|Orbs of Dragonkind|
Source: Artifacts & Legends, pg(s). 32ff.
The Orbs of Dragonkind are major artifacts granting power over dragons of a particular type. Orbs are known to exist for each type of chromatic dragon and metallic dragon, and varieties for each type of imperial dragon and primal dragon are also rumored to exist.
Although the full history of the Orbs of Dragonkind has largely been lost, incomplete lore places their origin during the original conflict between the draconic gods Apsu and Dahak and their followers. The dragons' slaughter of one another during their conflict led the draconic mother goddess Tiamat to shed ten tears, which landed on the slain bodies of heroes of each of the dragon species. The souls of these dragons entered the crystallized tears, transforming them into powerful artifacts that granted immense power and authority over others of their kind.
The Orbs remained major figures in draconic history following the flight of Apsu and his followers through the Material Plane, becoming part of draconic hoards to be hidden away or used as tools to enslave other dragons. The Orbs have persisted into the modern day as both coveted and feared items among dragonkind, which dragons have killed one another to possess but allied to keep out of the possession of other races.
The most significant property of the Orbs of Dragonkind is that they allow their wielders to magically control dragons. The wielder of an Orb can use it to exert powerful mental control over any dragon whose species matches that which the Orb is attuned to, effectively enslaving them to their will. Ownership of an Orb also grants immunity to the breath weapon of that dragon species, in addition to the ability of the wielder to use such a breath weapon three times per day. Further, someone using an Orb can detect the presence of any dragon within ten miles of their location, and of their Orb's particular variety within 100 miles.
An Orb of Dragonkind also allows its wielder to communicate with any other person currently wielding an Orb of their own. As most such figures are dragons themselves, this exposes wielders to the risk of discovery and retribution by dragons enraged at the thought of a non-dragon enslaving their kin.
The souls used to create each Orb remain within the artifacts. Although they are dormant most of the time, they can occasionally be awakened by exceptional individuals. However, the spirits within the Orbs are capable of enslaving those who would wield them to their own ancient wills.
Known Orbs of Dragonkind
The following are some of the known or suspected Orbs of Dragonkind, or parts of them:
- The gold dragon Mengkare, ruler of the isolated island of Hermea, has presented each visiting ambassador from Andoran, Druma, and Taldor with a sliver of golden crystal. There are reports of other visitors being gifted with similar items. The dragon claims these are shards of an Orb of Dragonkind. If so, the dragon presumably still holds the rest of the pieces.
- The journals of Pathfinder Ivdra Zarroka describe "a storm of fury and ice locked within an orb" as part of a massive mammoth-shaped zoic fetish among the Ice Chasm Following of the Tusk Mountains. This totem was formed from the mammoth mount of Loakzeem, Jaikzam, who fell in battle against the white dragon Zeidz.
- An Orb of Red Dragonkind formed from the soul of the ancient red dragon Baelgoroth is known to be in the possession of the storm giant warlord Volstus, who has been using it dominate red dragons to bolster his armies.
- The Song of the Dawning Star was owned by Sheiheth Rafzammi of Thuvia until her death in 4707 AR. She bequeathed it to her nephew Raffiet, who attempted to deliver it to the copper dragon Mierusildas near Glasswall Isle via caravan from Pashow; however, the caravan and Orb were lost to a sandstorm.
- The massive Stormsheart, more than 250 feet in diameter, is locked within the vaults of Erebus and emits the deafening screams of more than 1,000 blue dragon souls sacrificed within. Unlike other Orbs, Stormsheart allows those who can avoid being driven to madness by the tormented souls of the dragons within it to detect and control any blue dragon alive.
Lesser Orbs of Dragonkind
There are other, less powerful, Orbs of Dragonkind in existence and legend, for instance:
- An Orb of Dragonkin grants its wielder power over other members of the dragon family besides true dragons, such as drakes, wyverns, dragon turtles, kongamatos, faerie dragons, pseudodragons, gorynyches, jabberwocks, linnorms, spine dragons, and tatzlwyrms.
- An Orb of Dragon Mastery allows its wielder to control dragons like a true Orb of Dragonkind, but possesses less power and half the range of the more powerful artifact. Its power can be increased by steeping it in the blood of a recently killed dragon.
- An Orb of Dragonshape allows its wielder to temporarily take the shape of a specific type of true dragon.
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 32–35. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 32. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 33. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 34–35. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- Jim Groves. (2015). NPC Gallery. Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen, p. 58–59. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-728-4
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 33–34. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0