Sphere of the Conquerors
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
Entry in the Holy Artifacts Challenge.
The sphere is about as big as an ogre's fist and appears to be constructed of black crystal. It is made to resemble Krynn before the Cataclysm, so the outline of its continents, chains of islands and great bodies of water are all inscribed upon the sphere, though curiously enough its surface is perfectly smooth to the touch. A dark red light pulses like a living heart, softly illuminating the globe from within, but at the same time offering no warmth whatsoever. Anyone who holds the Sphere of the Conquerors feels terrible power imbuing one's body and is convinced that the whole world would fall before this one's might. Looking intently into the pulsing heart of the globe one can see an idealized, god-like image of oneself –the face of the true Conqueror of Krynn!
The origins of the Sphere of the Conquerors are lost in the mist of time. Legend claims that this was the greatest gift Takhisis gave to the first King of the High Ogres during the Age of Dreams, in an attempt to urge him to conquer the entire planet in her name. Her chosen race indeed reached great heights of power and was able to enslave the disorganized humans and confine the elves to their forest homes. Unfortunately due to their self-serving and distrustful nature the numerous lords, mages and high priests of the High Ogres never united to bring the whole of Krynn under the Dark Queen's control. As time passed and the ogres' fell nature started physically manifesting, the Curse of Paladine brought this great but wholly evil civilization to an end. When the last High Ogre King was slain by human rebels the sphere was presumed lost and its fate became uncertain. Myths and unverified stories claim that the fabled Sphere of the Conquerors was briefly owned by the minotaur rebel-turned-emperor Ambeoutin, Ackal Ergot, the founder of the great human empire of Ergoth and even the mighty red dragon Deathfyre during the Second Dragon War. Some ancient texts even claim that the father of Solamnia, Vinas Solamnus had used the sphere to gain the necessary strength during the Rose Rebellion, though that seems highly unlikely. In any case the Sphere was found by Kingpriest Ardosean I during his campaign of closing the temples of the evil gods and executing their priests. Whether he actually used it or not is anyone's guess, but it is well documented that after his campaign ended he suddenly abdicated and had the artifact securely locked in the Great Temple's Vault. At some time during the reign of the last Kingpriest the Sphere of the Conquerors was taken to the Hall of Sacrilege within the Tower of High Sorcery where it remains to this day.
Whether the Cataclysm or the death of Takhisis have caused the power of the sphere to wane is uncertain. Some scholars believe that since the artifact resembled the planet and Krynn suffered badly from the fiery mountain during the first Cataclysm, it is possible that the world-wide destruction cracked or even shattered the crystal orb. A handful of Takhisis' former clerics knowing of the magical item's history, believe that the death of the goddess will have rendered the sphere mundane, robbing it of its divine power. There are those however who are quick to point out that the sphere merely brought to surface its owner's pride, greed and ambition and was not actually powered by the Dark Queen. What the truth of the matter is remains to be seen.
The Sphere of the Conquerors offers incredible power to its owner, but it must be constantly held in one hand to convey its benefits. The wielder must concentrate for one minute before the artifact's full powers are activated. Once the orb releases its unholy energies, the one holding it is affected by the spells divine favor, greater heroism, righteous might (including becoming larger, though the sphere itself remains unchanged) and unholy aura. The downside (and few realize it in time) is that the owner is possessed by a terrible urge to acquire, conquer and enslave (similar to the spell errant heart –Will Save to resist for 24 hours) and is never content with what she has until she becomes like the ideal god-like image she sees within the sphere. Such ambition invariably leads to corruption and more often than not the wielder's demise.
Strong Abjuration, Enchantment, Evocation and Transmutation [evil]; CL 20th.
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