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Month Index: March, 1994


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.



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