The story as is basically encapsulates Cerebus issues: 1, 4, 5 and 13 along with a little foreshadowing of other issues. And incorporates the important revelation from 196, which these two trusted sites sum up as:
Cerebus learns about how if he had his helmet, sword and medallions when he first met the Pigts, they would've become solid gold and he could've commanded the Pigt's idol.
(taken from http://www.geocities.com/
...how Cerebus's sword, helmet and medallions were not only the conduits of his magic, they were linked to his destiny. Cerebus sold his helmet at one point to buy paint with which to make himself blend into Boralean society; if he had not, and kept all three of them to the point where he met the Pigts, he would have become the supreme conqueror of his dreams. Instead, the loss of any or combination of the three items caused a fracturing of his destiny and led to the series of adventures, oddities, freaks, and failures his life had been repleat with.