There is a region in the northwest of Greyhawk, on a small unassuming set of islands lie some of the most powerful treasures of the entire land of Greyhawk. This treasure is guarded by a clan of dwarves that pave their streets with lesser gemstones, so rich are the veins of gems in the region. Their location are the Dramidja Islands and they hold great wealth for some classes and great power for mages.
Deep underground in vast (and sometime unstable caves in this seismically active region) cave systems similar to the Underdark of Faerun lies a vast storehouse of gemstones of epic richness and of the finest quality. Greyhawk is a realm rich in magic gem wealth too. This world has Dweornite of the Horned Lands, (listed in Iuz the Evil), which have a vast array of possible magic powers and spells that even eclipses ion stones in their variety. Among other Greyhawk’s other minerals are reputed to be, bright earth, Devastation Crystals, Phost Stones, Rift Flowstone, Suel Cinders, & Xenincoluite Gems. All have magic powers that pale in comparison to the power of the treasure that calls adventurers to Dramidja…..the Dramidja Power Gems!!
This item is originally from the 4 of 6 books in the series which chronicles some of the adventures of a certain Wolf Tribe Shaman from Greyhawk, namely Mika.
The first two books of the series feature Gord, before his more epic later books by Gygax wherein the world of Greyhawk is destroyed by demonic forces….I think Gygax felt that if he couldn’t take the game with him when he left that he would destroy it…..sort of leaves me wondering really. (A little off track sorry)
The next four books in the series feature a Wolf Nomad Shaman (before there was a real shaman class) and his wolf companion Tam Tur. The adventures are wondrous and numerous. Iuz takes a personal interest in a certain magical gemstone set in an amulet of substantial power that brings even demi god’s (demon then) to aspire to its ownership.. The gemstone in the amulet is the true prize, although the amulet has other powers of its own.
The adventure here features a spoiled princess from Dramidja and her……you guessed it….magic gemstone. (This was all before the great wars.)
Many adventures follow…the princess is turned into a wolf, and ol’ Tam Tur is soon to be a father….Mika is in trouble with another powerful demon (Maelfesh) who has seen fit to turn his hand (and possibly all of him) into an actual demon digit…somewhere in Abyss there is really mad demon wearing ONE Glove!!! The adventure is epic, and you might take the time to read the books. The final passage of the adventure is on the Dramidja islands themselves and the Demon Maelfesh is hot on his trail for retribution. They travel 3 miles deep under Dramidja to the realms of the island’s dwarves and their rich mines in search of the illusive magical gemstones.
The quest is halted for 20 years as the demon Maelfesh created an illusionary pillar of the magic gemstones that is actually a holding trap that sucks in encompasses the whole party in a Temporal Stasis spell for a very long time. In short they are rescued by the children of the exploits years earlier. Tam Sen the son of Tam Tur and the princess along with Chewpa the half harpy and daughter of Mika find their way to the depths of Dramidja and find their parents trapped.
They encounter the dwarves descendants of the Suloise near Yeomanry (they immigrated), who recognize the power of the stones that Mika has sought. They live in, “the richest mines on Oerth”. The dwarves use the larger ones as fence posts and the smaller ones to pave streets with. The only problem is that they are imprisoned by Maelfesh. Did I mention that these are the richest mines on earth and almost every inch is covered in the richest veins of gemstones of all types. The demon lord keeps them from ascending above a certain level….at which point they die. NO SAVE!! The rest of the quest you should read about in the 5th book The Demon Hand. It is epic fantasy at it best.
I have included some quotes on the gemstones for reference to the gemstones powers. I also only interpret in a minor fashion the powers of the stones to affect magic. It makes sense to me in how the powers augment powers already possessed by magic using or magic creatures.
Quotes about the Stones of Power.
The quotes of the king or Dramidja in regards to these gemstones…..”The stones carry great power and must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands”….”The stones will restore my strength and give me powers that will protect me against the demon in the fight that will surely come.”
Another quote from some memories of Mika….”Its magical abilities had boosted his own poor skills and made him forget how little he actually knew & He could perform spells through the third level complexity if he were very, very careful, but anything more difficult was all but impossible without the aid of the gemstone.”
Also quotes by the demon lord Maelfesh on the gemstones…..”He certainly didn’t want any more of the powerful gems to be found. It would never do. The right gem in the hands of the wrong person might conceivably equal his own power. “
Dwarf Leaders comments on the stones….”Emissaries told of magical stones that could turn even the most ordinary of dwarves into powerful wizards.” (In this section of the book a dwarvish wizard is mentioned for the very first time…ever, his name Korlim).
Comments by Korlim in regards to use of the stones, “I see. Then you know the power of the two stones together”. And, “We came upon a small vein which held special stones…..It was soon discovered that they held powerful magical properties.”
“When you want to do something, imagine it already done. The more real it becomes in our mind the more real it truly becomes. The magic of making things happen is no harder than deciding in your own mind that what is the way it will be.” & “The real magi co these stones is not that they enhance you mystical power. They simply allow their bearer to see the truth clearly. Whatever you decide things are, then they are. This must be clear and firm in your mind at all times.”
The stones are held in a rich gold vein which is the storehouse of these gems lie in an unstable geological area prone to earthquakes and cave ins after the demon hordes attack it.
The gemstones (in my opinion) are formed due to their proximity to another of Greyhawks numerous planar gateways, this one to a deep and magically resonant area of the Mineral Elemental planes. The gateway was not destroyed by the destruction of the chamber and will still leach into the region even though it is currently buried.
While the treasure room that contained these gemstones was destroyed by demon attack, there is no reason to think that some of the stones may remain, and might be accessed by mining the region. Hey, and isn’t DwarvenHome nearby….don’t dwarves mine.
It would be an epic quest to gain one of the stones, or maybe access some of that “Richest Mines on Oerth” gemstones. But the realm is still there.
Are you up to the quest????
I had posted the gem elsewhere, but with their connection to this story line, and their additional powers I felt I could repost their amended form here.
DRAMIDJA POWER GEMS
Though the Dramidja Islands source of these magic gems is closed to adventurers there are rumored to be other sources in that magic riches of this world. (All right I started the rumor!!). This is my interpretation of the item as described in the books. Feel free to add what I may have missed, or what you feel you need to maintain game balance. I just think the item is too cool for mages!!
The stones are both vessels of power and items that focus the will of their user. Their powers are to augment magic creature/casters powers is not their only use. The belief in ones mission and cause can have a profound affect in its outcome. Check the final power for this power.
These hand sized red or aqua magic stones radiate a palpable aura of magic about them. These gems are keyed to a different sex (50/50) aqua FM & red M. If the wrong sex uses a gem not meant for them there is a 10% daily change in their sex. If the gem is set aside or removed from their presence they will gradually return to their original sex at 10% per day. The problem is that most power hungry mages of either sex may take this as a small price to pay for the power. After 2 months of 100% of change the sex change is irreversible. The only exception to this curse, is when the male and female stones are melded into one stone which works synergeticly/in concert to combine the two stones powers. .
While the items allow non spell casters to access spell potential, the now spell casting creatures will have to have access to spells to learn or cast. Although the caster can use scrolls and other mage items with an act of will through these stones.
The item has the following powers:
1) Adds +5 Levels of spell casting power for those who are a mage/cleric or bestows 5 levels of spellcaster to any non spellcasting creature. The affects increase spell details and the daily allotment of spell allowed are increased with the power below..
2) The owner of the gem will be able to cast spells of 2 levels higher than that they normally can cast. These spells must be accessible as the item doesn’t grant the spells. The 5 extra levels grant the extra spells. The problem is that spell cast 1 level higher than normal will malfunction 25% of the time causing a random magic fumble affect (Check Out Tome of Magic for ideas). There is a 50% of malfunction for spells of 2 level higher than normally able to be cast by the device owner. The malfunction is usually connected in some way to the miscast magic.
3) The gemstones are also powerful items in dispelling magic spells already in existence. The stones will illicit a 10th level dispel magic (or +10 level for spell casters) with a silent act of will.
4) The stones also act as rods of absorbtion when hostile spell affects are set to detonate anywhere within 5’ of their owner. This is affect is involuntary and the gems user need not trigger it. The absorbed energy can be refocused next round as spell casting energy, and need not be the same spell that was absorbed, but need only use the same level of spell energy.
5) In addition to #1 the spell power is increased by +50% of normal when determining the Rng, Dur, A/E, & Damage. This is due to the intuitive nature of their connection to magic with this item.
6) All spells cast while carrying the gem will be at -4 saves to all affected by them. That includes the malfunction spell powers also.
7) Another power of the gemstones is to augment any latent magical powers that a creature may have. The powers will be effectively raised +50% as it relates to number of uses, range, dur, A/E, & damage. The powers need not be magical spell affects either, as some magical creatures will simply grow in size/strength in a like manner as to the abilities of spell casting creatures would.
8 ) The greatest power of the stones can only be manifested by the melding of the male and female stones in possession of one wielder. The gemstone used in this manner will now double all affects that are listed above. Ten levels of spell casting power, +100% spell powers, -8 save vs the spell affects, and the possibility to cast spells 4 levels higher than normal, really quite unique and powerful. In concert these two gemstones will illicit a 20th level dispel magic by any creature activating it.
9) No than two stones can be possessed/melded together, with cumulative affects, with only two stone this is like lighting a beacon of phosphorous to any creature detecting for magic in the region. The stones user is now the most powerful force of magic in any region. There is now indication that more stones could be melded together but it may be possible that more than one FM/M set can be worn at one time by one creature. Of course it might just burnt them up in a blast of arcane energy too.
10) The final power is a dice affecting manifestation that is based on a dice roll. The user will have an ability to increase any dice rolls by its user. The creature makes an INT roll vs a base 10, and adds a +1 to the dice for every point above that 10 base point. The base roll number can be altered by situations and conditions that are only the province of a DM. Facing 20 orcs can leave the creature quite positive, while facing a demon lord like Maelfesh might leave a few doubts in the situation…..lets say maybe a -5 to the roll at lease. A negative result simply mean no augmentation takes place.
These items have an intense aura around them and are detectable and desired by those with magic potential. It is sort of like the affect spell fire had in the realms. Whoever has the shiny stone last wins. (At least for the time being). Demons to deities may try to seize it or destroy it. Value could well exceed 500,000 GP on the black market. And it this case the EXP value could exceed 300,000 pts.
Who knows in the open market, that is should you survive.
Let me know what you think of this little gem now!!
Randomize it adds spice to a predictable games plot line (especially if they have read it before).
Have everyone roll their dice before the adventure and tick them off one by one, it helps speed up the game and allows the DM more time to think on his feet.
Will you stand alone before the fury of his armies…..????
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