Codex of Aghairon Whitecloak
Never before seen outside of Halruaa, the Codex was a gift to the magocracy of Halruaa during the days of Aghairon Whitecloak, the archmage of Waterdeep and first Open Lord of that city. When he visited the far southern nation on something of a pilgrimage, he presented this spellbook to their ruling council in thanks for their hospitality. It has languished in the vaults of the Halruaan magocracy, until it was presented to a few of Khelben's apprentices as thanks for their assistance to the people of Halruaa.
The Codex itself is quarto-sized and bound in an ivory-hued leather and tooled with silver markings along its edges. Its sole title is an imprint of Aghairon's mage symbol, wrought in silver and riveted to the cover. The symbol is treated with dwarven blueshine and always gleams like a mirror. The book itself seals with a permanent arcane lock, opened by the speaking of the word daethimaer. Its three hundred pages are fine whitened parchment.
The Codex is divided into two sections, both sections of interest to their author.
The front section details a good selection of Mystran lore, as practiced in the North. It mentions Silverymoon as the definitive center of Mystran faith in the Savage North, though does discuss the newly-built House of Wonder, sponsored by himself, Khelben of Arunsun Tower, and a handful of other magi. It discusses the way Mystran theology has shaped the design of certain spells, most notably those that are created with an awareness of the Weave as a distinct entity. This section takes up about a hundred pages, with the following spells scattered among them, in this order: spell phylactery (9 pg), holy star (11 pg), spellmantle (10 pg), spell shield (8 pg), and stars of Mystra (8 pg). It also contains the schema for the staff Aghairon himself carried, the staff of the stars (12 pg).
A Study on Place-Magics
This second section is clearly the outgrowth of a lifelong interest. Taking up two hundred pages, roughly, with only a few spells scattered throughout it, this section examines place-magics, the colloquialism Aghairon gives to free-standing constructions of magic which are woven over locations rather than item. In his introduction, Aghairon is proposing a trade of lore, asking to gain access to the Halruaan stores of Netherese lore concerning their magical fields that powered their flying citadels. Some of the content of this section:
- A study on two elven mythals - fields of complex magic created by elven high magic, put into place around important elven cities and other sanctuaries. The mythals of Myth Drannor (in the Dalelands) and Myth Glaurach (near Hellgate Keep) are detailed in terms that require a significant mastery of wizardry to comprehend.
- Includes an examination of "near-mythal" constructions, as well, including the "wards of Silverymoon," the "underwards of Undermountain," and "my own dragonward which protects the city of Waterdeep."
- An examination of portal magics, including the process for researching the schema and the means of constructing portals. Each portal network is unique and requires its own schema, which these notes detail.
- This section contains the following spells scattered through it: gate seal (10pg), portal well (6 pgs), dimensional lock (12pg).
- Finally, an entirely new place-magic, developed by Aghairon as an outgrowth of his interest in place-magics: the arcane transmutation field and how to construct them.
- Included is a set of schema for designing transmutation fields based around the following spells: dispel magic, teleportation circle, fog cloud, and conjure minor elementals.
The following spells are located throughout the Codex:
- 2nd-level: portal well
- 3rd-level: spell shield
- 4th-level: stars of Mystra
- 5th-level: spell phylactery
- 6th-level: gate seal, spellmantle
- 7th-level: holy star
- 8th-level: dimensional lock
Staff of the Stars
Staff, very rare (requires attunement by a cleric, sorcerer, or wizard)
This staff can be wielded as a magical quarterstaff that grants a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it. While you hold it, you gain a +2 bonus to Armor Class, saving throws, and spell attack rolls. The staff has 20 charges for the following properties. The staff regains 2d8+4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff retains its +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls but loses all other properties. On a 20, the staff regains 1d8+2 charges.
Blessings. Each time a creature of aberration, elemental, fiendish or undead origins is struck by the staff, it spontaneously casts bless on its user for three rounds. This duration renews with each subsequent strike.
Spells. While holding this staff, you can use an action to expend one or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC and spell attack bonus: counterspell (3-8 charges, cast at a level equal to charges expended), detect magic (1 charge), holy star (7 charges), magic missile (1-4 charges, cast at a level equal to charges expended), shield (1 charge), or stars of Mystra (4 charges).
Weave Guardian. To each staff of the stars is bound a guardian: an argenach rilmani, a spirit of the neutral planes with an awareness of magic and the desire to protect it. Clad in flowing white, with silver-blue sheened skin and wielding a sword of stars, the argenach can be summoned by the expending of all the staff's remaining charges. The guardian arrives in one minute, less one round per charge expended. If ten or more charges are spent, it is summoned immediately. By and large, the argenach will fight to defend the staff's wielder, but they have been known to take unexpected actions, which in the long run turn out to be of benefit to the Weave as a whole.
Creating a portal is a time- and money-consuming process, although one that is clearly regarded as being worth it, given the number of portals across the Realms. These are the steps required.
- Knowledge of Portals: This process can only be undertaken by characters who are knowledgeable in the creation process of portals.
- Portal Schema: Each portal has its own schema necessary, which must be researched as a very rare magic item schema, although there are no level requirements of performing this research. Part of this design includes incorporating exactly where the end-points of the portal will be; once this is designed into the schema, it cannot be changed without redesigning it. Depending on the design of the portal, some modifiers to this roll may also apply:
- For each point in the portal's destinations: -2 per destination after the first two
- Portal is one-way: +5
- Portal has a key: -5
- Portal is random: -5
- Portal is variable: -10
- Portal is creature-only: -5
- Portal can only be activated three or fewer times per day: +5
- Touchstones: Once the schema is created, you must create one touchstone - a magical item that resembles a rune-inscribed metal plate - for each site where the portal network opens. These are each treated as an Uncommon magic item. Once these items are created, they must be placed in the site where the portal schema requires them.
- Forging Network: At a site where one of the touchstones is located, the creator now forges the connections between the touchstones. This is treated as the creation of a Rare magic item, in terms of time and cost. If any of the touchstones are moved or disturbed during this period, the forging is disrupted. The caster must be able to cast gate or any of the teleport spells. Once this creation period is over, the portal network has been created.
Arcane Transmutation Fields
An arcane transmutation field is a broad field of absorptive energy, which drinks in spells cast in its area of effect, transmuting those spells into energy that is used to cast a specific spell. These fields were common in ancient Netheril, and some of them yet remain in unexpected and out-of-the-way places in the North, as well as in Undermountain.
- Each field is designed around a single spell.
- Any spell of up to a certain level cast while in an arcane transmutation field is absorbed, in its entirety. Spells of a level beyond the ability of the creator cannot be consumed in this way, and are still cast without hindrance. The abilities generated by magic items are only absorbed if they obviously mimic spells with levels
- The field "stores up" levels of these spell slots so consumed, until it has accrued sufficient spell levels to cast the spell it is designed around.
- When this happens, the field casts the spell in question at a focal point within the field's area, designated when the field is created. Spells that require the targeting of a single creature still target a specific point, manifesting that magic whether there is a viable target there or not. A "contingency" can be written into the schema, however, requiring something to be touched or otherwise interacted with in order to be a viable target of the spell - the Netherese were fond of binding healing magics around a community's well, triggering for those who drank of the water if the field was able to cast the spell.
- If the spell requires Concentration, the field itself provides that Concentration up to an hour. If the spell's Concentration can go beyond an hour, the field is capable of concentrating on the spell for one additional hour per additional spell slot consumed toward that end.
- A spell that requires a material component must have the component present within the field (often buried or sealed in a wall), but spells with consumed material components cannot be bound to these fields.
- A field loses one level of spell slots per day.
- Knowledge of Arcane Transmutation Fields: This process can only be undertaken by characters who are knowledgeable in the creation process of these fields.
- Field Schema: There is a separate schema for each spell that can be used in a field, and the creator must have the formula for that spell present as part of the research. This field is researched as a very rare magic item schema, without level requirements of performing this research.
- Binding the Field: Once you have created the schema for the field, you must create it as though it were a very rare magic item.
- A field you research will only able to absorb spells of up to the highest level of spell slot you have access to throughout its creation.
- A spell you write into the field must be a spell you can cast, and it must be prepared or known the entire time of the field's creation.