A tel'kiira,[1] (also telkiira[2] and greater kiira[3],) was a powerful and dangerous lore gem worn by the leaders of the elven Houses, with their color and clarity acting as a status symbol among the Houses.[1][2]

While properly called tel'kiira, the name was often shortened to simply kiira, but a true tel'kiira was much more powerful than the lesser kiira in circulation by the time of the late 14th century DR.[3]


Tel'kiira were not limited to a specific type of gem but were never larger than an elvish pinky finger. They tended to be polished smooth with a slight mound shape, without any facets. The color of the gem became accented and deepened with each new mind-meld. A number of Elder Houses had gems that were nearly black in hue, depicting the vast amount of knowledge the gem contained.[1]


Unlike the case for other kinds of kiira, elven lore gems could only be worn by elves.[1] They were semi-intelligent[1] and acted as repositories of knowledge gathered by their wearers,[1] including the thoughts or memories of an individual, or arcane lore.[4] This knowledge could be accessed by future wearers of the gem.[1] Usually, one merely needed to touch the stone to reveal its contents, but it was also possible to guard the contents against casual access.[4]

Some elven wizards used these stones as spellbooks.[5]

Only elves of high intelligence could wear these gems. If these requirements were not met, the violator could become feebleminded.[6] Even those who met the requirements and wore the gem of their own House did not find it easily controlled. Lore accessible via the gem was not immediately available to a wearer after surviving the transfer.[6]


Simpler versions of kiira were also possible to create, which non-elves could use.[3] In addition, there were also two other kinds of kiira known to exist:

Kiira N'Vaelahr 
These 24 gems were used by the undercover agents of the N'Vaelahr before the fall of Myth Drannor. They stored memories and magic like a regular kiira, but also facilitated mental communication.[7]
These were "high lore gems", made exclusively from rainbow tourmaline, which were long, faceted, and sparkling. This difference in appearance set them apart from a normal kiira.[citation needed]

Notable OwnersEdit

It is known that the following elven Houses owned a kiira: Alastrarra, Aunglor, Durothil, Haevault, Iliathor, Neirdre, Nimesin, Orbryn, Raedrimn, Starym, and Ulondarr.[citation needed]

The Alastrarra House's tel'kiira was returned to them in Cormanthor by Elminster in 241 DR.[8]


In 326 DR, The mercenary mage Ansel Burwyth, known as the "Master of Gems", had possession of a kiira from an unknown elven House. With it, he entrapped the soul of the "Ruling Magister" of Tashalar, Onsilur Maerdrathom. The gem was then hidden and never found, though some believed that it was part of a collection of magic jewels hidden within the Dragon Reach.[9]

The Hall of Living Memory deep in the Sea of Fallen Stars had walls embedded with tel'kiira, which stored a wealth of history, including the location of the Wyrmskull Throne.[10]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), pp. 152–153. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 155–156. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 162. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Richard Baker (August 2004). Forsaken House. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-3260-0.
  5. Richard Baker (August 2004). Forsaken House. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-3260-0.
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named C-EotE-p152-153
  7. Steven E. Schend (1998). The Fall of Myth Drannor. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-1235-9.
  8. Ed Greenwood (December 1998). Elminster in Myth Drannor. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-1190-5.
  9. Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786914302.
  10. Steven E. Schend, Thomas M. Reid (1999). Wyrmskull Throne. (TSR, Inc), pp. 59–60. ISBN 0-7869-1405-X.