Island Kingdoms Magic Items

Magic Items of the Moonshae Isles

Cauldron of Doom

The Cauldron of Doom is a fabled artefact with both fell and benevolent stories surrounding it.

The Cauldron of Doom is well regarded in the islands of the norl, for it is said to provide meat and mead enough to feed an entire settlement in return for a sacrifice (usually a slave, but the norl have not been above sacrificing their own to their god Tempos).

Among the ffolk the Cauldron of Doom is renowned as an artefact of death, spawning hordes of monsters known as drathak, that have plagued the Moonshae Isles on numerous occasions.

The Cauldron of Doom is so named for its maker; Khagen Dhuum (it was originally named the Cauldron of Dhuum, which was corrupted over time to Doom). Khagen Dhuum was the greatest runesmith of his age, and the inheritor of the runemasters of Ahrrfaern. He fashioned many of the fabled weapons of Highhome that are still in use by the dwarves today.

Khagen Dhuum was captured by savage firbolg that began raiding Highhome in earnest from 175 DR onwards. The force behind these firbolg raids was Kazgoroth the Devourer, and he desired the runesmith to fashion items to aid him in his conquest of the Moonshae Isles.

High in the mountains of northern Alaron, Kazgoroth set Dhuum to work fashioning an artefact that would allow Kazgoroth to imbue victims with his power and enslave them to his cause. Dhuum fashioned a great cauldron (as wide and as deep as a man is tall) and enchanted it with the runes to separate body and soul and replace the soul with Kazgoroth’s own essence, to aid its survival (on Kazgoroth’s orders) Dhuum gave it a more mundane purpose; to source food for those providing a sacrifice of souls.

The cauldron took 5 years to enchant, and to complete the item Kazgoroth shared a part of himself with Dhuum and the cauldron. Dhuum had attempted to trick Kazgoroth and fashioned the cauldron out of living metal to reflect the magic back in upon itself, making it a prison. With Kazgoroth’s truename, he attempted to trap Kazgoroth within the cauldron, but the Devourer was far too powerful for the cauldron to trap in its entirety, and Kazgoroth merely severed the link with the piece of his soul now trapped within the cauldron, before making Dhuum the first victim of his last work, and throwing him in.

Over the next twenty years Kazgoroth and his firbolg allies kidnapped thousands of elves, dwarves, and ffolk, throwing them into the Cauldron of Dhuum to see them rise once again as drathak. In 201 DR Kazgoroth used his hordes of firbolg and drathak to assault the nations of Callidyrr, Highhome, and Synnoria.

Facing annihilation from a relentless foe, the goodly races joined together into an alliance and forced Kazgoroth to retreat across the Moonshae Isles, ultimately cornering him in the Fens of the Fallon and slaying him in the waters of the White Well (forever after known as the Darkwell).

The Cauldron vanished from history for over a century before it reappeared again in the possession of High King Gwylloch in Caer Cymrych (otherwise known as the Castle of Skulls). Historians do not believe the cauldron was recovered by Cymrych Hugh, for it is not noted among the treasures of the High Kingdom by the court wizard Flamsterd.

It is likely that the cauldron was taken by firbolg tribes to the Black Mountains (for who else could carry such an immense item). From there it would appear that norl raiders obtained the cauldron and returned with it to Norheim (where there are legends of a cauldron that fed all the people of Greystaad during a harsh winter).

High King Gwylloch is known for his wars with the norl, of all the High Kings he had the most success in battling the invaders. Sages postulate that Gwylloch seized the cauldron from such a raid and returned with it to Caer Callidyrr. It is possible that the Cauldron of Dhuum, and Kazgoroth’s essence inside drove the High King to madness.

High King Gwylloch, the Castle of Skulls, his entire court, and the Cauldron of Dhuum (for it is believed to have remained with the High King at all times, he ate meals only from the cauldron) all vanished from the Material Plane in 299 DR, eyewitness accounts report that mists surrounded the castle before moonlight shone down and caused the castle to vanish (some believe to an other planar prison).

The Castle of Skulls is said to reappear in Llyrath Forest during the Winter Solstice on the night of a full moon. Over the centuries many have sought to plunder the vast treasure stores of High King Gwylloch, but few have returned.

In 1108 DR a witches coven known as the Witches of Wynders Moor managed to successfully plunder the depths of the Castle of Skulls, and retrieved the Cauldron of Doom from its dungeons.

Together, the three witches of the coven used the cauldron to animate a growing horde of drathak that roamed the wilds of Corwell, abducting lone travellers and turning them into more undead. Eventually the drathak horde grew so large that it could carry off entire families and small settlements, leaving the people of Corwell isolated in their homes awaiting their turn.

Eventually the Fidouyr mobilised the Llyrath Forest itself to destroy the unnatural invaders. The three witches turned on one another, trying to bargain with and master the spirit trapped within the cauldron, one was murdered and another’s soul was exchanged with the spirit within.

Kazgoroth’s soul was free at last and it inhabited the last of the witches of Wynder’s Moor; the youngest witch Amye.

Today the Cauldron of Doom is no less potent an artefact (despite the loss of Kazgoroth’s soul to power it). A suitable sacrifice of living beings into the cauldron (they must be immersed within it, will allow the bearer to pull enough meat, grain, and mead from the cauldron to feed someone for a month.

Anyone sacrificing a being into the cauldron and speaking the special command word may reanimate the corpse within the cauldron as a creature known as drathak (like undead, but animated by elemental energy rather than negative energy. The drathak retain the memories and skills they did in life, but none of the emotion or personality (like a computer imitating a human), except that they obey the commands of the cauldron bearer.

Crossroads

Fairy Crossroads (sometimes called Fairy Backroads) are even rarer than ley lines, because they are entirely dependant upon certain alignments of ley lines before they can exist.

Natural, magically significant sites in a high enough concentration cause the formation of ley lines that allow one to travel along its length to another destination in the Material Plane instantaneously. Faeree Crossroads exist when one of more ley lines cross paths.

Where these multiple roads (or tears) meet it opens a portal directly to the Faeree Plane, the stability of this portal, how often it occurs and for how long is often directly to the length of the ley line (and thus how many magical sites are in a concentrated area) and how many ley lines cross in a single point.

Druids are known to mark, manipulate, and stabilise the presence of Faeree Crossroads using dolmen and trilithons (to direct the ley lines towards the dolmen). The dolmen also attract guardian creatures to watch over the Crossroad and prevent undesirable beings from abusing it and gaining access to the Faeree Plane.

Ley Lines

Ley Lines are a strange, naturally occurring phenomenon that is barely acknowledged in the rest of Faerun, but in certain places like the Moonshae Isles and Rashemen they are common knowledge (although rarely utilised).

It is known that magic occurs naturally in living organisms and may be a requirement of life (although some crystal spheres appear to be almost completely depleted of magic yet still contain life), when left to its own devices in the untamed wilderness it congeals into shimmering pools, augments trees and plants to bestow unusual abilities, manifests in strange, gravity defying waterfalls, and an infinite myriad of other phenomena.

Those locations that have unusual concentrations of magic (and corresponding physical abnormalities) give off an easily identifiable aura to those able to detect it, and these auras differ in size depending upon the concentration of magic.

In the more settled, civilised, and humanised regions of Faerun these locations are disparate and fewer in number, and so only in the wilder regions are ley lines prevalent (the High Forest being the most well known). Some sages believe that ley lines are conjunctions of these unique sites in lines of correlation that can be travelled down, while others believe that the overlapping magical auras of these sites open a miniature rift between the Material Plane and the Faeree Plane.

Whatever the nature of ley lines, those attuned to the Plane of Faeree (or possessing certain spells and abilities) can enter a ley line and appear instantaneously at any point along its length (although most novices can only appear at a terminus depending upon which direction they are facing). Advanced users can appear anywhere along the length of the ley line as desired, and force other objects to enter and exit the ley line (useful for firing missiles and launching spells through a ley line).

Druids are known to have knowledge of, and use ley lines for their own purposes. Many cultures have attempted to manipulate ley lines by erecting menhirs that may alter the correlation of the unique sites or overlap and augment the magical auras of these sites (depending upon which sages one believes regarding ley lines). Druids mark and manipulate the location of ley lines using trilithons, which also allow them to easily access a ley line and access its more advanced features.

Moonsinger Tree

Despite the name, and many treasure seekers (and evil cultists) searching for a sapling or tree to obtain the power of the Moonsingers, this item is actually a book that details the history and tenets of the Fidouyr, and the Moonsinger family, including the family tree of Robyn Moonsinger.

The Moonsinger Tree is a simple leather bound book, locked with a bronze clasp (opened with a silver key), covered with runes and symbols sacred to the Fidouyr. Penned by Genna Moonsinger during 1330 DR, for her unborn daughter Robyn, the Moonsinger Tree has been kept in safe-keeping by Bryon Kendrick for his ward until she comes of age.

The Moonsinger Tree details the history of the Fidouyr from its inception with the ffolk migrants being welcomed to Synnoria, its role in the War of Moon and Shadow, and the charge of the Fidouyr to protect the Balance. The book details the rites and rituals of the Fidouyr to care for the Moonwells, how to keep them pure and how to form Lesser Moonwells from the waters of another. Lastly the book details methods and theories for a druid to obtain animal form, and a number of spells that are particularly useful to the Fidouyr.

The final few chapters detail the family history of the Moonsingers, stretching back 5 generations in detail, and beginning with a picture of one of the legendary Moonlight Dancers of Moonshae legend.

Moonwells

The Moonwells are a gigantic network of connected magic items and artefacts that provide a number of boons to those using the magic of the waters. The Moonwells come in two varieties; lesser and greater, and both types are guarded by the druids and appointed guardians.

The Moonwells are said to heal those who bathe in its waters, granting immortality to a lucky few. The Moonwells are known to have a calming effect upon the wildlife around it so that no druids are harmed by hungry or injured animals. Moonwells also provide a magical boost to those few who know how to tap the power of the Moonwells. Lastly the Moonwell is said to act as a doorway to other places for there are many documented instances of creatures appearing out of or disappearing into Moonwells.

Staff of the White Well

The Staff of the White Well is a powerful artefact crafted by the Fidouyr in the early years of its formation under the instruction of the llewyrr of Synnoria.

The Staff is tall and smooth, fashioned from a single, unknotted piece of oak that is the white colour of bone. The legends say that this wood came from the Guardian of the White Well, a huge, white oak tree known as the Ever Oak (for it was green all year round).

The Staff of the White Well has been the symbol of authority for the Fidouyr, often given to the Grand Druid of the Moonshae Isles. In more recent times, as the Fidouyr diminish and many of the Rings have vanished, the Staff of the White Well has been held by one of the Moonsingers, who have dominated the leadership of the Fidouyr.

The Staff of the White Well has numerous powers. It can change form into a large animated tree capable of following commands of the owner. It can call forth a lightning storm, call an earthquake, and a wall of fire to appear. While held forward and against the ground, the staff absorbs magic used directly against the owner.

The staff holds a number of charges that can be used to call forth its power, once depleted the staff slowly recharges (but can be recharged faster using a Moonwell).

Sword of Cymrych Hugh

The Sword of Cymrych Hugh is a weapon of legend among the ffolk and other people of the Moonshae Isles. It is famous for being the weapon that finally slew Kazgoroth the Beast, and for being part of the regalia of the High Kingdom.

The Sword of Cymrych Hugh was originally forged by the dwarves of Highhome for the newly crowned Queen Cyrisyne, and a sister sword forged for her twin Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr.

The sword remained as part of the regalia of Queen Cyrisyne until Kazgoroth the Beast appeared in the Myrloch Vale and attacked the queen and her entourage while they were riding near Deepglen. Queen Cyrisyne was slain and her soul was drawn into the pommel gem of the blade, preventing all attempts by the elves to revive her. The elves of Synnoria never forgave the dwarves for what they believed was a deliberate choice or a most dangerous mistake and a feud exists between the races to this day.

During the war against Kazgoroth, Cymrych Hugh came to Synnoria and was chosen by the sword to be its wielder. With the blade, Cymrych Hugh led the ffolk and his allies to victory against the Beast, cleaving the horn from its head in the Darkwell.

Since that time the Sword of Cymrych Hugh has been a symbol of royalty for the ffolk and part of the regalia of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles, carried into battle by all the High Kings since until the reign of High King Tanner I who was slain by the firbolg in 944 DR and the sword was lost. Many believe the sword still remains on Gwynneth but in 4 centuries of searching no one has found it.

The Sword of Cymrych Hugh is forged of an alloy of living metal and quicksilver. It is possessed of an intelligence that drives it to fight Kazgoroth the Beast with all the skill of an elven warrior queen. The sword is permanently enchanted to hold the Bane property against all lycanthropes and shapeshifters. For limited periods of time the sword can operate independently of its wielder, floating and fighting on its own for a time, most often the ability to float independently is used to recall the sword to the wielder’s hand when it is lost.

The Sword of Cymrych Hugh was originally forged with a counterpart blade known today as the Sister Sword which was possessed by Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr, the two swords are identical in appearance except for the gemstone in the pommel of the Sword of Cymrych Hugh, many speculate that some form of link may exist between the two swords.

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