From: Joseph_DuBois.WBST102A@?????.com Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 10:26:42 -0500 Subject: Re: Myrkandite
Part 2 The majority of Myrkandite forging is done here, due to the fact that little in the way of surprises await those who try to forge it. Otherwise, it is necessary to erect a shield against a planet's specific effects, lest the vibrating skew the results. This shield usually is an anti-magic shell, allowing spells to be cast within, but not across the barrier. There also exists a spell created by the unknown mage that neutralizes the vibrational field of the myrkandite, allowing it to be unreactive. Bearing in mind that such a spell also neutralizes the effectiveness of a weapon or item already created, its secret was tightly guarded. Wildspace: Despite the proliferation of crystal spheres, the effects of Myrkandite are always constant when in Wild Space. The myrkandite hums and throbs the closer it gets to a planetary mass. This is not always good, as it locks in to the closest mass, and not necessarily the largest, or the one that has precious air or life. Still, it is useful in detecting magically cloaked worlds, or uncharted planets, as magic screening has no effect on it. In spheres that are antimagic in nature, a combination of a lump of Myrkandite and a gnome rocket ship is all that's needed to navigate even the largest Sargasso. When approaching 100 million miles from a world, the stone begins to vibrate lightly. Often, the rock is cradled in a sophisticated holder that sets off a noticeable change the moment a vibration runs through it. It steadily builds each 10 million miles passes, until, as it reaches the outer edge of a planet's air envelop, it actually shakes and rolls if placed on a flat surface. Those with planetary navigation, and more than a year's experience with a particular piece of Myrkandite, can gauge how far they are from a given world by the rate and strength of vibration. This is extremely useful, as often a navigator will come near two worlds, and will reach a point where she is equidistant to the both. Without an innate knowledge of Myrkandite, she may be confused as to why she isn't getting farther from the world in question, as the Myrkandite suddenly senses this closer world, and takes over. Item: Planetary Rod: Often when Myrkandite is used to detect the presence of worlds, it becomes necessary to weave a wide path at first, to determine precisely which direction the planet lies. This is often a time consuming activity, and when one needs desperately to find an air pocket, ultimately fatal. To this end, the navigators of wildspace have fashioned item called planetary rods. Some are crude, merely two lumps of Myrkandite tied to both ends of a wooden stick. Others are exquisitely fashioned metal rods, inlaid with precious gems, more resembling wands than anything else. Each is anywhere from 1 ft. to 3 ft. in length. The length is critical; the longer the Rod, the more effective it works. The item is held, one end in each hand, an arm's length distant. By slowly turning the body in a circle, and feeling for the differing rates of vibration, the navigator can tell in which direction the planetary mass lies. For instance, when the navigator feels one end vibrating much more than the other, he knows that the first end is closest to the planetary body. Proper alignment can indicate the precise direction the planetary mass lies. As can be seen, the longer the pole, the greater the difference between vibrational rates, and the more accurate the reading. The only limiting factor is the sensitivity of the hands in determining differences, as well as the maximum armspan. The Rod confers a +1 bonus to navigation rolls. It also often is the only way to detect invisible or cloaked celestial bodies. It also only senses bodies which have specific auras which respond to the morphic properties of Myrkandite. In other words, if you sense a body, be prepared for your Myrkandite to change when you get there. Faerun: This planet has perhaps the best example of the true capabilities of this substance. On Faerun, home of the Forgotten Realms, Cameron sought to introduce Myrkandite to his colleague. When he told the Guild of Metallurgy that the bracelet he wore around his wrist, an amalgam of adamantine, gold, silver, and mercury, was tougher than adamantine, the majority scoffed, and demanded proof. However, not even the mage who discovered it could believe the results. The mightiest smith smote the bracelet with his largest hammer. No effect. Not even a sound. A flurry of examination followed. Adamantine tools still scored the surface, but only when slowly cut. From all observations, the material seemed to absorb kinetic energy readily. Cameron quickly sent a messenger to retrieve more, and scoured through magical tomes to determine whether or not Myrkandite had already been discovered on Toril, perhaps under another name. They needed to look no further that Justrael's Book of Singular Weapons: The Scarlet Arms: This suit of chain armor and shield was created hundreds of years ago, supposedly by the Red Wizards of Thay (thus the color, as the legend went). The style of manufacture suggests dwarven influence, although, with the information Cameron brought forth, a whole new history could be guessed at. Since the material itself would resist the shock of forging and shaping, the individual links needed to be forged one at a time, painstakingly, and then slowly incorporated into the suit. Sudden, sharp blows would not work; only tireless application of steadily increasing force would close a link. Based on the information garnered in the book, one mage calculated it would take over 100 years to forge 1 man-sized suit. Now knowing what to look for, they examined any legends dealing with the uncovered information. According to one legend, the suit, lighter and stronger than any mithril construct, required no magic in its creation. It was made as part of a prophecy followed by a dwarven/human community that lived in the shadow of the Spine of the World. According to the prophesy, a horrid creature would rise from the earth, devouring all magic in its path. Where it could not find magic, it would take life. But the earth would not forsake her children. It pointed to a pile of rocks that had "fallen from the heavens," and were discarded as too hard to forge. It taught them how to slowly shape the ore into defense sufficient against the creature. The horror never came, and the armor was sold for food to merchants during an especially bitter winter. From there, the armor, non-magical in nature, was sold to the highest bidder, a collector of novelties. After a hundred years of collecting dust, it was stolen by a thief, who wore it during his escape. He was struck by an arrow while climbing the wall to freedom, but amazingly took no damage from the fall. Rumors came to the ears of The Wizards of Thay concerning the armor, and they hired to best assassins to bring it low. From there, the legend ends, with it falling into their hands, and starting the original tale, a suit worn by Thay enforcers during ceremonial battles.