In answer to Moons question of why people would make them, I'll steal Scrasamax's view and also expand on it :P
- Aspect stones were around almost from the beginning of written history, and as such this form of magic was the first of its kind.
- The permanency of the Aspect stones makes them valuable: They can lie around for millenia and still be as potent as when they were first created. Additionally, Non-magic users can wear them for the same effect.
- Now, shapeshifting as I understand it (This is just my view, mind you.), involves magically altering ones form to gain the abilities of something which isn't naturally a part of them. The aspect stones, on the other hand, ingrain the very bieng of another creature into them, essentially MAKING those abilities a permanent part of them... if you understand my meaning. The result is basically the traits and the knowledge on how to use those traits. Instinct.
And the over-excessiveness on the crafting process is as you said, moon - to make the item a rare thing. Amongst other things, a mage capable of creating a stone is a symbol of power and dedication. These are powerful pieces of arcanery, and are meant to be rare and forboding to those who know what they are.
But enough of my rambling! Appreciate the comments. Go to Comment
If you had a race of lion-men (for example), created using aspect stones, and one of these creatures used another aspect stone (for example, an eagle one) you would get an eagle-lion-man. Using the proportions given (half the new essence/soul from the stone, half from the creature's original essence/soul), this would be:
In other words, more bestial than human, but still with a bit of human. It would also look extremely odd.
Interestingly, this half/half formula implies that a lion-man wishing to become human could not, even if he found a human aspect stone. The best he could become is 75% human, 25% lion. His descendants, of course, could become 87.5% human (with an aspect stone), and so on. Go to Comment
interesting item explaining the origin of the lycanthropic creatures, without resorting to the typical maledictions of the moon-goddess, or evil sorcerers. Anyone with sufficient skill could make one, regardless of their alignment.
I would venture to guess that even if there are easier and more efficient ways to induce shapechanging, they had to come from somewhere. Perhaps the aspect stones were simply the first reliable method? Go to Comment
Its things like this that after reading it I wonder why I didn't think of it first. This is marvelous. I can see having on of these fall into the hands of my group and watch choas ensue if it fell into the right persons hands.
Question. What happens to the stone after one person gets aclimated to it? Does it still function? Or is it's properties only last for a certain period of time?
I realize that you said you can find them but do their properties last only for a set time? Like if one person wears it until they are completely changed, does it use up the power of the item? Does it work for two or three more times or is it perminent?
Actually do these stones grant spiderman/ super level powers or just slightly better than human norms and maybe some special abilties just beyond the norm?
So a world with Aspect Stones should be filled with races of LionMen, TigerMen, GazellaPeople, EagleMen, and dozens of other avatar critters?
Wouldn't the items be rare these days because the stones were made so long ago? Have the technique to make them be lost to (insert disaster) long ago, and they are reminants of the forgotten tribal past. Maybe it required the hand of the old tribal gods long ago. Go to Comment
The symptoms and the death of the mages would have been big news through the magic community. The great Mage of Mulgar's tower dead and then the falling of six more powerful mages practicing the dark arts would be big news in the world.
When another plague-like death of a wizard crops up an enterprising person may take that opportunity to explore the reasons. Not being a mage, he has some safety. Over time investigating a few things he finally figures out the cause, it is an item that got transferred from one mage to another.
A robbery, pickpocket, or murder later and the inspired 'bad guy' has the possible makings of a dangerous weapon, something that will open doors for him.
Now, how to use it. All he needs to do is test the items on a few lesser known mages so he can figure out which is 'The One.' Once he has the plague causing item identified he can put his plans into action. A simple handshake is all he needs.....
Could be political intrique, struggle for power, working as an assassin for hire, or any number of things.