I want this to be the focus of a save-the-town quest. Everyone is starving, quickly! Find and lug the heavy stone object through the dungeon, across the rickety canyon bridge (WHUMP!), over the lake in the leaky boat (*gurgle*), up the hill, up the hill again, (Damn you Sisyphus!) et cetera. It makes me snigger with evil DM delight.
I quite like this idea because it is highly adaptable. If your game does not focus on Ether a similar setup could be made for any 'aura' of your choosing. What a perfect way to harken the arrival of the BBEG, chimes ringing furiously in a place absent of wind but with a darkening sky. They could also function like Tribbles + Kingons, which is to say if some ethereal/evil has posessed a human or is disguised they still react. They're just a really nice touch that can be added anywhere.