It was made from a black wood and adorned with carvings of runes representing stars, darkness, and night, as well as a depiction of an umber hulk. The ends were capped with black onyx. It otherwise resembled a fairly unremarkable walking staff.
Originally, it bestowed both infravision and ultravision powers automatically and continually upon grasping the staff. However, after the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, it merely cast the darkvision, and low-light vision spells, for the cost of one charge each.
It also contained the dispel magic spell but this only worked against light spells, such as light, continual light, and faerie fire, and not against glowing magical auras, while permanent magical lights would eventually reappear. To use this function, the bearer had to touch the staff to the magical light and make a wordless mental command. This would expend one charge.
The staff of night could conjure an orb of darkness for the cost of one charge. Formerly, similar to darkness, 15' radius but was only a 20-foot-wide (6 meters) sphere centered on the midpoint of the staff, moving with the staff and thus its wielder. It could be dispelled as normal. After 1372 DR, this was a standard darkness spell, 40 feet wide (12 meters) and with greater option in placement.
Its greater power, however, was to summon a mighty umber hulk. This could be done once every seven days; the bearer felt a slight ongoing tingling from the staff when it was ready to be used again and uttered a command word when they wished it summoned. Doing so expended six charges. The umber hulk appeared at full health, obeyed the bearer's will, and fought and served faithfully and obediently, even in the most dangerous tasks (though it would not harm itself). It disappeared after a short time. After 1372 DR, it could only summon an umber hulk once per tenday, but cost only two charges to do so. It functioned similarly to summon monster VI. If the summoned umber hulk died or was destroyed, then the staff itself lost all power and would quickly crumble to dust.
Following the runestaff model in the mid-1370s DR, the runestaff of night instead let its wielder cast darkness (able to counter or dispel any light spell), darkvision, and low-light vision, each thrice a day but at the expense of one of their own prepared arcane spells. Similarly, once a day, it also allowed them to summon a fiendish umber hulk.
Folktales held that a staff of night was an evil thing, but this untrue: it had no inherent evil power.
Notable Staves of NightEdit
- Aumry's staff of the night a.k.a. Aumry's staff of the hulk, possessed by Aumry, Lord of Shadowdale between 1300 DR and 1339 DR.
- Ed Greenwood (September 1991). “Bazaar of the Bizarre: A wizard's staff is to lean on”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #173 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 30–34.
- ↑ Runestaffs were introduced in Magic Item Compendium for 3.5-edition D&D, using a different mechanic to the standard magical staff of 3rd/3.5 edition. The staff of night presented in Magic of Faerûn for 3rd-edition D&D was adapted in Magic Item Compendium as a runestaff of night. This article considers the runestaff as a variant, not a replacement, for the standard staff.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), pp. 111–112. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Andy Collins, Eytan Bernstein, Frank Brunner, Owen K. C. Stephens, John Snead (March 2007). Magic Item Compendium. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7869-4345-6.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), p. 109. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.