Philosopher's Knot

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The Philosopher's Knot was a device designed by the Demon Hunter Osven, and was used to kill Maelshyve in 430 AV. It was sorcerous in nature, employing Feral magic.

Osven says, "This device will not only kick her squarely in the chest with enough force and fury to bind her, harm her, lobotomize her, but also slam the door shut. The door may still have a small opening, or be held open a crack, but it's not going to be a wide open access portal for other forces."

Initially thought to a a single device, it was later revealed to be a pair of devices.

Final Appearance


What's before you is an exceedingly complicated contraption called the Philosopher's Knot. You think you can TURN, CHARGE, or RELEASE the device.


Composed of nested rings, the device appears to be designed with unparalleled craftsmanship. The sturdy outer ring is spiraled brass and steel, with eight facets smoothly alloyed into the overall structure, alternating between dull mottled cambrinth and red-gold orichalcum. The inner ring is a spiral of niello and lodestone, and bears several spokes supporting a central sphere of cambrinth. Capable of spinning freely with the barest whisper of friction, the inner ring bears a minute inscription of an "O".


You focus your senses on the complex device and recognize the extremely volatile signs of a Feral Energy enchantment. Structures derived from wild mana admixtures are piled high like precarious bricks, continuously sparking against one another, yet there are no explosions... for the time being. You attempt to evaluate the unevenly energized patterns.

In the sapience facet, there is approximately one-ninths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the blood facet, there is approximately six-eighths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the vigor facet, there is approximately six-ninths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the motive facet, there is approximately two-nineteenths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the Holy power facet, there is approximately four-twelfths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the Life power facet, there is approximately two-tenths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the Elemental power facet, there is approximately five-fourteenths the energy needed to attain activation.
In the Lunar power facet, there is approximately one-sixths the energy needed to attain activation.
The Arcane power core has been fully charged, ready for activation.
Roundtime: 26 sec.

Final Activation

With a bone-rattling *SNAP*, the devices activate! The outer rings explode with violent energy and slowly begin to rotate in perpendicular directions, the inner rings emitting an escalating roar as they blur into a solid sphere of rippling light cast with bizarre reflections and inky tendrils. Above the cacophony and light and noise, a woman screams in pain.

With a loud groan, the outer rings continue to pull against the black ropes, and dizzying red and green lightning plays across the area as the pent-up charge has nowhere to expend itself. Purple miasma pinwheels from the inner rings as conflicted space is translated into nonsense, and mutually exclusive laws of reality blend and wrestle for dominance. A woman continues laughing, her mirth and contempt echoing around the area.

In fleeting snatches, your mind sees the true essence of Maelshyve, or at least your mortal mind attempts to render an imperfect translation of the sensations bathing the area. It is much like a sphere of bubbling tar, hanging in space that does not actually exist within the projected outline of Maelshyve's purpose. Vortices of demonic filth ripple and crash along smaller and smaller segments of the hanging pit, endlessly expanding into infinity as you focus on any portion, and your feel yourself falling deeper and deeper into her form. She continues to laugh at your failure, at the futility, at your audacity.

The devices rattle, broken, ineffective. Crackling lightning ripples in all directions, and space reflects and stretches into chaos. Flashing columns of light beyond the visible twist and braid as the devices shed excess energy, the outer rings stretching and burning with mutable law. You feel your form explode into constituent particles and reform under your flaying will. The demoness laughs, delighted at the bounty delivered into her midst.

The mirror fractures. You fall into your reflection, the unfolding sphere of her true form slowly extending hideous triple-tined claws covered in radiant green eyes -- unavoidable, inescapable, all-encompassing. You realize you are screaming.

Stepping out of your blind spot, Osven soars forward, howling in rage, a vial clenched in a bloody palm, and a ritual knife held in the other. He slams the vial into the mass of tendrils binding the devices, then impales his hand with the ritual knife. Reality reasserts itself with a shock as the tendrils pulsate strangely at the point of contact. Rimming the three-part admixture of solution, blood, and ritual knife, a fluorescing circle of will and intent pins Osven in place. As he begins to chant, the inky tendrils bristle and begin to whip against his body, piercing and slashing, and the woman continues to laugh. You lose him a moment as he is pinned to the devices, engulfed in inky blackness.

Between writhing tendrils, you see Osven flare brilliantly with oozing reddish black energy that pulsates and courses down his arm, gathering around the combined skewered mess of his hand, the bizarre admixture, and the ritual knife. The knife erupts with white light, the tendrils recede, and Osven begins to shout in defiance and rage as the white light slowly encompasses his body, pouring into the device. He continues shouting as he begins to desiccate, his paper thin skin tearing and flaking away, clotted blood and dried sinew crumbling. His eyes burn pure white, and his skeletal remains push the knife deeper into the ritual circle. The tendrils begin to snap, and Osven's light surges into the devices' outer rings, which begin to spin with renewed vigor, scattering the remaining tendrils in all directions. After a moment, Osvens mummified remains crumble into dust. The demon's laughter turns into screams of fear.

The devices continue to accelerate, each of the now-free four rings gathering in speed and warping the no-space, shrinking the sphere of muck. The triple-tined claws twitch and crumble, and there is one last desperate surge of boiling rage as the device fully activates, cutting a quadruple-layered sphere around the brilliant twin-star core. The demon continues to scream, trailing off to choked gurgles.

The essence of Maelshyve ripples with circular pulses that you instinctively recognize as coming from the device instead of her. It ripples four times, soothing and smoothing the surface of the sphere. The devices thrum with power, constant and unchanging, stable and complete. The sense of Maelshyve's essence shrinks -- a fragmenting shadow of what was, a broken and lobotomized remnant, a dwindling scream of ancient rage. Within seconds, it is over, and all that's left is a flat circle, a surface that might as well be black-painted mirror.

As it settles, a cloud of jagged edges billows outward, and a rain of chalky black bone begins to fall!

* A meteor streaks across the sky but Osven's soul cannot walk the Starry Road, trapped forever.

Chalky black bones continue to erupt from everywhere, tearing into your body! You instinctively grab some of them before they lodge.

The demonbone rain subsides as the devices thrum steadily, flashing brilliant white, the door to Maelshyve's purpose held ajar.

You hear the sound of Osven screaming from within the energies of the devices. Their purpose complete, they remain, stable.