Regalia of Might

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The fictional Regalia of Might are nine powerful artifacts in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, said to have been made by the gods before the dawn of humanity. They are composed of three sets of three artifacts each: the Regalia of Good, the Regalia of Neutrality, and the Regalia of Evil. The three artifacts in each set consist of a crown, an orb, and a scepter.

Each artifact has considerable magic powers on its own; the powers of each individual item grow greater if the wearer has more than one item of the same set. If Regalia of Good and Evil are combined, the result is an explosion. If one of the Regalia of Neutrality is combined with the Regalia of Good or Evil, a rift is torn in the fabric of the universe, leading to either the Upper Planes or Lower Planes, as appropriate, sucking the unfortunate wearer into the gap and vanishing.

All three sets of artifacts are cloaked by an illusion that makes them look identical unless carried by a creature of the appropriate alignment and of sufficient power to wield them, although the possessor of one of the Regalia has the ability to see all other Regalia of Might in their true form as well. Otherwise the crowns appear to be made of gold and red velvet, studded with precious gems; the orbs, each the size of a melon, are blue and red and set with a ring of pearls; the rods are iron-shod staves with carved knobs at the top. They look staggeringly expensive, but in this form it is impossible to tell them apart.

Their true forms, manifest when carried by an appropriate wielder, are described below:

Publication history[edit]

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)[edit]

The Crowns, Orbs, and Scepters first appeared in the fourth supplement to the original D&D rules, Eldritch Wizardry (1976).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

The Crown of Might, Orb of Might, and Scepter of Might were also mentioned in the original 1979 Dungeon Master's Guide.[2]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

The Regalia of Might were further developed in 1993's Book of Artifacts.[3]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000-2008)[edit]

The Regalia of Evil, Regalia of Good, and the Regalia of Neutrality appeared in the Arms and Equipment Guide (2003), on page 151-154.[4] The Regalia of Evil appeared in the Book of Vile Darkness (2002),[5] and the Regalia of Good appeared in the Book of Exalted Deeds (2003).[6]

The Regalia of Good[edit]

The gods of good hold their Regalia collectively, keeping them available to any benign deity who has need of it. The gods of Good do not lose them, though they may be stolen by the forces of Evil. Normally they are either being stored on the Outer Planes or lent out to a chosen champion.

The Regalia of Good can in theory be destroyed if they are smelted down on the forges of the deities who fashioned them, if each artifact has the Ten-Thousand Secrets of Destruction whispered over it, or if the gods in general all die off.

The Crown of Good[edit]

The Crown of Good is a thin coronet of twisted silver (or mithral), decorated with amazingly detailed gold laurel leaves. When worn by a good-aligned creature, the crown glows so brilliantly that it obscures the wearer's face.

The Orb of Good[edit]

The Orb of Good is a sphere of clear crystal about the size of a cannonball, encased in a cage of gold laurel leaves. It is light and easy to carry despite its size.

The Scepter of Good[edit]

The Scepter of Good is a slender rod of polished crystal (or mithral) intertwined with vines of silver and gold and topped with a gem that blazes with a brilliant white light.

The Regalia of Neutrality[edit]

The neutral gods have agreed that each of them can use the Regalia for a period of time before passing them to another. During their delegated time, each god had absolute control over the Regalia. Their appearance usually heralds some great purpose on the parts of the gods of Neutrality (perhaps only to prevent conflict between Good and Evil, or merely to judge which side is the victor in the current contest), although they, too, may occasionally be stolen by those of Evil.

Greyhawk Ruins mentions an orb, crown, and scepter of artifact-level power that once sat in Castle Greyhawk's temple of Boccob. Given Boccob's alignment, is seems likely that these were the Regalia of Neutrality.

The Regalia of Neutrality are prophesied to vanish when Good and Evil reach a perfect stalemate. They can also be destroyed by being immersed for a 1,000 years in the Positive and Negative Energy Planes. They could also lose power if purchased from the gods of Neutrality.

The Crown of Neutrality[edit]

The Crown of Neutrality is carved from a single piece of polished smoky quartz. The face of the wearer is concealed behind a shimmering smoky veil that emanates from the Crown.

The Orb of Neutrality[edit]

The Orb of Neutrality is a sphere of smoky crystal within a cage of green jade.

The Scepter of Neutrality[edit]

The Scepter of Neutrality is a rod almost as long as a staff, made of smoky quartz with flashes of white and blood-red light within. A thin trail of smoke trails from the tip.

The Regalia of Evil[edit]

If an evil god wants to make use of the Regalia, he, she, or it must take it from another god by trickery or force. As a result, these are the most contested Regalia, used as much by fiends in the Blood War as by Evil's champions against Good and Neutrality. Over the years, the three Regalia of Evil have become separated and sometimes lost.

The Regalia of Evil are destroyed if the powers of Good utterly conquer the forces of Evil. It is said they could also be destroyed by being buried at the heart of the Positive Energy Plane, or if the evil gods are tricked into destroying them themselves.

The Crown of Evil[edit]

The Crown of Evil is forged from a single piece of coarse black iron, cast to resemble ugly flames. When worn by an evil creature, the iron flames blaze with reddish light and magic fire, concealing the wearer's face. The Crown of Evil is rumored to be currently worn by the death knight Prince Myrhal of Rax.

The Orb of Evil[edit]

The Orb of Evil is a crude, pitted and scarred iron sphere, bound in equally crude-looking chains. At the slightest touch, red sparks fly from the orb.

The Rod of Evil[edit]

The Rod of Evil is an iron staff draped with chains. A heatless red flame burns at the tip.

History[edit]

In the Age before Ages, the many powers struggled for supremacy. Many mortal worlds were devastated by the wars started by the gods who used mortals as their pawns. In time, some of the wiser powers decided that destroying their own worshipper base wasn't a good long-term strategy.

As a back-up plan, the gods decided to group themselves into three teams: Good, Neutrality, and Evil, and make artifacts to give to a champion of each team. The theory seems to have been that three champions decked out in uber-artifacts could satisfyingly fight each other without causing as much damage as entire worlds full of divine pawns would in a slaughter-everyone free-for-all. That was the theory, anyway, although obviously the Regalia of Might don't represent the only way the various alignments have contested over the eons.

The gods of Good chose their three greatest craftsmen to create their Regalia, who worked in harmony for the good of all.

The gods of Neutrality held a competition among them to determine who could create the best three artifacts; the finest were chosen to be used by Neutrality's champion.

The gods of Evil decided that whoever came forth with three appropriate artifacts after a certain amount of time would have the right to choose what the champion of Evil would bear. While some of them competed self-servingly to craft items that would serve their own purposes best, others cheated and stole to take artifacts from one another. At the end of the period, a trickster god appeared with three artifacts that had been procured from... somewhere... and proudly demanded the honor of outfitting Evil's champion. Needless to say, this worked out horribly for all involved, which I suppose was the point.

Publishing history[edit]

The Regalia of Might first appeared in Eldritch Wizardry for the original D&D game, where they were referred to simply as "the Crowns, Orbs, and Sceptres." There were said to be a set for each alignment, which in the original D&D game were Law, Neutrality and Chaos. The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide (1979) listed the Crowns of Might, Orbs of Might, and Sceptres of Might separately, saying there were three of each divided into the ethical alignments of Good, Neutrality, and Evil.

The Encyclopedia Magica Volume 3 included a version of the Regalia of Might, ostensibly based on the ones in Eldritch Wizardry but much more detailed, with nine full sets, one for each of the nine AD&D alignments, so there was an Orb of Lawful Good, an Orb of Lawful Neutral, and so on.

The powers of the Regalia of Might vary considerably from source to source. Myrhal's Crown in Dragon #291, which the article says is rumored to be the Crown of Evil, renders its wearer invisible at will, allows thought detection, and can haste the wearer for a limited time each day. In Book of Artifacts, the Crown of Evil allows the wearer to animate dead three times a day, gives them the strength of a giant, and renders them unable to answer any question truthfully. The Crown of Neutral Evil in the Encyclopedia Magica bestows infravision, clairvoyance, and the ability to conjure elementals. In the Arms and Equipment Guide (2003), the Crown of Evil gives the ability to create a burst of hellfire, a wall of normal fire, or to make their face resemble that of a viewer's loved one, also mentioning the wearer's inability to tell the truth.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary; Blume, Brian (1976), D&D Supplement IV: Eldritch Wizardry, Lake Geneva WI: TSR, pp. 43–44 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary (1979), Dungeon Masters Guide, Lake Geneva WI: TSR 
  3. ^ Cook, David. Book of Artifacts. (TSR, 1993)
  4. ^ Cagle, Eric, Jesse Decker, Jeff Quick, Rich Redman, and James Wyatt. Arms and Equipment Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  5. ^ Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002
  6. ^ Wyatt, James, Darrin Drader, and Christopher Perkins. Book of Exalted Deeds. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003

Additional reading[edit]

  • Cagle, Eric, Jesse Decker, Jeff Quick, and James Wyatt. Arms and Equipment Guide. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.
  • Holian, Gary. "Demogorgon's Champions: The Death Knights of Oerth, part 2." Dragon #291. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2002.
  • slade and Doug Stewart. Encyclopedia Magica Volume 3. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.