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Congenio Ioun

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Congenio Ioun was a human arcanist and inventor of the ancient empire of Netheril. He was considered the first great arcanist of Netheril, famed for creating the popular magical items known as ioun stones after him, in 397 NY (−3462 DR). Congenio is known to have created at least thirty different types of ioun stones.[2][1][3]



Congenio Ioun was born in 364 NY (−3495 DR), in the early Nether Age of Netheril. He became an arcanist.[1][4]

At the time, Netherese priests and wizards alike believed that large objects such as shields and suits of armor were simply too big to be enchanted, and (mistakenly) assumed that only small or slender items—pebbles, small stones, pieces of cloth, daggers, and the like—could be enchanted to bear magic. Congenio worked under this assumption and so he worked exclusively with small, semi-polished stones. In the year 397 NY (−3462 DR), he created what he initially called Congenio's pebbles, which were later thought to be the first true magical protection devices.[3][2] This was a previously unheard-of achievement: he was aged only 33 and this was the first magical item he had created, marking him as one of the greatest arcanists of his age.[1]

Congenio's pebbles soon became enormously popular with his fellow arcanists, and were in great demand.[1] Over the next 54 years, the anhedral, echinid, hexagonoid, spindle, pebble, star, and round stones were developed and introduced by Congenio or others.[3]

In 451 NY (−3408 DR), at the suggestion of a close friend, Congenio renamed his pebbles to the much more catchy Ioun's stones.[1][3] Under this name, the cephaloid, cube, cylinder, decipton, dendroid, dodecahedron, ellipsoid, enneid, euhedral, hectoid, helicid, heptid, monoclinoid, nephroid, ovoid, octahedron, orthorhomboid, peg, pentahedron, prism, pyramid, rectangle, septahedron, sexahedron, tile, and tredyhedron stones were created by Congenio or others and became widespread in Netheril.[3]

Congenio himself created over thirty of these, including the prism that allowed one to see in the dark and another that granted its holder a temporarily raised level of experience and might.[1][3][note 1]

He lived an incredibly long life, almost a thousand years. In 1319 NY (−2540 DR), Congenio finally passed away—it was said to the realms of the gods.[1][3]


After his death, a number of other arcanists continued his work. These researchers made breakthroughs in Congenio's original design, in that they simply ignored his consistent design and placed their own spells on whatever gem they had, no matter its shape. The stones became generally known as simply ioun stones around 1365 NY (c. −2494 DR).[3]

By the 14th century, ioun stones were much desired, yet few people—even those who had them—knew where they had originated. Congenio Ioun himself had been long-forgotten, but his name lived on in his greatest creation. Only some sages of the arcane such as Prismal the Outrageous knew something of Congenio Ioun's story.[2]

Congenio Ioun was one of the few spellcasters of the Nether Age of Netheril to draw the respect of his peers, and one of the very few whose name survived from that ancient time. This was despite him not working in spell research, but in the development of the first magic items. Through his creations, his name lived on for millennia. He was viewed as one the first of the great arcanists of Netheril, and as a genius born before his time.[1][3]


Congenio was never seen without a collection of his namesake stones circling his head at all times.[1]


Some considered Congenio a sly individual.[1]


He was among the few Netherese arcanists who did not concern themselves with creating new spells, instead focusing on the creation of magical items, in particular his ioun stones.[1] Owing to prevailing opinions, he worked exclusively with small, semi-polished stones.[3][2] He adopted the self-imposed limitation of enchanting all stones of the same shape with the same spell, making them more consistent for buyers and eliminating confusion.[3]

Rumors and legendsEdit

It was rumored that Congenio Ioun himself had created a stone that had given him his great longevity; he lived almost a thousand years.[1]

In his own lifetime, some suspected him of being a student of the Terraseer, but he always managed to evade answering the question when put to him.[1]



  1. Apart from the prism, it is unknown which pebbles and stones were created by Congenio and which by fellow arcanists, but it is clear that the majority were made by Congenio. It is also clear that Congenio created some stones that are not listed.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 6, 107. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 slade et al. (February 1995). Encyclopedia Magica Volume II. (TSR, Inc.), p. 613.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 5–6. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  4. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.

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