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The Orbs of Dragonkind
By Jamey Martin
The Green Orb
Little is known about the true origin of the Orbs of Dragonkind, but according to legend Corellon Larethian appeared to elfkind soon after they began to unlock the secrets of magic. He bequeathed upon the elves 5 orbs of great power that would give them the necessary might to throw off the yoke of wyrmkind and enable their culture to flourish. And so it was, with legend going on to tell how many an elfin knight used one orb or another to master and slay dragon after dragon, until at length legend became history and the great elfin civilizations of Aryvander, Illefarn, Meyeritar, Shantel Othreier, and Keltormir had emerged along the west coast of Faerun.
By this time, with the mastery of elfin magic and the great reduction in the might and numbers of dragonkind, the need for the orbs had diminished substantially. Nevertheless, they continued to hold symbolic value and so each of the great elfin civilization kept one orb within its greatest temple to Corellon.
Throughout the course of the Crown Wars (-12,000 DR to -9,000 DR) history began to lose track of the fabled orbs. It is believed that, at one time, the realm of Aryvander had come into possession of at least three of the orbs via it‘s conquests, while the dark elves of Ilythiir are known to have used enslaved dragons to destroy the realm of Shantel Othreier, and so might have come into possession of one themsleves.
As for the Green Orb, it is known to have been carried eastward in the wake of the Fifth Crown Wars to the great forest Arcorar, now known as Cormanthor. It was brought forth from the remains of Aryvander to help the pioneers deal with the great number of dragons that made their home in the verdant wood.
Eventually the great elfin realms of Rystall, Jhyrennstar, Uvaeren, Sembreholm sprung into being within Arcorar, and of these Uvaeren was the greatest. So rich in knowledge were the elves of Uvaeren, that their land became known as the Lorelands. Amongst their many fabled librariums, it is told that none rivalled that of Intevar‘s, for it is said to have contained the collective knowledge of all elves. And amongst its many grand temples, it is said that none rivalled that of Corellon Larethian, for it was here that the Green Orb was housed.
The glory of Uvaeren was brought to an abrupt end in the year -5,000 DR however, when a great meteor fell from the heavens and devastated the Lorelands. While it is unknown if the temple in any way survived this destruction, the remaining ruins were in the hands of the increasingly present Drow within 100 years, and they held them until at last forced out in the year -1,354 DR; roughly 2,600 years after the birth of the city of Cormanthor (-3983 DR).
Little mention is ever again made of the Green Orb, save one...
In the year -982 DR a green dragon of great power named Venominhandar began to rampage in the southeastern woods. Such was the potency and endurance of this wyrm that the elves of Cormanthyr quickly called for a quest, to the ruins of Corellon's temple in old Uvaeren; there to find and retrieve the Orb. The questing elves however, never returned, and the might of Venom, as he came to be called, continued to wax.
For over 700 years Venom plagued the elves, destroying their communities, driving them out, and using his fell magic to twist and tangle the woods of the great domain he had claimed in the southeast. His personal power was unrivalled amongst dragonkind, and he commanded a veritable army of wyverns, black dragons and green dragons. Nevertheless, it was in the year -206 DR. that the elfin hero Jassin Aunglor, armed with a fabled moonblade, at last challenged Venom himself. This took place in the wyrm's lair beneath Haptooth Hill, and it was here that both Venom and Jassin met their ends; as the cavern complex the wyrm inhabited collapsed in upon them.
Of Venom's offspring, only the terrible wyrm known as "Green Magic" is known to have outlived her father. Her lair is thought to have been located somewhere south of her sire's, but she was last seen bathing in a river in the year 0 DR, and both her fate and the location of her lair are unknown.
Some scholars believe that Venom's initial rampages were strategically aimed at forcing the elves to reveal the location of the Green Orb. They believe that the band of elves sent to locate and retrieve the orb were somehow followed by agents of the wyrm, and eventually slaughtered by them. With their murder, or so the theories go, these agents brought the orb back to Venom, who then used it's power to raise and command his draconic army. Other scholars have denounced such theories as overly speculative, and say that Venom was more likely a mere throw back to the fearsome dragons of the elder age.
As for the Orb, the more conservative scholars believe that it was destroyed when the meteor hit. Others still argue that it was borne off into the Underdark during the 4,000 years that the Drow controlled the ruins.
Unbeknownst to history, the Orb was indeed stolen away by agents of Venominhandur, who used it's power in combination with his charisma to control all lesser wyrms.
When the terrible wyrm at last began to feel old age and weakness beginning to creep into his bones, he placed the Orb in the safe keeping of his mightiest offspring ... the green wyrm known as Green Magic. It was not long after that Venom and the elfin champion slew each other in the wyrm's lair beneath Haptooth Hill.
For along time Manastorm held the Orb as a part of her horde, fearful of the curse it was said to carry. In the end, she was persuaded to bring the Orb to a meeting with an old companion and potential mate, the green wyrm Shan'thantros, where she was ambushed by a number of black and green dragons. The fight was ferocious, with Green Magic destroying three wyrms in her fury, Shan'thantros amongst them, but in the end the daughter of Venom was slain.
Each of the surviving dragons thence claimed the Orb as it‘s own, offering various reasons to back their claims, but in the end reason failed and a general melee erupted. When all was said and done, all were slain .... save for the wiley young black dragon known as Zarlandris. The black wyrm had shrunk from the intial onslaught of the battle,
emerging only with the finale to steal the victory.
Thus, was the Orb carried to Zarlandris' lair in Glaun Bog.
In centuries to come Dretchroyaster, the descendent of Venom would rampage across the southeastern Dalelands, engaging in brutal battles with a number of black dragons, in search of both vengeance and the Orb. The latter however, forever evaded him.
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