A Spider and Stone Artifact

        The letter F!
      or those Forgotten Realms readers who got their first taste of Jaleigh Johnson’s novels with Mistshore, there is reason to rejoice. Spider and Stone, Jaleigh’s current ebook exclusive, revisits her characters Icelin, Ruen, and Sull as they go in search of a powerful artifact: the Arcane Script Sphere.

We so enjoyed Jaleigh’s characterization of the artifact that we worked with her to make it playable. Read on for a look at the Arcane Script Sphere and its properties for use in your own game. And if you would like to see how it plays out in Jaleigh’s novel, here is a sample chapter.

Arcane Script Sphere

“A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep, or taste not the Mystran spring.”

Once believed to be a lost dwarven relic, the Arcane Script Sphere was a gift to the dwarven demigod Haela Brightaxe from the goddess of magic, Mystra. It was presented to the dwarves in the days following the Thunder Blessing as an instructional tool, meant to usher a new generation of dwarves into acceptance of the Art. Its greatest boon, the use of Silver Fire, is attributed to the preserved essence of the now-dead goddess within the sphere.

A conduit and amplifier of arcane magic, the sphere allows its owner the ability to read any spell, regardless of its language and provenance. It is also believed to act as a stabilizing force in occurrences of wild magic, and some say it can heal the spellscarred, although that possibility is supported only by rumors and speculation.

The Arcane Script Sphere communicates telepathically in a soothing feminine voice and seeks to nurture and mentor a spellcaster’s arcane education. It encourages its owner in the use of the Art by allowing him or her to learn spells freely. Like a thread in the once-pervasive Weave, the sphere further spreads magical study through a symbiotic exchange, in which knowledge retained by the sphere and that known by the owner pass freely between the two entities. The artifact acts as a teacher to a student and is reproachful to any owner who attempts to hoard knowledge or keep the artifact for too long. Should the student not heed its reproaches, the teacher will no longer instruct, seeking one more worthy.

Arcane Script Sphere
Paragon Level
When resting on its own, this silver sphere is no larger than a pea, but taken in the hand it grows to about six inches in diameter. Its outer surface is inscribed with intricate writing.
Implement (Orb)Enhancement Bonus: +3 to attack rolls and damage rolls Critical: +3d6 damage Properties
  • When you hold the sphere in one hand and another magic item in the other, you immediately know all the powers and properties of the other item.
  • While holding the sphere, you can read any spell inscribed in a spellbook or on a scroll, regardless of its language or script.

Goals of the Sphere

  • Seek out wizards to learn arcane lore with the help of the sphere, add their own discoveries, and pass it on to others.
  • Spread the knowledge of arcane magic.
  • Guide arcane spellcasters to the proper and beneficial use of the Art.


Starting score 5
Owner gains a level +1d10
Owner is a wizard or apprentice +1
Owner received the Sphere as a gift from a wizard +1
Owner takes on a wizard apprentice +2
Owner creates a new spell and teaches it to someone +3
Owner does not use the sphere (per month) –2
Owner uses magic to dominate or destroy the innocent –3
Owner prays to Cyric or Shar –3

Pleased (16–20)

The sphere and its owner are one, bound intimately by shared magic.

The sphere’s enhancement bonus increases to +4, and the owner gains the use of the following power for as long as the sphere remains at this concordance.

Attack Power Daily (Standard Action)
Attack: Ranged 30 (one creature); Intelligence +4 vs. Dexterity. Hit: 4d10 damage. Miss: Half damage.

Satisfied (12–15)

The sphere’s owner has shown willingness to study the Art.

The owner gains the use of the following property for as long as the sphere remains at this concordance.

You gain a +4 item bonus to Arcana, Insight, and Perception checks.

Normal (5–11)

The sphere is assessing the potential of its new owner to be a worthy student.

At this concordance, the sphere has the powers and properties included in its statistics block above.

Unsatisfied (1–4)

The owner is not performing adequately in his or her studies. If this behavior does not soon change, the sphere will abandon its owner.

The sphere’s enhancement bonus decreases to +2 for as long as the artifact remains at this concordance.

Angered (0 or lower)

The owner does not use the sphere properly, in the artifact’s estimation, or refuses to share it with other spellcasters The sphere goes blank, ends its telepathic communication, and attempts to leave.

The sphere’s owner gains the use of the following property until the sphere leaves his or her possession.

You do not regain arcane encounter powers when you take a short rest.

Moving On

The sphere has taught its current wielder all that it can, and the time has come to find a new student. Ideally, the current owner will pass the sphere on to another deserving spellcaster. If not, though, the artifact finds its own way.

1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.