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Those proficient with the use of regular astrolabes could use this to determine the time, date, and latitude.
The main power of this item was its ability to trap genies. Each of these items contained twelve genie prisons arranged inside of the metallic sphere. These prisons rotated with the constellations, so only one genie prison was active during any given month. During this time the owner could use any of the following three powers:
- Summon the genie trapped within the currently aligned prison. Trapped genies were usually enraged upon being summoned, so there was a small chance that they would be able to attack anyone surrounding the owner. The owner was safe from the genie's wrath.
- Free the trapped genie. Again, some genies were so enraged that it was not guaranteed that they would not attack upon their release.
- Trap a different genie within the prison. This power could be used against a genie within 30 feet (nine meters) of the astrolabe. A newly trapped genie took the place of any previously trapped genie, freeing the previously trapped genie in the process. Newly freed genies from this manner might also be enraged and attack.
The currently aligned prison deactivated at the end of each calendar month. This lasted for the next eleven months. During this time the genie was trapped with no chance of release.