[magic items index]
There exist throughout the world items that were never meant for the hands of mortals, powers that by all rights should solely be the province of divine beings and the elemental forces of creation. Yet occasionally, whether by accident, calamity, or strange fate, shards of such impossible might do fall into the hands of mortals. These motes of the unfathomable are called artifacts, and where they pass, lands shudder, nations rise, and legends are born.
Rather than merely another form of magical equipment, artifacts are the sorts of legendary relics that might become the focus of whole campaigns—sparking quests to recover them, fights against their wielders, missions to destroy them, and more.
Unlike normal magic items, artifacts are not easily destroyed (and are impossible for PCs to create). Instead of construction information, each artifact includes one possible means by which it might be destroyed.
Artifacts should never be purchased or found as part of a random treasure hoard. When placing an artifact in your game, be sure to consider its impact, but also keep in mind that artifacts are fickle objects, and if they become too much of a nuisance, they can easily become lost once more.
Minor artifacts are not necessarily unique items. Even so, they are magic items that can no longer be created by common mortal means.
The greatest of all artifacts are unique items, coveted by the most powerful beings in existence and capable of altering the course of entire worlds. Only one of each major artifact exists, and even the least of them is capable of altering the balance of a campaign. Major artifacts are not easily destroyed, and each has only a single, specific means of destruction, noted at the end of its description.