Lightning Without Sound

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Platinum 3.0 release pre-event run by Armifer. For information on the Prime artifact and release event, see the Hand of Meraud.

Teaser

A massive bolt of lightning appeared out of a clear sky. It struck the Siergelde, but produced no thunder. The strange lightning is assumed to be portentous, confirmed by Moon Mages who saw a vision of it occurring a few days earlier. What nobody knows yet, but will soon learn, is that a single flash of light can hide something that will change the world.


Overview

Somewhere in Plat is an artifact that can give the following message: [This is part of an event which you can participate in. Please check the Platinum forums for details on how to start your investigation.]

When you receive this message, it's time to become involved in untangling a mystery of the artifact -- and perhaps do something about it.


How this Event Works

This event is an experiment in running a different kind of heavy player-participation event. It will be ran both in-game and on the Platinum forums.

In-game there is an artifact that will yield up some basic, frustratingly vague information through a normal examination. Once you have exhausted the normal verbs and want to learn more, you'll come to the forums and declare an action. Each action takes "one round," where a round will be roughly one RL day (perhaps faster, hopefully not slower).

When the round is over, the results of your actions will be available when you STUDY the artifact. Then you can decide on a new action, and so on until Friday.


How to Declare Actions

First, some basic rules.

  • Declared actions cannot effect other PCs. You cannot spend your action thwarting (or spying on) another investigation.
  • Only one character per player can declare an action. If you want to swap out between rounds that's fine, but one action per round per player for the sake of my precious sanity.
  • Actions need to be posted in the Talk to Simutronics folder of the General Discussions category or the Platinum folder. They will be ignored if posted anywhere else.

The format for an action:

  • Write an IC blurb describing what your character is doing. This is meant to be a creative exercise, so feel free to elaborate.
  • Write an OOC statement of what your character plans to do or wants to try to learn.
  • Write an OOC statement describing how your character plans to do it.

I encourage you to spend time roleplaying out your choices in-game as well, but I am not going to pretend to enforce that.


Artifact

[Siergelde's Regard]
A gentle bluff provides a restful place to breathe the sweet, clean air of the hillside. Far beyond the trees that mark the perimeter of the town walls to the north, you can see jagged peaks jutting into thick bands of clouds at the horizon.
You also see a small pyramid.
Obvious paths: southwest.


Round 1

A small pyramid
Precisely three feet tall, the pyramid sits on a particularly flat section of the bluff. Its edges, and out to about an inch along the side in both directions, are constructed by a seamless frame of orichalcum. The rest of the sides are composed of a dull, greyish-green... substance which defies simple categorization.
One side of the pyramid is filled with engravings.
The second side of the pyramid is filled with raised embossing.
The third side of the pyramid is smooth.

FOCUS: You sense powerful Elemental magic bound up underneath the surface, twisting and turning with insane complexity. There are hints of a pattern amidst the chaos, but you would need to conduct a far longer study of the pyramid to make sense out of it.


Round 2

A partially electrified pyramid
Precisely three feet tall, the pyramid sits on a particularly flat section of the bluff. Its edges, and out to about an inch along the side in both directions, are constructed by a seamless frame of orichalcum. The rest of the sides are composed of a dull, greyish-green... substance which defies simple categorization.
One side of the pyramid is filled with engravings.
The second side of the pyramid is filled with raised embossing. Tiny arcs of electricity dance across the side.
The third side of the pyramid is smooth.

FOCUS: You sense powerful Elemental magic bound up underneath the surface, twisting and turning with insane complexity. There are hints of a pattern amidst the chaos, but you would need to conduct a far longer study of the pyramid to make sense out of it.


Round 3

An electrified pyramid
Precisely three feet tall, the pyramid sits on a particularly flat section of the bluff. Its edges, and out to about an inch along the side in both directions, are constructed by a seamless frame of orichalcum. The rest of the sides are composed of a dull, greyish-green... substance which defies simple categorization.
One side of the pyramid is filled with engravings that are lit by tiny arcs of electricity.
The second side of the pyramid is filled with raised embossing. Tiny arcs of electricity dance across the side.
The third side of the pyramid is smooth.

FOCUS: You sense powerful Elemental magic bound up underneath the surface, twisting and turning with insane complexity. There are hints of a pattern amidst the chaos, but you would need to conduct a far longer study of the pyramid to make sense out of it.


Round 4

A slanted and pulsating pyramid sitting on disturbed ground
Precisely three feet tall, the pyramid sits on a disturbed section of the bluff. Its edges, and out to about an inch along the side in both directions, are constructed by a seamless frame of orichalcum. The rest of the sides are composed of a dull, greyish-green... substance which defies simple categorization. The entire pyramid is wreathed in tendrils of electricity, though they seem to avoid your touch.
One side of the pyramid is filled with engravings.
The second side of the pyramid is filled with raised embossing.
The third side of the pyramid is smooth.
The pyramid and, strangely enough, a wide circular clump of dirt around it, has been disturbed by man-made holes. The whole thing is now sunk and slanted a few degrees off-center.

FOCUS: You sense powerful Elemental magic bound up underneath the surface, twisting and turning with insane complexity. There are hints of a pattern amidst the chaos, but you would need to conduct a far longer study of the pyramid to make sense out of it.


Conclusion

A fractured pyramid sitting on disturbed ground
Precisely three feet tall, the pyramid sits on a disturbed section of the bluff. Its edges, and out to about an inch along the side in both directions, are constructed by a seamless frame of orichalcum. The rest of the sides are composed of a dull, greyish-green... substance which defies simple categorization. The entire pyramid is wreathed in tendrils of electricity, though they seem to avoid your touch.
All three sides of the pyramid are deeply cracked.
The pyramid and, strangely enough, a wide circular clump of dirt around it, has been disturbed by man-made holes. The whole thing is now sunk and slanted a few degrees off-center.

FOCUS: The small pyramid has no discernible magical pattern.

Actions

Only actions that were submitted in a way that allowed Armifer to write responses are included (and the order of actions is based on the response list he provided on the forum).

Round 1

Uzmam

Finch Cottage on Temple Hill has been quiet for years, now that those voices that used to taunt everyone have calmed down, but something ended up startling my bird neighbors today. A series of loud chirps made me look outside, expecting another fight over who gets to eat from the bird feeder, but instead the entire area was clear. Shortly after, a blast of light came from Siergelde's Regard.

I went to see what was going on, because the last thing we needed was another group of Xala'shar assaulting us, but I didn't see anyone up there at all. Instead, I came across the largest orichalcum sculpture I ever saw! I mean, it wasn't that big, but for something made out of orichalcum it was still pretty impressive. I went closer to study the engravings on one side, but when touching that side of the panel, something clicked in my head again and suddenly started feeling all this raw power hiding inside of it. Churning, electric force. It looked like it was supposed to explode, but something was holding it back.

I ran back to the cottage after that, and once I finish writing this I'll grab my gear and run off to alert Tyrael (or anyone available!) of this artifact up there. But, after that, I knew I would want to eventually to go back there myself and continue trying to understand what those engravings meant.

Action

After discovering the artifact and writing the entry above, Uzmam returns to the scene and tries to understand what the engraved side of the panel is all about by running her hands across the engraved side of the pyramid, trying to find specific patterns, symbols, or images that would better explain what the artifact actually is. Due to her lack of perfect control of her innate magical abilities, she will also unconsciously continue to focus on it time to time and detecting the elemental pattern within it, as well.

Result

Unconscious focusing gets you nowhere (not that you notice), but the engravings yield results. The engravings are smooth and deep, taking up much of the surface of that side. You recognize symbols that correspond to spell casting, particularly plane-altering magic. The central image, however, is both distinct and foreign: it appears to be a stylized staff or pillar. It's distinct enough that further inquiry may reveal its identity -- if you can figure out where to find that kind of information.


Yhalei

Having heard people talking about the odd bolt of lightning, Yhalei took it upon herself to investigate the area where it struck. It sounded unnatural, and from an overhead discussion about some moon mage visions it might be of some importance. It also sounded like it might have something to do with weather magic, an area of some interest to Yhalei. At the very least, though, it sounded like there was a great deal of power involved. After a fair bit of wandering (having not seen the lightning strike herself), she managed to find what seemed like the area where the lightning had struck, and the unusual pyramid there.

The initiate warrior mage walked around the artifact a few times before finally crouching down next to it and laying one hand on the smooth side. She frowned as she focused her magical senses on it, trying to make something out of the chaotic pattern that was being presented to her, but to little effect. Perhaps her magical senses were just not yet developed enough to handle something of this magnitude. But there were other methods...

Action

Rather than focusing on unraveling the magical pattern, which might be dangerous for someone without much training yet, Yhalei is going to take a more indirect approach and try to get some meaning out of either the engraving or the embossing. She's going to come back with some paper and charcoal to make rubbings of those two sides, then head to the Gealeranendae College to search through any records or artifacts she can get access to, looking for anything that shows any similarities to what's on the pyramid. She'll likely move onto other colleges if she can't find anything, but there's probably more than enough stuff to keep her busy there through this round, even if she doesn't find anything relevant.

Result

Your research plan is ambitious and takes time, leaving you only able to examine one side in detail. Arbitrarily picking the embossed side, you find two things of note. First, dominating the center of the embossing is the figure of a semi-sphere surrounded by 13 rings; you discover this is an archaic symbol for the Plane of Abiding. Surrounding it are equations that, frankly, dwarf your ability to understand. You recognize that they're Elemental in nature and have something to do with the planes, but whoever (or whatever) wrote them is far ahead of you in skill.


Grutle

Setting pen to paper, the Tog carefully writes... "I have foundered a rather interesting crevice. It appears to be a pyrrhic middle with unusual construction. The smooth side is my favorite, natural. There exits a strong magic inside and of the item, but I am not able to undermine it. In my failure I let it be with a partition gift."

Action

Grutle noticed a pyramid, which had 3 sides. He figured out that yes, it is pyramidal, and has 3 sides. He played and rubbed with the smooth side, but figured out nothing of importance. He gave it a small hug, knocked on the smooth side, and left a turnip by it, hoping it'd be "happy." He also promised to play Togball with it at a later date if it told him something special.

Result

The sound of knocking on the pyramid suggests it isn't hollow, and the smooth side in particular leaves your knuckles tingling after rapping on it for long enough. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be any happier for the gift.


Galston

Galston heads over to Siergelde's Regard to see what all the hub bub is. He finds a pyramid with a turnip leaning against it. "Pfft, Togs," he says slightly annoyed, proceeds to pick up the turnip and flashpoints it away. Focusing on the pyramid, he sees the Elemental magics contained within and immediately becomes intrigued. "Let hope my years of studying Arcana and its uses will come in handy," he says to his lynx, who yawns in response. He takes a knee next to the pyramid, places his hands on the sides with the engravings and embossings, focus hard upon it, trying to unravel the mystery contained inside.

Action

So yeah, Galston is attempting to do what the focusing messaging suggests and perform a longer study to try to make sense of the pattern. He's trying to see if more intense focus by magical means (the Arcana skill) will reveal any further clues.

Result

There's a lot going on with the magic in the pyramid, more than even these scant few days of observation can make out. There are at least three styles of Elemental magic at work here: Aether, Earth, and Electricity Manipulations. The Earth magic is the easiest to untangle: there's an active effect that is solidifying the ground around the pyramid, making it impossible to dig up or move. The Aether and Electricity magics are... blending somehow? Something about it is decidedly worrying, but you'd need more time to piece it together.


Round 2

Uzmam

Continued studying of the engravings made me realize they resemble the magical patterns I see on barks, scrolls, and tablets that I come across when treasure hunting! I couldn't really recognize the finer details, but I think that they might be talking about the kind of stuff I've seen Moon Mages do in the past: at least the door opening parts of it. I don't understand the finer details yet, but a large column in the middle seems to be the most important part of the entire surface.

I took a short walk to clear my head, and when I returned Damian was there and the engraved surface of the pyramid that I was studying was a bit more electric. I'm not saying he did it, but it was a good thing he showed up when he did, because I was able to talk to him about the pillar image! He seemed interested, and said that it does sound like something his kind of magic would be involved in. Two other people then showed up, probably hearing about or seeing that flash of light themselves, as well. They actually tried to kick and poke at the thing! Don't they know how dangerous that could be! I left shortly after Damian excused himself, mainly because if something did go wrong with that thing being poked and prodded and kicked I wouldn't want to be near when it did.

Anyway, that pillar does seem important. It's not that I don't trust Damian's own research, but maybe it would be best to tell some more moon mages about this thing out there. It sounds like something they'd really want to study, especially being this close to Crossing. I'll come back after that, if those two other lunatics aren't around it anymore!

Action

As a result of learning finer details about the engravings and talking to Damian about it, Uzmam decides to travel to the Moon Mage guild and tell them about the artifact and that it may involve plane-altering magic and some kind of pillar. After that, she travels to Aesmath Academy to see if they have any publicly available books on magic symbols involving plane-altering magic and what the central image on the engraving could stand for.

Result

The Moon Mages are concerned, but are just as confused about the symbol as you are. Your trip to Aesmath proves much more fruitful. You stumble upon the image in one of the (many, many) books: it's an archaic way of representing the Elemental Plane of Electricity. Another book suggests that the structure of Elemental plane-manipulating spells place the "subject" plane in the center of the circle of equations.


Grutle

Grutle paces heavily in a ragged circle around the pyramid, mumbling to himself. Either he's quoting a shopping list, detailing the vegetables in the world's largest casserole, or idly talking to keep himself calm. He stops, stares at the pyramid for a long while, and sits down next to it. Placing two giant hands on it, he mouths words into the air before slowly running his fingers diligently over the embossed side. After a while, he keeps his hands still while closing his eyes and breathing deeply, concentrating intently on... something. A few long moments later and he slowly stands and walks off, shaking his head. Only a single sentence is loud enough to be heard, "Is beed lots from not worky, may beed."

Action

Grutle tries his best to isolate his sense of touch and feel the pyramid surface for any cracks, joints, openings, or anything that may suggest it isn't a single, continuous piece of metal. He also remembers his runestone training and tries desperately to shift the strength of the magic field around the pyramid up or down, as if he were increasing or decreasing the strength of a runestone enchantment.

Result

Your examination of the pyramid reveals that it is, in fact, a single piece without apparent joints. The experiment with treating the pyramid as a runestone has mixed results: it doesn't actually work that way from what you can tell, but there is something there. It's designed to function as a magical device, but you don't know how to trigger it (or what would happen if it triggers).


Galston

Through intense focusing on the elemental magical patterns in the pyramid, a few things became clearer to Galston. Somehow Earth magic was being used to solidify the ground around the pyramid making it impossible to dig or move. More important was a concentration of Aether and Electricity magics that were somehow blending together. The effect was disturbing to the Gnome, opposing forces somehow working together instead of pushing apart.

"Maybe something can be done to counter the Earth magic," Galston said to his lynx. His lynx barely lifts it's head to acknowledge him before returning to sleep. Ignoring the lynx, he continues, "if the magic can be undone, it can be moved, preferably back to the guild where an item of such elemental power can be properly studied."

Nodding to the lynx, Galston starts channeling Air magics in an effort to oppose the earth magic in place an try to uproot it from it's current location.

Action

Galston is attempting to counter the earth magic with its opposition element, air. The attempt while probably dangerous, and will be to channel raw air energy at the earth magic to see if the barrier holding it in place will fall.

Result

The attempt to disrupt the Earth magic enchantment fails, but not without being insightful. The raw power in the pyramid is growing. You reckon you may have had a chance to disrupt it at the first sign of the pyramid, but it has grown into too large of an energy pattern for you (or, you reckon, any sane caster) to dislodge. At least magically, the pyramid is growing. Moving the pyramid may still be possible, but it would require multiple Warrior Mages working together.


Damian

He stood looking over the horizon, his eyes alert and scanning for a wandering pack of black goblins. They did not usually leave the confines of their area but he was sure one day they would, just to surprise him. He felt weary, bone tired, so much training, yet always there was more. His eyes caressed the landscape almost routinely, a habit learned over the years and honed with every passing experience. Despite what most would say, he stopped believing Elanthia was safe after coming face to face with portents of the future. He felt a twinge, something deep inside yearning to grow. He'd learned to tell the coming of a vision. Idly, wondering what new snag in the tapestry of time called to him, he surrendered to it. Embracing it led to understanding and knowledge was power in its own right. Then it happened.

Like a steel dagger just plucked from the forge and thrust into the back of his skull, it felt incredibly hot, or perhaps crackling cold. He felt the ground rush up to meet him, it had been long since such calamitous power flowed through his body. In fact, quite likely nothing ever before had been so strong. A single, fleeting flash of lighting crossed the entire sky, an eternity by some counts yet it could not have lasted long and where it touched upon the ground something remained. His eyes burned with the afterimage of the white, hot light. He was certain this encounter would be the last thing he would ever experience. Blissfully he sank into oblivion.

Rain. What he would not give for some elemental mastery over this blasted rain! Breath! He almost forgot to breathe. He was alive, sopping wet, cold, and ecstatic. Knees felt wobbly as he tried to stand, how long had it been? A day, two perhaps? He looked up to see the stars and estimate. It had not been long. There was still time, but time for what? His head did not want to work, something snagged at his memory, something he tried to remember. It was no use, as with other visions, some things he remembered, some he did not, and some he chose to forget. Thinking of that brought bad memories of past events. He gathered his belongings and without a second thought split the air before him. A tear in the fabric of space grew, the other side came into slow, deliberate focus, the Rivercrossing bank. Traversing the distance was second nature and something told him this was where he needed to be. First, a hot bath and a long night's sleep. The inn would do.

The day came knocking far too quickly, it took the form of a curvaceous young barmaid asking about the time he planned on leaving. He mustered an answer though, by the expression on her face, she did not come close to understanding it. He pushed himself up and dressed, ready, he hoped, for the challenge ahead. Information was not hard to obtain, the whole town was buzzing with news, evidently the lightning he had seen was now the topic of discussion on everyone's lips. Tracking down the exact location proved fairly simple. He arrived at the spot and immediately spelled the area. It would not ward against adventurers, their minds were far more awakened by comparison to the townfolk. Farmers, blacksmiths, bakers, people from all walks of life had come to see it and were now quickly leaving. The spell was simple, something he had need of from time to time, a thoughtlace. Basic and unobtrusive, it conjured fears of what could be in the dark and fooled the senses into hearing noises. It was very effective in leaving him with the object to study, in peace and away from some prying eyes.

It was a strange looking device. It could not be called anything else. It took the shape of a pyramid but was far from it. He could not discern the material comprising two of the sides, the other was orichalcum. Noticing the embossing, he traced his fingers over it and was surprised to feel how smooth and precise it had been created. Tiny bolts of lightning danced over its surface but seemed to avoid his touch. He could tell little more than that. It was going to be a very long day, night, quite probably the whole month. Stepping back from it, he wondered. Then he began.

He spread his arms out in front, palms together and fingers pointed at the pyramid. Ever so slowly, his hands started parting and air between them warped and wavered. As his hands came further apart, the distortion grew, it had reached the size of a practice togball. He focused the power toward the pyramid and showers of sparks poured down its sides. It felt like an eternity. It felt foreign, alien, and most of all it felt like nothing else before.

Hours passed and now someone was approaching. He smiled as he recognized her footsteps and let loose the power he'd been wielding. She had a very distinct walk and it helped that the spell was still intact, it had served to warn him before she walked right in and the field of magic dissipated. Idly, he wondered why it fell so fast. Usually, it faded but her arrival left the spell pattern in shambles along with any hope of recreating it anytime soon. The thought was gone as quickly as it had materialized, he smiled to Uz and they exchanged greetings. After a little time, she came upon the crux of concern. She made mention of other pillars, that word stuck in his head. He'd been so focused on this that the connection had escaped him. Indeed it did look similar to shards he had studied in the past. He looked at the pyramid in a new light. He excused himself and returned to the inn to meditate.

Action

Damian is very curious and very concerned about this device, he has come to believe it could be an anchor point for a gateway based on his study of the pyramid and Uz's idle thoughts. He plans to continue studying it and perhaps take a trip to consult with Tiv on the matter.

Result

Further study only serves the heighten your concern: the way the symbols are set up suggests a planar travel spell, though the actual formula is alien to you. Despite the talk of pillars, a visual study does not suggest any of the terms of the equation are Lunar or "pointed" toward the Astral Plane. A conversation with Tiv does not reveal new information, but he affirms your suspicion that this is probably an anchor for an Elemental planar gate.


Divult

Divult stopped briefly out of sight and off the path winding through the Meek. If what he gathered from the thoughts through his Jadeite stones were to be trusted, he was getting near and should be begin using caution. This path was oft used by the devout, blindly seeking to extend their lives by soliciting favor from the Immortals. He wrapped himself heavily in corruption magic, it would do no good to stumble upon a Cleric or Paladin on a pilgrimage at this point. Slowly he crept south down the forest path, searching for recent evidence of travelers at each step, in time he stood over the curious object.

About the size of a short halfling, it was pyramidal and framed from a red-gold substance, possibly orichalcum. Within the frame was a grey-green material, which was simply beyond any type of mineral he could think of. Of the three exposed sides one was completely smooth, another filled with odd engravings and the last heavily embossed and host to arcs of vibrant electricity. Anyone whom gazed upon it would clearly know object was of significance. Though the question of its origins concerned him he was firmly in the grip of his curiosity, cautiously he laid his hand upon the smooth face and peered into its eldritch inner workings.

A thoughtful look crossed his face as he opened his senses to it, beneath its surface were raging torrents of elemental power. Though he may have had a latent talent for Elemental energies years ago, what lie within was immensely complex, whirling and twisting beyond ability to grasp. Knowing that anyone could happen upon him if he were to launch a more extensive study of its magic, he instead turned his attention to the curious engravings. He traced each one quickly, burning shape and position of every line into his memory. When time permitted he would transcribe each to paper for reference, but time rarely permitted a Philosopher to stand in such an exposed view for long, even cloaked as he were in perceptual oppression. Safer to commit them to memory so he could later scour the many tomes of knowledge at his disposal.

Action

Divult wishes to delve into the meanings of the strange engraved side of the pyramid, committing the face to memory and later transcribing it to paper for reference because of his overly cautious nature. Due to his concern over possible demonic or immortal origin, he will likely start his search at his local collection of forbidden and socially unacceptable lore, and then branch out to the more plebeian collections of knowledge. He is not above seeking the opinions of his more experienced peers, though his independent streak will force him to pursue that option last.

Result

Your local collection of forbidden and socially unacceptable lore is quite extensive and provides you with some insights. None of the symbols on the engraved side of the pyramid are divine or demonic in origin. However, some of the symbols are used in Elemental sorceries, and the way they are arranged suggests that the entire engraved face is a spell pattern. In the center of the pattern is a distinct symbol of a stylized staff or pillar, but you are unable to find information about that in the monastery's library.


Aok

Talk of the strange device is everywhere! The Tog is glad he is back home in Crossing to hunt more crocodile. The mystery is right out the gate, waiting for him to come investigate. Do the other towns know yet? He heads to his vault. This odd pyramid is said to be magical, so he'd rather go in his best plate armor rather than the lesser chain he has been training in. "You just can't trust magics" he thinks to himself. After staring at his vast collection of weapons for longer than he really needs to, he selects an engraved lumium dire mace from the rack, nodding happily. A slow grin spreads across his face. Any excuse to bash something!

The odd artifact does not take long to find. There is clear trail of gawkers to follow to and from the area. Upon his arrival, he finds a Kaldar he does not know. his old friend, Damian, and the tiny errand girl, Uzmam. The latter two are just finishing an discussion regarding the strange pyramid. The Tog is secretly relieved to find the talk winding down. It will save him the effort of pretending to be ignorant and confused by scholarly discussion.

Aok greets the party with a hearty Tog "Heyo!"

The Tog sets to examining the pyramid as soon as he feels he can. To his horror, the Kaldar appears eagre to smash the thing with an axe he has produced! No! HE wants to smash at it. But ah, relief. The errand girl seems to have talked the unknown Kaldar out of the wanton destruction. Good. He'll get to it in a moment. Even better is the fact that Uzmam and Damian quickly excuse themselves. Now no one will try to talk HIM out of his assault when it comes. He takes a knee, and prods at the grey-green substance a bit, flinching in anticipation of some magical complaint form the device. None comes. He examines the edges as he would those of a weapon, taking note of the quality (or lack there of?) in the workmanship. He gives the engravings and embossments a a quick once over, but as he expected, they make little sense to him with his lack of magical sensitivity.

Finally the part he has been waiting for! The Sent-Tog yells "Lookt out!!" and without even checking to see whether the Kaldar has stood clear, swings his dire mace with all his might. He connects fully; sharply. Nothing. He is pretty sure the thing didn't even quiver.

"I mean it. Don't hit it with things!" the errand girl thinks into his gweth stream.

Aok smirks inwardly. Too late.

"It seems well constructed", the Kaldar thinks back. (Sorry if I got the quote wrong. going off memory here.) Understatement. The Tog waits to see if his blow has any delayed results.

Action

Aok has a reasonably sharp mind. A fact he keeps a closely guarded secret as a sort of defense. Plus he loves playing the dumb Tog to see the look of horror on people's faces when he starts speaking. He looks the thing over as best he can before poking at the mysterious substance. If it sucks him into some sort of void dimension before he can attack it with his mace, I'm cool with that and the attack being preempted. Otherwise he will wait a short time to see if the thing asplodes or hits him back, then walk away if it does nothing. For now...

Result

The mysterious substance is slick to the touch, but possesses no innate defense against being hit with a mace. A powerful blow with your mace produces the sound of metal contacting metal, and leaves a depressingly small crater in the material... which only gets more depressing when the material soundlessly reforms its shape moments later. Damn magics.


Thembleton

Thembleton stumbled into Crossing after a long day spent in the mine. Stepping through the North East Customs gate he readjusted a heavy sack full of various metals he collected throughout the day. His now middle aged back groaned and begged him to hire someone to shoulder the burden of the great weight. “No”, he thought “The rich get rich by not spending coin unless they have to... next time, I’ll take the carav....”. Something was up, the city seemed to be buzzing with activity with a new found excitement. Perplexed, Thembleton rested his heavy sack on the ground and bent over acting like he was searching for something within the sack. He tried to pick up as much information as he could from the surrounding conversations.

“...and it made no sound at all!” “... it appeared over by Siergelde’s Regard!”

Interesting...

“... he said it was made up of pure orichalcum! All of it!”

THAT got his attention! Thembleton’s thoughts quickly focused on the exquisite beauty orichalcum possesses... almost close to that of the beauty of jade.

“... its quite large with....”

Thembleton snapped out of his orichalcum induced daydreaming. Excitedly he thought, “Well, I better find whatever this large orichalcum whatever is... might be some coin in it, or some orichalcum. People around here would pay a good amount of something with orichalcum on it. Perhaps a jade pendant accented with orichalcum...” Thembleton began to walk towards the Western gate, when he was pulled back by his still firm grip on his sack. With a great sigh his thoughts returned back to the task at hand. “But first, I’ll have to do something with all this”.

Working the crucible as fast as he could, Thembleton smelted the last of his nuggets down into the purest ingots. He waited impatiently for the attendant to finish filling out the deed form, his thoughts wandering back to his orichalcum encrusted jade pendant. Thembleton mustered up a quick grin for the attendant as he stuffed his deeds into his sack. With a quick wave to his friend Yalda he sprinted off past Crossing’s western gate and made his way to Siergelde’s Regard. Upon reaching a large crowd Thembleton grew in excitement, then quickly remembered to keep a hand on his coin pouch. “Thieves must be everywhere in this crowd, how could they resist!” he thought. Thembleton’s short stature has always helped him out in a crowd. People took little notice of him as he pushed his way to the front. Despite his age, most races still took him for one of their children, so they paid his rudeness little mind. The crowd became increasingly harder to move through as he got closer to the center, but upon seeing the warm reddish glow of orichalcum, he pushed forward with even more zeal. He stopped in awe of what he saw. There before him was a orichalcum pyramid. It was so smooth, and so perfect. He reached out and touched it. The metal called to him. “I must have this, perhaps I’ll make an orichalcum pendant accented with jade instead!”, he thought trying to keep his excitement contained. He walked around the pyramid his hand caressing it as he went. He ducked under the outstretched arms of a silly looking mage who was trying to do something with the pyramid. Magic users always always try to make their work look so dramatic. Besides, what could these mages discern from a bunch of Orichalcum. Nothing, surely this pyramid was meant for him, after all it was about his size. He quickly tried to think of ways he could get the pyramid to the forage, “These people will never let me make something beautiful out of it. They probably would want to...” he stopped, his fingertips no longer felt the smoothness of the pyramid, but something out of the ordinary. Refocusing on the pyramid he saw it covered in strange characters. The characters seemed oddly familiar to him, like something he saw in a dream. He laughed and shook his head. “No, I’m no moon mage... I’ve never seen these characters before, not in a dream or premonition, who am I kidding.” he thought. He traced his fingers over several of the characters. “You need to be careful Them old boy.. you know self believed lies are the most dangerous... and the most costly”. Tracing his finger over one of the sharper looking characters, Thembleton got an idea, pulling some charcoal out of his sack and ripping a blank page from his ledger, he copied down each character the best he could. He looked over his work and the same strange feeling of familiarness with the characters swept over him. “No”, he thought shaking his head, “... if I continue down that road, everyone would start thinking I was a fool.” He folded up the paper and tucked it into his ledger. He scanned the crowd for a bit, “Well, I can’t make any Orichalcum pendants today, but surely there has to be some way to make a few coins off of this”, he pondered tapping his ledger. He entered back into the crowd lost in another day dream....

...

Thembleton had to go see the pyramid one last time... As he approached, he was a bit take back. “What did those mages do to it?!” he muttered. Sparks sizzle all along they pyramid. Through the sparks the pyramid doesn’t seem to be quite what he remembered either.... looking for a while, he realized that in his prior excitement, he saw more in the pyramid then was really there. It wasn’t all made of orichalcum, but rather it just framed it... but framing what... As Thembleton tried to make out what the strange greyish-green material was, his thoughts drifted. “I would have made it out of jade.... Perhaps this isn’t my pyramid after all, but rather a play thing for the mages. Afterall, why would it now be electrified. Maybe to protect its orichalcum frame...” Looking where the characters he clearly remembered seeing where before, he now saw a different set of engravings. He quickly pulled out that paper from his ledger. Where once he remembered writing down familiar characters, now he just sees chicken scratch. Grumbling, he crumpled up his paper and threw it on the ground. Sighing heavily he thought, “Well Them old boy, you finally lost it... in your excitement you saw what you wanted to see.... good thing you didn’t tell anyone about this.. they’d think you a fool.. self believed lies.....” With one last look at the sparking pyramid, Themleton turned and made his way back to the forge his thoughts focused on a jade pyramid framed in orichalcum....

Action

Thembleton’s thoughts remain focused on the characters. He can’t shake the feeling that he feels connected to them, but in reality there isn't one (I the player am assuming anyways, maybe this an event leading up to me getting ma luna magiks). He is just drawn to the characters because of the orichalcum and the things he can make from it. A small part of him thinks it was put there just for him to make orichalcum jewelry, statues, and other adornments. He was meant to find it for this reason, this is why the Gods put him on Elanthia. The characters might as well say.. “To: Themleton Love: The 13.”... just a small part of him though... If only he could break a part of the pyramid off for his own use...

Result

Unfortunately, the pyramid resists attempts to pry, pull, or pray off portions of the orichalcum framework. Still, you've gotten enough exposure to the stuff to realize this is, in fact, real orichalcum. Whoever (or whatever) made this pyramid certainly had deep pockets.


Turul

Clearly, I choose the right city to run away to after the... incident... at home. The Crossing is a bustling metropolis, and after I found Silvyrfrost as instructed, I was wandering the streets when I heard about something out the west gate. and my thoughts were filled with someone screaming about someone "turning it on," whatever "it" was.

Well, with all this new power the gods have granted me, surely I could figure out something, maybe start to build some reputation. So I headed out the west gate towards where they said the thing was.

When I arrived, I found a pair of figures already there. One was a quiet, almost shadowy type. The other was a bit of a shrill domineering type. From their conversation, I picked up their names were Damian and Uz.

Clearly I underestimated the difference between The Crossing and home. I hate to admit it, but I was over my head when faced with this artifact. I couldn't understand anything that was carved on it, the sparks didn't behave like anything I was familiar with, and even my new knowledge of the elemental streams told me nothing. The only thing I could think of was to try to hit it, either by divine inspiration or simply frustration.

When I kicked it a couple of times, Uz babbled at me and screamed some stuff about I might kill us all or something. She convinced me not to swipe my axe at it. It's certainly heavy, but how does anyone know if there is nothing inside? I suppose there's only one way to find out...

When the dumb Tog showed up, Uz yelled at him, too, when he took out his mace. He tapped at it a couple times, but clearly didn't put all the strength he must have in his blows, but it seemed pretty solid.

After he left, I remembered the thoughts of "turning it on," so I wondered if it wasn't just only halfway charged? I tried, with my new skills, to focus some elemental energy around it and into it to maybe charge it up. Didn't really see anything happen, but who knows with that thing.

Maybe in a few days someone will figure something out and I can use that to my advantage.

Action

Turul, newly arrived in Crossing is an over-confident young Kaldar who escaped his home under bad circumstances. As part of that, he gained the ability to work with elemental mana and joined the Bard's guild. He's quite wet behind the ears still, and just doesn't have any idea of what he doesn't know. He's starting to see that there's a whole world out there where he's still just a small speck, so he's eager to prove himself. He will not outright ask anyone for help, but will listen to others discussing it and try to get a leg up on their pursuits, but will probably always be one step behind, unless his brash actions cause something to happen.

Result

Your attempt to channel Elemental mana into the pyramid is a success, of sorts. It readily accepts the charge, but demonstrates no immediate change in behavior. It's possible the pyramid simply requires a lot of energy to function, or perhaps something else is going on.


Round 3

Uzmam

Talking with with the Moon Mage guild wasn't as fruitful as I hoped. They admitted that they're concerned about the pyramid, but the symbols don't have anything to do with their magic... at least as far as they knew. Slightly disappointed, I still pressed on to do my own research at Aesmath Academy.

After a few days of pouring through Aesmath's archives on magical symbols, I eventually came across a book that dealt with being able to manipulate the Elemental planes. The pillar/column/cane/staff-symbol-thing appears to be a very old representation of electricity—which explains all that electricity I was starting to spark along the embossed side—while the symbols around it dealt with the manipulation of an elemental plane.

I rushed back to the pyramid with a few notes from the book, only to discover that the engraved symbols on side I was researching were also lit up by electricity. Galston was also there, and he told me that the electric energy in the pyramid is somehow interacting with aether energy, which is normally a very weird thing that shouldn't work, let alone not be completely disastrous. He also mentioned earth magic is doing something, but it isn't as big of a deal.

Because of all the Elemental stuff going on with the pyramid, I asked Galston if it would make sense to talk to Gauthus about it. He offered to do it for me, which will give me with more time to try to find more in those books about how aether and electricity could possibly be working together like this. On the way back down the mountain, I bumped into Grutle, and he mentioned that there might be a way to "trigger" the pyramid into doing whatever it is meant to do. He kinda seemed okay with it, and hoped it would make some kind of uber-turnip, but I think that was just Toggish high-hopes. Now I'm even more worried that some of this research might inadvertently cause something terrible to happen, and we need to alert the city in the event things go very badly.

Action

Because Uzmam was able to pass alerting Gauthus about the symbols to Galston, who she feels is much more adept at explaining the finer details of Elemental magic anyway, she instead returns to Aesmath Academy to see if she missed anything that could explain how aether energy could ever possibly interact with electrical energy in the books. Along with researching how aether and elemental planes could possibly interact in a stable manner, she explicitly tries to find out if those books could have any clue as to what would make something that could interact with the planes in such an unconventional manner show up out of nowhere in the first place. On the way to Aesmath Academy, she feels an obligation to also make sure the town guards were aware of the potentially dangerous device right outside of town that could possibly trigger at any time.

Result

You find a reference to something called "Hylomorphic Sorcery" in the back of the stacks, where students usually only go to nap. Sorcerous energies can result in the elements taking on unnatural shapes, bending and twisting to new designs completely outside the typical separation of elemental effects. This is... not stable in any sense of the term, and shares Sorcery's panache for being destructive when used.


Yhalei

Having reached the limits of her fledgling knowledge of elemental magic, Yhalei escaped the confines of the college library and got back out into the fresh air with a bundle of notes stuffed in her pack. On the trip back to Zoluren she sat on the ferry deck, turning over the magical equations in the hopes of trying to glean some sort of sense from them. The center figure of the embossing appeared to be an archaic symbol for the Plane of Abiding, according to one of the books she had referenced, and there were symbols in the equations that implied they had to do with the planes, but beyond that she was lost.

With a sigh she rolled her copy back up and stowed it away. It was clear that she was going to need some help. Possibly someone more advanced in the warrior mage guild... or maybe even some moon mages. She'd heard they were supposed to be pretty good at math.

Action

Yhalei's going to head to the Crossing guild, asking around. She'll try to get some advice from Gauthus, or any other war mages she can find, about the nature of the equations. (With some in-game collaboration with other players, if I can manage to pull it off tomorrow afternoon/evening.) If that fails, she'll try asking around among the moon mages, and even risk asking Kssarh, since she's not entirely familiar with his reputation. Even if she was, she'd probably just hope he'd find it interesting enough to not throw her out a window.

Result

Someone made it to Gauthus before you, but you showed up with another part of the equation. He already knew that the pyramid is the anchor to a gateway to the Elemental Plane of Electricity, but the embossed side of the pyramid gives the targeting information for the spell. It appears that the location the pyramid found itself in is so specific to the pyramid's function that it was embossed onto it. The gateway might not even function if the pyramid was moved.


Grutle

The Water-Tog stares at the pyramid, daring it to blink first. Unfortunately, the Tog loses the match and throws his hands up with a sigh. Having conversed with Uzmam and Galston, he is fixated on the idea of the immovable object with the solidified ground around and beneath it. He kneels down and begins crawling slowly around the pyramid, tapping at the ground, trying desperately to channel his ranger learning to be One With The Dirt. After a time, he pulls out a horribly dented shovel and makes prospecting pits. Giving up eventually, he wanders off, only to return with a Dwarf. Overheard is an incredibly scientific explanation on the soil strata and stability from the Dwarf, with a confused, sweaty look from the Tog. Exasperated, the Dwarf begins using very small words, doing so very slowly.

Action

Grutle wants to test to see what it would take to burrow under the pyramid and make it move. How far down would he need to go, is it possible, etc. He attempts to use his ranger magic and learning to feel for changes in the ground and dirt, and digs small holes to see if there's a boundary to the magic manipulating the soil. He also attempts to hire a Dwarven engineer to get further insight into the possibility of tunneling under the pyramid.

Result

The magic manipulation is quite extensive, but not infinite. It appears to have a radius (or, in Tog, da shortest path to da middle) of 60 feet. You are unsure how far down it goes, but from the way the effect sloped in your experiment it appears to be an upside-down dome shape. Dwarf engineering could certainly dig under the thing; if you have enough time. Though, then again, you'd be left with a gigantic clump of solid earth.


Galston

While Galston was studying the pyramid others popped in from time to time to do the same. Conversations led to sharing of information, where he learned from a Tog that the pyramid was a type of magical device but couldn't find the how to 'trickle' it. Uzmam had apparently done studies at the library in town and discovered what some of the symbols mean.

Galston takes this in and decides to make his own copies of the engravings and embossings. I notes what some of the symbols mean, like the one in the middle being and old symbol for electricity and the outside markings refering to manipulating planes. Having these notes in hand, he heads to Gauthus with all of his findings to this point and see if he can help piece this together or maybe can point the investigation in the right direction.

Galston turns to his lynx and frowns. "Let's go, dummy." They head off to the Warrior Mage Guildhall.

Action

Galston is heading to see if Gauthus can make any sense of these symbols and all the other findings he's had up to this point. If nothing else, an elder warmage's opinion.

Result

Armed with the knowledge you and your companions dug up, your conversation with Gauthus goes well. He is able to piece together that what you are looking at is an inactive planar gate connecting to the Elemental Plane of Electricity. Currently inactive, anyway. From what you describe, the results of opening the gate could be enormous; a tear in the Void equivalent to what happened to spawn the mana storms.


Damian

Light crept through the curtains of the room forming a puddle on the floor. It was probably his perception of how fluid and easy to manipulate light is. He realized it was later than he'd planned on meditating. Day had snuck upon him still in meditation. A great weight had settled on his shoulders and answers were hard to find. In fact, he'd found nothing yet, just speculation. Still dressed from the previous night he wasted no time at all changing. Curtains were flung back, allowing enough light to penetrate. It was good that he had such an understanding innkeeper. He motioned hurriedly and opened a waygate. Drab gray emanated from within as he stepped inside. He could feel the raw power like spread before him like roots forming a lattice in the indistinct landscape, pulsating and urging him forward.

He'd reached his destination before realizing it. He stepped out of the world devoid of life. A feeling of ecstasy always accompanied the first breath drawn after leaving that place. He hated traveling through it and did it only out of necessity. The shard, Erekinzil, floating in front of him pulsed with energy and promise. It sat perched between two crystal pincers. He'd studied it at length before many times but it was worth another look. He summoned into reality the arsenal of spells needed for a proper examination. Swirling raw power encompassed the area as he began to delve deeper into the shard.

He returned to the inn some time later to change. Tiv would be very disappointed to see his pupil so dusty and unkempt. The appointment had been difficult to make, Tiv was not in the habit of seeing many people anymore and with the advent of the device's arrival, his time was ever more sparse.

The meeting had not gone quite as Damian expected but it was hard to expect what a guild leader would do in times like these. It had bordered on surreal. Tiv had sat on a simple chair with no less than nine people around him. Everyone spoke at once, Damian was quite unsure just how anyone could hold a conversation in this fashion. Converse he did though. He was able to shed a little bit more light upon the subject, as Damian had suspected, the device was probably an anchor for an Elemental planar gate. Dissatisfied with the apparent lack of concern, he left Tiv to his nine way conversation and sought more quiet surroundings.

The adjacent room to his bedroom at the inn served as a decent study. He'd lit several candles and continued to pour over volumes of books from his haversack. They covered a wide range of topics but unfortunately none of them seemed to really help with the matter at hand. As time trickled on, his sense of urgency grew and was only matched by his rising concern over the power of this artifact.

Action

Damian is feeling a little lost with the lack of information available but continues to trudge on, hoping that something or perhaps someone will find out more about it before it could potentially be too late. He has a very bad feeling about what this device is capable of unleashing. He plans on visiting with other guild leaders to see if they will share any more information or if they even know anything more than Tiv.

Result

None of the Moon Mage guildleaders can speak with much detail on the specifics of how Elemental gates work. The warnings are more general, though perhaps still relevant: the more powerful the portal is, the more "massive" of an entity could come through. Humans and related creatures, for example, require much more powerful gateways than Shadow creatures or familiars, to account for the flesh and blood. A gate of that size could unleash... anything, really.


Divult

Divult closed the heavy leather bound tome with a sigh of relief, he could find no trace of either demonic or Immortal links to the sigils on the pyramid. Still troubled however by the complexity and sudden appearance of such a high level artifact he continued to scour the arcane omnibus before him. After many hours, his exhaustive search of the illicit tomes surrounding him did turn up some interesting leads. Many of the symbols and etchings were used commonly used in Elemental Sorceries and their arrangement was proof of some byzantine spell pattern. At the very center of this pattern was a symbol of what could be a pillar or staff.

It was clear to him that this must be the next avenue to pursue, though most knowledge centers that would specialize in Elemental Sorceries would be difficult for him to gain access to. He sat back in the stout wooden chair that cradled him as his thoughtful gaze swept the room, unseeing of the furnishings or the writhing arcane tendrils at the edge of his vision. He nodded slowly to himself as his thoughts formed a plan. The place that would likely have the most information that he could still gain access to was the extensive Maginius Kaentao Maou on the old Capital of the Empire of the Seven Pointed Star. While access was normally heavily restricted, the Archmagus Fleintoore whom ran many services there was known to be easily persuaded by platinum and not too concerned about who was willing to pay. There he hoped to be able to find the significance of the Pillar rune etched into artifact or even perhaps learn of the function the spell pattern was intended to serve.

Action

Having a few leads Divult heads off to Throne City, purse full of platinum and a mind eased by magical contrition, to gain access to the exclusive magical library located there in the hope that he can decipher the meaning behind the central engraving. Should he be unable to locate any leads in the library, the platinum might also work to loosen Fleintoore's tongue.

Result

You were able to convince Fleintoore, well known magical polygot, to point you in the right direction with his library of useful but dubiously moral books. You find the symbol has two meanings, depending on context. The easiest context here is that it's an archaic way of representing the Elemental Plane of Electricity. However, equally old it served as a symbol for Firulf's Staff. Its use for the divine artifact is highly specific to ancient Elementalists, which is why it did not come up in a survey of Immortal iconography.


Aok

The Tog's jaw drops in disbelief! His mace delivers what he feels is a powerful blow, producing the sound of metal contacting metal... and leaving a depressingly small crater in the material. Matters only become more depressing when the material soundlessly reforms its shape moments later. He is quite large even by his own large race's standards. That tiny, temporary dimple is the best he can muster!? Damn magics. He hopes fervently that the Kaldar didn't notice. It must have seemed no more than pitiful tap if she did.

Aok returns days later to try again. The mage, Galston is here examining the thing. The Tog thinks and squints and tries to make heads or tails of the things on the surface. He takes a knee and draws an old bronze dagger from his boot. More a fond possession than a well-honed fighting instrument, he doesn't mind risking this blade's edge. Aok gives the pyramid several pokes and jabs. Several more than he originally intended in fact, the frustration of his first failed "attack" venting just a bit. His prodding tests both the metallic portion as well as the unidentifiable grey-green base.

The errand girl arrives again, accusing him of hitting it with things. With an inward smirk, the Trophy-Tog assures her that he is done with that and is now poking it instead. Heh! He gives it a couple more pokes, just to torment the Gnome. Not getting quite the reaction he wanted from her, he gives it a sharp rap with the butt of the dagger as well. Ah, that was better. He'll take a small wince of concern.

He listens as the mage and the errand girl talk about mixing elemental and aether magics. He doesn't know much about magic at all, but Galston seems pretty clear that electric magic and aether magic shouldn't be playing well together, even if they are. Not thinking, he asks the result might be an explosion.

"Stupid Tog", he chides himself. Showing too much comprehension. At least he remembered to give it a good ol' Sent-Tog spin when he spoke. He tries to cover jumping on a comment the mage made about the two magics not combining "here".

"Where is should go for do sum asplodshion", he asks. The two Gnomes don't even seem to notice his question, so maybe his stupidity is still intact.

Crisis averted for the time being, the Tog returns to examining the strange pyramid. He stretches full out on the ground for a better view and tries to wedge his little blade under the pyramid in an attempt to loosen it.

Action

Aok's attempts at physical damage and dislodging are fairly apparent I think. This time when he examines the pyramid's markings, he actually tries to make some sense of them ass opposed to the less-than-half-hearted effort he gave it the first time. (He has zero magical or scholarly inclination, however smart or dumb he might be, so let that guide you idea of his success.) After he finishes this round of examinations, he intends to go talk to Mo. He fees more comfortable with a Tog closer to his sensibilities... and with whom he can speak in Toggish rather than broken Sent-Tog. He wants to see how the Guildleader feels regarding the dangers of a possible magical explosion of some sort. Aok isn't keen on the idea of magical fallout raining down upon everyone. Aok doesn't trust magic at all! It was years before he would even use JJs. He was afraid all his bits wouldn't re-materialize (completely stolen from Dr. McCoy's transporter phobia).

Result

Your prods and taps reveal that the grey-green material seems to be a metal of some kind, though you've never encountered it before. Granted, metal doesn't usually heal itself, but, well, damn magics. There's a lot of magical squiggly gunk on the two "written$RQ sides of the pyramid, but each side has one major image they're centered around. The embossed side has a semisphereical bump with thirteen rings, and the engraved side the image of a staff or pillar of some kind.


Kydosha

Kydosha continues to study the pyramid. Nothing new to report seems to have happened to it though. She will continue to look for similarities to the runes within the libraries of clericdom scattered throughout the land, with additional studies in the dragon temple in muspar'i.

Action

She will be the only one of my toons to persue knowledge of the pyramid, although the others will continue to influence her if their advice is sought

Result

While the pyramid has no Holy connection that you can decipher, certain universalities among magic hold true. The symbols are arrayed in a fashion that suggests a plane-breaching spell, centered around images of a semisphere with thirteen circles (on the embossed side) and some kind of staff or pillar (on the engraved side).


Morpion

All three moons down, a fat little S'kra Mur approaches the pyramid. Shunned by society and ousted from his guild he only dares venture to see it by true cover of night. Morpion reaches to touch the pramid but his magical abilities so gimped from his recent injuries can barely manage to focus for a split second on the pyramid. He chuckles to himself while dreaming of taking it's power and getting back on the path to smiting everyone that ever laughed at his short pudgy body. The anger grows in him as he tries to understand the markings on the pyramid but cannot seem to focus his mind on anything without the headache returning. Seething he draws his sledgehammer to try to break the power he cannot ever imagine trying to harness again. But stops short. Putting his mace back in his backpack he spits in disgust at the pyramid, but more at himself. He knows he is unprepared for whatever may come. But one day he will attain the power to wield might like this and then all will fall...

Action

Morpion is feeling great anger from his "reduction" and hopes to somehow quick fix it. He wants to unleash this power blaming everyone but himself for his loses. He plans to observe from behind and try to steal whatever knowledge or gains can come from the pyramid.

Result

People seem to be almost as confused as you are about the pyramid, though you catch mutterings about an elemental gate of some kind. This strikes you as a relatively inefficient way of gathering information, but perhaps the only safe way. Someday they too will suffer, at least.


Round 4

Uzmam

Hylomorphic sorcery! Well, whatever that is. That's what this thing is. It's one big, pulsing, electric... hylomorphic sorcery... thing. Rushing back to the pyramid with this knowledge, I met a mage named Yhalei whose own research showed that it might have some, like, partner pyramid thing located elsewhere—maybe the plane of electricity!

I explained that Gauthus needed to be looped in on it being hylomorphic sorcery, and since Galston isn't around that's a perfect job for another war mage. Yhalei agreed to report to him on both of our findings. I also heard Damian on the gweths, so I told him about how I was wrong to believe it was a Lunar type of... plane... entering... thing, and he agreed that the moon mages didn't feel it was a device that was meant to work with their magic.

This is getting to be much bigger than something I should be handling alone. I'll sleep on it before deciding what to do next.

...

After the most awkward dream I had in a very long time, I heard a memorable voice in my head. He told me to relax, that he meant no harm, and that I needed to tell the "proper people" that the pyramid is a device created with holy and elemental energy. Maybe my entire dream was just the result of him trying to reach me while I was sleeping, but if he was trying to help, I didn't want to be a jerk about it.

I told him about how that might be what hylomorphic sorcery is, how it might be some of door to the plane of electricity, and that there might be some kind of trigger that opens the doorway, if there is one. That seemed to seriously worry him, and he explained that nothing good will come of our two planes being able to touch each other.

Everyone seems to be having the same conclusion: this thing is dangerous and must be stopped. Even the people who were initially curious are starting to become a bit more reserved about it. This can't stay as a small project for just a few of us any longer.

Gauthus is already being told about the device. The Paladins need to know, too. Maybe they have some kind of holy... something that can stop it. Maybe they'll just prepare the town for whatever kind of disaster might happen once this thing turns on for real. But we're past the point where I can just keep reading out of my own personal curiosity. It's not a fun treasure to learn about anymore: this thing is a threat.

Action

Now with the belief that this device is much more of a severe threat than she could have ever imagined, Uzmam feels that she needs to stop treating it like some fun pet project and instead help prepare for the worst. She heads to the Paladin Guild and offers free weapon and armor repairs to any Paladin available. During that time, she tells each one how she needs their help—that there is a dangerous sorcerous artifact out the west gate which might open to the plane of electricity by somehow using holy and elemental energy together, and all of Crossing might be at risk because of it. She can only hope they've started hearing enough rumors from local war and moon mages to take her warnings seriously, and not just take them for the panicked warnings of a madwoman. If they don't take trust her and tell their superiors, at least by tending to their equipment she'll be doing her part for making sure they'll be prepared if something terrible does take place.

Result

Your efforts by themselves would result in relatively little, but thankfully others are pursuing similar ends. The Paladins don't particularly understand what's going on, but there's a digging project at work and Paladins, if nothing else, know how to labor. They lend a hand in the attempt to dislodge the pyramid.


Yhalei

As she made her way down from Siergelde's Regard, Yhalei picked up her pace, moving quickly back toward the Crossing. While she was still interested in the power behind the pyramid, she also had no intention of experiencing it firsthand. The information she'd received from Gauthus was enough to be worrying, but the rate at which the pyramid seemed to be changing made things seem even more pressing. She didn't want to end up like the fly she saw land on the pyramid, if she could help it.

A brief chat with Uzmam had been interesting, and brought up a few theories, but not much of it was useful in the way of stopping the thing. The gnome had said she'd found out the pyramid was making use of Hylomorphic sorcery, though, and maybe that would mean something to Gauthus, or this Galston fellow Uzmam had mentioned. It didn't mean much to Yhalei, since instruction in sorcery isn't standard practice for war mage guild novices. Based on her previous discussion with Gauthus, she had also come up with a possible plan for disrupting the device... the question was if there was enough time.

Action

Yhalei is going to go back to Gauthus for two things. One, to mention to him that someone found that the pyramid was making use of Hylomorphic Sorcery, and if that would help clear up exactly what the pyramid is going to do. Two, to see if he has an idea of just how precise the targeting on the pyramid needs to be for it to work properly. If moving the pyramid just a bit will suffice, she's going to try to get anybody she can to come up with shovels and picks to try to dig under the pyramid and collapse the ground it's sitting on, possibly at least moving it a bit and changing it so that it's not sitting level anymore.

Result

Gauthus immediately turns pale at the idea of a giant, sorcerous planar gate. However, he suggests that the targeting built into the spell is pretty precise, enough that a change in inclination or position would be enough to keep the portal from forming. You start to futilely dig at the pyramid alone, but before long engineers and (of all things) Paladins come to aid you. It's a lot of hard work, but it's also a lot of hands. You succeed in causing the pyramid to tilt and dip.


Grutle

Having performed his own "investigations" and overhearing talk from other adventurers, as well as the rumor mill, Watertog becomes increasingly frustrated at the presence of the pyramid. Thoroughly convinced it is an evil being trapped in a metallic body, with plans to ruin the world, he remains at a loss as to how to remove it. He makes a final trip to MAMAs and begins a long conversation with a team of Dwarves. He returns to Siergelde and places stakes in the ground, running a cord around the stakes. He begins scribbling on a plank and attaches it to the rope.

~ DANJUR ~
~ This pyramidal is a portent magical device and may cause the end of our natural word. ~
~ Please use caution and retain far away from it. Do not attempt to trigger the crevice. ~

He places a silver armband on his arm, sighs heavily, and rubs the armband before vanishing.

Action

Grutle heard the rumors and thinks the pyramid will end the world, or at least Zoluren. He attempts to convince and hire Dwarves to burrow a cave under the device to make it fall in and be covered with earth. As a last resort, he also ropes off the area around the pyramid that he found to be covered with the earthen magic. As a last last resort, he uses JJ to get to Ratha and hopefully avoid the fate of Zoluren.

Result

Collapsing the artifact underground is too extravagant for the time you have remaining, but you can dig. When you and your hirelings arrive, Yhalei is already at work trying to dig a hole; shortly after you, a party of Paladins arrive to lend a hand. Through many back-breaking hours, you are able to disrupt the earth enough to slant the pyramid.


Damian

Leaving the small study in shambles he trudged to the bed and fell upon it. He needed to rest, tomorrow would be a very long day and likely would prove a test of his extensive travel abilities. Blissfully, sleep came quickly and enveloped him like a nurturing shroud. He'd been granted one more dreamless night.

He could barely stand having walked back from the pyramid, his eyelids felt like two anvils dragging their way down to rest. It had been an eye opening day. He could not recall another time he'd used so much power to traverse the world. He'd been in audience with every moon mage guild leader whom he could locate; it had not been an easy feat, turmoil had a firm grip of the lands. One thing, at least, was clear, this artifact was an anchor for a portal. Given the power it emanated, he'd been assured throughout his visits that the gateway the device could open had the potential to usher into reality horrific nightmares. It was unlike him to even ponder the destruction of such a powerful item but he'd quickly warmed to the idea. He disliked wasting knowledge and most of all power. He'd already attempted to harness some of the force readily evident around the pyramid with no success. Easier to understand in retrospect considering it appeared steeped in elemental magic.

He was at a loss to comprehend how such an item had not sent ripples, likely shock waves into the tapestry of the future, the weaving which created feedback in the forms of predictions. Perhaps he had not spent enough time studying portents in the alignment of the stars. He was certain that time was running short with every breath. Nonetheless, he made his way back to the pyramid, determination glowing in his eyes.

It did not take him long to reach it, he was glad to see it had been left alone, although the ground was pockmarked by small pits. Raising his arms, he chanted a series of spells designed to destroy the pyramid. Telekinetic power wrestled around him, laying waste to vegetation and animals alike in the area. Psychic energy lent a mournful howl to the wind as it crested over the sheer, ravaging destruction of forces wrought into existence. Flashes of moonlight struck the ground with predictable effects and soon the explosions they created coated everything in a layer of dirt, grime, and mud. Serenely, the pyramid stood, unabated, almost in challenge. The sky turned black and soon thereafter all else did as well.

As the shadows lifted some remained to join the unlikely tangle of spells aimed solely at the destruction of the artifact. Oozing, slithering shadow ropes with jagged, nightmare edges sought the object of his focus, they too were as leaves falling on snow, leaving not even the slightest trace of effect. Crystalline structures jutted from the ground at odd angles all around the pyramid, releasing their own electricity into the air, oddly humming in conjoining vibration with the pyramid. Amidst the maelstrom of power raging now unchecked, balls of light darted to and fro, seeking the target of their master's wrath. A slice of reality evaporated into the unknown as he sought to use a moongate opening at the midpoint of the device. In a final attempt he poured all the mana he could draw into one last spell. A ripple crawled along the edges of his sanity, he forced himself to concentrate and bring it into the pyramid's vicinity. Whole sections of the ground disappeared into the shuddering, unstable teleportation energy now loose upon the hillside. One by one, each of his creations were swallowed by the last and with the draining of his attunement, it too dissipated leaving a swath of destruction upon the once thickly vegetated area.

He staggered to his knees and once the dust settled he could still see it. As the electricity arced, the thick layer of dirt coating the pyramid slowly fell to the ground until it was once again pristine. A final, lingering insult to add to the evening's events.

As testament to the power he consumed, he had to walk back to town. He had no recollection of returning, the bed in his room had materialized in front of him and he was beyond caring how or why. Sleep came swiftly but the night was fraught with nightmares and ill thoughts. Undoubtedly, he was sure, the next few days would be full of much the same but during the waking time.

Action

Damian is pretty well convinced that this pyramid has got to go, he just can't figure out a way to be rid of it. He plans on spending time the next day observing the sky for clues and visions of what this pyramid will do and how to guard against it or live through it.

Result

Your soothsaying proves fruitful. You see a brilliant lance of light shatter a pane of glass. Your sense of perspective goes wild, as this pane of glass is suddenly as large as the dome of the heavens. The moons stutter in their orbits as glass rains down upon the world, becoming aetheric as it draws near. A landscape is irrevocably changed, though not the physical one.


Divult

The silhouette of the ancient capital slipped behind the horizon as the barge made slow progress back to the mainland. He did not waste a moment admiring it however, there were more important issues at hand. The central symbol on the engraved edge of the pyramid could be considered a symbol of Firulf's Staff, though the use on what he could now consider a divine artifact led him to believe it was linked to Elementalist of Old. Ancient, powerful, and long dead. Or at least, should be. Though a significant breakthrough, the scant few days of research provided too little information to form a full picture.

Judging by the thoughts that drifted into his mind via gwethdesuan, arcs of energy now danced across all sides of the artifact. Whatever it was meant to do, it would likely do soon. He gazed at the twist of gold and albredine that adorned his finger with a heavy sigh, he would have to pass on his findings. Though he had hoped to leave the gnome to her own devices a bit longer, there were too little options and simply not enough time. After a steady breathe, he sent out his thoughts...

...

He stepped off the barge and began making haste for Siergelde's Regard. His short exchange with the gnome had been fruitful, but only amplified his fears. The gnome had done her own gathering of information with results similar to what he himself had discovered. But unlike him, she also had information gathered from others, and it was very unfortunate news at that. The device appeared to be a doorway to an elemental plane, likely of lightning. There it was possible a twin artifact would lie, and together they would bore open a pathway between the two planes.

A shudder ran through him as memories surfaced of the Manastorm that wracked the world after the Puppet Lyras channeled her Demon and thinned the barrier between the planes. If even such a brief touch caused unrepairable damage to the world, what would a complete portal do? What absurdities would become possible as the planes bled into each other? This Immortal-wrought cage of a world was bad enough, he did not need a massive catastrophe to further hinder his plans to forge an eternal society. He must do what ever he could to silence the artifact.

Action

Being a bit desperate (living forever wont mean anything if a lightning portal zaps the world to ash) Divult is intent on finding a way to silence the artifact for good. While he hopes to find a safe way to do this, he is resolved enough to do it the hard way should all else fail. This includes going as far as finding a spot in the spell matrix where he can inject as large an amount of Arcane energy as he can wield in hopes that the mixture of Holy and Arcane will cause a catastrophic internal backlash event big enough to break the damn artifact (and just the artifact, hopefully!) Desperate, last ditch efforts for the win!

Result

It takes talent to do what you want amidst the other chaos going on around the pyramid, but you manage. The pyramid feels... off as you begin your operation, and the infusion of Arcane energy certainly doesn't help it any. There's no immediate backlash, but Something certainly happened.


Aok

The Tog has determined only one thing so far. Well, two. The first is that the grey-green stuff is metal. Magically tainted metal, unfortunately. The other is that there is a whole lot of magical squiggly gunk all over two sides of this strange artifact. Out of options, he tries to press the semi-spherical image on the embossed side. He ponders what sort of staff is engraved on the next panel over. Potent weapon of useless mage stick? Finally, he presses his palm flat against the smooth side and waits a moment, slightly nervous at even this slight consideration of a magical solution. (Open sesame?) Aok takes a knee and tries to meditate on the thing like a bit of chakrel. Chakrel is a metal, after all. Maybe this green stuff will do something too. Thinking of nothing better at present, the Tog heads to the Crossing guildhall. Maybe Agonar will have more to say about the dangers of a magical explosion than Mo did. Or the bartender. He's always full of opinions.

Action

Pretty clear I think. Aok tries to push the semi-sphere like a button. Reasoning that one strange metal reacts to Barbarian sensibilities, he tries meditation on it like Chakrel. He lays his hand flat on the smooth side, hoping it might open like a palm reader from stories of magic he's heard. After trying these things, he asks Agonar about what danger there might be in a magical explosion. Again with the fears of magical fallout. While he's there, he hits up Rushleel. That guy always had more to say than Agonar anyway.

Result

While none of your mechanical manipulations of the pyramid bear fruit, the meditation was... odd. It exhausted you, but you think you felt the magical equivalent of an engine throwing a belt. Whether this makes the pyramid more or less dangerous remains to be seen.


Kydosha

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel quickly to the library of my people in Muspar'i. There I discovered that some of the runes written on the pyramids resembled some of the runic magic that was thought to be lost forever after the destruction of the Sraaan of the Wind clan. The heralds had intervened then to stop the war between the elves and the humans - the S'Kra had fought on the side of the Elves... and magic - very powerful magic that had utilized elementals, among others, had been used - and had destroyed ...

Perhaps this was not only a gift from the Gods, but a warning as well. I continue to be tasked by the Temple to find out as much as possible. I also consulted the moon mage again. He seemed to see something more disturbing this time... he told me this...

<<You focus inwardly searching for insight into Kydosha's future. Clad in peasant garb, you are thrown to the side of the road by a passing rider. Although you feel no pain, your wretched inability to stand back up suggests a severe wound. Your ragged plea for help to a nearby woman dies in your throat when you notice her long, smoke-like black hair billowing about a face of even deeper blackness.>>

Could it be that this pyramid is an indication that Asketi is going to Ride again? If so, sacrifices must be prepared and made to appease her. But what does the elemental magic within it mean? Possibly the Lightning that Asketi usually brings with her, although Grandpa continues to warn me about the dangers that happened in Shard when something almost blew up there!

I continue to study the pyramid, which is now pulsating. I am now holding an altar candle, in order to see the markings more clearly.

Action

Kydosha sees things through the viewpoint of the religious views she holds. She still believes the pyramid is a gift from the gods, but now could be a message that should be deciphered as well.

Result

There is no new revelations from bringing the candle to bear upon the pyramid; there are still no Holy symbols on the faces. It's possible, in a distant sense, this is related to Asketi, but there's nothing here that points to it.

Conclusion

A brilliant bolt of lightning shoots up from the tip of the pyramid and, askew, ascends at an obvious angle.

Many magicians know that the planar substructure of the world is composed of aether. Warrior Mages, and to a lesser extent Bards, manipulate it soundly to affect the local laws of magic or let tiny things, such as additional mana or familiar-spirits, through the Void. Those same, many magicians now choke to see an unnatural bolt of lightning disappear into aetheric existence and slam, like a sledgehammer, into the walls of existence.

The effect is immediate, but thanks to the efforts of Elanthia's adventurers it is restricted strictly to the supernatural realm. No gate forms, no elemental god steps through to destroy the province, but the fallout is just as frightful. Magic stops working like it should as the rules of reality once again are polluted by extraplanar forces.

One thing remains missing, though: who, or what, did this? Too busy saving the world (not a minor feat, granted), there wasn't any chance to seek out the creator of the pyramid. Presumably he, she, or perhaps it is related to the Elemental Plane of Electricity, but does that provide enough of a hint?

First Lyras, now this. How many blows can the Plane of Abiding take before reality comes undone?