Quintessence Array

Quintessence Array
General information
TypeWondrous item
RarityArtifact[1]
Materials
  • Leather
  • Brass-like metal
Historical information
CreatedBefore 585 PD
Created byLudinus Da'leth
Owners
StatusRepaired[2]

A Quintessence Array is a magical device that can transfer the essence from a source into an individual.

The array created by Ludinus Da'leth is a harness that he used to drain life from creatures to extend his life. It did so in a mimicry of druidic magic, though by draining from nature rather than binding with it. Ludinus used it to consume eight fey creatures before abandoning it in his tower during the fall of Molaesmyr in 585 PD. It was rediscovered by Team Wildemount in 843 PD.

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The Quintessence Array crafted by Ludinus Da'leth is a harness is worn around the torso and is constructed like a vest or "a half-piece" of armor. It is made of a dark-stained leather, and its metallic pieces are heavy and have a brass-gold color, though the characters handling the item were not sure of the specific metal.[3] The harness has an funnel-like piece at the back, near the base of the neck between the shoulder blades.[4] This funnel has a diamond-shaped opening and extends about two and a half inches from the harness.[5] It is identifiably of elven make and is inscribed with older runes.[6]

By 843 PD, during Campaign 3, it appeared to be barely used. It was described as very well-made and extremely well-crafted.[3]

Properties[edit | edit source]

A Quintessence Array siphons magical energy from a creature, item, or location, such as fey or a fane, to infuse that magic into the wearer and extend their lifespan. It does so by funneling the magical essence into the wearer's body into the "root" of their connection to natural magic at the base of their neck. The process takes a number of minutes. This is a "synthetic recreation" of druidic magics in which a druid's life is extended by binding with nature and giving in to natural magic.[5][7][4][8]

Absorbing the raw magical power of a target has the potential to kill the wearer if they are not of the same essence as the target (i.e. also fey). Adaptation runes could be inscribed onto the wearer to prevent the wearer's death; the harness is attuned to specific runes, apparently inscribed on Ludinus Da'leth, though this could be altered by a skilled enchanter. The harness will also destroy an insufficiently powerful target, such as a fey that is less powerful than an archfey.[8]

The combination of magic involved in the item arguably should make it unstable, but they are balanced.[6] Creating an array requires an intense level of skill, and even an accomplished mage like Allura Vysoren cannot create one.[9] The array created by Ludinus still gave off a faint magical essence under Detect Magic even when it was no longer functioning.[10]

When activated, any non-artifact magic item placed in the array's funnel for a minute will be permanently stripped of its enchantment. The benefits conferred onto the wearer depends on the rarity of the item:[11]

  • Common: 5 temporary hit points
  • Uncommon: 10 temporary hit points
  • Rare: hit point maximum is permanently increased by 2, and attack rolls and ability checks have advantage until the end of a long rest
  • Very rare: hit point maximum is permanently increased by 5, and attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks have advantage until the end of a long rest
  • Legendary: an ability score dependent on the item and its maximum is permanently increased by 2

Some powerful items may confer further benefits. Additionally, if a creature with powerful magical essence is touching the funnel for a minute, they are sapped of all magical abilities for the next 24 hours; this confers to the wearer a unique magical benefit, which varies depending on the creature, that lasts until the end of a long rest. If the creature is touching the array for an hour, they are destroyed and the wearer gains a permanent benefit. A wearer can gain a benefit from the harness only once per long rest, and using the harness more than once in 24 hours leads to 20% chance (cumulative per additional use) that the harness will break.[11]

Siphoned creatures[edit | edit source]

Creature Temporary effect Permanent effects
Willmaster Edmuda Can cast Dominate Person once until next long rest[12]

History[edit | edit source]

Before Campaign 3[edit | edit source]

Attempts to build Quintessence Arrays (or more basic power stills) have occurred throughout Exandrian history. They are typically crafted by those with bad intentions and have caused "fantastic tragedy".[9]

Ludinus created his Quintessence Array while living in Molaesmyr. He used it to consume eight fey creatures in Wildemount. He needed to do so at least once every number of years, and he planned to expand his sources into the Feywild.[5] Ludinus stored the harness inside a Bag of Holding that he hid in a magically concealed cache at Gildhollow Tower. When the city was consumed by blight in 585 PD, he fled and left the bag behind.[13]

Campaign 3: Bells Hells[edit | edit source]

Team Wildemount of Bells Hells found the bag in 843 PD,[13] and Chetney Pock O'Pea dumped out its contents, including the harness and related hidden notes. Using Detect Magic, Deanna Leimert identified the harness as magical and was able to read the notes. The group learned that the harness allowed the wearer to consume magical creatures in a "synthetic recreation of the powerful natural magics that sustain the venerable wardens of the wilds" and that Ludinus was using it to consume fey creatures to "feed the root".[5]

Upon returning to Jrusar, Fresh Cut Grass cast Identify on the harness and learned that the group had been holding the harness backward. They also learned that the enchantment is non-functioning, damaged either by time or by the blight.[7] Chetney brought it to Ajit Dayal in the hopes of learning more about it, but it was beyond both Ajit and Daramon, an elderly scholar at Dayal Hall.[14]

Bells Hells showed the harness and notes to Keyleth in Zephrah. She clarified that the harness mimicked druidic magic and explained that the root Ludinus spoke of was an Ashari concept in which the center of one's connection to nature is the core, or root, of one's being. This root was often believed to be at the base of the neck.[4] The party and Keyleth went to Yios the following day to see if Dancer could repair the harness, and she recommended they bring it to Imahara Joe, then joined them as they teleported to Bassuras.[15]

Joe, Dancer, and Verna examined the harness and understood greater specifics about how it worked, notably the potential to destroy the target or the host when certain conditions are not met (see § Properties for more details). Joe felt that the harness' attunement to a specific inscription could be altered by a skilled enchanter. Though he felt such work beyond him, he believed could do so with two to three weeks of time—less with help from Dancer and Verna—and replacement materials like special metals, magical focuses, and amplifiers, including residuum. As the three were on the run after an encounter with Ratanish earlier in the day, Bells Hells suggested working on the harness in Whitestone with help from Percival de Rolo[8] and left them with the harness and Keyleth to travel there.[16]

After Bells Hells acquired a spark of Rau'shan in the Shattered Teeth, they realized they needed to harness to transfer its essence into one of the group.[17] They returned to Whitestone, where Imahara Joe, Dancer, Verna, Percy, and Allura Vysoren had all managed to repair it. Allura provided them with some broad information about its properties and warned them that using it on living things was incredibly immoral.[18] Bells Hells tested the newly repaired array on Chetney, using an enchanted fork from Whitestone Castle. Chetney also developed an understanding of how the device worked from this experiment.[19] The following day, Ashton used the harness to absorb the spark of Rau'shan, at great risk to themself.[20] While he died and was revived from the Ring of Temporal Salvation in the process, the absorption initially appeared successful,[21] though the shard not long after rejected him.[22] Fearne initially took the harness with the intent to destroy it, but Chetney prevented her from doing so.[23] She later reconsidered and chose to absorb the shard herself, using the array. The process was successful.[24]

Orym used the array to siphon away Willmaster Edmuda's powers so that Bells Hells could interrogate her. He gained a single use of the spell Dominate Person, which he cast on her.[12] Chetney then used Grim Psychometry on the device, and had a vision of Ludinus using it to siphon away the life force of a chained fey creature in his tower while servants watched.[25] The following day, Laudna used it to siphon the Ring of Life Awareness the party had looted from Edmuda.[26]

References[edit | edit source]