Contest of Wills
Mother of all Magic
Mystra (pronounced MISS-trah), the Mother of all Magic, was the greater deity who guided the magic that enveloped Toril prior to the Time of Troubles. Mystra tended to the Weave constantly, making possible all the miracles and mysteries wrought by magic and users of magic. She was believed, as was her predecessor Mystryl and successor Midnight, to be the embodiment of the Weave and of magic itself. Mystra’s symbol was a ring of seven stars surrounding a rising red mist, spiraling to the heavens, though her older and more often seen symbol was a simple seven-pointed star. Her divine realm resided in Dweomerheart.
Love magic for itself. Do not treat it just as a weapon to reshape the world to your will. True wisdom is knowing when not to use magic. Strive to use magic less as your powers develop, for often the threat or promise of its use outstrips its actual performance. Magic is Art, the Gift of the Lady, and those who wield it are privileged in the extreme. Conduct yourself humbly, not proudly, while being mindful of this. Use the Art deftly and efficiently, not carelessly and recklessly. Seek always to learn and create new magic.
The church of Mystra preserved magical lore so that magic would continue and flourish in the future even if the dominant races of Faerûn were to fall. Its members also searched out those skilled in magic or who had the potential to use it, keeping a close eye on those who were likely to become skilled. Her clerics were encouraged to explore magical theory and create new spells and magic items. Sites dedicated to the goddess were enhanced by the Weave to allow any spell cast by her clerics while in them to be affected by metamagic.
Mystra also had powerful mortal servants among her ranks of followers, including Elminster, Khelben Arunsun, the Seven Sisters and the mad lich Sammaster.
- Order of the Starry Quill
- Order of the Shooting Star
- Knights of the Mystic Fire
Before her ascension to godhood the second Mystra was a woman named Midnight, who, along with several other individuals, including the future Kelemvor, played a large role during the Avatar Crisis, also known as the Time of Troubles.
Midnight, born Ariel Manx, was the second child of Theus Manx, a merchant, and his wife Paiyse. Midnight had an elder sibling named Rysanna who assumed the role of the family’s demure “princess” whenever wealthy suitors called. As a teenager Midnight became familiar with the night’s populace of bards, thieves, sorcerers, and fighters and was eventually nicknamed “Midnight” by these friends, one she immediately preferred to Ariel.
Midnight’s first taste of magic began with her tryst with the conjurer Tad, who set her on her path. She began to exhibit less interest in her hedonistic pursuits and more in the quest for magical knowledge and training, gradually becoming more obsessed with her magical quest. Eventually, Midnight moved out of the family home to seek her own path.
It was during this time that she fell into the worship of Mystra, whose attention Midnight attracted during her time of service in one of Mystra’s temples. From her 21st year on, Midnight began to feel a presence from time to time. She would feel her skin tingle coolly and began to feel that she was somehow being followed or observed. After such attentions, she always found that spells, which she had labored over for weeks, would suddenly work without any problem. Midnight soon suspected that she had been granted special attention by Mystra herself and believed that she was being groomed for the position of Magister. Sunlar, high priest of the Deepingdale temple of Mystra, took Midnight under his supervision. It was during this time that Midnight’s knowledge of self-defense and magic improved leaps and bounds and Midnight spent a year in the temple at Deepingdale before she left. For the next three years Midnight devoted herself to Mystra’s worship and pursued every scrap of magic she could.
During the Time of Troubles, when the gods were cast down by Ao, Midnight joined with Kelemvor Lyonsbane, Cyric, and Adon in the search for the stolen Tablets of Fate. During this time, the previous Mystra was killed by the deity Helm for defying Ao’s command and trying to climb the Celestial Stairway back to the heavens. Her death caused great damage to the Weave, but eventually Ao selected Midnight to replace the destroyed Mystra, restoring the magic of Toril. Immediately prior to her ascension, Midnight killed Myrkul, the god of death, in a duel in the skies over the city of Waterdeep.