From: Joseph_DuBois.WBST102A@?????.com Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 10:26:33 -0500 Subject: Re: Blank Mail Note
Some food for thought Taken From rec.games.frp.dnd Created By: thanatos@???????????.com () Part 1 of several Well, Dragon bonged this, so I tender it onto you. Enjoy, and get back to me with any comments you may have. The Lore of Myrkandite When the metallurgist pores over the manifest of spelljamming ships laden with exotic ores, such as adamantine, meteroric iron, and Frewer's Gold, none excites the pulse and widens the scholarly prospects as finding a lump of the fabled Myrkandite. Native to but one world, early experiments in spatial transport has scattered the lumps of reddish rock across the spheres, to the boon of some, and the detriment of others. For myrkandite is an ore like no other. Most ores and metals are prized for their constancy of properties. Myrkandite, as shall be seen, is prized for just the opposite reason. Wherever you go, mithril is the same. Metallic gold in sheen, it is virtually impossible to smelt without the aid of magic. Wherever you go, an mithril sword will always be a mithril sword. Its properties are its innate hardness and readiness to take enchantment. These never change, except perhaps on magically dead worlds. Myrkandite, on the other hand, is as constant as the wind. Deep red in hue when it is discovered in the ground, it resolves into a metallic scarlet after careful refining. Such processing is necessary, since Myrkandite is an amalgam of gold, silver, adamantine, and what appears to be quicksilver. Thrust into a common fire, it readily disassociates into its valuable components. Carefully tempered, however, it is worth a thousand times the sum of all its components. It was originally found as a natural ore only on Greyhawk. Here, oddly, it showed no innate properties, other than being a fantastically valuable chunk of rock, that could be disassociated into several priceless metals. Much myrkandite was lost in these years, to those too greedy to look beyond a quick piece. It was only when a mage decided to show a sample of the ore to a colleague in Faerun. He set up the powerful magicks to bridge the two worlds, and enacted them. Suddenly, and quite by surprise, the sample utterly annihilated in a burst of energy, mortally wounding the mage. He lived long enough to tell his friend, Cameron, that it was indeed the Myrkandite that had done it. From that day on, it took on the unsavory name "bloodsilver." As is the case with human nature, such events do not dissuade interests, but rather fire the imagination. What made the ore behave in such a fashion? Was it perhaps inimical to existence on Faerun, and that any sample thus transported would explode? Cameron travelled to Oerth, to study it in greater detail. After five years, he came up with nothing. Myrkandite was largely unreactive, and seemed fit only to adorn jewelry, as was the fashion now. Its scarlet red hue enhanced any material it was added to, from base pewter to the most elegant adamantine bracelet. The secret for myrkandite incorporation in other materials was discovered by Cameron himself. First, the ore is ground down into a fine powder. Then the substance to which it is to be mixed is also ground down (nearly impossible for adamantium, but where there's an iron golem, there's a way). The powders are added, and the mix is slowly heated, gradually increasing the fires, until the substance is liquid. A quick pour, and the item is molded. Cameron theorized that whole items could be forged out of myrkandite by a process he called "press forging." A mold would be filled with powdered myrkandite. A golem or other fire resistant creature would hold the two halves together, and insert them into the furnace. When finished, the mold is taken out, and cracked open. The result is left to cool. When the first item, a bracelet, was forged in this manner, Cameron turned it over to a jeweler for engraving and encrustment. Much to his chagrin, nothing short of adamantine would score it, and that merely scratched the surface. Gems had to be tied on with gold wire. Puzzled by such a radical state change, Cameron sought to gather up as much Myrkandite ore as possible, and stashed it safely. His family begged him to return home, but he could find no safe magical transport. Finally, a friend recommended one of the Spelljammers so often seen in the night sky. He knew that the moment he arrived home, he would resume his studies with a fevered pitch, so he thought a slow ride home might be nice. He took with him a small sack of the ore for study, and the first bracelet he had forged, now around his wrist. When they made ready to leave this world, he went to the edge of the ship, to see the breathtaking view. No sooner had they entered wildspace than something frightening happened. The bracelet began to shake and throb mightily, and Cameron, recalling what had happened to his friend, dropped the bracelet to the deck, and leapt back. This caused a hearty chuckle amongst the crew, convinced they had a newbie on this journey, unused to the differences in gravity. The captain moved to reassure his passenger, and noticed the bracelet on the ground. Picking it up, against the protestations of the mage, he asked the scholar where he had acquired a lump of planentite. The mage was confused. He touched the bracelet, and it was indeed still throbbing, albeit diminishing. Did the captain expect this? The captain explained that this substance, normally called myrkandite, but planetite in wildspace, was extremely valued in the art of navigation. It thrummed and throbbed in the presence of a planet, growing more intense the closer the planet got. Many a ship whose air supply dwindled, was saved by these rocks. Of course, smaller pieces were usually employed, to prevent the startling nature the mage had witnessed. Were there any more uses, the mage queried? The captain knew of only one. There were rumors that the ore did not respond well to extradimensional energies, such as seen in a teleport, or a dimension door. When a ship faced a dire foe, myrkandite could be teleported onto the foe's ship, where it would explode, and hopefully disable the 'jammer. Because of the heavy price of Myrkandite, however, this was keenly discouraged. A change in properties! How incredible! The mage was now enthralled by the prospects for his ore, and sought a return to home as soon as possible, to carry on his experiments. He almost asked the captain to return to Oerth, when an idea came into his impassioned brain. If there was a change of properties here, then why not on other planets, other worlds? Was myrkandite so whimsical that it affected different things on different worlds? There was only one way to find out. The results consumed the rest of Cameron's life. His results were collected in the Tome of Myrkandite, which was lost in a magical war between his guild and a wizard's college over a stash of adamantine never returned. The random notes that survive, as well as specific examples which Cameron discovered, follow: Greyhawk: As stated, the effects of Myrkandite are hidden on Oerth. This can primarily be linked to the fact that Myrkandite has only been found naturally on Greyhawk. Further, Myrkandite can only be synthesized artificially in Oerthan laboratories. Some have theorized that the majority of the properties that surround Myrkandite have to do with vibrational generation and control. If synthesized on another world, the compound, in the process of creation, will shake itself apart. However, its inability to teleport between worlds, coupled with records of its existence on worlds other than Oerth before the advent of Spelljamming leads some to conclude that part of the secret of Myrkandite is still unknown.