Magic

Toril is infused with magical power. Arcane secrets whisper to those with the ears to hear: in the eons-long movement of the continents, in rushing river rapids, in every breath of beasts great and small, and in the sighing cries of the wind. Raw magic is the stuff of creation itself, suffusing every bit of matter and every manifestation of energy.
Characters call on magical power to perform mighty rituals, enforce pacts with enigmatic entities, or accomplish wondrous feats. Dangerous monsters, too, use magic to accomplish their ends. Aberrations spawned by ancient power seethe and hunger below and above the earth. Dragons’ blood runs with magic so potent that even gods fear to face the most ancient of these mighty beings. Undead fuel their minds and protect their corpses from dissolution through powerful necromantic rituals—especially liches, whose never-ending acquisition of arcane knowledge has propelled some into contention with the gods themselves.
Magic is so close to every surface that Toril is rife with fantastic landscapes. Great motes of free-floating earth balance on nothing but air, and the unleashed power of the Spellplague has twisted once-familiar terrain into weird new shapes.

The Spellplague

In the Year of Blue Fire (1385 DR), a magical disaster called the Spellplague changed the face of Toril, its lost sibling Abeir, and even the planes themselves. Flesh, stone, magic, space, and perhaps even the flow of time were infected and changed. Most scholars believe that the Spellplague was the direct result of the murder of the goddess Mystra at the hands of Cyric, which Shar engineered. This popular theory holds that magic was bound so long in Mystra’s Weave that, when the goddess died, it spontaneously and ruinously burst its bonds. Areas of wild magic, already outside the constraints of the Weave, touched off first, but the plague raged on and on in ever-widening spirals, devastating some places and leaving others untouched. It even tore through the realms of demons, gods, and lost souls before the end. Ancient realms that had passed beyond easy reach of the world were pulled back, such as the Feywild (called Faerie in ancient days). The Abyss, home of demons, fell through the planes, unleashing swarming evil before finding its new home at the bottom of the Elemental Chaos. Even the long-forgotten sibling world Abeir burned in the plague of magic, despite having been cut off from Toril for tens of millennia. Portions of Abeir’s landscape were transposed with areas of Toril in the disaster. Such landscapes included their living populations, bringing realms such as Akanûl and Tymanther to Faerûn’s face. Across the Trackless Sea, an entire continent of the lost world reappeared. The Spellplague was a potent agent of change, but it also set off a whole string of secondary catastrophes.

Effects on Magic Items and Spells

Most items that permanently store magic, such as weapons, armor, cloaks, and boots, survived the Spellplague and continue to function normally. Even though their creation used the Weave, permanent access to magic was built into such items when they were created. However, some items created prior to the Spellplague temporarily stored “charges” of magic, such as wands and staffs. Such items either no longer work or don’t function the same way they used to. Many creatures that had been able to cast spells and channel magic through the Weave found themselves powerless in the Spellplague’s wake. Some never regained their abilities. Others attuned themselves to the new magical environment, aided by a diversity of talents, a process that took days for some and years for others. Still others took shortcuts to arcane power by swearing pacts to enigmatic beings.

Effects on the Landscape

The Spellplague ate through stone and earth as readily as flesh and magic. Broad portions of the continent of Faerûn collapsed into the Underdark, partially draining the Sea of Fallen Stars into the glimmersea far below and leaving behind a gigantic pit called the Underchasm. The event splintered the Old Empires south of the drained sea into a wildscape of towering mesas, bottomless ravines, and cloud-scraping spires. Of those ancient lands, the most changed by the Spellplague were Mulhorand, Unther, and Chondath, as well as portions of Aglarond, the shores of the Sea of Fallen Stars, and the Shaar. What was once called Halruaa was destroyed in a great holocaust, as if every spell held there had loosed its power simultaneously. The land bridge between Chult and the Shining South was sunk; now only a scattered archipelago remains. Tendrils of the Spellplague reached to many other corners of Toril, sometimes bypassing great swaths of land by infecting both sides of the many portals that dotted the world. Such an effect might have been responsible for drawing portions of lost Abeir into Toril. Some sages suggest that the two worlds have undergone periodic conjunctions ever since they diverged, but that these were too subtle for most creatures to notice. By an accident of timing, the Spellplague occurred during just such a conjunction, which caused the briefly overlapping lands to run athwart each other instead of passing in the night as

before.
Pockets of active Spellplague still exist today, most notoriously in the Plaguewrought Land. Each of these plaguelands is strange and dangerous. No two possess the exact same landscape or features, but entering any of them could lead to infection by the Spellplague. Luckily for the world, the remaining plaguelands possess only a small fraction of the Spellplague’s initial vigor and are in hard-to-reach locales, often surrounded by twisted devastation. Most lands of Faerûn and Returned Abeir are entirely free of such pockets, though the plaguechanged and spellscarred might appear in any land.

Effects on Creatures

A creature, object, or spell touched by the Spellplague usually dissolved into glowing, dissipating ash. Places hit in the first few hours of the disaster twisted into mad nightmares: delicate structures of mind-skewing dimensions, half-melted cities, and shattered physical and magical laws. Sometimes living creatures survived but were hideously mutated. In the worst cases, they were altered, twisted, or fused to other creatures (regardless of species) or even to portions of the landscape. Most such mewling horrors perished within a few days.
A few things changed by the Spellplague survived only by accepting the new reality. Living creatures so affected are differentiated into two broad groups: plaguechanged and spellscarred.

Plaguechanged

A massive change in body and mind marks a creature that has survived contact with the original wave of the Spellplague. Such survivors are called the plaguechanged. Few of their descendants survive today—the initial plague was so virulent, and the changes wrought were so extreme. As well, many decades have passed since the Spellplague’s end, and old age claimed most of the plaguechanged. A few of the horrifying things bred true, though.
Plaguechanged creatures are monsters, whatever their original race, driven insane by their dreadful metamorphosis. Even the least of them display potent abilities. Luckily, few of these creatures leave the plaguelands.

Spellscarred

Spellscars are usually gained when creatures come too close to a plagueland, though sometimes they afflict beings who have never had any contact with rampant magic. Sometimes a spellscar is a physical abnormality, but more often it is an intangible mark that appears only when its power is activated. An active spellscar might appear as jagged cracks of blue light racing across the forearms and hands, a corona of cerulean flame, a blazing blue glyph on the forehead, or perhaps even wings of cobalt flame. In all instances, blue fire is a sure indicator of a spellscar. A creature can learn to master its spellscar through a variety of methods. Some beings travel to plaguelands in hopes of gaining a spellscar; such “scar pilgrimages” are encouraged by an organization called the Order of Blue Flame.

Fantastic Features

Toril is not only home to strange beings, but it also sports wondrous features. Some of these are natural, others created, and still others aftereffects of cataclysms, earthly or otherwise.

Earth Nodes

Streams of invisible power run beneath the earth, occasionally crossing and collecting in a single spot like river flowing into a lake. Such rare collection points are called earth nodes.

Features

An earth node’s power isn’t visible to the naked eye, but such points are often eerily beautiful or bizarre.
A giant geode or a teardrop–shaped, smooth-sided cavern might hold an earth node, as might any other wondrous subterranean shape. Such a sight isn’t always present, though, and the node’s power doesn’t respect physical boundaries. Some nodes even extend to the surface world.
The most common nodes are fairly small and weak. The exact size of a node and its field of power varies from as wide as half a mile to about 30 feet across. Powerful nodes are rare and can radiate their influence over a greater distance, but the strength of the effect doesn’t always correlate to a wider field.
A few nodes have concentrations of active Spellplague. These horrifying places are essentially small, underground plaguelands called plaguecaves.

Sensing a Node

Anyone who approaches within 30 feet of the edge of an earth node’s power is entitled to a DC 20 passive Arcana check. (The check can also be made by a creature who is searching for the phenomenon.)

Success reveals the presence of the node to that individual. Anyone who senses the node’s power can use that sense to map its boundaries, but doing so takes time, requiring physical travel and observation.

Use

An earth node focuses magic, allowing the following uses.
✦ A node can be used as if it were a permanent teleportation circle (see the Linked Portal ritual, PH 307). Those who use the node as a destination arrive at its center, so the node’s physical dimensions might limit the number of travelers who can arrive at once.
✦ An arcane caster in the node’s power field can tap into its magic by making a DC 25 Arcana check as a standard action. On a successful check, that creature gains a +1 bonus to any one d20 roll each round, as well as a +1 bonus to damage rolls with all arcane attack powers.
✦ An earth node might have a specific ritual or rituals tied to it. Those within the node gain access to those rituals’ effects, even if they do not have the Ritual Caster feat. Most often, a node allows the use of a Linked Portal ritual to travel to one or more nearby nodes as if they were known permanent teleportation circles. Other nodes allow the activation of a Planar Portal ritual, most commonly to destinations in the Elemental Chaos and the Feywild. Many nodes include a variant of Leomund’s Secret Chest that allows the caster to store items in a hidden, immovable demiplane connected to the node’s center. In any case, the node’s user must still be of the appropriate level to use the node’s rituals.
✦ A node can be incorporated into a living space. One or more creatures trained in Arcana and Dungeoneering must oversee such modifications. Each overseer engages in a skill challenge (DMG 72) over the course of the building by making DC 25 checks each week of ongoing construction around the node. If at any time the number of failures outnumbers the number of successes, the node is destroyed by the work. The magical nexus usually reconstitutes in another area within 1 mile of the original node.

Earthmotes

Earthmotes are free-floating bits of landscape that defy gravity to hover in the sky. Despite their appearance, these islands in the sky are as stable and durable as if they rested on the ground. Earthmotes are common along the edges of regions where portions of Abeir replaced Toril’s landscape, as if marking an imperfect seam between the fused worlds. Two or more earthmotes might be found together—in some places, small clusters of floating islands hang like eternal clouds. However, they can be found nearly anywhere, and lone earthmotes (often called simply motes) have become familiar features in even the most staid lands.

Features

Earthmotes vary widely in size and altitude. Most are level on top, like ledges atop sheer cliffs, and taper to a point underneath so that they resemble upsidedown mountain peaks. Thus, climbing to the top of a mote is difficult.
A few earthmotes move like clouds made of stone, but most are stationary. They usually hang between 500 and 1,000 feet over the landscape, but some motes hover lower or even abut an earthbound feature. Disruptions, whether natural or magical, on or near an earthmote have no apparent effect on its ability to float.

Ecology

Nearly all earthmotes support life and seem to reflect the natural landscape over or through which they float. Motes are often named according to the type of terrain they support—forestmotes, hillmotes, junglemotes, and prairiemotes are most common. Sometimes spectacular cataracts pour from watermotes. These falls never run dry, suggesting a connection with the Elemental Chaos. Certainly, similar features exist on that plane.
Some earthmotes are settled. They are highly defensible and often rich in resources, making them highly sought after. Like any valuable territory, motes are sometimes the objects of war and conquest.

Fey Sites

Inscribed, lintel-capped monoliths rise spontaneously from the earth, forming the supporting pillars of a trilithon. Circles of mushrooms surround a low hillock above which dance sparkles of light in the darkest
hour of night. Such fey sites are common throughout Faerûn, and more so in the Feywild. Fey guardians watch over many such sites, defending against interlopers.

Fey Crossroads

A fey crossroads is an entry to the Feywild. Countlesssuch ways are scattered across Toril. In some cases, a fey crossroads resembles an arch, marked by a pair of rune-scribed standing stones far enough apart to form a door. Sometimes a lintel caps two monoliths, and other times they stand like posts. Many fey crossroads are hidden from immediate view and require the Walk CrossroadsPG ritual to discern. Such openings vary widely in size, but most are large enough to allow a Huge creature to squeeze through. A fey crossroads functions like a portal, transporting a user to another such point elsewhere in the world or a specific place in the Feywild. Like portals, fey crossroads can be keyed, restricted, and variable—often they deposit travelers in strange places somewhere near the destination. In the wake of the Spellplague, they can even be malfunctioning.
The Analyze PortalPG ritual doesn’t always work on a fey crossroads. Increase the Arcana check DC by 5; if the check result is less than 20, the caster gains no information. Some folk, known as fey guides, make a living by helping travelers use nearby crossroads. Such individuals are also valuable sources of lore and rumors about local fey activity.

Fey Mounds

Fey mounds are the hidden burial grounds of wild fey. When such a creature dies, its companions bring it to a mound and cover the body loosely with earth, branches, and leaves, sometimes even leaving its belongings behind. The body quickly decomposes, burying items and adding another fine layer to the heap. Mushrooms surround such mounds, though they are not always obvious. Lights, ghostly giggling, and fey apparitions are common near and on them. Fey mounds can be sensed by those using Arcana to detect magic (DC 27). In addition to the treasure they’re known to store, their soil is held to be a powerful component in rituals to ensure the fertility of a field. Some mounds function as fey crossroads or have specific rituals tied to them like earth nodes.
Those who would trespass on fey mounds should beware. Some are potent traps with innate powers tied to them, such as sleep, illusion, and charm effects. Living fey safeguard mounds and punish any who profane these sacred sites. Such a guard receives a +1 bonus to any one d20 roll each round while performing its duty.

Mythals

Mythals are enormous, layered magic constructions created by extensive and unique group rituals. Such constructs protect Evermeet, Myth Drannor, Evereska, Myth Nantar, and several other locations.
Although all mythals were buffeted by the Spellplague, many of them survived the catastrophe. Most of those that shattered, such as the one that once sheltered Silverymoon, spared their lands from the worst of the Blue Fire in so doing. The ancient high mages wove mythals so well that their defenses adapted even to the sundering of the Weave.

Features

During Mystra’s existence, mythals were tailored to provide magical support to citizens and allies of the enspelled area. Now they have lost much of their potency, becoming protective fields that hinder enemies while helping allies.
A mythal might have some or all of the following common effects within its area.
✦ Evil or chaotic evil creatures take a –2 penalty to attack rolls, checks, and saving throws.
✦ Evil or chaotic evil creatures can’t use effects that have the teleportation keyword.
✦ Allied creatures gain a +2 bonus to saving throws.
✦ Any creature that activates a spellscar is affected by the mythal for the rest of that day as if it were evil.
✦ All attempts to teleport into the mythal’s area alert wizards who are linked to it; such attempts fail unless they are specifically allowed. Those permitted to enter arrive inside a heavily guarded and magically warded area.

Variants

Some mythals have unique effects, and you can tailor each one to be an effective storytelling device as much as a defense. For instance, you could decide that Myth Drannor’s mythal also blocks all portals and prevents travel between planes, and that Evermeet’s allows residents to walk on any surface regardless of gravity.

Plaguelands

Plaguelands are regions where the Spellplague still runs amok, changing everything it contacts.

Features

Most plaguelands share common features, though exceptions exist among these anarchic regions.
From a distance, the affected landscape seems to be shrouded in a thick, luminous blue fog. Up closer, the area seems to be bounded by a standing liquid. Everything outside the boundary is sharp-edged and clear; everything inside is blurred and wavering, as if seen through blue fire.
Shapes writhe within, but from outside their nature is impossible to determine.
Inside the boundary, the very land is mutable, slowly sliding and flowing like boiling mud. Rivulets of blue fire, foliage, and even the sky itself slowly mix with the land in a great churn whose edges are the horizon.

Navigation

Despite a plagueland’s amorphous appearance, the swirling landscape supports travelers just as normal ground does. As with travel across ordinary lands, a plagueland’s mountains, rivers, and abysses can present danger. Sometimes the moving land can propel a careless visitor into a chasm.
Some plaguelands are inhabited by plaguechanged creatures, especially swarms of plaguechanged gibberlings.

Effects on Visitors

Within a plagueland, the wild magic of the Spellplague still runs rampant. Each hour that a creature not already spellscarred or plaguechanged spends in a plagueland subjects it to the terrible affliction.
A character who takes an extended rest in a plagueland takes a –1 penalty to Fortitude defense and loses one healing surge. Healing surges lost to this effect can be regained only outside a plagueland.
The Fortitude penalty stacks, and it disappears as soon as a character takes an extended rest outside a plagueland. If this effect reduces a character’s Fortitude defense to 0, the character immediately dies in an explosion of blue flame.
Characters who survive 24 or more consecutive hours in a plagueland might qualify to choose a spell scar, at the DM’s discretion.

Portals

On Toril, magic portals link diverse places in various ways. Most portals are simple teleportation devices that whisk travelers between distant locales, possibly even on other planes. Others allow or limit passage based on the designer’s criteria. All portals are created for a reason, but they often last longer than their creators, so a portal’s purpose can be lost to time.

Features

A portal is an immovable magical surface of a size and shape determined by its creator. This surface is often situated in a physical frame, such as an arch or doorway, that stands free rather than inside a wall.
This feature is the first clue to a portal’s magical nature. A portal often allows those looking at it to view the distant destination on the other side. Characters trained in Arcana can detect the magic of a portal (DC 24) and use the Analyze PortalPG ritual to learn more about it.

Operation

The most common type of portal allows those passing through its surface to travel to a set destination, with some limitations.
Putting any significant part of an object or body, such as part of an arm or one’s head, through the portal’s surface transports the whole object or creature to the destination. If a solid object blocks the destination doesn’t function.
If a creature occupies the destination space, the traveler is instead shunted to the nearest open and safe space at the destination. Only if such a space doesn’t exist does the portal fail to operate.
A wholly unattended object, such as a flying arrow, can’t pass through a portal by itself—it simply bounces off.
Powers and rituals used on one side don’t automatically affect the other, unless the portal was created with that function.
Unless the portal has specific limitations, any creature or object that can fit within its physical dimensions can pass through it. Any number of travelers can enter at one time, as long as the portal’s size can accommodate their passage.
Keyed Portals: A portal’s creator can set extra limitations on the portal’s use. Such limitations vary widely, but the most common requirement is a key. Such a key might be a physical object, but it could also be a specific time, a password, a ritual, a sort of creature, or a particular power used on the portal.
Two or more of these keys might be linked; for example, a portal might require the use of a physical key at sunset.
A keyed portal might open for a set amount of time when the key is used, or it might allow passage to only one creature at a time that uses the proper key.
Restricted Portals: A restricted portal allows only specified creatures or objects through. It might allow only creatures to pass, leaving objects behind, or send creatures to one place and objects to another.
It could admit only creatures that have a particular origin or keyword, or even a single named individual. Some restricted portals permit only light and air in from the other side, forbidding passage to all creatures and objects. Others allow communication between two points, but no travel.
Variable Portals: A portal can have multiple preset destinations. Such a portal might allow the user to select from among them, or it might determine the destination based on the key used. Some such portals send travelers to a location randomly chosen from several possibilities.

Malfunctions

Even magic wanes or changes with time, and cataclysmic events, notably the Spellplague, also affect how a portal functions. Such portals effectively become traps, hindering or harming travelers. Most of Toril’s existing portals are now malfunctioning.
The most common malfunction is an unintended or random destination. A malfunctioning portal can also give off strange supernatural effects, even changing the flow of time or pulling in curious explorers from a distance. Numerous malfunctioning portals connect to plaguelands across Faerûn, and a few even allowed the Spellplague to travel between distant territories, creating plaguelands where few would
expect them.

Magic Items

Each magic item is a legacy of someone’s specific purpose and exceptional skill. Although most folk have seen trinkets that keep a house clean or a room cool, such conveniences are not typically what is meant by the term. Truly potent objects, such as those that great heroes use, are found only in the possession of the mighty.
Money can purchase minor items, but more powerful magic is not usually found in shops. The treasuries of fallen empires, as well as those of great persons and monsters, are the most common sources of potent magic items. Exceptional individuals, such as PCs, can also make magic items for themselves.

Storied Items

A rich campaign setting makes it easy to tie even basic magic items to the world. Their stories endure, and they become legendary. Rather than finding a standard head-slot item, for example, a character might come upon a fabled Crown of Whispers. An object related to the world makes the campaign more enjoyable and immersive for a player, even if the generic item is more powerful. And as the PCs travel through the campaign world, they meet and interact with NPCs who recognize legendary objects they carry.
The storied items presented here are examples. You can bring your world to life by creating others that fit your own campaign’s history.

Crown of Whispers
Crafted in the year of the Fearless Peasant (926 DR) were these twin crowns for the coronation of Princess Aliia and her Cormyrian consort, Rhiigard. They ended up at the bottom of the Inner Sea when Nadyra’s Glory, the ship carrying the princess, sank. The succubus Soneillon, the so-called Queen of Whispers, is reputed to have sunk the ship and claimed the crowns for her domain in the Giantspire Mountains. Though Soneillon is gone, the crowns remain in the hands of her former servants, the hobgoblins of the Giantspire Gap.

Great sword of Impiltur
This weapon was forged by the dwarves of the Earthfast Mountains as a ceremonial blade for the monarchs of Impiltur. Only twenty-five years after its creation, the Greatsword of Impiltur was stolen from the royal vaults, probably by fiendish agents. It was recovered almost a century later by the Horned Ranger, Eljak Ferenfal, who returned it to King Halanter II of Impiltur. It later sank in the Inner Sea with the ship Nadyra’s Glory, where Soneillon recovered it. It eventually passed into the hands of her death knight consort, Imbrar Heltharn. Soneillon and her consort were torn from the world during the Spellplague, leaving their worldly possessions behind. Now the blade is held by the hobgoblin champions of the Giantspires.

Goblin Totem
Goblins make weapons out of the bones of powerful creatures. Two such items, the horn totem and the skull totem, are described in the adventure in Chapter 1.

Minor Artifacts

Minor artifacts are storied items, but they are more powerful and legendary than most. Such an item is usually in the possession of a mighty creature, often the one who created it. Unlike true artifacts such as those described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, a minor artifact is not sentient and does not have a goal. However, it bestows a number of properties and powers on its wielder.
Minor artifacts usually have strange quirks resulting from their potent magic or the circumstances of their creation.

Crown Jewel of Chessenta
Once a terrifying item known as a sphere of annihilation and venerated as part of the Cult of Entropy, the Crown Jewel of Chessenta was changed by the Spellplague. See the “Chessenta” section in Chapter 6 for more on this item.

Manshoon’s Bloodmask
The vampire wizard Manshoon prefers to keep his visage covered, so few know what he actually looks like. To this end, he created a mask that covers most of his head and grants him special protections. See “Zhentarim” in Chapter 7 for more about Manshoon.

Marlspire of Najara
One of the fabled naga crowns created by the yuanti, the Marlspire of Najara is the royal crown of that nation. Members of the Hss’tafi tribe of yuan-ti brought the crown to Najara (page 158) when they were transported there in the Year of Netted Dreams (–320 DR). They gave the crown to the great naga Terpenzi, creator and first king of Najara, as an offering of fealty. Since then, the Marlspire has been the crown of state in Najara, resting on the brow of every naga King of Snakes, up to and including Jarant.

Scepter of the Chosen Tyrant
Fzoul Chembryl, with the help of Teldorn Darkhope, once made a powerful relic of the Banite faith—the Scepter of the Tyrant’s Eye. That weapon was destroyed when Netheril attacked Zhentil Keep and killed Fzoul. Upon Fzoul’s ascension, Bane gave him a similar item, both as a tool and as a reminder of what Fzoul lost to the Shadovar.

Thakorsil’s Seat
The archmage Thakorsil and his allies created this item to yoke the devil Orlex, who ruled the kingdom of Yhalvia (part of ancient Narfell). Thakorsil succeeded in seizing Yhalvia from Orlex, but the wizard became almost as depraved as the devil and was eventually overthrown. Through unknown means, the ancient Netherese lich Larloch acquired the throne. Without using the Seat, he stored it in his ancient hold in the Troll Hills, Warlock’s Crypt. There it stayed for many years. Then Szass Tam, in yet another of his gambits, braved Larloch’s home and managed to meet the ancient lich. Only they know what they discussed. Tam soon returned to his homeland, accompanied by odd hooded companions and carrying many items, Thakorsil’s Seat among them. Szass Tam returned to Thay and freed Eltab, a demon lord imprisoned beneath Eltabbar in Thay. The Thayan archmage tried to use the Seat and the associated Ritual of Twin Burnings to permanently enslave Eltab. A group of adventurers foiled the plot, and the Seat was buried in the subsequent destruction. Tam later recovered the artifact. He keeps it still in the Citadel on Thaymount.

Rituals

As described in the Player’s Handbook, rituals are magical workings that produce useful and impressive effects. They also make great story devices in an adventure or campaign setting. In Faerûn, rituals have existed since the beginning of recorded time, some so impressive that they could weave protections over entire nations. Rituals dedicated to gods and other powerful beings provide benefits to their devotees, and mighty archmages use them to weave effects that can even transcend space and time. Villains use terrible rituals to bring about great evil—if stalwart heroes don’t stop them.

Pact of the Iron Ring
You present the symbol of membership in the Warlock Knights. A dark glow tinged with violet surrounds the rings of those who swear the oath with you.
Level: 10
Category: Binding
Time: 1 hour
Duration: Permanent until
the oath required by the
pact is fulfilled
Component Cost: 400 gp,
plus a Warlock Knight iron
ring as a focus
Market Price: 1,000 gp
Key Skill: Arcana (no check)

This brief ritual reinforces the bond between the Warlock Knights of Vaasa. Willing participants swear loyalty to one another or pledge to accomplish some task. During the ritual, you hold forth your iron ring for all to see and focus upon. Participants who swear the oath required by the pact are bound by their word. Not all participants in the ritual need swear the oath—it can bind some and not others. You can secretly exclude any participant, including yourself, even if he or she appears to swear the oath. However, even someone who is coerced or charmed into swearing the oath is still bound by it. Those who forge such a pact are bound for all time. Any who fail to uphold the bargain are cursed for the rest of their days, considered pactbroken by their peers (see “Pactbroken Curse,” below). The Remove Affliction ritual ends the effects of the Pact of the Iron Ring, before or after a creature breaks the pact. A ritual caster gains a +2 bonus to Heal checks when lifting the curse from one who was magically compelled to swear the pact. Resolving the effects of this curse uses the rules for disease (DMG 49), but the afflicted creature makes a Wisdom check rather than an Endurance check to determine if his or her condition improves or worsens. The level of this curse is equal to the level of the ritual caster. The curse has no final state

Rituals

As described in the Player’s Handbook, rituals are magical workings that produce useful and impressive effects. They also make great story devices in an adventure or campaign setting. In Faerûn, rituals have existed since the beginning of recorded time, some so impressive that they could weave protections over entire nations. Rituals dedicated to gods and other powerful beings provide benefits to their devotees, and mighty archmages use them to weave effects that can even transcend space and time. Villains use terrible rituals to bring about great evil—if stalwart heroes don’t stop them.

Pact of the Iron Ring
You present the symbol of membership in the Warlock Knights. A dark glow tinged with violet surrounds the rings of those who swear the oath with you.
Level: 10
Category: Binding
Time: 1 hour
Duration: Permanent until
the oath required by the
pact is fulfilled
Component Cost: 400 gp,
plus a Warlock Knight iron
ring as a focus
Market Price: 1,000 gp
Key Skill: Arcana (no check)

This brief ritual reinforces the bond between the Warlock Knights of Vaasa. Willing participants swear loyalty to one another or pledge to accomplish some task. During the ritual, you hold forth your iron ring for all to see and focus upon. Participants who swear the oath required by the pact are bound by their word. Not all participants in the ritual need swear the oath—it can bind some and not others. You can secretly exclude any participant, including yourself, even if he or she appears to swear the oath. However, even someone who is coerced or charmed into swearing the oath is still bound by it. Those who forge such a pact are bound for all time. Any who fail to uphold the bargain are cursed for the rest of their days, considered pactbroken by their peers (see “Pactbroken Curse,” below). The Remove Affliction ritual ends the effects of the Pact of the Iron Ring, before or after a creature breaks the pact. A ritual caster gains a +2 bonus to Heal checks when lifting the curse from one who was magically compelled to swear the pact. Resolving the effects of this curse uses the rules for disease (DMG 49), but the afflicted creature makes a Wisdom check rather than an Endurance check to determine if his or her condition improves or worsens. The level of this curse is equal to the level of the ritual caster. The curse has no final state and cannot be cured naturally; it continues to worsen until it kills its victim, and a creature cannot be free of it without magic.

Ritual of Twin Burnings
Striking with the sacrificial knife, you intone words of dark terror. The victim is utterly consumed, and a crystal pane inscribed with a jagged rune appears.
Level: 26
Category: Binding
Time: 2 hours
Duration: Permanent
Component Cost: 50,000
gp, plus special
Market Price: —
Key Skill: Arcana (no check)

This complicated and deeply evil ritual must be performed a total of nine times to subjugate the will of a creature held in Thakorsil’s Seat (page 58). Each performance has the following requirements. It must be performed during a full moon within 20 feet of Thakorsil’s Seat. It requires the sacrifice of a good-aligned creature of at least paragon tier. That creature dies at the last second of the performance, when its body and spirit are utterly destroyed—hence “twin burnings.” If the performance is successful, it creates a triangular crystalline pane etched with a rune of chaos. The pane appears near the Seat. Any damage destroys a pane, but only missing panes must be replaced in further performance. If an individual performance is interrupted, it fails. Panes already created remain, though, and the overarching ritual can continue from that point. If nine performances are successfully completed, a nine-sided crystal pyramid encloses Thakorsil’s Seat. The occupant of the artifact can then physically leave the Seat but is permanently and totally enslaved to the one who completed the ritual.

Magic

The Swords of Faerûn jonathangwilson