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A Fool In Morrowind, Day 7 - Powerhat

Let me tell you about my hat.

  • It is the first thing in I've paid for in this land, bar some skill training and a few lockpicks.
  • It cost me 1500 gold pieces, which is more than most shopkeepers even carry. Easily obtained and replaced by a man of my stealthy means, frankly.
  • It's around a foot and a half tall, made of what appears to be brass, and masks my features entirely with a cold, machine-like visage. Yes, it does appear as though I'm wearing a giant, metal vegetable on my face, but I like the look.
  • It's of Dwemer (that's Tamriel's mysteriously-vanished race of dwarves) origin, which is why it so closely resembles the faces of the Dwemer Centurions, the clockwork guards I encountered yesterday.
  • That it fits me, a lanky Dunmer, so very snugly suggests the widely-held belief that the Dwemer were short of stature is perhaps a myth. Dwarves = tall. Goddit?
  • A purple haze of otherworldly magicks crackles across its surface. In other words, I shimmer, daaaaahling.
  • I can wear my Dark Brotherhood mouth-mask on top of it. This looks agreeably ridiculous, like an grumpy robot doctor.

  • Whilst wearing my hat, I can breathe underwater indefinitely. It doesn't appear to rust, either.
  • Whilst wearing it, I am completely invisible. Upon performing any action, I turn visible again - but unless it involved attacking someone, no-one will have caught me performing said action.
  • If I remove the hat then put it back on again, my invisibility will immediately be restored.
  • This means I can instantly escape from any fight that's not going my way.
  • This also means I can steal anything, entirely undetected. I can even lockpick in plain sight whilst wearing it.
  • This hat has changed my life.
  • This hat has made me into a complete and utter bastard.

I give you... Powerhat! Powerhat's power does, unfortunately come at a price.

First up, for every second I wear it, my reserves of magicka drip away. If I leave it on for a couple of minutes, I'll be all out of the blue stuff, and unable to cast any spells until I go for a kip and quaff a tonic or two. I can't say I care. While I respect what magic can achieve, it's not really my style. I'm good with a shortsword, and I've amassed a large collection of trinkets with handy mystical tricks for all occasions. I'm also carrying something in the region of 60 potions on me. Magic? I don't need no stinkin' magic.

More annoyingly, it reduces my agility by around 15%. This means I need to remember to take it off whenever I wind up fighting someone, or I'm significantly more likely to ineptly swipe at thin air rather than stick my sword into their ear. It's scarely a deal-breaker, but having to change hats in the middle of a sword fight doesn't make me feel like the epic hero I'm surely destined to be. I want the minstrels to sing tales of the Master Thief, the expert swordsman - not "that guy with all the hats."

It has been a revelation, however. I've used it to rob smugglers' caves bare under their very noses, to miraculously escape from a Daedra Lord I ran into whilst exploring a sinister ruin, and to pick off a pack of corrupt imperial guards who were otherwise dramatically stronger than me, one-by-one.

Most of all, I used it to break into a heavily-guarded vault in the water-bound capital city of Vivec. It contained, along with generous piles of cash, a repository of supremely powerful items accrued by one of the six great houses, of vast value and vast ability. There was more than I could carry, and certainly more than I could use, but I grabbed as much as I could and ran out laughing.

I sold what I didn't need, and spent the proceeds on training up every skill I could. I also bought a ridiculous number of spells I'll never use (largely because Powerhat means I've got no magicka). Finally, I splashed out almost 10000g on enchanting the best shortsword in my haul with a horrifyingly damage fire attack. I named it Optimus Slice, and it makes me nigh-on unstoppable.

Or so I suspect. I'm just off to test out this theory...

PS - I met a unicorn!

PPS - No, of course I didn't kill it. What do you think I am? I did have a chat with it, though.

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.