Talivion's Paintbrush Item in Istra | World Anvil
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Talivion's Paintbrush

Content Advisory: Mention of depression and alcoholism.


Talivion's Paintbrush contains the soul of an anguished artist. It is able to paint on its own, given the proper supplies, and has created hundreds of paintings that have generated a significant amount of revenue. Once fought over by private collectors, Talivion's Paintbrush is now held in the Kliesa Museum of Art and History.


The Lieretsan artist Vindith Talivion was born into poverty at the end of the Ninth Age. His family barely could piece together money for food, and being the second oldest child, Vindith spent most of his time at work or caring for his younger siblings. In his limited free time, he discovered he had a talent for painting. He tried to sell his art on street corners in the wealthy part of town, but he had few buyers. The trend in Lieretsa skewed towards art infused with magic, so his simple paintings were overlooked. Vindith had few friends, aside from a professor at one of the magic universities who had pitied him and bought one of his paintings. The mage checked on the boy from time to time and observed that Vindith's mental health was declining. All he wanted was to help his family, buy medicine for his ailing father, and to create art instead of working long hours at the factory. Vintith eventually succumbed to alcohol poisoning at the age of nineteen.   The mage was devastated. The boy was an incredibly talented artist whose works deserved to be hung in nobles' mansions, but he had died before his dreams could come to fruition. In a last-ditch effort, the mage approached the Talivion family and offered them a handsome sum of coin. It was equivalent to what Vindith would have made at the factory in a year. In exchange, he asked for the boy's paintbrush. They happily agreed, and the mage set to work. He summoned Vindith Talivion's spirit and asked it if it would like to create art for all of eternity, at the cost of being bound to a physical object. It agreed, wide-eyed with curiosity and joy. Thus, the mage bound the spirit to the paintbrush, set out paper and paints, and waited.   The paintings created by Talivion's Paintbrush took on a different form than the ones created by Vindith Talivion in life. They were more vibrant, with lighter, sweeping lines and bold colors that the young artist had once hesitated to use. It was as if now that his soul was free from the cares of the world, he could now express himself without restraint. The mage allowed the paintbrush to create as many paintings as it wanted, and he found a buyer who would pay handsomely for the art. Every single coin went to Vindith Talivion's family. This continued until the mage died and his son inherited Talivion's Paintbrush, pocketing all the money for himself.   Talivion's Paintbrush was bought and sold nearly a dozen times, bringing wealth to the owner and creating beautiful paintings, but after some time, the paintbrush seemed to notice what was happening. It was being exploited. It stopped creating art and was deemed worthless, left to languish in a cellar for a hundred years. Finally, it was found and its magic nature was discovered. It was donated to the Kliesa Museum of Art and History where it remains to this day. It has never created another painting again, and it is believed that Valdith Talivion's spirit is now at rest.
Item type
Unique Artifact
Creation Date
1 oz
10 inches


Author's Notes

I was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's life and his struggle with depression, as well as his postmortem fame. It is also a reference to the struggle of many artists to survive in a greedy world and to create art for those who would only exploit them.

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Feb 15, 2024 20:43

Ah, I have to say this one got to me. I nearly teared up reading it. I'm glad Vindith's spirit is at peace now :(

Feb 16, 2024 16:54 by Lady Arsenik

That's the first time anyone has mentioned my work making them emotional. I might revisit this one and add more to it. Thanks for reading!