Aura strong abjuration; CL 20th Slot shield; Weight 10 lbs.
A carving of a winged, radiant eye stares from the surface of this sturdy wooden shield, unflinching through the scars and gashes of innumerable battles.
The Shield of Aroden is a +5 light fortification spell resistance (17) heavy wooden shield. Once per day, the bearer can invoke a form of fire shield that protects against cold attacks and damages opponents with fire and holy damage similarly to the spell flame strike. Once per round as an immediate action, if an adjacent ally is hit by a ranged or melee attack, the bearer can use the shield to redirect the attack to himself, taking all effects from that attack as if he were the intended target. All allies within 100 feet of the bearer gain the effect of bless and prayer. Additionally, all allies within 100 feet of the bearer know his relative position and condition, as per the spell status. Beyond these properties, the Shield of Aroden is designed to protect its bearer from death. Any attack that would kill the bearer (not merely make him unconscious or dying) triggers this ability, redirecting the lethal attack fully upon the shield and leaving the bearer unharmed (even if the attack normally only works on living creatures). For example, if the bearer failed a saving throw against flesh to stone, the shield would turn to stone and shatter instead, whereas if the bearer failed his save against horrid wilting, the shield would turn to dry splinters. This power always destroys the shield, reducing it to 1d20 nearly invulnerable shards that suggest the way in which it was last destroyed. The Shield of Aroden bestows two negative levels on any chaotic creature that attempts to wield it. These negative levels remain as long as the shield is held or carried. These negative levels never result in actual level loss, but they cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells) while the creature possesses the shield.
The Shield of Aroden is designed to be destroyed, but the supposedly invulnerable shards left by its destruction can be utterly destroyed if they are consumed by a chaotic neutral being at least as powerful as a demigod, such as the proteans' Speakers of the Depths or the Eldest known as Count Ranalc.
In the final battle between the Whispering Tyrant and General Arnisant, the lich unleashed terrible magic in an attempt to murder the mortal hero. The Shield of Aroden saved the general's life, but in so doing, shattered into a dozen fragments, one of which pierced the lich's hand, searing him with holy fire. Struck by the might of his ancient foe, Aroden, the archlich retreated to the depths of Gallowspire, where the armies of the Shining Crusade erected a great seal, binding him within his dungeons for all time. Soon after, 11 of the Shield of Aroden's shards were collected and passed to the first watcher-lord of Vigil in the newly established nation of Lastwall, where they have remained ever since.
Today, the shards of the Shield of Aroden are on display amid the collections of the Crusader War College. Few still call these shards by the name they once bore—especially since Aroden's death—instead referring to the pieces as the Shattered Shield of Arnisant. Although still harboring Aroden's divine protection, the shards themselves are little more than historic relics. Only if reunited with the lost twelfth piece might the legendary Shield of Aroden be reforged.
Those who would take up the Shield of Aroden must first restore it—a nigh-impossible challenge.
While a deity can recreate the Shield of Aroden perfectly, even the most talented mortal's attempt has a subtle flaw. Anytime the bearer fails a saving throw by rolling a 1, the shield must also attempt the same saving throw. If the shield fails this save by rolling a 1, it shatters into 1d20 pieces.