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Guardian's Tear

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The Guardian's Tear was a major artifact created, quite by accident, during the Time of Troubles by Helm, the god of guardians. Unsurprisingly, the tragic circumstances behind its creation and the sheer amount of power released during it made this relic extremely desirable...and extremely chaotic and unstable.[1]

DescriptionEdit

In most respects this artifact had the appearance of a gemstone, found only infrequently in the Realms, called a king's tear. Greater in size than any other examples of that jewel, however, it was almost 1 foot in length with a diameter of 8 inches. With exactly the shape suggested by its name, its clear, slightly-azure surface was perfectly polished, beyond the ability of any mundane means to shatter or even crack. What made it truly remarkable, though, was that any who gazed into its depths would see the battle between Mystra and Helm from the Watcher's point of view...reflected in an endless repetition for eternity.[1]

PowersEdit

Thanks to the sheer raw magic contained within it, the Guardian's Tear had a number of powers related to the essence of the Art. To begin with, the artifact itself always acted as if permanently bearing nondetection, and no divinatory magic would work upon it; whoever held it also acted as if under dispel magic. The Tear, which would float suspended in mid-air when not held but rotated clockwise at all times, bore within it such intense and uncontrolled magic that for one mile radius around it, there was a 1 in 4 chance that any arcane power would fail in the same manner as in a dead-magic zone, and a 3 in 4 chance that it would be affected as if by wild magic.

Beyond the radius of the Tear, further effects occurred. At midnight each day, a bubble of either dead or wild magic rotated away from the artifact until reaching up to 30 miles away; like the aura around the Tear, these bubbles had a 1 in 4 chance of being dead magic and a 3 in 4 chance of being wild magic. Unlike the aura, which was resistant to all magic, these bubbles could be repaired or otherwise countered in the same way as normal regions of the type once they floated beyond it. The Tear itself could be transported by mundane means, but not by magic.[2]

HistoryEdit

Any student of history in the Realms was well aware of the Time of Troubles and the many awe-inspiring, terrifying, and momentous events which occurred when the gods were forced to walk Faerûn in mortal forms. And the events which specifically took place at Castle Kilgrave in Cormyr were also well known, as much for the future greatness of those involved as for the awful consequences upon the Weave thanks to Mystra's demise. What was unknown to many, however, was the divine power left behind by the confrontation atop the heights of the Celestial Stairway.

Even as Kelemvor, Adon, Midnight, and Cyric fled the blasted ruin left behind by the explosion of the goddess of magic's avatar, the calamity had another powerful result. Helm the Guardian, although bound by his code of honor and oath to Ao to fulfill his duty of letting no god return to the heavens without the Tablets of Fate, deeply regretted the death of Mystra he had been forced to carry out. In grave sorrow, the god had cried a single tear which, unbeknownst to all, fell to earth until coming to a halt above the tar pit which the godly energy had created when unleashed. The Guardian's Tear, as it would ever after be known, contained both the Vigilant One's anguish and the chaotic energies of the Lady of Mysteries.

It was not until several years after the Avatar Crisis ended that King Azoun IV, concerned by the growth of what had been termed the Helmlands, sent an adventuring company called the Knights of the Shadows to discover what could be learned about its cause. The adventurers eventually found the massive gemstone still floating where it had fallen, but now called the rock of blue fire by the gnollish tribe that worshiped it. The Shadow Knights succeeded in bearing the Tear away, but were in turn attacked by a group of six drow wild mages, the Cult of Malyk, who stole the artifact from them and fled back to the Underdark.[1]

The Guardian's Tear was never seen again, for the dark elves (a rebellious splinter sect secretly devoted to Talos) had taken it to their stronghold deep beneath the Far Hills to aid them in toppling the Conclave of Sshamath from power. With its ability to twist, deaden, and otherwise destabilize all magic around it, these terrorists hoped to bring down the ruling oligarchy—despite or more likely because of the fact the sphere of disruption in the Weave would create another Helmlands in the Underdark that would only grow in size and power, perhaps even threatening the Zhentarim in Darkhold far above them. That a relic whose origin was so deeply saddening could be brought to such an evil purpose only acted as a further painful irony for the already guilt-stricken Helm.[3]

DestructionEdit

Although no mage could know for certain (seeing as it was never available to them for study thanks to the Cult of Malyk), several possible means to destroy the Guardian's Tear were posited over the years. The most direct (and obvious) was to have Helm himself crush it in his gauntlet, so that its fragments could be absorbed back into Mystra.[note 1] Other suggestions included letting it be swallowed by the sphere of annihilation, called Entropy, in Luthcheq and placing it undisturbed for 1,001 years in the auras of 1,001 magic elementals. It was also believed its effects could be blocked on a temporary basis by placing it inside a nishruu.[2]

Notable OwnersEdit

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. With both Helm himself slain by Tyr in 1384 DR, and Mystra's murder in the following year, this means of destruction is likely no longer possible, although the combination of the Spellplague and Mystra's eventual return as related in Bury Elminster Deep and Elminster Enraged means it might well still be possible for the Lady of Mysteries herself to destroy the artifact, or recover its power, by some other unknown means.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.

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