Recalling the powerful Elven high magic that created the legendary mythals, the Spellguard of Silverymoon has developed the ability to create lasting magical effects tied to specific areas. They hope that one day their research will lead them to rediscover the secrets of the mythals, but for now they are content to help guard their city with these persistent dweomers.
In order to weave a ward, the character must know the Weave Ward feat found in Chapter Five.
A ward is first created by ritually preparing the object to be warded and then creating a Ward Pool. The Ward Pool is a storehouse of magical energy from which the ward draws its power. After selecting the object to be warded, the mage must cleanse it of any arcane essences it may possess. This could be spell residue from a nearby battle or current enchantments. Any magical essence or impurity will cause the ward weaving to fail; thus magic items cannot be warded in this way. This cleansing requires one full day and many costly components, regardless of the size of the object. The mage may do nothing else strenuous during the cleansing ritual. Spellcasting, combat, and other such activities cause the cleansing to fail and the material components to be wasted, although the XP cost does not have to be paid. Cleansed objects retain their suitability for ward weaving indefinitely, but if a spell or spell-like ability is used within 100' they pick up faint traces of the arcane energies used and are rendered unusable.
The mage then determines the specific powers he would like the ward to have and the ward's size. This is known as the endowment. The following spells can be tied to a ward:
0- detect magic, detect poison, resistance
1- alarm, comprehend languages, detect undead, endure elements, protection from chaos/evil/good/law
2- detect thoughts, protection from arrows, resist elements, see invisibility
3- nondetection, protection from elements, tongues
4- detect scrying, dimensional anchor
5- dismissal, rary's telepathic bond
6- analyze dweomer, antimagic field, gate seal, lesser ironguard, repulsion, true seeing
7- banishment, sequester, spell turning
8- mind blank, protection from spells
Spells protect the warded area and anyone holding an appropriate ward token. Therefore, a warded bridge with Protection from Elements would be guarded from a mage's fireball as would be the bridge captain that carried the ward's token, but anyone else on the bridge would suffer the full effect of the spell even if they were within the ward's area. In the case of Divination spells such as detect thoughts or tongues, the abilities can be transferred to all willing token bearers within the warded area.
A ward's area is set to a 30' radius from the focal point. This radius can be increased in 30' increments, but each such increase adds +1 to the character's Ward Pool Multiplier.
The Ward Pool
After the cleansing ritual and the endowment have been performed, the mage imbues the object with arcane energies to sustain and power the ward's effects. These energies are known as a Ward Pool. In order to function, a ward must draw magical energy from its Ward Pool at all times. A Ward Pool has an initial strength equal to the level of the character weaving the ward. This may be increased by a number equal to the character's level, at a cost of +1 to the Ward Pool Multiplier for every such increase. Thus, an 8th level character could create a ward with a strength of 24 for +2 to his Ward Pool Multiplier.
The Ward Pool strength affects its ability to protect the warded area as well as its resistance to dispelling attempts. Any dispel check made against the ward uses its current strength instead of your caster level to determine the DC of the check. A successful dispel check does not completely destroy the ward, however, it only suppresses it for 1d4 rounds and drains five strength points from the Ward Pool.
If a Ward Pool's strength is drained to zero or less for any reason the ward becomes inert. If it is not recharged above zero within one round it will collapse and be forever destroyed. There are several ways in which a Ward Pool's strength can be drained:
· Conferring an ability or protection: 1 strength point per spell level (0-level spells count as ½ level, but a ward drops any remainders at the end of each day)
· Activating a greater ability*: 5 strength points
· Being targeted by a successful dispel magic: 5 strength points
· Upkeep: 1 strength point per spell effect (not spell level) and 2 strength points per greater ability per week.
*Greater abilities are discussed under the Spellguard prestige class entry.
A Ward Pool can be recharged by anyone holding a spelltoken keyed to that ward. It is a standard action that does provoke attacks of opportunity. The token bearer must touch the warded object and will the arcane energies locked in his mind into it. He may transfer strength points to the Ward Pool by sacrificing prepared spells. The Ward Pool is given one strength point for each sacrificed spell level, and the mage may transfer a maximum number of spell levels equal to his class level in each round. There is no limit to the total amount of transfer, although a wizard or sorcerer cannot transfer more spell levels than he currently has memorized.
Ward tokens are specially inscribed stones or metal discs that establish a mental link between a ward and the token's owner. A token must be bound to its owner upon creation, and thereafter can never be used by another creature. There are two types of ward tokens commonly in use by the defenders of Silverymoon, although rumors of more powerful tokens are spoken in knowledgeable circles.
Waretokens are the more mundane type of ward tokens and are generally given to gate guards and the Knights in Silver who patrol the areas around each ward. These are generally made of flat bronze discs formed in the shape of an oval and imprinted with arcane writing. A waretoken has three primary abilities. The first is to alert the bearer when one of the ward's detection spells has been triggered. This function has a range of one mile per current strength point of the Ward Pool. The second is to allow the bearer to determine the ward's current strength. Activating this ability requires one full round of concentration while within the ward's area. The third is to confer limited access to the spell protections of the ward. Waretoken bearers may activate any of the following abilities, if present: comprehend languages, endure elements, protection from arrows, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, protection from elements, resistance, resist elements, see invisibility, tongues, and true seeing.
Spelltokens, the other type, allow their wielders much more power over the ward, but they may only be used by arcane spellcasters. These tokens are generally made of thin strips of silver wrapped with bands of electrum. Like waretokens, these small devices alert the bearer when one of the ward's detection spells has been triggered and allow the bearer to monitor the ward's strength. They also allow the bearer control over any magical effects stored in the ward. Thus, the bearer of a spelltoken could target a gate seal or utilize a detect thoughts. Finally, a spelltoken grants its bearer immunity to any active greater abilities of the ward. Thus, the bearer could still cast Evocation spells even if there was an active Evocation Ban.
Destroying a Ward
A ward can be permanently destroyed by completely draining its Ward Pool, as noted above. Spells like Limited Wish, Miracle, Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Unravel Ward and Wish will all destroy a ward if the warded object is targeted. Also, moving the warded object outside the ward's protected area will immediately drain it of all magical properties. The warded object can be freely moved around the warded area as long as it does not leave it, but this does not change the warded area's size or location.
Wards of Silverymoon
Silverymoon has the most complete system of wards in all of Faerun, which is fitting since the techniques for their creation were discovered here. The Spellguard dedicates much of its time to maintaining the city's wards and researching new techniques in order to improve their creation. They hope one day to be able to weave wards that rival the power of the mythals of lost cities such as Myth Drannor and Myth Nantar.
There are six major wards protecting the city of Silverymoon. Every six months the wards are rewoven to keep enemies guessing which powers each ward has. If a ward takes major damage or is used in a large battle, it may be rewoven as a security measure, rather than being recharged normally.
Typically there will be one waretoken and one spelltoken bearer in the proximity of a ward at all times. In times of trouble this number can double or even triple and will also include at least one member of the Spellguard.
In addition to the wards described below, minor wards also protect many abodes and businesses within Silverymoon. The city is full of mages, who not only protect their own things but also sell their services to eager patrons. Very few of the temples and shrines within the city are protected by wards, however, as the clergy prefer to rely on their own vigilance and the blessings of their deities to defend their property.
This ward protects the gate leading west out of the city and is adjacent to the Goodman's District. The presence of a large contingent of the Knights in Silver does not deter the Spellguard from maintaining a powerful ward here. The constant threat of troll and giant incursions from the Evermoor as well as the trafficking of illegal goods into the seedy area of town makes it necessary to keep their guard up at all times.
Spells: detect poison, protection from elements, repulsion, tongues
Abilities: Illusion Ban, Summon Golem
Hunter's Gate Ward
This ward protects the northern gate into the city, the focal point of the occasional horde attack. Its proximity to the Market and the Palace District makes it imperative that this gate be well protected. Most travelling merchants and caravans enter by this gate as well.
Spells: alarm, comprehend languages, detect magic, detect poison, protection from arrows, protection from elements, rary's telepathic bond
Abilities: Illusion Ban, Trigger: protection from arrows
Sundabar Gate Ward
Also called the Palace Gate for its proximity to the High Palace and its dressed up appearance for welcoming foreign dignitaries, this gate is the most heavily warded of the four gate wards. A contingent of Knights in Silver is always stationed here, as well as extra Spellguard and a unit of the Shining Host.
Spells: alarm, detect thoughts, dimensional anchor, protection from elements, protection from spells, resistance, spell turning, tongues, true seeing
Abilities: Transmutation Ban, Trigger: protection from elements
New Gate Ward
This ward sits on the north side of the Rauvin, just across the Moonbridge. It combines with the Moonbridge Ward to provide an excellent defense for the Old City.
Spells: protection from arrows, protection from elements, rary's telepathic bond, spell turning
Abilities: Illusion Ban, Summon Golem
The Moonbridge is only minorly warded, mostly to prevent its destruction and prevent invaders who would not be stopped by its inherent defensive properties.
Spells: banishment, dimensional anchor, gate seal, repulsion, true seeing
Abilities: Evocation Ban
The High Palace is guarded by a group of wards, some of which overlap to provide extra security. Each ward is stronger than any of the gate wards and contains a great deal of powers. At least an 18th level wizard created each of them, and some are rumored to hold powers not available to normal wards. Individuals are encouraged to create their own wards for the palace and all its levels, but keep in mind that this is the most impregnable fortress in the North and the home of Alustriel, one of the Seven Sisters and a Chosen of Mystra.
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