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The Companion, also known as Amaunator's Gift,[1][2] was a magical second sun that hovered over the city of Elturel in Elturgard in the latter half of the 15th century DR. It was the symbol of the realm and of its defenders, the Order of the Companion.[1][2][5] However, it was in fact the Solar Insidiator,[3][4] a device created by Zariel, archdevil of Avernus, as part of a plot to trap and steal the city away to the Nine Hells.[6][3]

DescriptionEdit

It was a shining golden orb, hanging directly over the High Hall in the center of the city of Elturel through night and day, never setting or moving through the sky like the natural sun did. In the city itself, it was as bright as the natural sun in daytime.[1][2][5]

It could be seen from nearly anywhere within Elturgard, making it a land of unending daylight,[1][2] though its brightness faded with distance. Some 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from Elturel, it cast a pale dawn light. Further away, it was a bright beacon in the sky, and from as far away as Berdusk and Boareskyr Bridge, it was an unmoving star hanging low over the horizon.[2][5]

It was in fact a dull metal sphere, almost unbreakable and only 50 feet (15 meters) wide, but emitting light so bright it could be seen for miles and the structure itself was obscured. When corrupted, it instead produced a 10-foot-thick (3 meters) shell of impenetrable magical darkness, 400 feet (120 meters) in diameter. In the inner surface was covered with glowing symbols.[7] The true device, the Solar Insidiator, was constructed in the forge of Bel, a maker of weapons and armor for the Blood War,[4] and was in fact powered by an imprisoned planetar named Nascius.[6][4][7] This cage was locked by nine adamantine keys once kept in Bel's forge, stolen by Zariel's spies,[4] and stored in a safe in a wrecked flying fortress. Each weighed 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) and was inscribed with a number and the words "Solar Insidiator Lock" in Infernal. Inserting these in locks ringing the sphere's equator would open its upper hemisphere.[8][7]

PowersEdit

The light of this second sun illuminated the land day and night, and suffused all of Elturel. However, it produced no heat.[1][2][5]

Creatures and things vulnerable to daylight in some way, or even destroyed by it, were just as vulnerable to the Companion's light. Thus it prevented darkling races and monsters from assailing the city.[2] Undead of all kinds found it painful[5] or were even burned by it, while creatures of darkness could not even bear to look at the city.[1]

HistoryEdit

In the Year of the Seductive Cambion, 1444 DR, the High Rider of Elturel was discovered to be a vampire, with a vast network of vampire spawn, charmed minions, undead allies, and sycophantic collaborators. Now exposed, the undead infested Elturel, and whatever victories its Hellriders won during the days, they lost sorely in the nights. It was said the Elturians prayed to the gods each night just for the dawn to come sooner.[9][6] One, Thavius Kreeg, a priest of Torm, pleaded to any power to save his city, and he was answered—by the archdevil Zariel with a deal to which he hastily agreed. Though the city would receive its much-needed aid, it would last but fifty years, after which Zariel would take the whole city and its people.[6][3]

Then a second sun appeared in the sky, turning night to day, and blasting the vampire lord and his spawn to ashes while the remaining undead cowered from its light. Elturel was swiftly liberated from their dead grip.[9] Taking the credit, Thavius was acclaimed as the savior of Elturel,[6][3] but only he knew the true origin of the mysterious second sun.[1] The Companion, as it became known, remained in place and over time the miracle brought pilgrims to Elturel: the sick, the curious, and the devout of many faiths, including many paladins.[9] After them came hundreds of people who'd fled the menace of undead of one kind or another, who came to Elturgard for protection and settled there, particularly in Elturel.[1] The best of the paladins was appointed ruler of Elturel, titled the High Observer. The High Observer then established the Order of the Companion and the Creed Resolute to keep the paladins of different faiths in order. Thavius Kreeg later ascended to the post of High Observer himself.[9][2]

In the Year of Twelve Warnings, 1494 DR, the sinister truth of the Companion was revealed when the brilliant orb was turned black as night and wreathed by crackling energy, and it tore the entire city of Elturel from the earth and teleported it to Avernus, first of the Nine Hells.[10][6][11] Thereafter, the black orb cast a baleful light over the besieged city, occasionally hurling lightning into the streets.[12][10] The corrupted priest Gideon Lightward even used the Companion's necromantic energy to raise undead minions for himself.[13] Ultimately, the Companion was either destroyed or opened by a group of adventurers who traveled to Avernus, thus freeing the planetar so that he might lift Elturel from its infernal bindings and carry it back to the material plane.[14][7]

BeliefsEdit

The Companion was so named because it was widely seen as a companion to the regular sun and to the people themselves.[9] It was described as an "eternal promise"[1] and to be steady and loyal, unwavering in its illumination and protection.[2]

It was seen as a miracle, and pilgrims came to receive its warmth and witness its holy light at night.[9] But while many believed the second sun was sent by a god, no-one knew for sure which was responsible. For example, some named it "Amaunator's Gift", after the sun god Amaunator.[1][9][2] However, only the High Observer of Elturgard, Thavius Kreeg, knew if this was truly a blessing of Amaunator or of some other power.[1] The Creed Resolute, sworn by the Order of the Companion and the Hellriders, maintained that their members would not attribute the Companion to any one god, so that religious differences would not divide them.[2]

Some said that all lands touched by the light of the Companion were under "Elturel's Shield", but this raised the ire of those neighbors who remained independent of Elturgard.[2]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 0786966769.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 115. ISBN 0786966769.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Hoard of the Dragon Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0786965649.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 7–8. ISBN 0786966769.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 153–154. ISBN 0786966769.
  8. Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 121–122. ISBN 0786966769.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 52, 55. ISBN 0786966769.
  11. Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 35, 41–42. ISBN 0786966769.
  12. Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6. ISBN 0786966769.
  13. Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 64, 68. ISBN 0786966769.
  14. Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 147, 148, 155. ISBN 0786966769.
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