The Scepter was made of glassteel-treated glass, with two electrum caps of spired construction at the ends. It possessed ten small silver ovoids drifting up and down on the inside; someone who grasped the rod would notice each of them carried a number inside, from one to nine, the last one being a star. Touching one ovoid made the others display the names of the spells available to the rod.
Touching one of its silver ovoids caused the other ovoids' number to change to the name of a spell, if an ovoid with a spell name on it was touched, it wrote down the spell over three minutes with glowing, illusionary letters, in midair. A less well known power of the Scepter was that once a day, if its user spoke the word Mystra while holding it, they became able to see magical auras within 90 feet (27 meters) for ten minutes. The Mystran clergy held that Mystra, Azuth, the Magister, and all the Chosen of Mystra knew where the Scepter was at all times, and the first three could summon it at will just by concentrating for up to three minutes. They also held that one of the spells in its roster would cause the scepter to teleport away if its ovoid was pressed, an effect dubbed flyaway.
Its full roster of abilities was actually far more complex and eclectic, progressively revealed through experimentation: it teleported elsewhere in Faerûn if dropped or thrown more than 100 feet (30 meters), it levitated and glowed with faerie fire if it was not held and offensive magic was used in its presence, it conferred immunity to petrification and paralysis, and up to once a day it could be used in conjunction with a prayer to Mystra to recharge maybe five charges to an object touched, though no object could take additional charges in this way more than once a month.
It could also allow a mage or priest whose power was just short of that needed to cast a given spell, presently selected, to cast it; this cancelled its spell-displaying powers for the next six hours. However, if a permanency spell was cast on the effect of a spell so-enabled, the caster was afflicted by a permanent effect akin to polymorph self that changed his shape every ten minutes, taking up to three minutes to complete each change. Those shapechanges never made the subject incompatible with its environment, but they could prove dangerous.
If the flyaway was used in combination with another spell, it included the user in its teleportation; other combinations made it disappear halfway through the reading of the spell, or immediately after memorization.
The confirmed history of the Scepter began when a Magister, Meldryn Jalensifer, gave it to a fledgling mage, Naerlus Anarthandyer.. The fledgling quickly used its power to build himself into a petty tyrant in the coastlands north of Leilon; before the Magister could take it away from him, he accidentally activated its flyaway, and the scepter whisked itself to a ruined abbey of Shar in northern Calimshan. A season later, adventurers recovered it and sold it to Amblaeryn Alaba, a satrap, who gave it to his five hired mages so they could use it to slay a rival of his, Imtherl. They instead killed him on behalf of his rival, and then killed said rival when he didn't pay them. They later had a dispute of their own; the winner was Earndus Orthorm, who accidentally activated the flyaway again. The scepter reappeared in a cavern, where an orc shaman, after attempting to harness it, cast it into a chasm, which is how one of its teleport triggers was discovered.
The device appeared in a tavern in Telflamm, in the middle of a barfight between wizards; a barmaid snatched it, and one of the wizards chased her; she killed him, as she was actually a doppleganger, then took a meteor swarm from a passing mage, Taluth of Telflamm, who activated its flyaway during experimentation, leading it to being found by merfolk in 997 DR, sold to a Calishite merchant, then resold in Schamedar to Kloroth of the Seven Curses, who discovered its ability to allow the user to cast stronger spells than normal and used it to create gates. He also discovered the consequences of applying a permanency spell to such an effect, and wracked by unending transformations, he was robbed of the scepter in Selgaunt while turned into a shrieker; the next bearer of the Scepter was killed for it, as were the next four, with the next bearer of the scepter soon confronted by Naerlus Anarthandyer again, much to his own incredulity. The thief barely escaped through one of Kloroth's portals, landed in Skullport, was slain by a mind flayer, who was slain by a drow patrol, in turn slain by Halaster Blackcloak's traps, where it remained for two hundred years.
In Eleasias of 1199 DR, it was found by Thornstar's Company in the 6th level of Undermountain, at the lap of a bone-festooned, trapped statue. The team led by Thornstar contained a wizard, Ilragoth Morndlar, and his apprentice, Impaladus Nolorn, who triggered the flyaway in combination with a spell, he wasn't sure which one, which caused the flyaway to include him. He wound up in Mount Waterdeep joined the Watchful Order of Waterdeep, discovered its ability to recharge items, and four years later was lured from the Sea Ward to another plane through a gate by a rival at a party; this rival later was slain by a trap he left to guard his possessions. Two people later looted Impaladus' house, left open by his rival, then were slain by another mage, who activated the flyaway on the first try, leading the Scepter to wander the Sword Coast once more, spotted at Triboar, Mirabar, and Sundabar through the next century, being added to a private collection in Silverymoon after, and in 1314 DR, it featured in a spell-battle between adventuring bands during a hot summer night. The survivors fled across the river, some of them in half-bat shapes, and some worse; one of them took the Scepter with them, and was found washed down the Delimbyr twenty years later in 1336 DR.[note 1]
It was found by the ranger Lastern Mendever, who took it to a shrine of Mielikki, where he was advised to put it back in the river immediately; that evening, he saw two dragons, a silver dragon and an amethyst dragon, fighting above the river, with one of them clutching the Scepter. That was the last confirmed sighting, though a farmer in Secomber claimed to have seen a dragon's bones outlined with fire in the sky that night.
Rumors & Legends
The Scepter had been the subject of children's folktales, where it brought poetic justice to those who misused it. Retellings by bards also complicated the accounting of its abilities.
The roster of spells in the Scepter was generally agreed to contains at least the following spells:
- abjure, accelerate healing, air walk, animate object, animate rock, anti-animal shell, anti-plant shell, anyspell, astral spell, barkskin, barrier of retention, blade barrier, blessed abundance, body clock, call upon faith, circle of privacy, cloud of purification, continual light, control weather, control winds, create holy symbol, cure blindness or deafness, cure disease, cure serious wounds, detect charm, detect lie, dimensional folding, disbelief, dispel magic, dragonbane, efficacious monster ward, enchant phylactery, extradimensional detection, faerie fire, find traps, fire purge, fire storm, flame strike, flame walk, free action, gate, greater mantle of Mystra, grounding, heal, helping hand, hold person, holy star, holy word, hovering road, idea, imbue with spell ability, invisibility to undead, know age, know customs, know time, land of stability, light, lighten load, locate object, magic font, magical vestment, mantle of Mystra, meld into stone, might of Mystra, mind read, miscast magic, mistaken missive, monster mount, mystic transfer, nap, negative plane protection, pass plant, personal reading, plane shift, protection from fire, pyrotechnics, quest, rapport, remove curse, remove fear, remove paralysis, restoration, sacred guardian, seclusion, shadow engines, speak with astral traveler, speak with dead, speak with monsters, spell immunity, spell shield, spell ward, stone shape, stone tell, sunray, symbol, telepathy, thought broadcast, thought capture, time pool, timelessness, true seeing, unceasing vigilance of the holy sentinel, undead ward, uplift, warp and weave, water breathing, weighty chest, wondrous recall, wyvern watch, and zone of truth
- The original text read 30, but the future date is only 1336; thus, the specific date is given precedence.