Beyond the Lost Mines of Phandelver
The Hammer of Lareth
A hatred undying...
The Hammer of Lareth is not like other war hammers. The haft resembles wood in some ways, but feels cold like iron in your hands (although it is not as heavy as iron). The hammer’s head is carved from bone (likely a femur), weighted with some unknown metal and decorated with inlays of gold, silver, platinum and mithril. It’s spike is curved slightly, and appears to be the claw of some great beast and mounted right on the hammer’s face is an alexandrite stone, which shifts colours as the light washes over it.
The hammer functions as a regular war hammer, however an attuned wielder also receives a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls and deals an extra 3d6 to all chromatic dragons or similar creatures.
To understand the tale of the Hammer of Lareth, you must first understand the nature of dragon-kind. While Chromatic Dragons are by their very nature dark and evil monsters, Metallic Dragons are more balanced. That is not to say they are without malice – indeed they hold hurts very deep in their hearts, and pay those injuries back a thousand-fold. They are greedy too, and their reactions are often swift and severe. But they are no wholly evil – just different.
Amongst the Metallic Dragons, the Golden Dragons are held in high regard. Many believe them to be the purest expression of dragon-kind, or at least those closest to Bahamut. The greatest of the Golden Dragons is always titled the King of Justice and acts both as a ruler of Golden Dragons and as an emissary of Bahamut himself. Other metallic dragons are not so generous in affording the King of Justice praise and titles, but none dispute his right to call himself a king.
Lareth, for whom this hammer was named, was one of the Kings of Justice. Records of Lareth are sparse, but almost all are in agreement – Lareth was powerful, a strong and talented leader. He was well loved by his lieutenants, and by the other Metallic Dragons. He was also a bane to Chromatic Dragons, whom he hated with a passion that can only exist in the hearts of dragons.
Like many of his kin Lareth fell victim to the Dracorage, an ancient Elven curse reawakened by the lich Sammaster. However Lareth did not go mad immediately as man Dragon-kind did. Rather the Dracorage slowly ate away at his sanity, even after the King-Killer star was destroyed, twisting and corrupting the once great Dragon King and leaving nothing but a vicious, feral monster
Enter Tamarand, Lareth’s brother and chief lieutenant. For a time Tamarand and other powerful Golden Dragons attempted to hide Lareth’s growing insanity and wielded powerful magics in an attempt to stave off the fate that befell so many of their kind. However Lareth’s condition only worsened, and Tamarand was forced to watch the light of Bahamut die in his brother’s eyes only to be replaced by the endless void.
Tamarand knew his duty, though he hated it. As a brother of the King of Justice he was permitted, under the Ptarian Code, to call his brother to challenge and duel him for the crown. Privately Tamarand expressed his doubts as to his ability to defeat Lareth, but he also knew his options were limited – unless he wished to allow his brother to tarnish not only his name but the title of ‘King of Justice’ there was no other path for him to follow.
The battle was brief, but fierce. Lareth was powerful and Tamarand held himself back for a time, hoping to find some way to restrain his brother – to defeat him and let him survive. But Lareth proved resistant to such tricks and eventually Tamarand was forced to strike a decisive, final blow.
Tamarand was named King of Justice, but the great wyrm spent the next decade weeping for his brother and did not rule. When he did ascend to the throne, he decreed that his brother would live on in spirit, and brought forth the finest draconic artisans and mages to craft weapons from the remains of Lareth, and imbue them with his spirit.
The Hammer of Lareth was crafted by several Gold and Silver Dragon smiths to be given to the ‘lesser’ races. Fashioned from Lareth’s Femur and one of his claws, as well as a gem and unique metal from his horde, the crafters poured into it Lareth’s malice towards chromatic dragons