LORE: The Leur's Ring
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
This item is mentioned for the first time in Sordaneon, where readers see it being worn by Marc Frederick. Unlike the other two Highborn artifacts—the Wall Stone and Rill Stone—the Leur’s Ring is not associated with an Entity. It is like them, however, in being preternatural.
The Leur’s Ring is smooth and misty silver-white, not metallic, and flows seamlessly around a large oval stone. The stone’s color varies according to the energies with which it is in contact, including those of its wearer. When tranquil the stone will tend to pastel shades of blue or green; violets and reds point to stronger emotions. Black indicates the presence of extreme peril or wounding. Yellows accompany joyous energies. Both band and stone shimmer softly always; an intense brightness signals proximity to or contact with an Entity.
The Leur’s Ring grants no special understanding of or ability to interact with the Entities, although there is evidence it enables the wearer to enter Rill sanctums and the Aidion.
The Leur’s Ring’s properties are mysterious; however, some have been revealed. Immortal and self-healing, the ring binds so completely to mortal flesh that it cannot be removed while its host lives. It is self-sustaining and makes no demands on the wearer’s lifeforce. Indeed, the ring bolsters regenerative forces and extends mortal lifespans, something the other artifacts do not do. Wearers often look many decades younger than their age.
Marc Frederick is the sole known non-Highborn wearer of the Leur’s Ring. He credits the artifact as the reason he can wield minor magic, such as creating orbi and sending and receiving from the godborn.
The Leur’s Ring pre-dates the Wall Stone and the Rill Stone. Amynas alone witnessed its creation. Legend holds that The Leur, the last of the godkind, crafted the ring from his own broken body and imbued it with lifeforce and omnificence. This gift of omnificence is unique among the artifacts.
Before he too left the World, Amynas gave The Leur’s Ring to the firstborn of his children with The Leur, Ergeiron. After Ergeiron founded the Kingdom of Essera and before he transformed into the Wall, he passed ring to his eldest son Telarion. Following the ceremony, Telarion could not remove The Leur’s Ring, and so that property of the ring became known.
The Aryati hoped to gain possession of The Leur’s Ring when they slew Telarion on the shores of Lake Ulan-Sana. To their surprise, the ring vanished upon his death. None knew where it had gone. Marenthro restored The Leur’s Ring to Ergeiron’s kingly line upon the coronation of Telarion’s brother, Lakron I. From Lakron’s reign on, every King of Essera has received The Leur’s Ring upon coronation. One rumor—that to wear the ring would kill any person not of Highborn blood—is unproven. Marenthro’s origin has never been fully established and he has never presented the ring to any but one who could wear it. Marc Frederick's ability to wear the ring has an explanation (see below).
Marenthro explains The Leur’s Ring’s being to Hans in this passage from The Second Stone (unedited):
“Is it magic, then?” Hans asked.
“Yes, as humans would define it.”
“What kind of magic does it possess?”
“Whatever kind the wearer can summon.” Marenthro tapped the ring so that it wobbled prettily. “This is the ring of the Highborn Kings of Essera, worn by every king since Ergeiron Malyrdeon, who received it from the hand of his father Amynas, who took it from the Hand of Leur.”
“The Leur’s Ring!” Hans peered at it more closely. “It doesn’t look the same. On Grandfather it looked alive, kind of. It had colors.” As a child, he had been fascinated by his grandfather’s ring, which never left the royal hand.
“That’s because it was alive — and is. It lives with the wearer, bonding to the flesh for so long as that flesh lives, thereby providing that the true king shall always be known by its presence. It is a true extranatural symbiont, rare and powerful. They take many forms.” Marenthro plucked the ring from the step and held it on his outstretched palm. The ring, merely bright and clear before, burned now in that hand with fires of blue and gold and green, its silver brilliance stirring deep within those undulating fields. A thing of impossible power and beauty. “This is the Ring of Leur, linked to the lifeforce of the Creation itself, which only someone also bound to the Creation may safely wear. It cannot be removed in life. But in death, from wherever the vacant body lies, the ring always returns — to me.”
Role in the Stauberg-Randolph Ascension
Many, probably even most, people believed Marc Frederick Stauberg-Randolph would die upon receiving The Leur’s Ring at his coronation. The Sordaneons were so certain of this they planned for crowning Labran Sordaneon king at the same ceremony. Unbeknownst to any, Endurin Malyrdeon, the late king, had devised a way for Marc Frederick to wear the ring: Endurin removed one of Marc Frederick’s fingers on the left hand and grafted one of his own, godborn fingers in its place. Endurin’s amputation soon regenerated; Marc Frederick’s altered finger was sealed by magic so that the union could be concealed by a wide gold ring, though he had no sensation in the digit and could not move it. At the ceremony, when Marenthro handed The Leur’s Ring to Marc Frederick, the latter was able to put it on and wear it. Immediately upon bonding with the ring, Marc Frederick regained full movement and sensation in the finger.
Cool and loose, the Ring slipped over my knuckle, then tightened as a warm band to cover the faint juncture of my finger and that of the late king. As soon as it did so my fingertip tingled, an electric awakening of nerve, bone, and skin. Tiny muscles weak from disuse became strong and I found that I had gained not just sensation in that finger but command of it. From the way color swirled throughout the Ring’s formerly pale matrix I sensed it had determined Endurin and me—or perhaps we—to be complete and whole. Marenthro had told me it was a symbiont.
-- Marc Frederick Stauberg-Randolph, Journals
The Leur’s Ring’s acceptance of Marc Frederick, demonstrated when he stood to display it to the crowd, confirmed him as Essera’s king. Onlookers and witnesses had no choice but to see the coronation continue and the crown bestowed.