Magical spheres are a big part of many franchises, from The Prisoner to Destiny, and even in D&D you’ll find magical spheres that will change your world.
Magical spheres are a big part of our collective experience, whether we’re talking about the giant floating orb from The Prisoner, the world-destroying Unicron from Transformers, and of course everyone’s favorite giant glowing orb that sits above the Last City in Destiny.
And in the world of both Dungeons & Dragons, magical spheres abound. Whether this is art imitating life, or life imitating art, none can say. All we can know for sure is that these magical spheres are capable of working a number of wonders. Perhaps not as great as transforming Peter Dinklage into Nolan North, but you know, still pretty cool. In order to find the best ones, we have to take a look back through the editions of D&D, so that’s what we’ve done. Take a look.
Karnrohb’s Airy Sphere
This magical glass sphere is incredibly useful is you find yourself submerged in water. It creates a globe of energy, six feet in diameter, within which is a constantly replenishing supply of fresh air. It keeps water out, but that’s about it. You activate it by either tapping it on your forehead or hurling it at the target you wanna save.
Sphere of Warning
A 2-foot diameter sphere suspended within a framework of gold or silver, the sphere of warning detects impending attacks. Exactly three days before the structure currently holding the sphere of warning would be attacked (here defined as any outside party attempting forced entry into or committing hostile action against the edifice containing the sphere of warning–or its proper ruler, for some reason), the sphere glows and hums with power quietly increasing in intensity over the three days leading up to the attack.
Now, admittedly, the warning is always the same, whether you’re about to be attacked by an army or a couple of bandits who thought it might be a good idea to try and steal the good candelabras. So, you’ll want to confirm for yourself before mustering the surrounding countryside.
Sphere of Darkness
It seems strange to imagine a sphere of darkness, that’s usually reserved for pyramid type shapes. But, the sphere of darkness exists (introduced in Dragon #30), and is a sphere that consists of an area in which light cannot exist. Each of these spheres is utterly devoid of light, and has a will of its own. They exist to be paired with a sentient being, and when bonded will float over the head of their “user” or will otherwise float wherever commanded to by the person that has claimed it.
Whether they like it or not, this sphere of absolute darkness will follow them until death.
Mierest’s Starlit Sphere
This sphere of shining silver metal appears to be indestructible. No blow can crush or mark its shining surface, no heat or flame can scorch it, it does not tarnish, rust, nor corrode–in fact, this small sphere (only around 4 inches), is always comfortably warm to the touch. within its surface, however, one can see a shifting pattern of cold, blue-white pinpoints of light. When held it emits a soft glow illuminating a 20-foot radius, hushing all sounds, dispelling all light and darkness based illusion spells, and it emits soft gentle music when passed through open flame.
Its strange magic prevents undead from entering the sphere’s illumination, so if you want a good night’s rest, the Starlit Sphere is a surefire bet.
Sphere of Annihilation
Of course we’re going to talk about what is perhaps the most iconic magical sphere of all time. This globe of absolute nothingness, 2 feet in diameter, this hole in reality that will unmake whatever touches it. It is not simply crushing darkness, as a black hole, but it is a piece of total oblivion. Any matter that comes into contact with the sphere is gone, utterly destroyed, beyond even the scope of wishes and similar magic.
A sphere like this is dangerous. Normally content to float in place and wait to devour whatever wanders by, a sphere of annihilation can be controlled via mental powers, and has evolved over the years from a graded intelligence check to a simple skill check.
Spheres of Annihilation are dangerous, but doubly so when they encounter magical portals, as potentially they will tear open a spatial rift, sending each creature and object within 180 feet of the sphere hurtling to a random plane of existence.
All in all, not bad for magic spheres. Happy Adventuring!