The Crown of the Mountain was an ancient stone circlet of unknown origin that possessed a number of magical properties, such as the ability to carve away stone and earth and protect its wearer from adverse weather and natural disasters. It had a storied history in Faerûn, often worn by individuals whose lives were abruptly ended by gruesome and awesome means.
The Crown of the Mountain was carved from rough, unpolished stone that was studded with a number of spikes. To accommodate its bearer, the crown resized itself to fit their brow, or in the case of larger creatures, adjusted to the size of their wrist or tail.
The crown couldn't be destroyed by any known means, although a number of methods involving volcanoes, disintegration, and earth elementals trapped within a magical sphere of pure force energy have been suggested. It was seemingly immune to all known spell effects, including divinations and enchantments.
When a being wore, held or otherwise touched the Crown of the Mountain, they became capable of withstanding any natural or arcane weather effects that otherwise would have brought them harm. Such adverse conditions included strong gusts of wind, extreme temperature changes, or intense precipitation such as rain, sleet, or snow. Additionally, they could never be hampered, slowed, encumbered, or injured by stones, rocks, mud, sand, or any other form of earth. This included any harm or impediment that could be a result of spells and effects that were magical in nature, or damage from mundane weapons such as stone-tipped arrows, massive ballista bolts, or simple rocks hurled from a primitive sling.
The wearer of the crown was surrounded in an aura, 2 inches (5 centimeters) in depth, that completely protected them from any harm or damage that could be inflicted upon them by any stone or earthen material. As such, they were capable of leaping off a jutting cliff of a mountain and land perfectly safe, or ride an avalanche as if they were skidding down a mere muddy embankment.
The Crown of the Mountain granted the wearer a number of spell-like abilities, some of which could be used a limited number of times over a certain interval, while others were available completely at will. The bearer could cast control weather, invisibility and disintegrate once per day; dig and stone tell twice per day; mass telekinesis three times per day; and stone shape or great teleport six times per day. Whenever they wished, they were capable of casting abeyance, focal stone, and mass and greater levitate.
Any person or creature of insufficient power who attempted to wield the crown's powers was imprisoned deep beneath Toril for a number of years. Those who successfully managed to evoke its abilities had to resist its power or be held in place for 24 hours.
— Ammathair Hawkfeather, Great Sage of Waterdeep, The Sharp Eye and Sharper Tongue: Observations of a Learned Sage
The Crown of the Mountain possessed additional powers that were unknown to most of its bearers throughout the years, but how they were accessed remained a mystery to even the most wise and aged of its beneficiaries. It was believed that some knowledge of these powers was scattered across esoteric tomes in some of the Realms' greatest libraries, such as Candlekeep.
It was known that some of the crown's "hidden" powers could only be accessed by wearing the crown in certain locations around Toril. Rumors stated that the crown could control other floating earthmotes, or even some flying ships or aerial castles but the use of the artifact in such a manner forever altered the mind of the wearer, and possibly put them under the malevolent influence of some ancient, intelligent being.
The exact origins of the Crown of the Mountain were unknown to the sages of Faerûn. Some believed it was gift from the Morndinsamman to the dwarves of Toril, while others believed it was a relic of the ancient Netherese arcanists.
The first verifiable appearance of the crown was confirmed in the private journal entries of three separate adventurers. The accounts spoke of a wizard named Larbrand from the "southern lands", a phrase that was was believed to refer to Halruaa or Zakhara, who bore the artifact in some quarry in Tashalar, in the Year of the Whipped Cur, 336 DR.
While little was known about the fate of Larbrand, the crown appeared again in the Year of Trials Arcane, 523 DR, when it was seen in the possession of the human merchant Urabbastrar Tholokh who was excavating large portions of stone within the caverns of the Underdark beneath Chessenta. While the dwarven scouts who observed this horrifying use of the crown were prepared to steal the relic on the spot, and kill the merchant if necessary, they were preempted by a swarm of carrion crawlers who overran Urabbastrar and sent the dwarves fleeing. When the scouts returned the next day, there was no sign of the Crown of the Mountain.
The crown surfaced again nearly 300 years later, in the Year of Many Tears, 811 DR, within the possession of a Talosian priest in the Nelanther Isles. The priest was using the crown to hollow the earth beneath an island, in the hopes of creating a citadel devoted to the Storm Lord. Unfortunately for the priest, his actions garnered the ire of some powerful being capable of great magic or with a strong affinity for nature, as the island and the surrounding seas were struck with numerous bolts of lightning. The island and the temple within were reduced to a few small rocky outcroppings emerging from the water and the Crown was lost again.
Some time prior to the Year of Wolfpacks, 826 DR, the crown came into the possession of Mairogra, the Dragon Queen. It was unknown how she obtained the artifact, but the aging red dragon passed it down to her successor Valamaradace, along with the sanctuary known as the Floating Mountain. The new Dragon Queen retained possession of the Crown of the Mountain well into the 14th century DR, showing no inkling that she would allow anyone else to experiment or otherwise wield its powerful magic. It was believed Valamaradace used a combination of the crown's magics to keep her aerial sanctuary afloat.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Ed Greenwood (March 1999). “Wyrms of the North: Valamaradace”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #257 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 76–80.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Ed Greenwood; Sean K. Reynolds (2004-02-25). Valamaradace, "the Dragon Queen". Wyrms of the North. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-08-13.
- ↑ 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.