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Month Index: March, 1994

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  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
     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
     The mage was confused.  He touched the bracelet, and it was
indeed still throbbing, albeit diminishing.  Did the captain expect
     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

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