concealed voice recording played on an intermittent loop and concealed within the lining of the helmet in order to emulate the voice of a spirit, however there was once a case of an African grey parrot being concealed inside the lining which was only discovered when the creature died and began to smell.