Ring of Aquil'iya

Aquil’iya, intelligent ring of water elemental command

This ring is a pink coral band set with three pure white
pearls arranged in a triangle. The pearl that sits at the
apex of the triangle is about twice the size of its smaller
brethren. The band bears elaborate swirling designs
that are inlaid with platinum. A successful Appraise
check (DC 15) reveals the ring is worth 500 gp.

In truth, the ring is a powerful minor artifact forged with
the aid of Pelagia (the goddess of water). It was created
along with three other rings of elemental command
(earth, air, and fire) to aid the surface elves in a bloody
war against the drow. Collectively, the rings were
dubbed the Melosiran Rings (after Melosira, one of the
archmages who assisted in their creation), and tipped
the war in the surface elves’ favor. But when the drow
were finally driven back to the depths of the earth, each
deity retrieved the ring that it had helped forge, and
granted it to loyal followers scattered about the whole of
Áereth to defend the balance. Alas, the rings were lost
as the years went by. Some were taken from owners
who fell in battle, while others were simply passed from
generation to generation, their true value forgotten.

Aquil’iya was originally given to a charismatic elven paladin
named Glenloriana Silverhelm. Following the drow
crusades, she wore the ring for almost 100 years before
meeting her untimely end. The ring lay undisturbed in
her vault for several centuries. Glenloriana’s heir finally
discovered the importance of the ring, and recovered it
from the vault. The ring was used to help a clan of
dwarves battle a fearsome red dragon, but the wielder
was defeated and the ring lay forgotten, becoming just
another trinket in the dragon’s vast hoard. A few more
centuries passed before the ring was swiped by an imp
familiar, who managed to keep the ring hidden from its
wizard master. The diminutive devil never comprehended
the true value of the ring, and ended up trading the
ring for its life to a band of orc brigands. These orcs
were the original members of the White Roc tribe. They
eventually conquered Castle Whiterock and settled
there. The orcs also never understood the power of the
ring, and it was lost when the orc tribe was wiped out by
disease (released by the drow). The discarded artifact
rested in a forgotten chamber for decades until seismic
activity altered the water table and flooded the lower
caverns. Many years later, the ring was discovered by a
wayward nixie sorcerer named Nemoura while she fled
a monstrous crayfish (see area 3-12).

Aquil’iya speaks with an intoxicating sultry voice that
flows like a mountain stream. Her special purpose is to
defend her wielder … if she believes the owner’s ideals
are of neutral disposition and the cause is just (such as
defeating an absolute evil entity or organization). Keep
in mind that the ring is true neutral: If she ever fell into
the hands of an evil wielder, she would just as quickly
use her abilities to combat pure good in an effort to
maintain the ultimate balance.

She prefers elven wielders, especially those that are
devout worshippers of Pelagia. Clerics and wizards are
also preferred (since they are probably intellectually
equivalent to her); she will put up with fighter types and
rogues, but not without a condescending tone. In general,
she will tolerate most any wielder, although she
reserves sharp sarcasm for dwarven owners.

Abilities: Until activated (see below), it radiates faint
transmutation magic, and functions as a ring of water
breathing (unlike most rings of water elemental command,
which bestow water walking).

After its first activation, Aquil’iya grants its wielder
Aquan as a language and the following spell-like abilities:
detect magic, create water (at will); quench (1/day).

After its second activation, Aquil’iya’s wielder suffers a
–2 saving throw penalty against fire-based effects, a
+10 competence bonus to Swim checks, and the following
spell-like abilities: water walk (at will); dismissal
(against elementals only) (1/day). Aquil’iya itself gains
speech, telepathy, and the ability to read all languages
and read magic. It directly contacts the wielder at this
time.

After its third activation, Aquil’iya grants its wielder elemental
protection (as described in the DMG) and the
following spell-like abilities: wall of ice (1/day); ice storm
(2/week).

After its fourth and final activation, Aquil’iya grants its
wielder the following spell-like abilities: locate object
(only functions for other Melosiran Rings, but with
unlimited range) (at will); horrid wilting (1/week); control
water (2/week). Aquil’iya itself gains a special purpose
(defend wielder) and the dedicated power elemental
swarm [water].

Limitations: Any creature whose alignment is not lawful
good gains two negative levels if he or she so much
as picks up the item. Although this negative level never
results in actual level loss, it remains as long as the item
is in hand and cannot be overcome in any way (including
restoration spells). This negative level is cumulative
with any other penalties the item might already place on
inappropriate wielders.

Activating the ring is a four-step process, with each step
relating to one of the four elements. The adventurers
can learn of the activation steps from the Riddle of the
Ring (see Players Handout K), which is located in the
Halls of Forgotten Lore (area 6xx), or through sheer
dumb luck. The steps can be performed in any order,
and as each one is completed, the ring becomes more
powerful. When all four steps are performed, the ring is
fully awakened, and can use all of its abilities. Note that
when two steps are completed, the ring can speak with
its wielder and provide hints to the remaining steps of
activation. The steps are (with game mechanics
described in parentheses):

• “Bathed in the flickering tendrils of fire most hot”
(the ring is subjected to at least 50 points of magical
fire or fiery breath weapon damage, or is swallowed
by a creature with the fire subtype for at least
10 rounds).

• “Buffeted by Madrah’s powerful voice” (subjected to
gale force winds for at least 5 consecutive rounds,
or the wielder falls from a distance of 100 feet or
more).

• “Soaked in the water of the purest composition”
(this refers to water from the Elemental Plane of
Water. It can be collected from that plane, or from
the remains of a defeated water elemental of at
least Large size. Water that has been distilled with
a DC 20 Craft [alchemy] check and blessed as per
the spell is also considered water of the purest
form. The ring needs to be soaked for at least 10
minutes).

• “Firmly embraced in a stony bond” (the wearer and
ring are turned to stone or petrified for at least 10
rounds).

At the GM’s discretion, Knowledge checks or spells
(such as divination, contact other plane, or legend lore)
can be used to give the PCs hints as to the game
mechanics involved in the four activation steps.
Suggested skill checks would be: Knowledge (arcana)
DC 35, Knowledge (history) history DC 30, bardic
knowledge DC 30.

Destruction: Before it can be destroyed, Aquil’iya must
be deactivated. As each deactivation step is completed,
it progressively loses the abilities it had gained through
activation.

The methods are roughly the opposite of the activation
steps. The ring must be: subjected to at least 50 points
of magical cold or icy breath weapon damage; placed in
an area affected by an entangle spell; and soaked in
stagnant water. These first three steps can be done in
any order. Once they’re completed, Aquil’iya must be
turned to stone or petrified. At that point, it can be
smashed to dust and destroyed.

Aquil’iya: Strong conjuration; CL 15th.
AL N; Int 19, Wis 10, Cha 19; Speech (Common, Aquan,
Auran, Ignan, Terran), telepathy, read magic, 120 ft.
vision and hearing, 60 ft. darkvision; Ego Score 23.

Ring of Aquil'iya

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