Magical Marvels: Hat of 5 Birds

The Hat of 5 Birds - Hair Nest
Image Copyright Devin Dygert

The hat of 5 birds is a curious magical object usually discovered in the form of a blue speckled egg with “Hat of 5 Birds” written in golden letters around it. No instructions on how to use the hat are provided, but some sages may be familiar with the necessary procedure.

If the egg is cracked atop a person’s head, then within the space of a week, five small birds will make their nest amongst the person’s hair. They will fill it with twigs and leaves, turning the person’s head into a tangled mess which will quickly become extremely unhygienic and smelly. Unfortunately, if the nest is removed or significantly tampered with at all, the hat is destroyed and the birds will return to the normal existence of their kind. So anyone desirous of gaining the benefits of the hat must endure the scorn of anyone who finds the smell of bird droppings offensive.

The five birds will follow any mental command they are given by the hat’s wearer. They can retrieve small objects, scout new areas, serve as spotters or guards, or perform any other task the player can think up. Note, however, that the birds are still birds. They gain no special intelligence, and cannot communicate complex ideas. They can mentally share information with the hat’s wearer, but they can do this only when perched within the nest. So they cannot, for example, be left in one room as a guard, and telepathically warn their master when danger is approaching. They must first make their way back to their master’s head, possibly being attacked, or blocked by closed doors.

Note also that the birds still need rest and food. This does not need to be tracked exhaustively, but if 2 birds are told to keep watch all night, then only 3 birds ought to be available for tasks during the day.

If the player chooses to command the birds to attack, the birds will most likely be ineffectual. They are, after all, very small birds. They will only hit on an attack roll of 20, and will only ever deal 1 damage. On the other hand, if the player commands the birds to defend her, they will do so valiantly. Each bird can absorb 1 attack directed at any player they are commanded to defend. Regardless of the attack’s effectiveness, the bird will be killed. The birds cannot defend against attacks unless they are commanded to defend a character before an attack roll is made.

If any of the birds are ever killed, a new bird will come to nest after 1 month’s time.

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