"Dread Armor and Its Origins" is on of the many books found in the University Court Library, in Tarant. It weighs 30 stone. Membership is required to access the library's books.
Of the Frequency and History of Dread Armor
Scientific Ruminations on the Origins of Ancient Artifacts
Dr. William Wiggin-Bends
Dread Armor: What is it?
It is not infrequently that a country farmer will be tilling his fields and unearth an old shield whose leather straps are rotted away, but whose metal still shines as the day it was forged. Nor is it none other than commonplace that a city business might unearth a helmet with similar characteristics in the dirt of his basement's foundation. These ancient pieces of armor, all bearing the same strange insignia, are found throughout Arcanum. Over the years, due to the dark and insidious nature of their emblem, they have been given a name.
What do we know of this Dread Armor? Historians from around the world have been researching this enigmatic phenomenon for years. Logic would dictate that an intelligent man begin at the most distinctive feature—the emblem. All Dread Armor bears the symbol of an eagle with a snake's head. Extensive iconographical research has divulged little in the way of enlightenment concerning this talisman. various cultures and subcultures over the millennia have taken both the eagle and the snake as their representative symbols, but none in recorded history have taken them together. Various rumors among circles less interested in science and more with the childishly fantastic have attributed this symbol to what is most often called the Derian-Ka, or ancient Order of the Dead. Such claims are little more than wild speculation, as such a group has never been proven to exist, much less to forge their own armors.
Various experiments upon the metal itself have shown that it has enhanced magickal properties. Experts in the field attribute the flows to Dark Necromancy, as well as minute traces of the Force and Elemental Colleges. The exact age of the armor is unknown, but modern techniques have placed it near the Age of Legends. Dread Armor has been found in almost every part of Arcanum, from the upper reaches of the Stonewall Mountains to the Dark Fens. The honorable Quentin Payne, renowned explorer from the century last, purportedly found a full set of Dread Armor on one of his forays into the Vendrigroth Wastes.
Perhaps in the future, history will be so kind as to shed some light on this most peculiar mystery. Until that time, we can only guess at the reasons behind the mystery of the Dread Armor.