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Aumry's staff of the night, also known as Aumry's staff of the hulk was a magical staff once possessed by Aumry, Lord of Shadowdale between 1300 DR and 1339 DR.[1][2] It was an example of a staff of night.[3][4] but of very different appearance and make and with its own particular history.[1][2] [note 1]

DescriptionEdit

The staff was fashioned from twisted iron ending in a large claw at the top. This held a geode, which was cut in half to expose the iridescent violet crystals within.[1][2]

PowersEdit

Aumry's staff had all the standard powers of a staff of night.[2][3][4]

Originally, it bestowed both infravision and ultravision powers automatically and continually upon grasping the staff.[3] However, after the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, it merely cast the darkvision, and low-light vision spells, for the cost of one charge each.[2]

It also contained the dispel magic spell but this only worked against light spells, such as light, continual light, and faerie fire, and not against glowing magical auras, while permanent magical lights would eventually reappear. To use this function, the bearer had to touch the staff to the magical light and make a wordless mental command. This would expend one charge.[3][2]

The staff of night could conjure an orb of darkness for the cost of one charge.[3][2] Formerly, similar to darkness, 15' radius but was only a 20-foot-wide (6 meters) sphere centered on the midpoint of the staff, moving with the staff and thus its wielder. It could be dispelled as normal.[3] After 1372 DR, this was a standard darkness spell, 40 feet wide (12 meters) and with greater option in placement.[4][2]

Most importantly, the staff could be used to summon an umber hulk to do its wielder's bidding. The umber hulk appeared at full health, obeyed the bearer's will, and fought and served faithfully and obediently, even in the most dangerous tasks (though it would not harm itself).[1][2] At one time, this was noted to work once per day and to last much longer than the standard duration, and even if the umber hulk was killed, the staff would remain intact and operable, with the umber hulk available alive and well again the next day. Indeed, this was reported to the staff's only power.[1] However, in 1374 DR, Aumry's staff was found to work identically to a staff of night, working only once every seven days or every tenday, with a brief duration, and liable to crumble to dust if the summoned umber hulk was slain.[2][3][note 2] In any case, when used, the geode at the staff's top glowed and fired a scintillating purple beam into the ground, from which light the umber hulk appeared.[1][2]

Finally, the wielder was granted immunity against any umber hulk's confusing gaze.[3][2]

HistoryEdit

It isn't known if Aumry acquired this staff somehow or created it himself, but it came to carry his name nonetheless. It was perhaps the most unique and the strangest of the many magical items he owned.[1][2] Aumry's staff served him well for many years.[1]

After Aumry was murdered by Jyordhan the False in the Year of the Weeping Moon, 1339 DR, his wife Syluné buried him in a tomb under Watcher's Knoll, with his staff laid beside him.[1][2]

It didn't sit there long, however, for Aumry's tomb was secretly robbed by Lashan Aumersair in the Year of the Moonfall, 1344 DR, and Aumry's staff was stolen.[1][2][3] He held it for twelve years, but it became lost amidst his failed conquest of the Dalelands.[2] Its whereabouts remained unknown,[1] but it was believed possible it was still in Lashan's possession, rumored to still be alive and in hiding.[3]

In fact, Lashan stashed Aumry's staff somewhere unknown. Eventually, after many years, Lashan, now a daemonic spirit in the power of the goddess Shar, led her priestess Esvele Graycastle to where he'd hidden Aumry's staff.[5]

Finally, on Nightal 15 or shortly before, in the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR, Esvele Graycastle entered Aumry's Tomb and returned Aumry's staff to his coffin. This was not done in respect, but rather to put the spirit of Syluné, now the Ghost Witch and protector of Shadowdale, to rest. This not done in kindness either, but to leave the dale undefended to the forces of Zhentil Keep. Thereafter, Aumry's staff lay in his coffin, but may have been retrieved by adventurers thwarting Evele and the Zhents in the winter of the Year of Risen Elfkin, 1375 DR.[6]

Notable OwnersEdit

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. As presented in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: Shadowdale (2nd edition, revised), page 7, and in Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land, pages 150–151, Aumry's staff is implied to be a unique item. However, page 112 of the Campaign Guide included in The Ruins of Myth Drannor notes it to be an example of a staff of night. Although in 2nd edition the powers of the staff are distinct from those of the staff of night, in 3rd/3.5 edition, the powers of the staff are identical to those of the staff of night in Magic of Faerûn, page 150, reconfirming the connection.
  2. In Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: Shadowdale (2nd edition, revised), under the name "Aumry's staff of the hulk", the staff was only stated to summon an umber hulk, with no mention of its other powers. This summoning is much stronger than other descriptions of a staff of night for the same edition.

ReferencesEdit

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