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The Dark Lens is an ancient artifact thought to have been created by Rajaat as the Time of Magic was coming to an end. The evil sorcerer fashioned the Dark Lens as a focus for his power, amplifying his magic and psionic energies to unheard of levels. By using the Dark Lens Rajaat created other powerful artifacts such as Silencer, Scorcher, and Scourge. Rajaat used the Dark Lens to give his 15 Champions their incredible powers.

As the Cleansing Wars were ending and the champions discovered the true nature of their masters schemes, the disciples of Rajaat took the Dark Lens and used its power to imprison their master in a place called the Hollow. Shortly after Rajaat was entombed, the Dark Lens was stolen by two dwarves named Jororsh and Saram.

These dwarves were self-proclaimed protectors of Athas, taking the Dark Lens from the Pristine Tower to the Estuary of the Forked Tongue and secluding it on the isle of Mytilene. There they created a safeguard for the Dark Lens in the form of a crystal pit, which proved deadly to any who attempted to retrieve the artifact. Years later Jororsh and Saram perished while defending the Dark Lens from evil giants. Soon after, they arose as banshee, and used their new powers to guard the Dark Lens from the eyes of the Dragon and the rest of Rajaat's champions.

Decades later, two clans of giants settled on Mytilene. Instead of driving them from the island, the spirits of the two dwarves appeared before the creatures and proclaimed the Dark Lens a powerful artifact to be revered and worshiped. The dullwitted giants believed the words of the banshees, and became guardians of what they referred to as "the Oracle." It was here the Dark Lens remained until being recovered by Tithian of Tyr and Agis of Asticles.

With the Dark Lens in his possession, Tithian asked Borys, then later Rajaat, to use the artifact to transform him into a sorcerer-king. Following the final battle which saw Rajaat returned to his prison and the death of the Dragon as well as several sorcerer-kings, Sadira of Tyr cast the Dark Lens into the lava of the Ring of Fire. The sorceress placed wards around the Ring of Fire to alert her to anyone attempting to free Rajaat or retrieve the Dark Lens.

In 3rd edition the artifact has the following statistics:

To invoke the powers of the Dark Lens, you must come into contact with the artifact and make a Use Psionic Device check (DC 30). Failure to do so deals you 1d10 points of fire damage. The Dark Lens has 500 power points when discovered. You instantly know the number of power points it has at the current time. The artifact recharges itself, regaining all power points after 24 hours. You can access all powers of the Dark Lens at manifester level 20th (or at your manifester level if it is higher than 20th). The Lens bestows a constant mind blank, protection from evil and good effects on you. Additionally, you can trigger, as a standard action, astral construct (3/day) as though you rolled a 30 on his Craft (sculpting) check and metamorphosis (3/day). The Dark Lens can draw spells or spell–like abilities into itself. The magic absorbed must be a single–target spell or a ray directed at you. The artifact then nullifies the spell’s effect and converts it to 5 power points per spell level, adding to its power point reserve. You can instantly detect a spell’s level as the Dark Lens absorbs that spell’s energy. You must declare your intent to absorb the spell after the spell is cast, and make a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) in order to do so. The Lens also allows you access at will to any psionic power that you witnessed or intently studied. A minimal amount of study and a successful Psicraft check are needed to duplicate most psionic powers with the Dark Lens. The time of research and the DC of the check are up to the DM, but a minimum of one week per power level and a DC 15 + power level is suggested. The Dark Lens is also a focus for magical power. Arcane spells cast with the aid of the lens are greatly improved. You can cast up to three spells per day that are improved as though using the Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Heighten Spell, Maximize Spell, and Widen Spell feats (when applicable). The Dark Lens can be used as a mitigating factor while casting epic spells. For those who know how to utilize it, the Dark Lens allows epic spells to be cast with a +50 bonus to Spellcraft checks. If used in conjunction with the Steeple of Crystals in the Pristine Tower, the total bonus becomes +150. The incredible power of the Dark Lens is intoxicating to anyone using the device. Each time you use the artifact, you must make a Will save (DC 15 + number of previous saves) or develop a form of megalomania, convinced that the power of the Lens makes you invincible. Characters with this insanity will do whatever they can to keep from being separated from the artifact. Eventually, the character becomes dependent upon the device, and it is the DM’s choice as to whether or not the character takes a path towards ultimate power similar to that of Tithian of Tyr. The Dark Lens is tied so closely with the fate of Athas and the sorcerer‐kings that it may not be possible to destroy the item until either the sorcerer‐kings achieve a final victory, or are cast from the face of Athas.


source: athas.org