Living spells were spell-effects that were given permanence and some form of sentience, often as a result of unpredictable magical reactions or lingering dweomers from other-worldly or ancient arcane sources.[1][2]

Description[edit | edit source]

They appeared as permanent manifestations of regular spell-effects but did not dissipate after a given duration. Rather they remained in existence and moved with distinct purpose and self-actualization.[1][2][4]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Living spells retained the powers of their spell-effect counterparts and could affect the world in the same manner.[1][2][3]

It was observed that their mere presence could recharge magic items or alter the magical powers wielded by others.[5]

Combat[edit | edit source]

All living spells were immune to a myriad of harmful and debilitating effects including physical exhaustion, paralyzation, petrification, being poisoned, among others.[1][2][3]

Depending on the spell with which they were brought to life, some of them could be frightened or physically restrained.[1]

Society[edit | edit source]

Living spells typically haunted an area that was greatly affected by magical energy, whether that was an area of wild magic or one that had been affected by eldritch powers.[1][2]

History[edit | edit source]

Living spells could be found in a variety of locales found throughout the Realms, over the course of several centuries. They were often associated with dweomers that lingered from Faerûn's ancient magocracies, namely the ancient empire of Netheril,[6] and the eastern empire of Raumathar.[7]

Many living spells that were let loose from Undermountain by the Mad Mage Halaster during Halaster's Higharvestide, in the Year of the Gauntlet, 1369 DR. While many of these were since contained by the City Guard and trapped within the Citadel of the Bloody Hand in Mount Waterdeep,[8][9] some remained even as late as the 15th century DR.[5]

As of the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, living spells were observed in the land surrounding the Ring of Gray Flames in Rashemen.[7]

Circa the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR, the Dragonlords of Westgate spoke of living spells serving as guardians that presided over the "true lair" of the dragon Kisonraathiisar.[10]

As of the late 1480s DR, many living spells still languished in the frozen necropolis of Ythryn, set deep beneath the Reghed Glacier.[6]

Notable Living Spells[edit | edit source]

Everlast was a living spell that resided in the ruined Spire of Iriolarthas millennia after the collapse of Ythryn.[11]

The Hand That Sings was a living spell that lingered Waterdeep created one of Halaster's apprentices using two distinct spells, handfang and magic mouth.[12]

Other known examples of spells that have been given life included: unseen servant;[1] sleep and ray of enfeeblement, used together to create a sickening sleep;[13] glitterdust and fireball, used to make a glimmerfire; one of the various Bigby's hands;[3] cone of cold, to make a chilling fog;[14] blasphemy[4] and blade of disaster.[2]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Expedition to UndermountainWaterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad MageIcewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 313. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Christopher Perkins (September 2020). Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 298. ISBN 978-0786966981.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Christopher Perkins (September 2020). Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 299. ISBN 978-0786966981.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 199. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Christopher Perkins (September 2020). Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 232. ISBN 978-0786966981.
  7. 7.0 7.1  (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  8.  (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  9.  (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  10.  (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  11.  (September 2020). Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Edited by . (Wizards of the Coast), p. 250. ISBN 978-0786966981.
  12.  (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 113. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  13.  (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  14.  (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
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