Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Orrery of Stones

In the idyllic time of the Age of Wonders, before the birth of the Elves and the Cerenoth, the sorcerers of Valtyr explored their new gift of magic in peace and prosperity. It was a time rife with experiments, great discoveries and magical crafting the likes of which the world has never seen since. In these days, only the Tower Verseth on Nilea and the Tower Tethion in Syr stood as halls for the sorcerers to practice their art within. There, they created artifacts of great arcane power and bound within them pieces of the living Voss, using the lost ritual known as the Genalagas Verun, so that the magic would never die. One such artifact that was created during this time is the fabled Orrery of Stones.

Designed to allow sorcerers to tap into the divinations of their rivals, the Brotherhood, the Orrery was a miniature construct of swirling gemstones that orbited a star sapphire carved with the symbol of the Citadel. It is said that the artifact allowed those who knew how to use it many powers: the ability to see into the near future; the power to discern truth from lies; the ability to power their spells to untold heights; and even more dangerous powers such as the ability to bind targets within the orbiting gemstones and gain control over the astral power of the moon and stars themselves!

The Orrery was primarily used as a way to guide the hands of the decision makers within the Citadel of the time, helping the order to flourish by reading the loom of Fate. It alone is attributed with the decision of where to build each of the other Towers during the Age of Wonders. It guided the High Council’s hand when establishing the Citadel’s hierarchical system, and is even said to have predicted notable sorcerers who would live in legend or infamy (such as the traitorous Nezr√ľn Janus Blackthorn or the powerful Ord-Akana Kain Brashyr) well before their time.

Such an artifact was beyond its measure in worth and was guarded carefully by the High Councils that maintained it. But all of that changed in the fall of 2226, when the attacks against the Citadel had reached the shores of Nilea and threatened the very heart of the organization, the first Tower Verseth. The High Council of those days watched in bleak misery as the swarms of Storm Knights overran their villages and towns, leading a destructive path to the Tower Verseth. In an act of final desperation, the High Council stole the Tower Verseth and all its magic away from the world of Valtyr. But for reasons that are not fully understood, the Orrery of Stones, which had been housed in the tower for over 1,300 years, did not travel with it.

After the Tower Verseth returned to the world, the Citadel launched a secret campaign to uncover the missing object of power and return it to their vaults. Hundreds of sorcerers took on the task, but to date none have been successful. A story has arisen of a few sorcerers who had found the Orrery of Stones but did not elect to take it from its hiding place. These individuals speak of a great danger that could befall all magic in Valtyr if the Orrery was ever returned to the Tower Verseth. Unfortunately, these tales are probably false, as magical interrogations by the Citadel’s chief Councilors have detected an alteration in these sorcerers’ memories, leading the High Council to believe such tales are not entirely true. Perhaps the presence of the magic within the Orrery has shifted from its original intent, showing visions of false futures and deceptions rather than the truth. None within the Citadel can be certain until someone succeeds in returning the Orrery to one of their towers for study. For now, the legend of the Orrery of Stones remains a mystery, and one the High Council of the current Age would very much like to solve.

Orrery of Stones

Type: Artifact

Description: A polished, glowing star sapphire roughly 7 inches in diameter with a silver Citadel rune in its center orbited by 6 gemstones (ruby, diamond, emerald, topaz, amethyst, and moonstone), each bearing the ancient mark of one of the first High Councilors

Powers: all are not known, but those documented are as follows:
Farsight: one can look into the future and determine the answer to a single question a month
Truth: in the presence of the Orrery, lies and illusions fail to work
Conjoin: a sorcerer may double his own Arcane, Resistance and Ward SR stats once a day
Imprison: a target may be imprisoned within one of the six orbiting stones for a single year
Starfire: calls down a torrent of 20 silver comets from the night sky that each cause 10D6 damage in a medium area, rounded down, once per evening
Transform: can shift a target into any other humanoid or beast form for up to one week

1 comment:

  1. My goodness. A mystery that deserves to be solved. Perhaps the Orrery is located in the black rock tower?