The monocle of Bagthalos was a holy artifact of Helm. Worn over one eye, it gave its user magically enhanced eyesight. The monocle was crafted by Bagthalos Deszhummer, Archpriest of Helm, in the 1100s DR, and was imbued with his spirit, which could also curse any who wore the monocle.
The monocle consisted of a clear, circular lens of crystal surrounded by an adamantine frame that was studded with six loops. Fastened in these loops were six colorful ribbons, allowing the wearer to securely hold the monocle over their eye, even in the face of physical turmoil.
Bagthalos's spirit, trapped within the relic, whispered regrets, guilt, and sorrow into the wearer's mind. A careless user could find themselves magically compelled by the monocle to rectify a past wrong. This compulsion was similar to a geas or quest spell, could not be dispelled, and would cause the relic to not function until fulfilled.
Bagthalos Deszhummer was an Archpriest of Helm in Zazesspur in the 1100s DR. His order's temple, the House of the Steadfast, was beset by constant thefts from the Skeletal Finger thieves guild, and Bagthalos suspected magical invisibility was employed to slip past the temple guardians. To combat this, Bagthalos began fashioning a magical detection device for his guards. When Helm learned of Bagthalos's ambition, he gave his Archpriest a stern warning. Helm did not approve, feeling magical aid should not be used in place of vigilance. He warned Bagthalos that continuing his vain research would lead to the death of a being dedicated to Helm. However, Helm did not tell his Archpriest to cease his efforts.
Over the years, Bagthalos continued crafting his device, but found himself agonizing over Helm's warning. The Archpriest had no desire to prosper at the cost of another, and this guilt gnawed at him whenever he made progress. He eventually fell into obsession, his temple duties shirked, and his body wasting away. On his deathbed in 1141 DR, Bagthalos uttered the final prayers needed to finish his device. However, this also trapped his spirit within the monocle, unknown to all.
The next year, the temple was robbed again by the Skeletal Finger guild, and the monocle was carried off amidst other loot. For many years, the monocle of Bagthalos circulated in the black markets of Athkatla and Ithmong, where shady merchants, acting on behalf of the original thieves, offered it for the price of 45,000 gp, far below the item's true value. No buyers were interested, however, and the monocle languished in the Skeletal Finger's headquarters in the Small Teeth. Eventually, the mountain stronghold was attacked by the blue dragon Iryklathagra, who drove the thieves away. The blue dragon settled in the stronghold, and the monocle of Bagthalos became part of her hoard.
Since the creator of the monocle perished immediately after crafting the artifact, it was virtually unknown. Bagthalos took the secrets of its creation with him to his grave.
It is suggested in Book of Artifacts that the only way to destroy the monocle of Bagthalos is to reunite all the disparate, plane-lost pieces of Bagthalos's soul, or to freeze it at the heart of the Abyss.
- ↑ 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 David "Zeb" Cook (December 1993). Book of Artifacts. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 978-1560766728.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.