Orb of Thralni

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The Orb of Thralni is a legendary artifact that grants its bearer the power of flight.

Appearance

As related by the adventurer who discovered it in the Waterfall Warrens, the item is a bronze sphere chased with silver, about five inches in diameter. However, the weight of the sphere is far lower than one would estimate from its size: A bare fifth of a stone, the item can be held between two fingers easily.

The chased silver ornaments take the form of runes, but no-one has yet managed to decipher them.

Power

The orb's spell is activated by rubbing it with one's hand. It will act on the bearer and anyone they are in physical contact with, lifting them to a height of about a hundred feet. The spell's effect can lift up to around five or six people, depending on their weight, and lasts for about ten minutes. The effect wears off very rapidly, and it is therefore dangerous for non-experienced persons wielding the item, since timing a flight wrong can result in a lethal crash over deadly terrain.

Being an artifact, the orb's enchantment is permanent and apparently inexhaustible.

History

First Expedition

The Orb's makers are unknown now, but the Orb was first mentioned historically in the account describing the First Expedition. Its then owner, the adventurer Thralni, had received the orb from the Saxton School of Magic for the purpose of the expedition. Prior to this, the item had been in the safe-keeping of the school, but knowledge about its past is lost.

Thralni was one of the leaders of the expedition, and he led his group into the Waterfall Warrens in Central Exile. This maze of currents, rapids and waterfalls continues to be one of the most dangerous areas of the caves, but evidence suggests that Thralni believed he could master the maze by using his orb to carry them to safety if necessary.

Whether by hubris or by inexperience with the orb, he far overestimated its power in terms of the number of people it could lift, the duration of the spell, and the height it could carry the user. Even without the boats that the orb could not have lifted, his group was far too large to fly with the orb, and they split up to explore the maze separately.

In spite of the extreme folly of trusting the orb's limited ability, and the high risk of drowning, Thralni's eventual end ironically was of a different nature. He perished from a fire trap in one of the caverns. The orb was lost.

The Kingdom ofAvernum

Similar to Demonslayer and the other artifacts carried by the first expedition, the orb soon became legendary and, in lack of a distinct origin, received the name of its last bearer, Thralni.

It was found years later by a group of adventurers in the Waterfall Warrens and eventually bequeathed to the Tower of Magi along with the other First Expedition artefacts.

Unspecified Services

In 831 IE, during the construction of Fort Emergence in Upper Avernum, the Orb was granted by the Triad to the forces overseeing the settling of Upper Avernum and the construction of the fortress. The orb significantly eased the construction and the exploration of the caves, and was eventually stored in a chamber in Fort Emergence for later use.

Theft

In 833 IE, shortly after the departure of the second party, the Cult of the Sacred Item hatched a highly elaborate coup, teleporting into the chamber where it was kept and stealing it under the gaze of its appointed guardian Levy.

The teleportation spell of the cultists, however, was detected and tracked by the skilled teleportation sorceress Seles, and the orb was reclaimed from the cult by the adventurers of the second party.

The Shattering of Orb

875 IE marked the end of the orb. The orb was used by a group of Avernite soldiers tasks with exploring the Central Waters. However the group trespassed on Nephilim clan's territory and were shot down by archers. This cause the soldiers to fall to their death, shattering the orb and marking the end of a remarkable object.