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Tear of Selûne

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The Tear of Selûne was a major artifact of both great value and power that naturally made any magic in its vicinity more intense and dangerous. When combined with three other magical items, it could also be used to bring about great destructive force against evildoers.

DescriptionEdit

This artifact was quite massive in size, comparable to an ogre's clenched fist, its surface formed of rough, unpolished crystal. Unlike other meteorites, it was in fact a great diamond. Anyone attuned to magical doings could feel that it radiated incredible energy.[1]

PowersEdit

Simply by its own passive nature, the Tear had a significant effect on magic in its vicinity, for any spell cast within a hundred feet (30 meters) of it would act at maximum effect, as well as if cast by a caster much greater in power.

Any bearer of the Tear who also possessed the two steel keys was capable of unleashing stunning power from the skies, as they could summon a meteor swarm at will, which could strike anywhere in the Realms within their sight (whether directly or by scrying). If only one key was employed, the wielder would have to perform a complex litany of prayers to the Moonmaiden in order to call upon this power, as well as to protect themselves from the Tear's more dire effects. The goddess was also known to sometimes dispatch a swarm of her own accord so as to protect her followers.

Having both keys, which joined together to form a steel rod of twice the length of either, allowed the Tear's owner to draw down meteor swarms without danger. Without them, however, the wielder was also in increasing danger of being divided by the artifact's cosmic energy into two identical undead beings. One was of pure good and the other evil, both with the full memories of the original and the belief that they were the original. They would be bound to struggle against one another forever or until one was destroyed.[2]

The staff of the Shard, which was otherwise only used to track down the Tear's location when lost, had other powers mysterious and unknown, although Selûnite lore suggested it could be employed in healing, locating the lost in general (whether people, places, or items), striking enemies to explosive effect, and radiating light.[1]

HistoryEdit

The Dawn Cataclysm, which had many and varied effects upon Faerûn and its gods just as far-reaching and long-lasting as the Time of Troubles, left behind one other artifact unknown to most of the world, even among those who espoused and acted in the name of good. Tyche, goddess of luck, had been corrupted by a form of the god Moander, and in order to save her, her dear friend Selûne (warned by Lathander, Azuth, and divinations from the Pale Tesseract) struck her with a bolt of pure light that split her husk apart, allowing Tymora and Beshaba to emerge. The Lady of Silver wept for Tyche, however, and one tear that fell from her divine countenance came to the Material Plane in the form of a meteorite, where it was found by her followers in Thar.[3][1]

One shard of the Tear was placed upon an oaken staff, which the priestesses used to guide them northward to safety in the land of Vaasa. There they built a shrine to guard and venerate the Tear, using magical steel keys (fashioned from the fragments of space iron that had fallen to earth along with the gemstone) to lock the shrine and thus keep the artifact from falling into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, when one key was sent to a temple farther south for safekeeping, it was lost in a bandit attack. Not long after, a tribe of ogres that had witnessed both the meteorite's fall and the Selûnites' journey northward tracked them down and, in a raid, captured the northern key. For centuries after it would remain in their cave hideout, eventually falling under the control of a behir. The staff of the Shard, in the meantime, remained with the priestesses who kept vigil over the Tear until eventually being lost in the Marsh of Chelimber. It was later recovered and held in trust for the Moonmaiden by Fuorn, the treant master of the Forgotten Forest.[1]

Not until sometime during the 12th century by Dalereckoning did the southern key turn up again, this time in the possession of a Red Wizard of Thay by the name of Crossar. Although never proven for certain, his sudden rise to fame and great political power among his rivals was attributed by the Simbul to divine aid that he had drawn from the Tear via the lost key. Thanks to only possessing one, however, he eventually fell afoul of the artifact's curse—losing all his influence and magic, his tower in the Umber Swamp lost to mortal knowledge and buried beneath the destructive battlefield created when he split into a watchghost and a crimson death.[1]

An adventuring company known only as the Seekers was finally sent by Selûne herself after the Time of Troubles to recover the Tear and the talismans needed to find and safely use it. But after receiving the staff of the Shard, a long journey to Crossar's tomb with the Simbul's assistance, and a battle with the behir that guarded the northern key, the company and the Tear were captured by the Zhentarim.[2] The Tear was lost to history, although it was almost certainly present in Zhentil Keep when that city was destroyed by the insanity of Cyric in 1368 DR.[4][note 1] What happened to the staff, the keys, and the Seekers was also unknown, although a fragment of their journal did eventually wash up in a fisherman's net near Elmwood.[2]

DestructionEdit

Unsurprisingly, many sages believed that the Tear would only return to the heavens if Tymora and Beshaba merged to once more become Tyche. Since the likelihood of that event was quite remote, other arcanists suggested that it could be destroyed by an avatar of Shar, but only during a time when Mystra was either dead or in some manner blocked from the Realms, something which would greatly weaken both the new Mystra and Selûne herself.[note 2] Still others said that the meteorite, as well as the keys and staff, would only shatter if employed to release their power in the name of true evil.[2]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Theologians can only speculate as to why Selûne would allow this to occur, but considering the Moonmaiden's desire to combat the evil and tyranny embodied in the Black Sun and his followers, and his later twisted machinations with her eternal rival Shar that led to Mystra's death and the Spellplague, it is entirely possible she wished to ensure the Tear would be present when Fzoul Chembryl read from The True Life of Cyric, thus amplifying its effects a hundredfold. This could certainly explain the sheer amount of destruction unleashed upon the city, as well as the death of Xeno Mirrormane.
  2. Whether Shar took advantage of the death of Mystra that she had engineered through Cyric in 1385 DR to destroy the Tear, and if so whether this had any effect on the severity of the Spellplague, is unknown. If it remains in the Realms, it is also unknown what the damage to the Weave may have done to the Tear and its powers.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  3. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  4. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.

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