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Sol crystal and its role in anomalies of Karandia
20th Oct 2017, 1:12 PM
General setting information
Magic and curses
Geography and nations
The Great collapse
Sol crystal and its role in anomalies of Karandia
The fate of dwarven slaves
History of Principalities
History of Dornia
Fields of the damned
History of Kroll
Monsters - P-type
Monsters - Predators
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25th Jun 2021, 9:03 AM
The anomalies of Karandia
Throughout the known history different areas of Karandia suffered a series of unusual disasters, which left behind seemingly permanent effects. Crystal dust desert in Tamir, littered with massive formations of crystals, where no plants grow and no wildlife dwells; The Ashen waste in Principalities, which changed its residence into arcane-filled abominations; Basin of immortality within the Red python basic, where as rumors say death has no power over living organisms; Ruby beads isles, where plants, animals and even humanoids gain red pigmentation if stay there long enough - these are just a few examples of anomalies in Karandia.
For thousands of years scientists and mages from different nations explored and studied these areas, building theories about their nature and origin. Most of these theories point out at the obvious involvement of magic, altered or empowered by some unknown artifacts. Only a few theories try to explain the existence of anomalies as natural processes. But in the middle of 110th century these theories lost their relevance when a certain object had been obtained by scientists of Tamir, proving in on practice that creation of such anomalies artificially was possible.
Kifir jungle incidents
The early history of Tamir is very poorly documented. While many suspect that Tamir royalty hides the truth for one reason or another, the public is left with vogue, fable-like interpretation of events from that time. This obscure period of Tamir’s history begins after Boltok refugees arrived to Tamir peninsula and is concluded by the arrival of wanderer Kern and his victory over the aboriginal nation of Sina four decades later. Numerous stories of Tamir’s war against Sina and the fable about wanderer Kern can be found today in many libraries or Tamir and outside of it, but how much in them is truth and how much is fiction – remains an open question. However, to the historians and scientists of the world it is clear that the event that happened in the end of that period might be the most significant in all of recorded history, thanks to its connection to the known Karandian anomalies.
The fact of Sina’s existence is undeniable – even if someone would disregard the stories and fables of Tamir, the old records about them were found in literature and archives of the ruins of Damani and in libraries of Dornia and Ribera. In them Sina is described as a nation of dark-skinned humans who ruled over the entire Tamir, had a strange culture of superstitious beliefs and active practice of human sacrifices.
Orcs from Northern Tamir, who were never a part of the Green tide also tell numerous stories how their ancestors encountered Sina. In these stories Sina was presented as hostile, militarized society who often raided orcish lands to collect slaves.
Thirty-seven years after the Boltok refugees arrived to the peninsula and formed the new kingdom, in the end of the obscure period of Tamir’s history, Sina’s activity have no longer been registered neither in Tamir nor outside of it. This perfectly matches the fable of Kern, which tells about his adventure into the Kifir jungle where he created a colossal cloud of Grey mist that poisoned and killed most if not all residents of Sina’s capitol.
The archive of historical royal documents confirms that after that event Kifir jungle had been declared a restricted area and for several centuries there even existed a law that punished trespassers. This law has been long lifted, but adventurers who dare to venture into the depths of Kifir never return.
Officially Tamir kingdom has sent three expeditions into the heart of Kifir after the incident. In first case a small scouting party disappeared without a trace, in the second several scouts returned, reporting the active presence of the deadly Grey mist within the heart of the jungle. The third case tells about an army sent into Kifir, whose mission was to create a safe passage towards the contaminated area, but it ended in a disaster. The army has been completely obliterated by an unknown S-class monster.
The first documented artificial anomaly. Grey mist of Kifir jungle
As the fable of wanderer Kern states, after his return from Kifir jungle and declaration that Sina was destroyed, king Tovarn II refused to believe it and ordered a scouting expedition to venture into Kifir and confirm or deny this claim.
The group of fifteen riders, led by prince Ronik reached Kifir but only two scouts made it back. They confirmed the Sina’s defeat and told about the Grey mist, which enveloped Seon and jungle around it.
The following information comes from the documents that were widely spread all across the world by the scientific society of Tamir. They briefly tell about Kern’s involvement into the destruction of Sina and they pay close attention at technicalities of this achievement.
The Grey mist that he used is a powerful spell of Shadow magic. It allows the caster to create a cloud of grey-ish, partly transparent mist which if inhaled, suffocates any animal, monster or humanoid. The Grey mist is harmless to insects and plants, that’s why the jungle surrounding Seon did not die with its inhabitants.
Grey mist’s size and duration directly rely on the caster’s power and do not require channeling. While unexperienced or weak mages could create a cloud of mist that lasts up to 10 seconds, more experienced mages can prolong its existence to up to 5-6 minutes and of much larger size.
This was the first detail that puzzled royal mages of Tamir. According to the fable, Kern’s Grey mist lasted for at least a month – the time that took him to return to Kortas plus the time that took the scouting party to reach the jungle. And if we take into consideration reports of the second scouting party that ventured into Kifir a century later – the same Grey mist may exist even now.
Just one month was already too long. Even the most powerful mages in history could not cast Grey mist of such duration, no matter what known amplifying artifacts they could use. The decision of king Tovern II to execute Kern after his arrival could be a fatal mistake. The secret of Kern’s magic seemingly died with him.
This did not stop the royal mages from continuing their research. What a person can’t tell - can be learned from their remains. That’s why with the king’s permission Kern’s body and belongings had been delivered to a secret laboratory for study.
The goal of mages and scientists who got their hands on recently executed Kern was to figure out how did he managed to cast a seemingly well-known spell but with such unnaturally large area and extremely long duration of effect.
First they examined his body. Kern had several cuts on his hands and across his torso and legs – researches came to conclusion that these were obtained while he was making his way through the dangerous jungle. Left by monsters and beasts who he had to fight against.
There exist tools that allow to measure the potency of person’s energy pool so this was their next step. In Kern’s case nothing seemed out of ordinary at first – the measuring process confirmed a lingering presence of a potent energy pool, typical to experienced mages.
The first strange discovery lied in Kern’s energy pool’s progression. It is a known fact that ethereal energy from a potent energy pool does not instantly disperse after the mage dies as it is not directly connected to the body’s biological functions. When the body dies, energy pool remains but is no longer renewed, thus it slowly weakens until nothing is left. The process may take up to a week, but in Kern’s case, it acted differently.
His energy pool weakened unusually slowly and fully dispersed only several months later.
Next step was to find out why Kern’s energy pool behaved so strangely. Examination of his belongings didn’t give any clues at first – he wore simple clothes, had a small sum of money, several simple enchanted trinkets and an iron staff with a seemingly typical enchanted crystal at its top.
The researches quickly came to realization that there was something very wrong about this crystal. Mages often carry enchanted crystals such as this in their staves, wands or other weapons. Enchanted crystals may have different uses, from amplifying spells directly to possessing activatable spells of their own. One thing that unites such crystals, is that they contain certain amount of energy within. Kern’s crystal was different – it was hollow, void of any energy.
Some researches suspected that this crystal could merely serve a cosmetic function or has been fully depleted, and for some reason lost the ability to replenish itself. A not uncommon issue within crystals created by inexperienced enchanters. And this crystal would be simply shoved aside as useless junk if the subject of research did not hold such high importance. At closer inspection the researchers realized that they could not figure out where this crystal came from – it was made of an unknown mineral.
It appeared to be highly resistant to any forms of physical or elemental damage, it did not react at any forms of energy channeled into or through it. Enchantment analysis didn’t give any result either.
The secret of Kern’s crystal has been discovered during an accident. One of the researcher’s assistants, young orc Tomek accidently shoved the crystal off the table. The crystal wouldn’t break from such fall but the orc instinctively caught it before it reached the ground, rending his hand over its pointy edge. This is when the orc realized that something happened to him – he felt a strange connection between him and the crystal. A connection through blood. The secret of scars of Kern’s hands have been solved.
During the following days several experiments have been performed and the results were astonishing. Through freshly spilled blood the crystal formed a direct connection to the person’s energy pool and would sustain it for as long as the person held the crystal.
After the connection was established – any amount of energy channeled into the crystal somehow multiplied and returned to the caster, expanding their energy pool to abnormal proportions. During this effect no device for energy pool measurement could show the result – it was simply too high.
After that two things could happened. If the person let go of the crystal the connection broke and their energy pool would return back to normal with the extra energy obtained from the crystal dispersing.
But if a person tried to cast a spell while being infused by the crystal, the spell would consume all extra energy and would be empowered to a frightening degree.
Several tests of spell casting with the crystal’s infusion caused massive damage to targets and structures around them. After several such incidents, some of which involved casualties among the research team, the king ordered to stop any further tests, to confiscate the crystal and to lock it up in a hidden chamber. At this point it became clear that the downfall of Sina was connected to this crystal. The king, fearing for the fate of its own kingdom, refused to conduct any further experiments.
Despite this, all of the researches who took part in the study of the crystal were rewarded greatly. Orc Tomek have even been granted a permission to give the artifact a name. Tomek chose to call it Sol after his beloved hometown in the North of Tamir.
For three more years the crystal would remain hidden away and the extracted information was analyzed by Tamirian scientists. Soon, however, would happen an event that changed the history of the continent and would give Sol crystal a world-wide fame.
The day of burning sky
Three years after Sina’s downfall and the study of Sol crystal a grim news arrived to Tamir. After a crushing defeat on the shores of Principalities four decades ago the Green tide was reformed and began a new march to the South. New generations of orcs craved the glory of their grandfathers and began a new conquest against hated human kingdoms. This time their sights were set on Tamir peninsula and its new human kingdom.
While hundreds of thousands of orcs marches through the main land of the continent, the king of Tamir gathered nobles and allies to discuss a solution. Native Tamir orcs offered to send scouts who would infiltrate the approaching army and monitor their movements from within. Light elves of Shanidal offered to meet the Green tide in the neck of peninsula where they successfully created several well-fortified outposts in case of a land invasion.
Finally, a human arch mage, one of those who took part in the research of the Sol crystal, stepped forward and offered to put the dangerous artifact to use once more. This time, against the orcs.
This proposition quickly caught interest of an elven sorceress Siviana, who heard about the Sol crystal for the first time. The king was about to chastise the arch mage for disclosure of such information but have been quickly reminded about the exceptional severity of the situation. And since Siviana was well known as a master of destructive fire magic, the choice was made in her favor.
When Siviana received the instructions from the human arch mage he warned her that during their testing of Sol crystals possibilities they only used simple, weak spells. No one knew what would happen if a high-level spell would be casted under its infusion. Siviana accepted the risk and considered the Green tide as the perfect subject for such experiment.
She made her way towards the Tamir peninsula neck, to the first line of fortifications and remained there till the Green tide appeared on the horizon.
What happened next surpassed any imaginable expectations. Seeing an endless wall of green-skinned invaders before her, Siviana infused her already massive energy pool with Sol crystals’ energy. Her spell of choice was Rain of fire, which could be casted on high distance and would cover a large area. But instead of appearing over the approaching Green tide, the entire sky turned red and colossal rifts of magma emerged all over the land. Huge molten comets poured down and engulfed the land in flames and explosions.
That day the neck of the peninsula turned into a series of shattered islands, completely separating Tamir from the main land. The entire Green tide as well as defenders of Tamir perishes. This event will be forever known as the Day of burning sky.
Sol crystal saved Tamir kingdom but at a high price. Siviana and every defender who died in the sea of fire became national heroes. But for those who knew about Sol crystal’s ability to withstand damage, it was not the end – they suspected that the crystal could still be out there and it had to be found before it would get into wrong hands.
Many months of intense search on the bottom of the sea around the area where Siviana’s outposts used to stand yielded an unexpected result. The Sol crystal have been found in fragments. It is unknown how many fragments have been found and if all of them has been recovered. First the royal mages thought that it was destroyed but further examination showed that each fragment was still functioning, even if with diminished potential.
That day a new theory was born. A breakthrough which was too important to hide from the world, and so the sum of the knowledge about Sol crystal and its shards have been passed to the scientific societies of other kingdoms of Karandia.
It was concluded that the Sol crystal shattered because Siviana overloaded it, not because it was caught into the destruction of the fire magic. Every obtained shard was fully functioning on their own, that’s why a suspicion was made that the Sol crystal could’ve been used by Kern or someone who owned it before him to create the anomalies of Karandia. Sol shards refused to reattach to each other, no matter what methods the researchers have tried.
Some researches who analyzed the Sol crystals’ appearance even made an interesting addition to the theory - that Sol crystal possessed by Kern could in fact be also a fragment. A fragment of an even larger, more powerful body. One can only guess what the original, whole artifact could do.