Ruby of Fire

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The Ruby of Fire was a powerful jewel capable brought to the Green Isle by the Wesfolk, and later to the Great Continent by Prince Haldric. Among other things, the ruby was capable of conjuring fireballs against the wielder's foes. It was also capable of corrupting those subjected to its magical radiance. In a deal between King Haldric II and the Knalgan dwarves, it was sculpted by Thursagan into the Sceptre of Fire.


Early usage

Casting fire is the least of the Ruby's abilities. You are twice a fool, for having failed to plumb more than its most trivial use and for having given it away.
—The Lich-Lord Jevyan scolds Prince Haldric for failing to understand the power of the Ruby of Fire.

The Ruby of Fire originally came from the Old Continent, belonging to the Wesfolk.[1] Though only the size of an apple,[2] it was their most powerful artifact, highly coveted by the Wesfolk's masters, the Lich-Lords.[1] The ruby had various properties, and allowed anyone who wielded it to conjure fireballs as a wepaon.[3] It also had a magical radiance that could be detected by those nearby.[4][5] This radiance, however, would corrupt those who handled it while not in battle.[6]

After losing a war in the Old Continent, the Wesfolk sailed to the Green Isle,[7] bringing with them the ruby.[1] It eventually made itself into the hands of the Lich-Lord Caror, who studied the ruby, documenting his findings in the Book of Fire and Darkness.[8] His control over the ruby did not last forever, as Lenvan managed to take the ruby.[1] Also, during the First Wesfolk War, he was attacked east of Southbay. He and his book were both petrified in stone there by Haldric's people.[8]

The Lich-Lord Lenvan safeguards the Ruby of Fire.

Though Lenvan obtained the ruby, he too suffered misfortune during the war. He and the ruby were magically sealed in the catacombs running beneath the Oldwood Forest. There he remained until the Oldwood woses undid the seal, allowing Haldric to descend into the catacombs.[1] A battle ensued between Haldric's forces and Lenvan's undead, but in the end, Lenvan was slain. Haldric found the ruby hidden within a chest, confused as to why Lenvan did not keep it on his person.[2] Nonetheless, he ascended to the surface with the ruby before departing for Clearwater Port, with his refugees from Stormvale, as well as a number of of Wesfolk, all fleeing an orcish invasion. Despite his victory, Haldric still did not know how to use the ruby.[9]

Before setting sail from Clearwater Port, the Wesfolk leader, Lady Jessene, informed Haldric of the Book of Fire and Darkness, suggesting that they make a detour in their journey.[8] They sailed to Fallen Lich Point and advanced upon Caror's fort. Haldric broke the spell binding the undead in stone before his forces slew Caror, seizing the book before hurrying into the Southbay sewers.[10] Therein lived twin magi, Daellyn the Red and Tinry the Red, who had spent much time searching for the ruby. Immediately, they sensed its presence, and attacked Haldric, but without success.[4]

Once the refugees arrived at Southbay, they sought an audience with King Addroran IX. There they decided to remain until spring. Jessene was assigned with the task of translating the Book of Fire and Darkness.[11] Haldric was thus able to study its text and learn how to conjure fireballs. Shortly thereafter, Southbay was besieged by a band of orcs, sent there by Jevyan. Though Jevyan only briefly appeared on the battlefield, he was able to sense the ruby. Despite this, Haldric defeated the orcs then set sail with his refugees east for the Great Continent.[5]

Jevyan was still determined to take the ruby for himself,[12] so he had his familiar spy upon the refugees from a distance.[13][14][15] While the humans bargained with elves for a place in the land,[16] Jevyan seized whatever ships he could find on the Green Isle and set a course east with his subservient orcs.[17] His movements were discovered by Commander Aethyr, who hastened to the Grey Woods to inform Haldric.[16]

Haldric responded to Jevyan's threat by advancing his forces along the western plains, facing the orcish vanguard. Jessene warned Haldric that Jevyan was likely following them in order to take the ruby. In return, Haldric ordered her to take the ruby and hide it in the Brown Hills.[17] He defeated Jevyan's forces before making his way to the western shoreline, facing Jevyan in battle once more.[12] Due to the ruby's absence, Jevyan could not sense it and assumed that Haldric had learned to conceal its power. Nonetheless, Jevyan's forces there were defeated,[12] leaving only those still at Jevyan's original landing point.[18]

Haldric took Jessene aside and revealed to her his plan. He was convinced that even defeating Jevyan would not prevent more orcs from coming to the Great Continent in pursuit of the ruby. As a countermeasure, he wished to persuade the orcs that the ruby had been given to the elves in return for land. His plan involved a person carrying a forged treaty being slain by Jevyan, sealing the deception. Aethyr insisted on being selected for this role.[18] They met Jevyan in battle once more, telling him of the fictitious treaty made between the elves, though Jevyan did not believe them. Aethyr was killed, resulting in Jevyan reading the treaty. His forces finally deceived, Jevyan was eventually slain, while his only surviving warlord fled back to the Green Isle, sharing news of the supposed transaction.[3]

Forging the Sceptre of Fire

Statue of King Haldric I, wielding the Ruby of Fire.

With the subterfuge carried out, the Kingdom of Wesnoth was established, and Haldric became Haldric I.[19] Despite Jessene having hidden the ruby as requested, Haldric I later retrieved it. Each time that he came near the ruby, it would warp his mind, rendering him suspicious of even his own friends. Crelanu came to understand the ruby's influence over Haldric I, but was accused of attempting to steal the ruby. As a result, Haldric I banished him from the lands of Wesnoth.[6]

In the years that came, the orcs returned to harass the elves, in the false belief that they had the ruby and not the humans.[20] Saurians also laid siege to the elvish treasury, attempting to find the ruby.[21] Some orcs, such as Pirorr, noticed that the elves were not using the ruby to repel their invasions, leading them to suspect that the elves did not have the ruby after all.[22] The elves also learned of the subterfuge themselves when High Lord Kalenz spoke with Crelanu, who suspected that the orcs were now starting to turn their attention to Wesnoth.[6]

In the year 20YW, the orcs invaded Tath and Haldric I died. He was succeeded by his son, King Haldric II.[23] Kalenz led a group of elves to Tath and defended the city long enough for reinforcements to arrive.[24] Kalenz revealed the dangers of the ruby, and advised Haldric II to encase it in a net or filigree of gold, charged with the magic of light.[25]