The Weave is thought by many to be a world spanning, divine creation that enables the spellcasting of all races on Toril. In truth it is the mightiest magical artefact ever constructed, and it acts as a blanket to insulate magic users from the effects of Raw Magic, while allowing people ready and easy access to spells.
The Weave is a creation not of the gods, but of the Create Races, first begun by the Sarrukh (under close watch and manipulation by their enemies – the Bae’tith of the Spellweavers of Eril).
The Weave was designed to allow lesser races (from the point of the Spellweavers) to access magic far more easily and with less risk than those using Raw Magic (which often has catastrophic results if a ritual is miscast). With access to the Weave a nearby nation could quickly advance far beyond the protective influence of wisdom and experience, to a point where their magical abilities brought catastrophe to these nations, while at the same time their magic was controlled and constrained so that it could never hope to rival the ritual magic of the Spellweavers.
The sarrukh of Okoth were the first to fall, linking themselves to the Weave through their newly created Weave Anchors and imbuing themselves with fleshwarping magics that sparked a civil war over racial purity and caused the sarrukh to scatter.
The Bae’tith meanwhile moved onto the sarrukh of Mhairshaulk and together they created another prototype Weave Anchor (the Emeralds of Mhairshaulk). The sarrukh of Mhairshaulk then unwisely created a new and more powerful Weave Anchor from the magically powerful remnants of a meteorite (holding the remains of the Atropal), which quickly induced an eternal slumber in all who attempted to access this Weave Anchor.
The aftermath of the destruction of Mhairshaulk was a split in the Bae’tith, with two factions vying for control of the Weave through these Weave Anchors. The majority of the Bae’tith were led by a transformed sarrukh known as Missashak (who had already merged herself with a Weave Anchor known as the Athora), while the dissident group in Mhairshaulk were led by Ssharstrune.
The sarrukh of Isstosseffifil were the last to fall, creating at last the Golden Skins of the World Serpent, and using their magical might to crack the very earth they relied upon, redirecting the rivers, and altering the ecology of their homeland to destroy a mortal enemy and ultimately themselves.
The Golden Skins of the World Serpent were copied by successive empires of the Creator Races, and many more Weave Anchors were created to extend the borders of the Weave until it covered almost the entire surface of Toril. The ready access to magic caused the Batrachi to call down a celestial body to strike their enemy and in the process annihilate themselves, while the Aearee created a servant that quickly outstripped their numbers and physical potential and led to the destruction of their empires, again repeating the pattern the Bae’tith started millennia before.
Successive races have used the Weave without ever being truly aware of its existence. The elves quickly discerned the nature of the Weave, and while they chose to use its potential in a sensible and restrained manner, they resisted the malign sentiences hidden within the Weave that constantly whispered in the mind of the users, urging them to ever greater heights of magic.
With the dawning of the Age of Humanity, the cycle of destruction was once again begun as the Imaskari and Netherese used the magic of the Weave to earn enemies more powerful than themselves. However, in the aftermath of the fall of the great empires of humankind, some humans learned of the true nature of the Weave and of the purposes of the Weave Anchors.
The Church of Mystra and Azuth are constantly engaged in a secret war with the Cults of Shar for control of these Weave Anchors, continuing a struggle begun with the creation of the first Weave Anchor
The Emeralds of Merrshaulk: These prototype Weave Anchors were created long before the Golden Skins of the World Serpent were started or completed. They were made by the sarrukh of Mhairshaulk (under the watchful eye of a cell of the Bae’tith) allowing the sarrukh to grow magically powerful and dominate the entire Chultan Peninsula and the lands around it.
Eventually the Bae’tith; led by the naga queen Ssharstrune, linked the Emeralds of Merrshaulk to a meteorite of starmetal, from which they created a new Weave Anchor and caused a rift between factions of the Bae’tith. After a series of clashes between the Bae’tith, Ssharstrune was imprisoned within the Weave Anchor. Later a mysterious malady struck the sarrukh of Mhairshaulk and forced them into an eternal slumber.
The Emeralds of Merrshaulk make potent, portable Weave Anchors, much like the Golden Skins of the World Serpent (although they have far fewer spells stored within them). However, the Emeralds of Merrshaulk are all attuned to what has become known today as the Shadow Weave, and they have been lost for 30,000 years, spread out across the Chultan Peninsula, Shaar, Calimshan, and even Ruathym.
The Golden Skins of the World Serpent: