Item Seed: Thacos.


[I refuse to believe that nobody has ever thought to make this joke before.  It seems so amazingly obvious, really. – ML]

Description: a small collection of shredded meat mixed with chopped vegetables, well-spiced, well-cooked, and wrapped in a baked flour shell.  Thacos glow with Divine power, Good-aligned: once created, they remain hot and fresh indefinitely; the ingredients will also not fall out of the shell until the Thaco is consumed.  The taste is best described as being, well, extremely tasty spiced meat and vegetables, wrapped in a baked flour shell.

Effects: A Thaco counts as a filling meal (and a hot meal, if that is important because of weather conditions).  Also, consuming one will give the eater +1 on his next combat roll. While Thacos are Good-aligned items, an Evil-aligned individual can safely consume one — but this will at least annoy whatever Evil-aligned deity that individual serves.

Thacos were first created by the god Tyr (or campaign equivalent) as a combination survival aid/minor combat boost for his priests.  Indeed, the combat boost is very much the lesser benefit of Thacos. Tyr’s worshippers live in very cold places, and having something handy that protected fingers from frostbite was very welcome.  Other gods in his pantheon have tried to duplicate the feat; only Thor (or campaign equivalent) has managed to duplicate the trick.

Acquiring a Thaco from Tyr (or Thor) requires a formal petition from a priest of the appropriate pantheon; while neither god is overly difficult about giving this boon, neither will they hand out entire sacks of Thacos.  It is perfectly reasonable for a party of adventurers to only receive one Thaco per adventurer, with an admonition that they could expect no more Thacos for at least a week.  These are Divine items, after all; it takes energy to create and maintain them.  And Greed is in fact a sin. One of the nastier ones, in fact.

It is said, by the way, that dying with a Thaco in one’s stomach is a guaranteed way to end up in Valhalla.  Whether or not you were supposed to go there, or even allowed to go there.  If an Evil-aligned individual or group has tried to take advantage of this somehow, it apparently did not work out for them.


  • Rockphed says:

    My understanding is that Thor and Tyr were more concerned with the honor of their followers in battle than the justice of their causes. Then again, an evil group that is committing suicide to get to Valhalla probably is ineffective at worldly evil.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Ah, but in AD&D Tyr was Lawful Good and Thor was Chaotic Good. 🙂

      • junior says:

        Tyr also got appropriated for the Forgotten Realms setting (his temple plays an important role in Baldur’s Gate 2, if you’re playing a paladin protagonist), which is why I originally assumed that’s what you had designed these things for.

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