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WoLT Challenge: Unique Artifact

 
This is perpetually open.

Dealing with especially potent magic items is not an issue except that it can't break the pre-existing world. As such, larger world changes generally need to be handles with more care than smaller ones.

An uber powerful item that never effects say, the prime material plane, doesn't need as much care as say one that did and had a major historical impact.

I'm thinking more one that had a philosophical impact than a historical one. Less 'world ender' more 'target of quests'. Powerful, undoubtedly powerful... but more active on a personal scale than a political one. An amazing find, and highly valuable, but not enough to change the world by itself.

Well, here's my attempt. I can't find some of the stuff I was curious about on the Wiki, but I think this should work as at least partially integrated into the setting... it does tie into your other challenge a bit, but only indirectly (a single, long gone figure)

The Way



Seth of Tormauz was never content. A young mason, who in time became both Wizard and Philosopher, he was one of those who fought the Vaorren, and then the greenskins who came after. And once those threats were gone, and the nation of his birth truly formed, he found new quests to occupy him. Quests for meaning and purpose. With no obvious foes of Tormauz remaining for the moment, his focus became the understanding of things, how the Planes truly were created, how the gods came to be, what the laws were that controlled the flow of destiny and fate, that bound the Vaorren, the mortal races and gods as one.

Seth had never been a believer in half measures. He sought the answer to everything, the truth behind existence itself.

And in some dank elven ruin, he found it.

Not the answer, but a part of it. Some aspect or facet of universal truth. What form it took, Seth could not truly say, some of his writings speak of a blinding light, others of carvings upon the walls that shifted as he read them. Whatever it was, however, it was great. He comprehended it, at least whilst he stood there, but the knowledge was too great for a mortal mind to retain.

But no Wizard comes that far, fights as many battles as this, only to surrender to mere physical limitations. And thus, with focus only a master of magic could muster, Seth of Tormauz bound his Truth into the staff he carried, melding the two, until both staff and Answer were but a single thing.. He let that knowledge, that understanding, flow into what was already an item of power. And it changed as he did so, the once elaborate Wizardly Staff of silver shifting to a simple thing of darkened wood.

Seth smiled as he left the ruins, the staff later known as the Way glowing at his side. His journey was not done, and in truth, would only finish with his death. But on this day, he had found a great Answer, one that would help him on his way forever more.

Seth is long dead now, buried by the march of time, but no one knows for sure if the staff has passed to other hands since then. Many tales have been told, individuals who supposedly possessed the Way at some point, though none have been confirmed. More than one lesser staff has been misidentified as the Way, although a true sage can recognize the effects of the original.

Powers; The Way is a storied relic, and it is storied for a reason. Simply put, nothing may stand before the barer of this staff.

Oh, people might attempt to block his way, walls may be build, mystic wards erected, armies assembled to deny his path. None of these things matter. All the wielder has to do is to continue to progress towards his goal, whatever that may be, and wish an obstacle gone, and the staff will do the rest. Warding spells will shatter at its touch, gates will be broken by simply pointing it towards them. Guardians will be tossed aside and the very earth itself will move aside rather than deny his passage..

That is not to say the wielder becomes invulnerable, after all, death stops all travellers in the end. Nor do the powers of the Way allow it's barer to kill with impunity; every effect will, if possible, remove, rather than destroy. The gates may be blasted open, but barring some slight damage to the lock, they remain intact. Armies may be blown asunder by blasts of torrential force... but not a man will die unless it is clearly needed for the chosen path to progress. Death is, and always will remain, the final Answer.

It was also created by a philosopher, who believed in the ability of people to choose. The Staff can not affect people's free will. it's effects are purely physical. You could use it to make those in your court bow down, if doing so somehow advanced your goal, but they would hold no love for you because of it

One point remains above all, however; The Way has no use for those without a goal. Any person without a strong driving force behind them, if they try to touch the staff, will find the Way returns to it's first form, a simple wooden staff. Yet now it is seemingly intangible, beyond mortal ability to grasp. Only one with a clear goal in their heart, that they truly wish to make manifest, may reclaim the Way from this state.

@ Moral

A few ideas come to mind for possible sources:

1) The ancients did it
The ancients for leaving behind bits of power for mortals to scrape up and then slowly corrupt them and bind them to servitude

2) It was the final step of the Illuminated training only the others didn't find it
This means the sorcerer kings of Thrahl have the staff now. If they ever found out some wizard like seth had such power they would bind together to take it from him and analyze it, possibly what led to his death.

3) It is tied to the Order of the Wheel (of fate) and the three Aeons
Possibly a construction of Vulcan himself, though I can't imagine why it would have ended up on the planet

All of these are very likely and present nifty possibilities Moral, do you happen to jive with any of those?

Are you talking about sources for the staff, or sources of the Answer?

Of the three, I'd prefer it be tied towards the Order of the Wheel. It's worth noting that this was not how the Truth was intended to be used (at least as I'd intended it. ) The idea was that whoever found the chamber would simply meditate upon it there, look upon the endpoint of their journey. It was something designed to help them keep faith in themselves and their chosen path, that an answer did exist. Seth's binding of the answer was... not quite a corruption, as the truth, whatever it is, remains unchanged, but a misuse.

Given that... is it impossible the 'ruin' (which I simply called Elven because I knew there were some in Tormauz) was in fact not on the planet? Or had a portal within tying it to another plane or something?

It's quite possible. Lets go with what you have so far Moral.

http://ltiene.wetpaint.com/page/Cult+of+the+Wheel

That's the reference for the cult of the wheel.

Here's Moebius' page: http://ltiene.wetpaint.com/page/Moeb...+Time+Streamer

Diobohlihm: http://ltiene.wetpaint.com/page/Diobohlihm

Vulcan's page has not yet been developed.

The important thing is to remember what they represent, and you can reference that here: http://ltiene.wetpaint.com/page/Cosmology

The first portion (figure 1) discussing the three shows the greater aeons (which are more like forces), these are simply avatars of said forces, being Bahamut/Stasis (Vulcan), Tiamat/Dynamism (Moebius) and Malbolge/Entropy (Diobohlihm) respectively.

I guess the rest of this begs more questions such as, how would you like to discuss the origin of the object and how it came to be in the hands of Seth, as well as where it ended up after that.

I... think I'm going to need a drink before too long at this rate. Too much philosophy, too early in the morning. I'll give describing my ideas a shot, but I'm not entirely sure how this'll work.

Well, like I say, the object's current form was created by Seth. The Oubliette of Perspective (provisional name for the place that held The Answer) was... hmm... probably created by Moebius?

I'm not sure if this works for the Aeon, but my thought'd be that it was a way of educating dedicated and powerful (thus important) mortals as to the importance of change and evolution. The Truth it showed was thus something to do with dynamism, some portion of the universal law that describes how Tiamat operates, perhaps?

The Way thus evokes power directly from the Answer Seth found, and thus from Tiamat. Yes, it draws upon one of the universal forces of reality; it's a powerful item (worth noting that Seth simply shifted what Moebius had wrought, creating something like this is beyond a mortal's power). Specifically it draws upon the principles of movement and momentum. Everything must change, everything must continue in some way. Hence the Staff's focus on those with active goals, and aversion to both stasis and destruction.

As to where it ended up after that, I'd like to leave that vague. Either it's in active, but quiet circulation, it's been removed from the ability of the wider world to access it (either intentionally, or by an unorthodox death for Seth) or the Wizard himself decided to hide it in the end

Does... this make any sense?

All that makes sense. The next question is, Why did Moebius create the oubliette of perspective?

As an immortal god-like being, what purpose would it serve to him to create such a thing?

Just to give you some background, Moebius is the only true time streamer, ie, the only one who can actually travel through time and effect it. Other methods of time travel simply put someone in a similar world (see many worlds theory) like a super powerful teleportation spell, time continues for them just as it always had as time is normally linear in the WoLT.

Now, that being said, Moebius has very little concern for things of mortal consequence and no typical earthly desires and has the ability to create contingencies upon contingencies to such an extreme that it seems absurd and breaks the willful suspension of belief for what any mortal might be able to think up, even an especially clever one. What purpose then, does this Oubliette serve for him?

Mind you, he's currently imprisoned by Vulcan inside the Moebius Bastille.

Hmm... Perhaps the creation of the Oubliette was a contingency?

Going a little Zen here, to understand a thing is to give it power. Perhaps the Oubliette was intended as a plan against either imprisonment or destruction. A mortal mind comprehending Tiamat through the 'lens' Moebius created could reaffirm those principles the Aeon and the force he represents simply are. By so reaffirming their existence, their natural connection to the World, barriers that hold them become harder to maintain

Hells, if the Cult knew about it, and a large number of people'd travelled to the Oubliette whilst it was still operational, perhaps the power might have been enough for the Aeon to escape the Bastille. Perhaps

Of course, this isn't viable given the current form The Way holds. The perspective is bound, fragments of it are visible, but not enough for true understanding of the principles Moebius intended be seen

I like this idea a lot, it actually helps with a future campaign arc I had a mind to run.

In order to free Moebius from the Bastille one would have to find the artifact and break it, and whoever had it, probably wouldn't want that

Last part of this is probably to develop who seth is/was




 

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