The Orb of Bluestride is the only remaining token of the third-greatest Archmage in Ximaxian history: Xarl Bluestride. Evidently unwilling to leave Ximax without some way to influence and defend it in the future, he created this crystal sphere, capable of giving advice to the Ximaxians to follow him.

The Orb of Bluestride
View picture in full size Image description: The famous Orb of Xarl Bluestride, representing the last remaining token of the third-greatest Archmage in Ximaxian history. Picture drawn by Erelen.

Appearance. The Orb of Bluestride appears much as the man himself did in life - as a grey and blue enigma. The orb has silvery and azure mists floating within it, which transform themselves into an approximation of the archmage's face when the orb is activated. Said face is often seen with an expression of annoyance, as if even Bluestride's misty manifestation is mildly angered by being taken from whatever work it was doing. Return to the top

Abilities. The Orb, once activated by contact with one of the Eleven Staffs, summons some fraction of Bluestride's mind to offer his wisdom and advice on whatever is troubling the Orb's user. Out of respect for the dead (?) archmage[1], the Orb is only used if a critical decision is deadlocked, or if a severe crisis is on the horizon. Bluestride's phantom can usually be depended on to provide objective decisions, but it suffers from lack of information just like all the other members of the conclave.
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History. The records tell us that the Orb of Bluestride was created in 618 b.S. Archmage of Light Xarl Bluestride reasoned that he had done what work he could for Ximax (the Magical Institute having been mostly rebuilt), but he wanted to leave behind a way to advise future Ximaxians. Shortly after the Orb's completion, Bluestride set off towards the Etherial Void; no contact from him since.

The Orb was first used in 617 b.S.: The Conclave of the Archmagi, deadlocked over whether to provide assistance to Milkengrad in its defense against the Alliance of the Red, consults the Orb. Bluestride's phantom wisely pointed out that they still lacked several of the Eleven Staffs, and that the dark elves in the Shivering Woods would pounce on any chance to attack Ximax once weakened. The Orb's wisdom was heeded; Milkengrad fell far faster than the Archmagi had predicted, causing great anger for the Milkengradian magi, but cooler heads noted that by the time reinforcements could have arrived, the city would have already fallen. The dark elves of the Shivering Woods attempted an attack, and in the resulting attack were routed. The Black Staff is reclaimed from their leader.
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[1] The archmage is presumed dead, after the centuries he has been absent from Ximax, but Khaelvan II insisted that the Orb actually connected to the living man's mind. Due to some natural uneasiness about attempting to prove or disprove this, no conclave has ever been able to escape deadlock over this particular issue. For obvious reasons, the Orb is not used in these cases. [return]

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