Source: Icewind Dale - Rime of the Frostmaiden

Wondrous item, rare

A professor orb is a smooth 5-pound sphere of smoky gray quartz about the size of a grapefruit. Close examination reveals two or more pinpricks of silver light coming from deep inside the sphere.

The orb is sentient and has the personality of a scholar. Its alignment is determined by rolling on the alignment table in the "Sentient Magic Items" section in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Regardless of its alignment, the orb has an Intelligence of 18, and Wisdom and Charisma scores determined by rolling 3d6 for each ability. The orb speaks, reads, and understands four languages, and it can see and hear normally out to a range of 60 feet. Unlike most other sentient items, the orb has no goals of its own and can't initiate a conflict with the creature in possession of it.

The orb has extensive knowledge of four narrow academic subjects. When making an Intelligence check to recall lore from any of its areas of expertise, the orb has a +9 bonus to its roll (including its Intelligence modifier).

In addition to the knowledge it possesses, the orb can cast the Mage Hand cantrip at will. It uses the spell only to transport itself. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence.

Professor Skant. The professor orb owned by Vellynne Harpell and stolen by Nass Lantomir calls itself Professor Skant. It is lawful good, and it has a Wisdom of 11 and a Charisma of 9. It speaks and reads Common, Draconic, Elvish, and Loross (the dead language of the Empire of Netheril). Professor Skant is a chatterbox and assumes all humanoids are dunderheads. When elaborating on its areas of expertise, it adopts an unintentionally patronizing tone. It has the following four areas of expertise:

  • The history of Netheril
  • Vampirism and the traits of vampires
  • Rituals surrounding the making, bottling, and drinking of Elverquisst (a rare, ruby-colored elven liquor distilled from sunshine and rare summer fruits)
  • The tarrasque (see the Monster Manual)