Ioun stones, originally called Congenio's pebbles,[2] were magical stones that granted enhancements or powers to a creature.[3][1]


They were small, crystalline stones, coming in a wide range of colors and shapes that determined their powers.[1]


Ioun stones hovered permanently in the air.[1]

When one acquired a stone and wished to receive its benefits, they had to first hold it for a brief time and then release it. Thereafter, when functioning, the ioun stone floated in a circular pattern around the bearer's head, at a distance of 1–3 ft (30–91 cm). They could only bestow their benefit on an owner when within this range. Two stones of the same type would repel each other.[3][1] Another person could try to catch or net the stone to steal it, or break it. 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.[1]

The stones granted various benefits based on their color, as listed below. When drained of power, a stone became a dull grey, but it still possessed the characteristic floating power.[3]

Type Benefit Cost (gp)
Clear spindle May go without food or water[1] 4000
Dusty-rose prism Insight to defense[1] 5000
Deep-red sphere Enhanced agility & dexterity[1] 8000
Incandescent-blue sphere Enhanced wisdom[1] 8000
Pale-blue rhomboid Enhanced strength[1] 8000
Pink rhomboid Enhanced constitution[1] 8000
Pink-and-green sphere Enhanced charisma[1] 8000
Scarlet-and-blue sphere Enhanced intellect[1] 8000
Dark-blue rhomboid Greater alertness[1] 10,000
Vibrant-purple prism Stores spells as a ring of spell storing[1] 36,000
Iridescent spindle May go without air[1] 18,000
Pale-lavender ellipsoid Absorbs low-level spells as a rod of absorption when readied[1] 20,000
Pearly-white spindle May regenerate wounds as a ring of regeneration (for living beings)[1] 20,000
Pale-green prism Greater talent in attack, skill, resistance, and physical and mental feats[1] 30,000
Orange prism Increasing level of spellcasting[1] 30,000
Lavender-and-green ellipsoid Absorbs all but the highest-level spells as a rod of absorption when readied[1] 40,000
Blood-red ellipsoid Vampiric regeneration[4]
Blood red Enhanced dexterity and attack speed[5]
Deep-purple sphere Protection against poison, as a periapt of proof against poison[4]
Trollblood Increased martial prowess against trolls, and slight health regeneration[5]
Bright silver cylinder Ability to turn ethereal as with a cloak of etherealness[6]
Cerulean blue rhomboid Continuous freedom of movement, as the ring[6]
Dark-green ellipsoid Greater fortune in defense[6]
Dark-orange dodecahedron Resistance to spells[6]
Dark-purple triangle Double the number of 3rd-level spells, as a ring of wizardry III[6]
Dark-purple pyramid Double the number of 4th-level spells, as a ring of wizardry IV[6]
Dark-red cube The ability to read minds, as a medallion of thoughts[6]
Dull-orange rhomboid Absorb magic missiles, as a brooch of shielding[6]
Mottled-gray sphere Counters selected spells, as a ring of counterspells[6]
Pale-white sphere Recalls an already-cast spell, as a pearl of power[6]
Pearlized brown ellipsoid A brief haste effect, as boots of speed[6]
Pearly black spindle May regenerate wounds as a ring of regeneration (for undead beings)[6]
Rich green star A slight boost in fortune in survival, skills, and other acts, as a stone of good luck[6]
Shining black spiral May teleport thrice a day, as a helm of teleportation[6]

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.[7]


Ioun stones could only be created by a veteran spellcaster well versed in the crafting of wondrous magical items.[1]

Only certain types of gemstone 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,[8] chrysoberyl, chrysoprase,[9] 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),[10] Laeral's tears (most little known and rarest of the gems),[11] obsidian (the most well known), onyx,[12] and sardonyx.[13]


Congenio Ioun, an arcanist of Netheril, created the first ioun stones.[2][14]

Notable collections

Larloch - Carl Critchlow

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

Larloch, the Shadow King, arch-lich of Warlock's Crypt, 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.[15][6]

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.[4]

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.[16]


  1. 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 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 260–261. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 slade, Jim Butler (Nov 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 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.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Beamdog (March 2016). Designed by Philip Daigle, et al. Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. Beamdog.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 161–162. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  7. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 36. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  9. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 41–42. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  11. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  14. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  16. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
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