Sunday, March 16, 2014

On Lodestones, Ley-Lines and Alia Tai

Ley-line - Lines of power theorized by some students of magical theories to be the source of magical power in the material plane. According to these theories, ley-lines are created by the material plane coming in contact with the Feywild. Where two ley-lines cross there is the potential for a fey crossing to appear. These lines can shift based on the time of year, seasons, and heavenly object position. There are those who also believe this occurs at the point where the material plane contacts the Shadowfell, these crossings are known as Shadowfalls. Many maps exists showing the locations of ley-lines. Due to the sheer volume of ley-lines, and their changing nature it is estimated only a tenth of all ley-lines are contained in these volumes. The five towers of the old world: Eglain, Run Imar, Rom Shar, Karnin, and Tal Aer originate on the most potent of ley-lines. Selian Coil, a famous mage of the first age, had five citadels built on the new continent of Ovelesk. His citadels, all schools of magic, each contained a large lodestone. These lodestones were used to divide magic into its separate parts.

The five citadels are Odanis, Killian, the Citadel of Mists, the Citadel of Stone and the Citadel of Night. This theory of magic is known as the Weave.

Lodestone - mundane definition - A piece of magnetite that has magnetic properties and attracts iron or steel.

Lodestone - magical definition - A piece of stone or gem that has been imbued with magical properties. Sometimes mined from earth contained within a ley-line. These stones are imbued with magical properties based on the ley-line of their origin or the ritual to imbue them with power.

Henges - Stones raised at places of crossings. They mark the boundaries of one world and another during certain times of year. Primal shamans and druids use lodestones from one ley-line to ward another. These ley-lines can be a few or hundreds of miles apart. The giant lodestones erected by Selian Coil are henges taken from the ley-lines on the old continent from beneath each of the five towers.

Lodestones of the Alia Tai - At the end of the second age a great magical war was fought. The survivors of that war formed a council of magicians called the Grey Council. It was customary at that time for those in mourning to where gray attire for a year to honor the dead. The name was taken from the fact that everyone in attendance was dressed in gray and so that they never forgot the horror of those times. Selian Coil collaborated with the greatest magical minds of his time and they determined that rule and tyranny by magical forces was inevitable. In order to forestall this conquest it was determined that magic should be restricted and split so that no being could grow too powerful. Selian and his colleagues founded and built five schools of Magic. They brought Lodestones to the new world and placed one in each of these schools. The Grey Council knew the war had sparked a great fear in magic and that after the split magic users would be greatly weakened. The Grey Council looked for a way to protect their dwindling numbers. The solution came in a young halfling paladin from Kinderland. While helping to move and install the lodestones it was accidentally discovered that he could activate different powers based on the ley-line it was taken from. The land of Kinderland was in the midst of a great civil war at the time. Acting as negotiators the Grey Council was able to reach an agreement with both sides of the conflict. The continent was divided; those with the ability to control the lodestones were taken to a newly founded city in the cold norther wastes. The mages used lodestones to establish a place habitable but still harsh enough to train the guards and protectors they needed. A decade later the Grey Council activated the lodestones in each of the academies and placed Alia Tai to protect the magic users that remained as guardians. Magic was split. Wizards no longer could control all the types of magics. Their powers became limited. Magic however was not so easily contained; it began to come out in other ways. For the first time, the magic of the sword arose. Expert musicians discovered the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelveth musical mode - Magic commanded from the power of an instrument. The first sorcerers were born a few years later, magic flowed thru their veins inherent to their blood. Those who were once gifted in magic found that the stones had limited their power greatly. They turned to dark denizens and to those who lived in the feywild seeking the power of old. More oft then not these pacts resulted in a change to their form and character giving rise to legends of dark and corrupt beings called Warlocks or Witches. Dwarves and superb craftsman began to make weapons and tools of magic ability. From these humble origins the art of Artifice claims its roots. The last inexplicable result was the rise of Psionics and seers. Once the province of the gods or highly trained mages, common people began to be able to read each others thoughts and see the future. The first rise of these strange abilities is a time of great fear of magic gave rise to mob justice and stonings. The Grey Council moved quickly to find and protect these fledgling magic users.

Over the next two ages, the tradition of placing Alia Tai at the service magic users continued. Then the worst fears of that first Grey Council came to pass, but instead of singular powerful entities imbued with magical powers, groups rose to power. One of the first to rise was the Tor-Siri, a group of mages interested in the study of the necromantic arts. The lodestone at the citadel of Odanis was from beneath Run Imar. It granted them a boon to magic of the blood and they found the power they sought in the blood of Vampires. As one of the citadels and a school of magic they were protected by a great contingent of Alia Tai. The Alia Tai here were talented in use of the lodestones known as Firestones. An Alia Tai stationed here could use his pike in conjunction with a series of Firestones to launch gouts of fire at his foes.

Meanwhile, the Black Academy or Killian in Bael Tuarth had grown powerful from the Pact made with Asmodeus. The warlocks there were fueled by infernal power and protected by Alia Tai. The Black Academy originally had been protected by a contingent of Alia Tai with expertise in use of Icestones. The war with Arkhosia was in full force when a horrible warlock, whose name is not remembered since the fall, took the Icestones and via ritual magic merged them with devils. Some legends tell that the eyes of the devils were removed and the stones placed inside. After a few days as windows of the souls to these corrupt outsiders the stones would take on the facets of an Astral Diamond except for a minor flaw contained inside. The wise of the world say that these were the trapped corrupt souls of the outsider. Early experiments with Alia Tai triggering the stones caused the death of the victim as well of the wielder. As the art was perfected and more of the stones produced the results were less severe leaving the wielder only greatly weakened and in need of rest and food. Many dragonborn sorcerers fell to the legion of Alia Tai that wielded these dreadful weapons.

Each of the other academies had lodestones attuned to their Alia Tai. The Citadel of Stone had lodestones that were able to hurl stones at their enemies like a sling but with greater force. The Citadel of Night had stones that would blind their foes allowing the pike wielding Alia Tai to quickly overwhelm their foes. The Citadel of Mists perfected stones for calling down a fog upon there foes. Over the ages many other stones were found and created. Artificers eventually were able to recreate the effects of many of these lodestones spreading them across the planes further. Some common day example of lodestones are Sending Stones. A dwarven innovation created from lodestones taken from a mine near Karnin. Residuum is the result of a destroyed lodestone or a partially formed lodestone mined prior to its full formation.

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