“It has come to my attention that various spellcasters and factions throughout the Flanaess are seeking to either possess the essence of power magic or to conceal it. Many have hypothesized that the artifact known only as Xodast’s Tome of Research may very well have survived the Twin Cataclysms.
Upon further research, and with a little bit of outer planar help, I have deduced that the book itself was made from the red and black scaly substance of a creature not of this world. From the notes of an apprentice to Slerotin, I have learned that the creature the substance comes from is commonly referred to as a pyroclastic dragon.”
- From a letter discovered in the ruins of Maure Castle by Mordenkainen, circa 566 CY
The Invoked Devastation was the result of a spell developed by Xodast Xuel-Crix, arguably one of the most brilliant minds of the last two millennia. Xodast’s main reference work was an ancient and mysterious tome titled the Codex of the Infinite Planes. Within this tome, Xodast discovered the means to temporarily transpose one plane over another, effectively producing a major planar breach. During this breach, properties of the transposing plane could affect a vast area. Early experiments were conducted within the confines of his laboratories, in the ancient Suel city of Suendrako, with varying, though staggering results.
It was not until he tapped into the Gray Wastes that Xodast discovered the true destructive power of such a planar conjunction. He quickly penned several scrolls describing the process and recorded the entire experiment into his spellbook (now known as Xodast’s Tome of Research). Years later, while pouring over these notes, Xodast developed a wondrous artifact used to enhance the effects of all spells involving extraplanar activity or planar transposition. Fearing the catastrophic implications of using such a device, he quickly secreted the device away within the vaults of the Royal Academy of Magic. He further warned the headmasters that it was not to be used, for it was the “bringer of all doom.”
Many years passed and Xodast’s work lay all but forgotten until the Suel, forewarned of impending cataclysm, sought out the arcane device. The greatest of all the Suel wizards from each house (listed below) were hastily summoned to the Imperial Council Chamber in the capital city. As the hour grew dim, they finally agreed to remove Xodast’s Tome of Research from the vaults and to activate the bringer of doom. Assembled in the grand Council Chamber, many of the spellcasters used various scrying devices to determine the width and depth of the magical assault they planned. Finally, after much consultation, Xolan began casting the ritual aided by the other eleven wizards. Within minutes, a gout of grey smoke belched from the bringer of doom as the spell struck the Baklunish Empire.
On the Baklunish plain thick clouds of virulent grey vapor darkened the mid-day, appearing to taint, infect and rot all living matter they touched. As the decaying nature of the Gray Wastes bled into the Baklunish Empire, all life for hundreds of miles was annihilated and structures began to crumble, leaving no trace of habitation. As the two planes bled into one nightmarish realm, thousands of hordlings from the Gray Wastes suddenly found themselves on the Prime Material Plane along with their master, the god Incabulos, whose realm was within the area. Delighted at the invitation to this realm, Incabulos rampaged through the Baklunish capital of Udrukankar, leaving a trail of pestilence and death in his wake.
As the nightmarish decay and destruction rapidly crumbled their world into dust, not all Bakluni were paralyzed by the unbelievable horror. Assembling at the ancient site of Tovag Baragu, they gathered and prepared their counterstrike.
1. Slerotin, House Zelred
2. Rellimirck, House Rhola
3. Xiomara, House Malhel
4. Maquel, House Zolax
5. Saeryn, House Neheli
6. Itzal, House Cruski
7. Xolan, descendant of Xodast, House Xuel-Crix
8. Ferrelen, House Shnai
9. Jekova, House Fruztii
10. Mareena, House Lerera
11. Gargerenis, House Linth
12. Kevellian, House Maure
Spellcraft DC: 52 or with artifact boost 40
Components: V, S, Ritual, XP
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: (See below)
Effect: 1d6 damage per round (60ft. radius), plus hunefer rot or with artifact boost 2d6 damage per round (900 mile radius), plus hunefer rot
Duration: 1 round/ level.
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
To Develop: 468,000gp; 10 days; 18,720 XP
Factors: destruction seed (DC 29), Decay (+28 DC), No Spell Resistance (+10 DC), 1d6 Damage/ Level (+1 DC), Range (Long 400ft. + 40ft. / level) (+2 DC), 60ft. radius (+2 DC)
Mitigating Factors: burn 2,000 XP (-20 DC)
Factors with artifact boost: destruction seed (DC 29), Decay (+28 DC), No Spell Resistance (+10 DC), 2d6 Damage/ Level (+2 DC), Extended Duration (+20 DC), Unlimited range on current plane (+200 DC), 900 mile radius (+200 DC)
Mitigating Factors with artifact boost: eleven additional casters contributing an epic-level spell slot (–209 DC), burn 1,000 XP per caster (-120 DC), Major Artifact contributor (-120 DC).
Casting this spell invokes the decaying nature of the Gray Wastes to transpose over the currently targeted area, in this case boosted by the bringer of doom, a device rumored to intensify spell effects involving planar breaches from one plane to another (as detailed in Manual of the Planes 220).
The spell initiates an incurable decay resembling hunefer rot that, over a matter of minutes, completely destroys anything it touches, whether plant or animal. As the two planes touch, a near-invisible gray mist sweeps through the designated area appearing to taint and decompose all living matter. The mist is merely an effect of the planar contact, however, rather than a cause. Protection from gas (or any other type of physical barrier) has no affect. Any target within the area of this spell when it is cast suffers 1d6 points of damage/round for 1 round per level of the spellcaster. While damage (and decay) occurs over a number of rounds, the initiation of the incurable spell affect is instantaneous, and will continue unabated if the victim is teleported away from the area. If the target is reduced to –10 hit points or less (or a construct, object, or undead is reduced to 0 hit points), or reaches 0 Constitution, it is utterly destroyed as if disintegrated.
Unlike normal diseases, hunefer rot requires a victim to make a successful Fort saving throw (DC 35) every round or take another 1d6 points of temporary Constitution damage. The rot continues until the victim reaches Constitution 0 (and dies) or receives a remove disease spell or similar magic. An afflicted creature that dies shrivels away into sand unless both remove disease and raise dead (or better) are cast on the remains within 2 rounds.
This metallic, 6-inch-square, box-shaped device is covered in various sigils and engraved with arcane markings and predates the destruction of the Suel Imperium. In fact, the arcane device actually exists across many more dimensions then can be perceived, its appearance merely its representation within normal 3-dimensional space. Its true shape is neither known nor fathomable by mortal minds. It is the very same artifact that was used in the Invoked Devastation against the Baklunish Empire. The bringer of doom, created by Xodast Xuel-Crix around - 618 CY, was crafted with the aid of another even more ancient and mysterious artifact known as the Codex of the Infinite Planes. Utilizing the arcane knowledge within the Codex, Xodast breached the planar boundaries, allowing for a temporary planar transposition, and from thence the bringer of doom was first utilized.
When activated, the bringer of doom allows its user to enhance the effects of any spell that involves extraplanar activity. If used with the proper rituals, large areas of one plane can temporarily transpose over another, effectively producing a major planar breach. During this breach, properties of the transposing plane can affect a tremendous area.
Xodast’s early experiments were tested within the protective confines of his laboratories. During these conjunctions, denizens of the transposed plane could cross the barrier without gates or portals, effectively existing on both planes at once, though once the spell expires the outsider must choose which plane to stay on (such as in the case of Incabulos and the hordlings released during the Invoked Devastation).
Three centuries later, after Xodast’s untimely demise during a major planar breach, the artifact was removed from the vaults of the Royal Academy of Magic and used in a rare ritual developed by Xodast himself, called the “Invoked Devastation” (which, ironically, became the name for the actual event as well).
While using this artifact, any spells cast that utilize conjuration or evocation are Intensified, Extended, Enlarged, and Widened. The spell’s range extends to Unlimited, as long as the caster can see the target (including scrying) and as long as the target is on the same plane. The spell’s duration is extended by 2 ranks, (instantaneous becomes 1 round/level). The spell’s area of effect also can span up to a 900-mile radius. Spells cast in this fashion require the aid of eleven other spellcasters to empower the artifact. Each spellcaster must submit an epic level spell and burn 1,000 XP.
Overpowering evocation and conjuration; CL 21+; Weight 5 lbs; Reference Monster Manual II (1st-edition) 75, Star Cairns 38
The main shaft (the only portion that is normally referred to as the ashen staff) resembles a white, unglazed ceramic staff approximately 5 feet long and 2 inches in diameter, with no markings or decorations. In the top of the staff is a small hole approximately a half-inch in diameter. The staff is much lighter than its ceramic-looking composition would suggest; it is about the same weight as a similarly sized wooden rod. The unglazed ceramic has an almost gritty feel, and the few historical references to this artifact attribute the staff’s name to that feature. There is no record of this item ever being used for anything special, nor is there a record of its maker.
When wielded, this item functions like a greater metamagic rod of enlarge, extend, maximize and widen spell; except that the user may can apply two abilities to a cast spell rather than once. This ability can be used up to three times per day. Activating the staff in this capacity temporarily drains 1 Charisma point per level increased.
(For Example: if the user uses both maximize spell and empower spell, the user is drained 5 points of Charisma. Charisma points lost in this manner cannot be restored by spells and recover at the rate of one per day.)
If a properly prepared “spell template” is inserted into the hole at the top of the staff, its true power is revealed.
(no school); CL 20th; Weight 4lbs;
Reference: Secrets of the Twin Cataclysms
This 6-inch-diameter, perfectly transparent, crystal sphere bears a slight lavender tint. The crystal has a 2 inch diameter circular depression in it approximately an inch deep. In the center of that depression is another depression a half-inch in diameter and a half-inch deep.
Spending most of its history inert and undetectable, it is believed that Quaal once possessed the crystal. It is unknown what he learned about it, if anything, and the krystal has been lost since. After stumbling onto several writings of Quaal during his Vesve campaigns, Iuz has come to believe the artifact could be of great use to him for controlling gates, and currently has several teams searching the Flanaess for it. Unbeknownst to anyone (including Iuz), the crystal still contains the psionic “mental signature” of one of Ilkben’s special assistants - the assistant that imbued it with psionic energy. Since 545 CY (6060 SD), the crystal is no longer inert, and it began “leaking” energy in 584 CY. In the relatively short time since then, the Defiled Glades (WGR4 The Marklands 51) within the Vesve Forest have formed and continue to grow. The artifact’s immunity to detection and divination has thus far prevented anyone from discovering exactly what is forming the Defiled Glades.
To attune to the crystal the user must make a successful Psicraft or Spellcraft check (DC 30). When attuned to both the user and an existing planar gate, the user can force the gate to open to a desired plane, create planar breaches, and activate planar touchstones (See Planar Handbook 153). The crystal is treated as a master gate-key (see the Planescape campaign setting for descriptions of gate keys).
The krystal is reputed to have both arcane and psionic properties. What is not known is that it can also control the flow of energy through an activated gate, and has indeed only been used once in that function. When assembled, the krystal is what provides the primary source of arcane energy by tapping into any nearby gates, and funneling it through the fully assembled ashen staff.
once the user is attuned he may use the following spells/ psionic
(3/ day) resist planar alignment, false gravity
(1/day) - plane shift, seal portal
(1/week) - astral seed, gate, greater plane shift
(1/ month) – genesis, precipitate complete breach
Using the crystal’s gate-key function, or any of its spell-like powers, grants any outsider close to the portal an immediate Spot check (DC 25) to notice the gate and investigate of their own volition. Most good outsiders will not choose to pass through the gate. This acts as a uncontrolled gate spell.
(no school); CL 20th; Weight 4lbs;
Reference: Secrets of the Twin Cataclysms
This third part of the ashen staff is a small ceramic rod a half inch in diameter and 10 inches long. A few ill-informed (and inexperienced) sages believe this is the device that caused the destruction of the Suel Empire, while most others believe it may have been created merely as a pale, albeit deadly, simulation of the event. No scholar doubts that its creator was a wizard of great power and violent tendencies. Ironically, those disreputable sages are correct. In truth this device is the first and true fire rod of the Suloise, which has since had many imitators. The rod is rarely bought or sold, since few wizards dare to use it. More often than not, it falls into the hands of an unsuspecting spellcaster who never realizes its full powers and dangers until it is too late.
The fire rod of the Suloise actually functions as a spell template for the ashen staff, and is the item that defines the spell effect that the ashen staff produces from whatever energy source that it taps into. Although Ilkben created only a single template, it is theoretically possible that a sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled arcane spellcaster (if one had ever existed again) might have since created another.
Unlike the other two parts of the ashen staff, the fire rod of the Suloise has been passed from wizard to wizard for centuries, having built up quite a long history about itself. While its magical effect is undeniably deadly, it is of limited range and power, and true experts all agree that this could not possibly be the source of the actual historic event. As a seemingly minor item of limited ability, most never realize that it is indeed an artifact, thinking that it is an item that merely has anti-detection properties imbued within it. The last known owner of the rod was a mid-level member of the City of Greyhawk’s Wizard’s Guild. He was killed in an accident that utterly destroyed his residence. The present location of the rod is unknown.The rod can summon deadly gouts of hellfire to rain down in a 60-foot cube from a range of up to 400+ feet. The hellfire inflicts 6d6 points of damage per round to all creatures, regardless of protections, resistances, or immunities to normal or magical flame. Such damage cannot be cured by any spell less powerful than a heal spell. Furthermore, the fire destroys buildings of less than stone construction and evaporates freestanding liquid to a depth of 1 foot per round.
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