Nina Kho's Wolfskin Hat Item in Nideon | World Anvil
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Nina Kho's Wolfskin Hat

Many Brekkan fairytales are known to focus on the wolves of the island, unique to that part of Nideon. Most are a variation on the idea of werewolves, indicating the wolves were once human. The most famous of these tales speaks of an upper-class Mermish woman who hired a scribe to teach her the dialects of the lower classes. When the two fell in love, the woman's family, who was arranging for her to marry someone else, had the scribe assassinated.
When the woman went to visit the grave of her loved one, she was swallowed whole by the ground, and the next morning the woman returned to her family's house with her dead lover in tow, begging her family to reconsider. But no matter what the family told them, the spirits lingered until dusk, when their cries for mercy could be heard as distant howls.
Variations on this story have persisted in other countries where the Mermish have settled, often shifting to better suit the new environment. For example, in Atlinthaia, the stories say they turned into crows, and may have even contributed to the Ethite legend of The Raven Woman

Connection to Nina Kho

Nina Kho was a Mermish woman who was known for learning a variety of different dialects, and some people believe that Kho is the real life woman from the story. to make up for inaccuracies, some versions of the Kho variation suggest she was sold into slavery to keep her away from her lover while others suggest the lover in the tale actually was her husband, whom she grew to love.
Some versions of the Kho variation suggest she was sold into slavery to keep her away from her lover while others suggest the lover in the tale was her husband, whom she grew to love. Regardless, the Kho variation is nearly always connected to another version of the story in which the woman's lover was a shapeshifter. In this variation, the man kills a wolf and creates a magical hat from its pelt that allows the wearer to transform. But the most notable aspect of the Kho variation is its popularity in the Bathblast Islands, famously settled by Mermish refugees including Kho's daughter, Sarai, after the shipwreck which resulted in Kho's disappearance.
Coming Soon: a Map of the Bathblast Islands
Many Bathblast Islanders believe Sarai continued to use the wolfskin hat in her leadership of the island, and the wolf is to this day part of the national crest, despite the lack of wolves living in the area. A possible replica even appears in the National Museum alongside one version of the story. According to this version, the hat disappeared shortly after Sarai's death. Some speculate she did not die, but transferred herself into a wolf. There are many islanders today who continue to search for the hat, as well as stories of a future leader who will find the hat during a time of great strife and lead their people as Nina and Sarai once did.
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Nina Kho, the first werewolf? Impossible. Surely there would have been documentation if she had been swallowed whole by a lover's grave.
— Brekkan citizen
No way that wolf-hat is still around. Pelts don't last that long. I mean, Airrin Underwood made those staffs that last forever. There couldn't be more than one mage that powerful, could there?
— Zenxonian Citizen

Cover image: by Molly Mar


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