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Ioun stones (pronounced: /ˈnEYE-oon[15][16]), originally called Congenio's pebbles and Ioun's stones, were magical stones that floated around a bearer's head and granted a range of enhancements or powers to a creature.[2][3][7][8][17]


They were small, crystalline stones, coming in a wide range of colors and shapes that determined their powers.[8] Unattended ioun stones tended to hover and drift about by themselves. They were known to glow and occasionally to emit faint, musical sounds, sounding rather like chimes or a harp, in single notes or longer chords.[18]


Ioun stones hovered permanently in the air,[8] but otherwise remained motionless.

When one acquired a stone and wished to receive its benefits, they had to first hold it firmly for a brief time in order to attune themselves and imprint their own magnetic aura into its structure, and then release it or toss it in the air. Thereafter, when functioning, the ioun stone orbited the bearer's head at a distance of 1–3 feet (30–90 centimeters), or else trailed after the bearer as they walked.[2][7][8] Its path was affected by the user's own magnetic field: it generally followed a circular or elliptic pattern but could at times follow a random path, float unmoving in the air, or dance and bob erratically. Occasionally, a stone might drift up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) from its owner, then swiftly return. Some users noted that if they examined something closely, then their ioun stones would move toward it.[2]

An ioun stone held stored magical energy. An orbiting stone created a link with its owner, through which it regularly transferred small packets of this energy to them. This magical energy could enhance them in the various ways ioun stones were known for, or bestow more unusual powers.[2] They could only bestow their benefit on an owner when orbiting within the given range. Two stones of the same type would repel each other, but many of different types could be used at once.[2][7][8] After 1372 DR, there were also lesser ioun stones that gave the same benefits as full examples of their kind, but only one lesser ioun stone could be used at a time, even if of different types.[19]

A wizard of the Vast displaying his ioun stone and other bling.

The bearer could freely grab and pocket a stone, such as when going to sleep, to keep it safe, but they could no longer receive its benefits. Another person could try to catch or net a hovering stone to steal it or break it. In any case, if shifted more than 3 feet (90 centimeters) from its owner, they ceased to function.[7][8] If the user went to sleep without storing them, the stones hovered motionlessly over them. If the user was injured and lay dying, the orbit of the stones slowed and stayed close to their head. If the user died, the stone slowly drifted off in a random direction before slowly falling to the ground. However, if the user died suddenly or violently, the stone flew off at great speed in a random direction, fast enough to hurt if it impacted someone, or else hitting the ground up to 120 feet (37 meters) away.[2]

Some stones had only one or a set number of charges, after which they became drained of power and were considered burned out. Rarely, an ioun stone spontaneously burned out on its own (a 1-in-20 chance each year). Either way, a burned-out stone became dull grey and inert, but it still possessed the characteristic floating power.[2] Although they were useless for magical purposes, they retained sufficient resonance for a psionicist to extract a smidgeon of psionic energy—enough to boost their psionic strength or to fuel the lowest of unaugmented powers—before it became completely burned out.[2][20]

As with other items that could store magical energy, the pale lavender ellipsoid, lavender-and-green ellipsoid, and vibrant-purple prism could store spellfire. In turn, they could also be drained by a spellfire wielder.[21]

Cursed and supercharged versions were known to exist.[7]


An illustration of an ovoid ioun stone.

Ioun stones could only be created by a veteran spellcaster well versed in the crafting of wondrous magical items.[8]

Only certain types of gemstones could be transformed into an ioun stone through application of the appropriate and generally secret spells. These gems were known collectively as "the nine secrets", though there were at least ten. These were amethyst,[22] chrysoberyl, chrysoprase,[23] greenstone, hematite (though this was rarely known to even powerful wizards), iol (also known as iolite or cordierite, and the most effective of the gems),[24] Laeral's tears (most little known and rarest of the gems),[25] obsidian (the most well known), onyx,[26] and sardonyx.[27] In the time of ancient Netheril, the gems and stones selected for enchantment were actually imperfect or flawed, with the exception of the perfect euhedral stone.[3]

Some ioun stones were apparently created using essences taken from a soul, and bestowed the benefits of these upon their owners. According to legend, the pearly-white ovoid was created from the enslaved soul of a troll, and granted the troll's ability to regenerate wounds. The pale green ioun stone came about when the dying warrior Rigar Trueblood begged his companion, the mage Spectorial, to preserve his skill and fortitude in battle. Although reluctant, Spectorial acceded and extracted these qualities from Rigar's soul, placing them in an ioun stone so that others might benefit from them.[4][5] The unique Malla's soul stone, which acted as an ioun stone, contained the soul of an innocent young woman, and conferred many different benefits.[6] Similarly, the mantle stone of Vhyridaan was a failed attempt to create a kiira that absorbed its creator, body and soul. Containing the trapped soul of the mage Vhyridaan the Mad, this unique ioun stone was a sentient item that Vhyridaan could steer somewhat to evade attacks.[28]

On the other hand, some ioun stones seem to have merely been created from the blood of creatures with the necessary essences. Legend told that the Trollblood ioun stone, a dark-green sphere, was created from the blood of seven trolls that had each been captured and, over seven nights, used in experiments in magic. The ioun stone that was produced conferred a weaker form of a troll's ability to regenerate wounds, but also gave great skill in slaying trolls in combat.[4]

Other Applications[]

Ioun stones did not need to be set orbiting the head; it was possible to mount them in magical items kept close to the body. One possible example was the ioun blade, a +1 dagger with a socket in its hilt or pommel that could hold an ioun stone and bestow its benefit upon the wielder.[29]

Related magic items were the gems of detection. These were miniature ioun stones, highly polished but of weaker material, that could be set into a chair. If one sat in the chair and touched the gem, they could use a specific detection spell, according to the gem, but only while seated in the chair.[30]

There was value and use in burned-out ioun stones; for example, an apothecary in Loudwater in 1479 DR sold them.[31]


Rimmen of the Scarlet Eye, a magelord with a dusty rose prism.

Congenio Ioun, an early arcanist of the Nether Age of Netheril, created the first ioun stones[17][32] in the year 397 NY (−3462 DR).[17] At the time, Netherese priests and wizards alike believed that large objects such as shields and suits of armor were simply too big to be enchanted, and (mistakenly) assumed that only small or slender items—pebbles, small stones, pieces of cloth, daggers, and the like—could be enchanted to bear magic. Congenio worked under this assumption and so he worked exclusively with small, semi-polished stones, creating what were later thought to be the first true magical protection devices.[3][7] This was a previously unheard-of achievement: he was aged only 33 and this was the first magical item he had created, marking him as one of the greatest arcanists of his age.[17]

He initially called them Congenio's pebbles. He adopted the self-imposed limitation of enchanting all stones of the same shape with the same spell, making them more consistent for buyers and eliminating confusion.[3] Congenio's pebbles soon became enormously popular with his fellow arcanists, and were in great demand.[17] Over the next 54 years, the anhedral, echinid, hexagonoid, spindle, pebble, star, and round stones were developed and introduced.[3] Following his model, it was common to enchant small stones or modest gems with basic spells like bless or shield to protect a warrior in battle.[7]

In 451 NY (−3408 DR), at the suggestion of a close friend, Congenio renamed his pebbles to the much more catchy Ioun's stones.[3][17] Under this name, the cephaloid, cube, cylinder, decipton, dendroid, dodecahedron, ellipsoid, enneid, euhedral, hectoid, helicid, heptid, monoclinoid, nephroid, ovoid, octahedron, orthorhomboid, peg, pentahedron, prism, pyramid, rectangle, septahedron, sexahedron, tile, and tredyhedron stones were created and became widespread in Netheril.[3]

Congenio himself created over thirty of these, including the prism that allowed one to see in the dark and another that granted its holder a temporarily raised level of experience and might.[3][17][note 1] He was never seen without them orbiting his head. He lived an incredibly long life, almost a thousand years, and some wondered if one of his stones was responsible for his longevity. Congenio finally passed away in 1319 NY (−2540 DR), but for his creations his name lived on for millennia.[17]

The wizard Thogaf and his two ioun stones.

After his death, a number of other arcanists continued his work. These researchers made breakthroughs in Congenio's original design, in that they simply ignored his consistent design and placed their own spells on whatever gem they had, no matter its shape. The stones became generally known as simply ioun stones around 1365 NY (c. −2494 DR). From this time on, the triclinid, tubule, decahedron, heptahedron, lozenge, rhomboid, rod, sphere, stelloid, and tetrapton stones were invented,[3] until the fall of Netheril in 3520 NY (−339 DR).[33]

A unique incandescent blue ioun stone surfaced around 1311 DR in Icewind Dale. In a past age, the githzerai craftsman Bashenee had created it for a great githzerai monk, who later fell in battle with githyanki. It circulated among them for many years, until it was given to the mind flayer Oinchack'olp, who treated it as a prized possession. Oinchack'olp was roaming the Underdark beneath Icewind Dale when he lost it, and some driders found it. Oinchack'olp ordered some passing adventurers to retrieve it.[34]

By the 14th century, ioun stones were much desired, yet few people—even those who had them—knew where they had originated. Congenio Ioun himself had been long-forgotten, but his name lived on in his greatest creation. Only some sages of the arcane such as Prismal the Outrageous knew something of Congenio Ioun's story.[7]

Circa 1368 DR, the blood-red sphere, which improved balance, reflexes, and hand–eye coordination, was in great demand among those who used such skills such as rogues, thieves, and their ilk.[4] Similarly, mages and wizards eagerly sought the bronze ovoid, which allowed one to memorize an extra high-level arcane spell, and the golden ovoid, which increased intellect.[6]

Notable Collections[]

Ioun stones were, at all times, quite rare and just as hard to acquire.[7] They were a much-valued treasure, and considered well worth any risk to gather in numbers, owing to their useful powers.[2]

The arch-lich Larloch, with some of his many ioun stones circling his head.

Larloch, the Shadow King, the arch-lich of Warlock's Crypt and a long-surviving arcanist of Netheril, possessed over two dozen ioun stones, which orbited his skull at all times, giving him a wide variety of powers, protections, and enhancements. Some were much more powerful than their regular versions, and he had multiples of some.[35][36]

In the Year of the Black Flame, 229 DR,[37] in the kingdom of Athalantar, tales spread that a chest full of ioun stones had been discovered in the castle of Athalgard, in the city of Hastarl. They'd likely been hidden by King Uthgrael Aumar (reigned 183216 DR) years before. The magelords of the kingdom argued over how they should be used—and how they should be shared among themselves. Until agreement was reached, King Belaur Aumar ordered that they be put on display to the public, under heavy guard in an audience chamber, to which wizards were forbidden to approach. The thief Farl had a notion to steal them, but his friend Eladar warned it all could be a trap laid by the magelords.[18]

The Wyvern Crown of Cormyr was inlaid with ten ioun stones on the tips of its spikes. None of the stones could be removed from the Crown without destroying them, not without a wish spell on each stone.[38]

A ring of a dozen ioun stones was occasionally sighted hovering above the River Vesper in the Vast from the 1350s DR on. The stones avoided efforts to grab them, and by 1370 DR, no one with a net, the ability to fly, or a magical means of catching one was lucky enough to spot the ring. A tale told in riverside taverns claimed that anyone who could grab one of the ioun stones could keep it, but was also compelled by a geas to perform some dangerous task, with a different task for each stone.[39]

Known Ioun Stones[]

The following tables list the known ioun stones in each era, together with their benefits, costs, and other details.

In addition to these, it was rumored that Congenio Ioun himself had created another stone that had given him his great longevity; he lived almost a thousand years. He was also recorded as creating another that granted its holder a temporarily raised level of experience and might.[17]

In the time of Netheril, −3462 DR to −339 DR
Congenio's pebbles, −3462 DR to −3408 DR
Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Anhedral A blessing to defense[3]
Echinid A continuous detect magic spell[3]
Hexagonoid A detect poison spell, humming softly when a poison was detected[3]
Spindle A brief invisibility to animals on command, 1/day[3]
Pebble A brief invisibility to undead on command, 1/day[3]
Star A brief light spell on command, 1/day[3]
Round A continuous read magic spell[3]
Ioun's stones, −3408 DR to −2494 DR
Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Cephaloid Projected obscure alignment within 20 ft (6 m)[3]
Cube Increased dexterity and agility[3]
Cylinder Slight resistance to acid[3]
Decipton Gem emitted continual light on command[3]
Dendroid Increased one selected area of physical or mental prowess, as the cube or enneid[3]
Dodecahedron Increased constitution and fortitude[3]
Elipsoid Slight resistance to poisonous gases[3]
Enneid Increased charisma[3]
Euhedral A perfectly formed, mirror-faced stone, possessing the powers of two other stones[3]
Hectoid Increased strength[3]
Helicid Allowed user and 200 lbs (91 kg) of possessions to turn gaseous for an hour[3]
Heptid Healed the bearer if they lay dying, but the stone crumbled to dust[3]
Monoclinoid Prevented infravision within 20 ft (6 m)[3]
Nephroid Slight resistance to magic[3]
Ovoid Allowed one to walk on water for 1 hour/day[3]
Octahedron Protected owner with continuous mind blank[3]
Orthorhomboid Increased intellect[3]
Peg Granted ten extra arcs, songs, or winds for Netherese arcanists, bards, or priests, respectively[3]
Pentahedron Allowed owner to move freely for 1 hour/day[3]
Prism Allowed one to see in magical darkness[3]
Pyramid Regenerated wounds or damage[3]
Rectangle Slight resistance to poison[3]
Septahedron Provided the benefit of a strength spell for 1 hour/day[3]
Sexahedron Allowed user and 200 lbs (91 kg) of possessions to teleport, but the stone crumbled to dust[3]
Tile Projected a brief antimagic shell, but the stone crumbled to dust[3]
Tredyhedron Increased wisdom[3]
Ioun stones, −2494 DR onward
Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Triclinid Slight resistance to magical and natural fires[3]
Tubule Granted infravision[3]
Decahedron Allowed the user to go without water indefinitely[3]
Heptahedron Slight resistance to electricity[3]
Lozenge Slight resistance to charm spells[3]
Rhomboid Absorbed injury inflicted on owner, but the stone crumbled to dust[3]
Rod Continuous comprehend languages[3]
Sphere Slight resistance to petrification effects[3]
Stelloid Allowed the user to go without food indefinitely [3]
Tetraption Slight resistance to magical and natural cold[3]

Ioun stones around the 8th century DR
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Mantle stone of Vhyridaan Stores spells and reflects attacking spells[28] Unique

Ioun stones around 1281 DR
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Clear ioun stone Transparent sphere Increased magic resistance[40] 5,000
Deep red ioun stone Deep red sphere Increased dexterity[40] 5,000
Scarlet/blue ioun stone Red and blue sphere Increased intelligence[40] 5,000

Ioun stones around 1311 DR
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Githzerai-made incandescent blue ioun stone Incandescent blue ioun stone Increased wisdom[34] Unique

Ioun stones after the Time of Troubles (1358 DR)
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Blue-green spindle Casts airy water at will[2][7] 5,000
Brass lozenge Heals or gives greater health, up to twenty times[2][7] 5,000
Bright-silver cylinder Allowed user and 200 lbs (91 kg) of possessions to turn ethereal for one hour, up to twenty times[2][7] 5,000
Bright-white rectangle Slight resistance to acid[2][7] 5,000
Brown rhomboid Allowed user and 200 lbs (91 kg) of possessions to turn gaseous for an hour[2][7] 5,000
Cerulean-blue rhomboid Allowed owner to move freely for 1 hour/day[2][7] 5,000
Spirit storage Clear pink sphere Absorbs the soul of the user at the point of death, allowing resurrection via a restoration spell[2][7] 5,000
Clear prism Stores spells[7] 5,000
Clear sphere Slight resistance to magic[2][7] 5,000
Copper rectangle A continuous read magic spell[2][7] 5,000
Deep-black sphere Allowed one to see in magical darkness[2][7] 5,000
Deep-purple prism Granted infravision[2][7] 5,000
Deep-red sphere Increased strength[7] 5,000
Flickering white snowflake Slight resistance to magical and natural cold[2][7] 5,000
Gold ellipsoid Allowed user and 200 lbs (91 kg) of possessions to astral travel for an hour, up to twenty times[2][7] 5,000
Green sphere Slight resistance to gases[2][7] 5,000
Incandescent blue sphere Increased spell ability[7] 5,000
Light-blue prism Ability to understand languages spoken[2][7] 5,000
Maroon star User could only be hurt by magic and magical weapons[2][7] 5,000
Orange cube Resistance to mind-affecting spells[2][7] 5,000
Pale-green ellipsoid Absorbed high-level spells, until it burned out and could never be restored[7] 5,000
Pale-lavender spindle User could go without food or water[7] 5,000
Pale-yellow lozenge Allowed water walk at will[2][7] 5,000
Pearly white prism Repairs damage[7] 5,000
Pink ellipsoid Increased constitution[7] 5,000
Pink-and-green ellipsoid Absorbed low-level spells, until it burned out and could never be restored[7] 5,000
Puce cube Granted ability to read thoughts as ESP at will[2][7] 5,000
Pulsing red star Slight resistance to fire[2][7] 5,000
Pure-white octahedron Increased charisma with members of the same race[2][7] 5,000
Rainbow ellipsoid User may levitate at will[2][7] 5,000
Rainbow spindle Allowed user with 200 lbs (91 kg) of possessions to polymorph spell for one hour, up to twenty times[2][7] 5,000
Scarlet-and-blue sphere Increased intellect[7] 5,000
Silver rod Slight resistance to electricity[2][7] 5,000
Silver sphere Prevented user from being attacked from behind[2][7] 5,000
Silvery mirror cube Slight resistance to petrification via sight[2][7] 5,000
Soft-black rectangle Slight resistance to draining of life[2][7] 5,000
Yellow sphere Gem emitted continual light on command[2][7] 5,000
Blood-red ellipsoid Vampiric regeneration[38]
Deep-purple sphere Protection against poison, as a periapt of proof against poison[38]
Ioun Eye Crystalline eye Enables 360° vision at all times, and enables a blind user to see normally[41] 1,500
Trollblood ioun stone Dark-green sphere Increased martial prowess against trolls, and may regenerate wounds[42][4] 4,000
blood red ioun stone Blood-red sphere Enhanced balance, reflexes, and hand–eye coordination[42] 5,000
dusty rose ioun stone Dusty-rose ovoid Has a calming aspect, but only bestows a basic protection[4][5] 5,000
Pale green ioun stone Pale-green ovoid Combat skill and fortitude[4][5] 5,000
pearly white ioun stone Pearly-white ovoid May regenerate wounds[4][5] 5,000
Bronze ovoid May memorize an extra high-level arcane spell[6]
Golden ovoid Increased intellect[6]
Bright lavender ovoid Protection in battle and resistance to death[6]
Obsidian ovoid Increased constitution and fortitude[6]
Silver ovoid Increased wisdom, as with age and experience[6]
Balian's yellow ioun stone Yellow Temporarily increased charisma, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, strength, or wisdom; randomly chosen, once per day.[7][43] 5,000
Malla's soul stone Star sapphire Various benefits[6] Unique
Wong Fei's ioun stone Ovoid Various benefits [6] Unique
Purification stone Silvery-gray Immunity to disease and poison, and may cast neutralize poison once per day[42] 5,000

Ioun stones after the Year of Wild Magic (1372 DR)
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Clear spindle May go without food or water[8] 4000
Dusty-rose prism Insight to defense[8][19] 5000
Deep-red sphere Enhanced agility & dexterity[8][19] 8000
Incandescent-blue sphere Enhanced wisdom[8][19] 8000
Pale-blue rhomboid Enhanced strength[8][19] 8000
Pink rhomboid Enhanced constitution[8][19] 8000
Pink-and-green sphere Enhanced charisma[8][19] 8000
Scarlet-and-blue sphere Enhanced intellect[8][19] 8000
Dark-blue rhomboid Greater alertness[8] 10,000
Rainbow Provides psionic energy as a cognizance crystal, recharges each day[20] 16,000
Vibrant-purple prism Stores spells as a ring of spell storing[8] or psionic powers[20] 36,000
Iridescent spindle May go without air[8] 18,000
Pale-lavender ellipsoid Absorbs low-level spells or powers as a rod of absorption when readied, until it burns out and turns dull gray[8][20] 20,000
Pearly-white spindle May regenerate wounds as a ring of regeneration (for living beings)[8] 20,000
Pale-green prism Greater talent in attack, skill, resistance, and physical and mental feats[8] 30,000
Orange prism Increasing level of spellcasting[8] 30,000
Lavender-and-green ellipsoid Absorbs all but the highest-level spells as a rod of absorption when readied[8] 40,000
Bright silver cylinder Ability to turn ethereal as with a cloak of etherealness[36]
Cerulean blue rhomboid Continuous freedom of movement, as the ring[36]
Dark-green ellipsoid Greater fortune in defense[36]
Dark-orange dodecahedron Resistance to spells[36]
Dark-purple triangle Double the number of 3rd-level spells, as a ring of wizardry III[36]
Dark-purple pyramid Double the number of 4th-level spells, as a ring of wizardry IV[36]
Dark-red cube The ability to read minds, as a medallion of thoughts[36]
Dull-orange rhomboid Absorb magic missiles, as a brooch of shielding[36]
Mottled-gray sphere Counters selected spells, as a ring of counterspells[36]
Pale-white sphere Recalls an already-cast spell, as a pearl of power[36]
Pearlized brown ellipsoid A brief haste effect, as boots of speed[36]
Pearly black spindle May regenerate wounds as a ring of regeneration (for undead beings)[36]
Rich green star A slight boost in fortune in survival, skills, and other acts, as a stone of good luck[36]
Shining black spiral May teleport thrice a day, as a helm of teleportation[36]
Black-and-white ellipsoid Protected owner with continuous mind blank[9] 60,000
Dull gray Provides a smidgeon of psionic energy to a psionicist before completely burned out[20] 36,000
Ioun Stone of Resistance Typically burnt orange Provides resistance to harmful effects, comes in various strengths[10] 2,000–50,000
Mantle stone of Vhyridaan As a vibrant-purple prism, stores spells and reflects attacking spells[44] 232,560

Ioun stones around 1479 DR, after the Spellplague
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Ioun Stone of Adaptation Clear crystal May go without food or drink indefinitely, and unaffected by extreme temperatures or rain. Can also be used to end an ongoing negative condition.[13] 225,000
Ioun Stone of Perfect Language White and pink rhombic prism Greater social skills, ability to understand all spoken languages, ability to speak and be heard in all languages, and perfect insight 1/day[12] 325,000
Ioun Stone of Regeneration Red ovoid May regenerate wounds or damage when wounded[12] 625,000
Ioun Stone of Steadfastness Pale aquamarine prism Immunity to fear when among allies, and cannot be forced to strike an ally[12] 425,000
Ioun Stone of Sustenance Rhombic stone May go without food, drink, or air indefinitely, and only need half the normal rest time[12] 225,000
Ioun Stone of True Sight Dark blue rhomboid Darkvision, great insight and perceptiveness, and power to see invisible creatures once a day[11] 1,125,000

Ioun stones around 1490 DR, after the Second Sundering
Name Description Benefit Cost (gp)
Ioun Stone of Absorption Pale lavender ellipsoid Counters lower level spells up to a limit[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Agility Deep red sphere Increased dexterity[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Awareness Dark blue rhomboid Never surprised[45] Rare
Ioun Stone of Fortitude Pink rhomboid Increased constitution[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Greater Absorption Marbled lavender-and-green ellipsoid Counters higher level spells up to a limit[45] Legendary
Ioun Stone of Insight Blue sphere Increased wisdom[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Intellect Marbled scarlet-and-blue sphere Increased intelligence[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Leadership Marbled pink-and-green sphere Increased charisma[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Mastery Pale green prism Increased proficiency[45] Legendary
Ioun Stone of Protection Dusty rose prism Harder to hit in combat[45] Rare
Ioun Stone of Regeneration Pearly white spindle Hourly health benefit[45] Legendary
Ioun Stone of Reserve Vibrant purple prism Low-level spell storage[45] Rare
Ioun Stone of Strength Pale blue rhomboid Increased strength[45] Very Rare
Ioun Stone of Sustenance Clear spindle No need for food or drink[45] Rare


See Also[]



The ioun stone has its basis in the IOUN stone (written all in capitals) appearing in the short story "Morreion" by Jack Vance, whose Dying Earth series was very influential on early Dungeons & Dragons. "Morreion" was first published in the Flashing Swords! #1 anthology in 1973. Here, IOUN stones are valuable items that nullify magic and are extracted at great risk from the cores of dead stars. With Vance's permission, the ioun stone was first developed for D&D in The Strategic Review #4 (1975), with the clear prism, deep-red sphere, incandescent blue sphere, pale green ellipsoid, pale lavender spindle, pearly white prism, pink ellipsoid, pink-and-green ellipsoid, and scarlet-and-blue sphere being the first to appear.

The article "Bazaar of the Bizarre: Ioun Stones" in Dragon #174 (1991) begins by describing Vance's original IOUN stones and presents two possible origins for the ioun stones in D&D. The main one is that ioun stones grow naturally but rarely on the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals, at the intersection of the Elemental Plane of Earth with the Positive Energy Plane, and the article details the hazards in procuring them. The other idea is that powerful human wizards from another Prime Material Plane simply manufacture ioun stones, but describes this as straightforward, uninteresting, and lacking adventure.

Nevertheless, Encyclopedia Magica Volume II (1995) does just that, stating that the powerful human wizard Congenio Ioun invented them. Netheril: Empire of Magic (1996) follows suit, placing this origin in the Forgotten Realms, telling that Congenio Ioun was a Netherese wizard and that subsequent wizards manufactured more, as recounted in this article. Since this is Forgotten Realms material, this is the version adopted for this wiki.

D&D would once again forget and recreate the origin of the ioun stone when 4th edition introduced a goddess of knowledge and prophecy called Ioun, inspired by the ioun stone. Open Grave presents a cursed artifact called the Jet Black Ioun Stone, and says that the goddess Ioun created ioun stones (including the Jet Black) to spread knowledge in all forms. However, she was not introduced to the 4th edition of the Forgotten Realms setting (although Zehir was, who had a hand in the Jet Black), so it must be assumed that neither the goddess Ioun, her creation of the ioun stones, or the Jet Black Ioun Stone exist in the setting. This leaves only their creation by the mortal wizard Congenio Ioun and others.

The drifting of the origin story continued in 5th edition with the eponymous creator being called a god of knowledge and prophecy, rather than a goddess. The stones were described as having a rigid correlation between the benefit they bestowed and the shape and color of the item. They were considered wondrous items valued by rarity and classified as Rare, Very Rare, or Legendary.

Meanwhile, Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (1988) introduced warfu stones with similar function. These are presumably intended to be an eastern version of the ioun stones of regular D&D, but a connection between the two is unknown.


  1. Apart from the prism, it is unknown which pebbles and stones were created by Congenio and which by fellow arcanists, but it is clear that the majority were made by Congenio. It is also clear that Congenio created some stones that are not listed.


  1. Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 123. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.
  2. 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 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 Matthew P. Hargenrader (October 1991). “Bazaar of the Bizarre: Ioun stones: Where do you go if you want some more?”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #174 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 90–94.
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