The Mage’s Prism
This complexly faceted crystal shard is about ten inches in length with as base about three inches wide that tapers off to a point. Angled, smooth surfaces refract light erratically as the shard is turned.
The Artifact Effects
When this artifact is brought into direct contact with another magical item, it begins to naturally radiate from within. The shard reacts to the essence of magic contained in any other magical item, and can actually be used to identify many of those properties with the use of shifting colors and patterns that are unique to a set of properties.
Also, 3x per day the shard can be used as a magic wand to cast the spell Identify. Though Identify won’t reveal the properties of the artifacts, all other effects of the prism will function for artifacts as well as normal magical items.
When the shard is used on an Artifact, there is a 5% chance that the wielder will be given a detailed vision, providing a complete historical background of the artifact, it’s abilities and any required activation methods. This 5% chance only occurs the very first time the shard comes into contact with said artifact. Rolls for this effect are final and cannot be redone.
Possible Colors & Identifying Patterns
- Red Glow: +1Bonus or -1 Penalty
- Orange Glow: +2 Bonus or -2 Penalty
- Yellow Glow: +3 Bonus or -3 Penalty
- Green Glow: +4 Bonus or -4 Penalty
- Blue Glow: +5 Bonus or -5 Penalty
- Indigo Glow: +6 Bonus or -6 Penalty
- Violet Glow: +7 Bonus or Greater Bonus or -7 or Greater Penalty
- White Glow: Item is Magical, but has no Bonus Equivalent
- Constant Quick Flashing Pulses: Cursed Item
- Constant Slow Rhythmic Pulses: Item Contains Charges, number of pulses indicates number of charges.
- Vibrates in Wielder’s Hand: Item is classified as an Artifact
- Feels Warm to the Touch: Item is Intelligent (Ego Less Than Wielder’s)
- Feels Very Hot to the Touch: Item is Intelligent (Ego Greater Than Wielder’s)
- Feels Cool to the Touch: Item is Self Recharging (Example: 3x/day or 1x/week, etc.)
- Feels Very Cold to the Touch: Item is Evilly Aligned/Attuned
- Emits a Low-Pitch Humming Sound: Items Properties are Arcane In Nature
- Emits a High-Pitch Humming Sound: Items Properties are Divine In Nature
Introduction of Artifact
Though Identify is a lower level spell (Brd 1, Magic Domain 2, Sor/Wiz 1), the shards true advantage and power is its ability to shed light on artifacts. Odds are that this item will already be heavily used and highly prized by a fairly powerful wizard or mage. However, logical alternatives for introducing the artifact into the campaign could be a treasure hunter or merchant who uses the item frequently to test potential purchases or looted treasures. Or, perhaps a merchant who wishes the characters to "retrieve" the shard from the wizard who claims it.