The Crown of Narfell was an artifact that dated back over 2000 years in Faerûn's history, serving as the headpiece in the regalia of Old Impiltur and before that the ancient empire of Narfell. While it was most famous being intertwined with the histories of these storied realms, it was in all likelihood, fiendish in nature, possibly the relic of a demon prince of the Abyss.
Majestic in appearance, but elegant in design, the Crown of Narfell was a circlet of mithral, one inch (2.5 cm) in width. It had four cardinal points, each marked with a symbol. Three of them were adorned with the holy symbols of the three deities of the Triad and the fourth with the coat of arms of Impiltur.
While the exact origin of the Crown was unknown to the people of Faerûn, it was believed to have been a dark gift from the demon prince, Orcus to the Nentyarch of Tharos. By −970 DR, they had grown significantly in power and had constructed the magnificent fortress of Dun-Tharos in the land that would eventually be known as Dunwood. Many of the kingdom said the crown was the source of the Nentyarch's success and Tharos' prosperity.
Following their acquisition and donning of the crown, the Nentyarch proclaimed the creation of the "Empire of Narfell" and began to conquer one all the kingdoms of the Nars. His war ended in the realm of Ashanath with the complete and utter destruction of its capital city, Shandaular. By −900 DR empire reached from the Uplands of Impiltur to the grasslands of Ashanath, from the Giantspires all the way south to the River Umber.
During these years the powers of the Crown of Narfell were fairly minor. Upon the wearer's death would the crown extract their living soul and transform their body into a crown-wraith. As the centuries continued on, and the crown was passed from one Nentyarch of the empire to another, it's powers magnified. In −623 DR, after a failed invasion into the land of Mulhorand, the armies of Narfell were attacked by the forces of Raumathar. To avoid defeat, and the fall of their empire, the nobles of Narfell sought the aid of demons and accessed the art of sorcery, which were brought out by whisperings of the crown.
By −150 DR the Crown of Narfell had grown dark and powerful with the souls of the ruling class it had absorbed over 700 years. It began further corrupting the Narfelli royal court, guiding them to consort with fiends and outright ruled over the following Nentyarchs. The crown survived the fall of Netheril, resting in the Citadel of Conjurers north of the Hill of Tombs.
The crown remained entombed in Impiltur for almost 800 years. When some Impilturans were exploring the subterranean depths beneath Rawlinswood and the Forest of Lethyr in the Great Dale, they stirred a host of long-dormant demons, led by the balor, Ndulu. After the slumbering fiends were awakened, they immediately marched on the Citadel of Conjurers, possibly under the guiding hand of Orcus himself.
Before the demonic horde could reach the crown, they were stopped in the tracks by the actions of a paladin named Sarshel. The holy champion had managed to enter the Citadel before the field Ndulu, and shattered the crown in the Year of Visions, 731 DR. The demoralizing loss of the fell artifact was enough to break the back of the demon army, allowing the Impilturan defenders to defeat them in battle.
After the crown's destruction, the crown-wraiths within escaped and carried with them the darkness, and evil magic within. Unfortunately they were drawn together by Ndulu and forged into a diadem of shadows known as the Shadow Crown of Ndulu.
Regalia of Impiltur
The physical remains of the crown were gathered up by Sarshel. Representatives of the Triad, that is the high priests of Ilmater, Torm and Tyr gathered together in a shared effort to reforge the physical crown. With their collaboration, the Crown of Narfell was remade into a symbol of mercy, truth and justice. The reforged crown was first worn by Sarshel when he was crowned King of Impiltur in 732 DR, and served as part of the kingdom's regalia ever since.
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- Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- Ed Greenwood (June 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Quotations of the Realms”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #272 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 95.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.