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Fahvarim's Ring:by Carl Quaif
This is a fairly plain ring, apparently made of bronze, with a pale, roughly-cut blue stone set into it. The metal is actually a manganese bronze alloy, recovered from a fallen meteorite 2800 years ago, and enchanted to make it practically indestructible; the stone is a natural blue diamond from the core of the same meteorite. The ring, despite its apparent cheapness, is probably one of the most durable items on Mystara. This is a Ring of Genie Summoning, with the standard powers for such an item. The ring, however, despite its uniqueness, is far less interesting than the creature bound to it; the Djinni Fahvarim.
Fahvarim, at over 3000 years old, is among the very eldest of his kind. Unlike the vigorous appearance of most Djinn, Fahvarim appears faded and worn, with sad, tired eyes and thinning hair. His formerly muscular body has grown soft and round with age, although his Djinni strength is undiminished. He has been in servitude, bound to the ring, for most of his life, and sometimes wishes he could lay down and go to sleep forever, but the ring will not let him (most Djinn serve until their rings are destroyed, usually a period of no more than 500 years; the durable quality of Fahvarim's ring has extended both his servitude and his lifespan far beyond the norm for his kind). Fortunately, Fahvarim's active interest in, and love for, the mortal creatures of Mystara is usually enough to keep him motivated. Fahvarim has keenly studied the growth, development, and eventual collapse of civilisations during his millennia of servitude; he has a breadth of knowledge unmatched by most Sages. He knows, from first-hand experience, the locations of lost cities, battlesites, and deep caverns, and can relate literally hundreds of legends.
In addition to his standard Djinni powers, Fahvarim has the spellcasting abilities of a 5th-level Mage, thanks to a former master, the Wizard Gelondray of Alphatia. Gelondray, a former resident of Old Alphatia newly transported to Mystara, conducted experiments on a number of species, trying to instil magical abilities into their genetic structure, with varying degrees of success; he considered the prospect of granting true spellcasting abilities to an already-magical being a worthy challenge, although 5th-level was the highest he could bring Fahvarim to in twenty years of trying. Fahvarim assiduously learnt every spell he could find within his power to cast, over the centuries; he now knows, or has access to, every common 1st to 3rd-level spell, plus a number of lost, unique, or otherwise little-known spells which he is quite willing to teach to a suitable master, if asked. Two of these rare spells are outlined below.
Fahvarim has had hundreds of masters, and been involved in countless adventures, both famous and forgotten. Probably the most notable of his masters was the Alphatian Wizard Ar, creator of the realm of Floating Ar and now the Immortal Palartarkan. Master and Djinn became friends during the construction of Floating Ar, and Palartarkan watches over the Djinn still, subtly steering him into the hands of those who will most benefit from his wisdom. It is likely that, when Fahvarim is finally permitted to rest, Palartarkan will make him an Exalted being, the first of his kind to be so honoured.
Fahvarim could be encountered anywhere, serving as an adviser to kings, wizards or heroes (or his Ring could be recovered from a dragon's hoard, from the finger of a slain enemy, etc). Should the PCs be lucky enough to acquire Fahvarim's Ring, and realise what a treasure they have, Fahvarim could be the trigger for a whole campaign's worth of adventures, from low-level dungeon crawls to Immortal candidacy!
The following are a tiny sample of the spells available to Fahvarim; he would be happy to teach these spells, and more, should he find a suitable pupil.
Duration: see below
Effect: 1 gemstone
This ancient Sindhi spell has been lost to the world since the city of Bal'enquah was buried in the sands, 1100 years ago. With it, the caster may enchant a single gemstone of any type or value, causing it to glow gently with inner fire. On command, the wielder (who can be anyone, not just the caster) can cause it to glow with the brightness of a Light spell; this effect lasts for one hour, unless commanded to dim prematurely, and may be called upon twice per day. This function of the spell causes no damage to the stone itself.
The spell has an offensive function; with a different command (all commands are set by the caster when casting the spell, and may differ with each Gemstone, if desired), the Gemstone releases a Magic Missile-like bolt at a chosen target; the effect is identical to the 1st-level spell Magic Missile, except the Gembolt does not automatically hit. A single bolt may be released per round; each Gembolt reduces the intrinsic value of the Gemstone by 10gp. Once the value of the stone is reduced to 0gp or lower, it crumbles into worthless dust. Glimmering Gemstones may be mounted in rings, necklaces, diadems, sword hilts etc., and any number carried by a single person, but only one may be used offensively by the same individual during any round. The Light function can be triggered on any number of stones simultaneously, but using the Gembolt effect of a lit stone cancels that stone's Light immediately.
Unless consumed or dispelled, a Glimmering Gemstone can potentially last forever (until the Week of No Magic, of course, when all existing stones were dispelled). Adventurers might come across such a stone in Sindhi ruins; a Lore spell could reveal the powers and command words of the stone, and perhaps set the Adventurers on a quest to find the spell which created it.
Shroud of Flesh
Effect: 1 person
This is an ancient Taymoran spell, discovered on a roll of papyrus in the crumbling tomb of a Necromancer-King 1700 years ago by Fahvarim's then-master, the Sorcerer Lemchak the Pale. The spell allows the caster to heal one person at the cost of another. The Shroud of Flesh spell requires a piece of skin, removed from a creature that still lived at the time, to be placed on or wrapped around the wounded area prior to casting; the spell fuses this skin to the recipient, healing a total of 1d8+4 hp in the process. The skin used must have been removed from the "donor" no longer than seven days before (causing a similar amount of damage). Any skin may be used - human, Elf, Dwarf, even animal or reptile - but, since the skin becomes part of the healed individual, mixing different types can cause some repulsive-looking results. The spell only heals exterior wounds; unlike the clerical Cure spells, it cannot affect internal injuries of any kind.
Although not strictly evil, use of this spell is certainly amoral, and therefore would be frowned upon in most civilised areas. If the DM decides the spell is more commonly known in her campaign, it is most likely to be practised by humanoid Wokani (alter the level of the spell if necessary), who use the living skin of prisoners, captured alive in battle, to heal their own warriors' wounds. Perhaps the Adventurers are those selfsame prisoners, awaiting that grisly fate...