by Brian R. James
Sharns are an enigma little understood by sages and rightfully feared by adventurers. Born of the last remnants of a dead world, these timeless beings embody raw eldritch might. They might rise to rule the mortal world, if they cared and could put their minds to it, but their agenda seems more sophisticated than temporal wealth or power. Their motives are alien and ever shifting. Some dare claim the sharns are insane. Sharns assert that what others call insanity is actually enlightenment.
The sharns alone stand sentinel over this world of bones and ruins. Having achieved his ends, Tharizdun abandoned this universe eons ago. So mighty had the mad god become that he shed his divinity in a grand apotheosis, becoming something beyond a god -- something perverse and outside the known.
The sharns remained as the sentient remnant of all Tharizdun had destroyed and abandoned -- a collective of merged consciousnesses. For a time, forsaken and alone on a dying world, this chaotic amalgam watched and waited. It's unclear whether curiosity or boredom drove it to act, but soon the roiling amorphous form of pitch-black "sharnstuff" began to move across the brittle landscape. Something within drove it to explore and catalog the dying world.
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About the Author
Brian R. James is a freelance game designer working exclusively for Wizards of the Coast. His credits include Open Grave, The Grand History of the Realms, Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, and the forthcoming Underdark supplement. You can follow Brian's random thoughts online at http://www.twitter.com/brianrjames