The actualy physical description of the Talisman is not widely known. There are few who saw it and they died long ago. It's creator was careful to conceal the object in many ways. There are even those who claimed that he used magic so that the sight of the Talisman itself would not last long in the mind.
The Jaidor Talisman appears is a head piece, part crown and part helmet, fashioned from pure crystal. It has several spike like projections, three to either side. Churning light glows from within illuminating every part of it. The effect is so beautiful as to charm and stun weak willed creatures.
During the Great War, the ruling nobles of the Irenni League sought greater and greater weapons to use against the Thullian Empire. And so they turned to their most gifted sorcerer, the archmage Jaidor. He worked for seven months on the development of a weapon which would win the war. It was to be his greatest single creation, the crown jewel of a long and illustrious career. And thus, he named it for himself. The Jaidor Talisman… a talisman of potent energies. This device was kept so secret, we still do not know what it looks like to this day. We only know this glyph appears on it:
He took fifty of the League’s finest warriors. Using the device, he called forth dweomers such as none had seen before. With these energies, he ensorcelled the men. And they began to change. Before the eyes of those present, the 50 men lost all form. Their bodies melted to nothingness and then rose from the void as shapeless, wailing things. When the spell was done, they were no longer human. They were… shape shifters. And so the first generation of morphians was born.
When Jaidor unveiled the morphians to the nobles of the League, they were pleased. The morphians were powerful. They could assume any shape. They could get into any building to obtain any information or slay any foe. They were the perfect thieves, spies, and assassins. The nobles eagerly paid Jaidor for the use of these creatures and sent them forth on many errands of chaos and bloodshed. It did not take long for the morphians to become known to the empire. They were greatly feared and they struck terror into the Empire for years into the war.
History records these facts: that the Irenni League sorcerers created the morphians and that the man most directly responsible for their creation was a mage named Jaidor. But few people know of the nature of their creation. Few know of the Talisman.
And fewer still know the relationship between the shape-shifters and Talisman.
The Talisman granted its user control over the shape-shifters. The morphians obeyed the power of the Talisman. They obeyed the master's bidding. They were unable to resist. In some ways, the morphians were little more than slaves. No… they were less than slaves. They were puppets. Mere extensions of the Talisman.
To ensure that the morphians would never attempt to destroy that which held them in slavery, Jaidor bound the Talisman to the morphians in life and in death. He enchanted the Talisman such that if it were ever destroyed, the entire race of the morphians would die. With this enchantment in place, the morphians were helpless.
As the war progressed, the nobles demanded that Jaidor use the Talisman to create more of the shape-shifters. Not wanting to sacrifice their own soldiers, the nobles used criminals and prisoners of war for the procedure. Many nobles were given tokens from the Talisman which let them control their own morphians without having to rely on Jaidor and the Talisman. Although it is widely believed that Jaidor would never have sacrificed complete control and that the Talisman superceded any such tokens.
As the Thullian empire began to crumble, conflict arose over the spoils of war. In order to capture more of the wealth flowing into Irenni coffers, many nobles started using their personal morphians to spy on each other. This was the beginning of the end of the Irenni League. As the League began to crumble, there came to be a morphian who was not bound to the Talisman. His name was Aracles. Many historians have proposed explanations for his unique quality. Some suggest the aberration of Drellis caused the magic in his creation to go awry. Perhaps Jaidor foresaw the nobles feuding and this was his answer. The truth is, no one is sure. It does not matter any more. What matters is that this one morphian was able to resist the influence of the Talisman. One morphian. But in the end, it only took one.
This morphian used his advantage and shape-shifting abilities to free a dozen other morphians. They returned to the Irenni League and started a rebellion. In a terrible battle, many Irenni nobles and military leaders were slain. And they beheaded Jaidor, the father of their race and the man who had made them slaves. In the end, they had captured the Talisman.
Aracles knew that their victory was a precarious one at best. His group of free-willed morphians was small. There were many other morphians, but these poor souls were bound to their masters' tokens. And try as they might, Aracles group could not comprehend the arcane spells involved with its control. (The morphians had been forbidden to learn magic).
The Irenni nobles who held tokens would soon be fighting over the Talisman not wanting to relinquish control of their shape-shifters. And as long as the Talisman existed, the morphians faced the possibility of losing their freedom. But he could not destroy the Talisman without destroying his brethren. Although they could not control the Talisman themselves, they could ensure that no one else did.
It was decided that the Talisman would be taken far away. Further than any spell could track. Beyond the scrying of mages. Beyond the sight of gods. It was to be hidden for all time where none would find it.
Aracles assembled a company of volunteers. With the blessing of their brethren, this fellowship took the Talisman and sailed east. They intended to hide the Talisman away from the world, to bury it deep in distant lands. To surround it with spells and traps such that no one, morphian or otherwise, would ever be able to retrieve it. They did not return. Although some Irenni nobles set sail in a desperate attempt to find the Talisman, nothing of Aracles or his followers has ever been seen since.
The lesser powers of the Jaidor Talisman may be commanded by anyone who might possess the Talisman. According to ancient texts, the Talisman has the following lesser powers:
Harm/Heal - The talisman can cause a variety of wounds, but also has a wide spectrum of healing functions. This function can be performed
Cause/Cure Disease - The Talisman can both inflict and cure many disease.
Alter Creature - The Talisman can alter a living creature. The Talisman can grant a creature gills, wings, extra arms and so forth. Hair color, eye color, skin color, height, weight can all easily be changed.
Polymorph - The Talisman has a number of polymorphic functions allowing the user to polymorph a creature into another species.
The full powers of the Jaidor Talisman may never be known. It is likely that only Jaidor himself could evoke the full awesome sorcery imbued in this crystal crown. According to legend, there are a number of greater powers that the Talisman possess and that Jaidor himself was witnessed using. Some of these may have been exaggerated or only available to Jaidor. It is likely that these powers would only reveal themselves to a mage of exceptional power and intelligence... and only after much work and research has been performed.
Slay Living - The Talisman can instantly slay a living creature. This function is useable once per day.
Restore Life - The Talisman can restore life to a dead creature. The chance of success depends on how long the creature or person has been dead. Usable once per week.
Create Disease - The Talisman can create whole new diseases. Requires several days of tinkering with the Talisman. This power is usable once per week.
Spawn Creature - The Talisman can create creatures from nothingness and imbue them with intelligence. Supposedly there was a list of possible creatures that the Talisman could create. A list of "recipes" that Jaidor had imbued the Talisman with, although no records of such a list exist. This power can be performed only once per week and only one creature can be created.
Create Life - The greatest function of the Talisman is the creation of life itself. It actually involves a whole set of related powers. By working with the Talisman for weeks at a time and harnessing its most intricate powers, whole new species can be created. This is a delicate and difficult power to command. It typically takes weeks or months of work and even then, the result may go awry. Jaidor is known to have used this greater power several times over the course of a few years. It was, in fact, this power of the Talisman which eventually resulted in the creation of the morphian race.
The Jaidor Talisman functions only during a Drellis dominant phase.
This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.