The Rayburton Jewels were a collection of gems acquired by Belmer Rayburton in the early years after the founding of Cormyr in the Year of Opening Doors, 26 DR. The treasure disappeared, presumed lost or stolen, no later than the Year of Frostbrands, 43 DR.
The jewels were initially stored in two large chests. One chest contained approximately one thousand sky-blue sapphires and "two or three fistfulls of black sapphires atop as many red tears". The other chest held around a thousand rubies. Belmer's brother Onkyl described the treasure in a letter to his son Telarn. Telarn found the letter only after Onkyl's death.
Shortly after the founding of Cormyr,[note 2] a friend or relative of the Rayburtons (whose name has been lost to history) came to Belmer Rayburton (possibly from Impiltur) seeking shelter and bearing the two chests of jewels. Volo suggests the man was fleeing those from whom the gems were stolen. The unknown ally disappeared for some reason (possibly murdered by Belmer) and the Rayburton patriarch kept the jewels for himself. His brother Onkyl got a glimpse of them but was intimidated by Belmer and only wrote a letter to his son (to be found posthumously) informing Telarn of the hoard and encouraging him to take it from Belmer or claim it as soon as he was able.
Word of Belmer's hidden wealth apparently reached the ears of two warlords of early Cormyr, Relve Turcassan and Orndar Merendil (Volo speculates they were tipped off by Endeir Falconhand, at the time a Rayburton retainer in the service of Belmer). They had first-hand knowledge of the evils that were besetting the young kingdom, so they decided to confront Belmer and demand that he give more financial support to the defense of the realm. The meeting erupted in violence and spread to armsmen under the command of the three leaders. Belmer, Turcassan, and Merendil were all wounded in the fighting. Two Rayburton huntsmen and a few warriors lost their lives before Belmer was forced to cease hostilities by a threat from Onkyl to reveal a "secret Belmer holds dear, and would fain keep so". The bloodshed ended there, but Turcassan and Merendil fended off attacks from mysterious assailants for the rest of their lives. Documents unearthed by Volo made it clear that the families of the two warlords believed the attacks were instigated by Belmer.
Telarn did manage to acquire the jewels sometime after Belmer's death. According to the diaries of Telarn's sons, Rauril ("Rory") and Chelesmer, their father kept them in a crypt set into the stone floor of his bedchamber (beneath his bed) along with the moldy corpse of their mother, Jaless. The tomb was sealed with a large stone slab with a heavy ring for lifting and most or all of the gems were set into the bed frame upon which Jaless rested in peace. For unknown reasons, Telarn revealed the resting place of their mother and the Rayburton Jewels to each son separately, so when he died, both sons rushed to place armed guards in the bedchamber and a fight broke out between the two factions. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured before Rory and Chelesmer arrived on the scene and ordered both sides to stand down.
Neither of the brothers were very pleased to find out that their sibling also knew about the jewels, but they tentatively decided to work together to recover the treasure. When the bed was shifted and the stone slab was removed, all they found was the remains of a shattered bed frame and dust. The brothers immediately set upon each other with vile accusations and would have come to blows if their own men had not disarmed and restrained them as they shrieked, clawed, and spat at each other with fuming suspicion and rancor.
Chelesmer spent the rest of his life searching for his mother's body and the gems that were interred with her. Rory's demeanor seemed to change after the falling out, becoming stern and combative. The children of both men found posthumous letters containing descriptions of the Rayburton Jewels and accounts of their suspicions that the other brother took the jewels and then lost them in some shameful way. By the 1370s DR, the Rayburton Jewels had not been seen again and even the location of the castle or ruin where the treasure was last seen was uncertain.
- ↑ Value estimated from description of quantities given in the source. "Two or three fistfulls" was estimated to be 50 gemstones.
- ↑ There is a discrepancy that makes it difficult to determine the year the jewels came into Belmer's possession. The source says it was "about a decade" after Cormyr's founding, but the story involves Orndar Merendil who supposedly died in 29 DR (only three years after Cormyr was established). Thus, either the estimate of "about a decade" is incorrect, or the date of Orndar's death is incorrect.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ed Greenwood (December 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Lost Treasures of Cormyr”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #278 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (December 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Lost Treasures of Cormyr”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #278 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89.