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April 8, 2011, 7:25 pm

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Crest of the Stormhammer


This is a Quest Submission for the Shards of the Storm Quest.
The shards of Typhoon and Monsoon were recognized by the Wind and Sky, and so the lands beneath them permitted them to exist, and thus remembered, so they continue to exist.

But what of the shards themselves? When the hands of mortal interfere with the Gods, woe to thee who believes them worthy.

A small rounded disk of metal approximately five inches wide, its silvered surface smooth and perfect, able to reflect the light of the sun. A small crest is etched into the center of a hammer and anvil, the mark of the smith Marcus. The crest is thick and solid and can be forged into shields and armor or worn as a brooch or amulet.

Marcus came across a shard of shiny metal embedded into the ancient oak that shaded his smithy. Proud of the find, he thought little of its appearance, thinking it a boon of the gods. He rested it in his home for fear of it being taken, wondering what he could use the marvelous piece for.

That night he dreamed. Of storms and thunder, lightning and wind all erupted in his mind with clarity that he was sure was real. His sleep was uneasy and wrought with energy and power. He dreamt of a battle between two mighty foes, their faces obscured by the storm clouds and lightning. He did see their crests on their shields and armor however. The lightning over an open field, which he knew to be the Queen Abelra of the northern Kingdom of Rhomas, which is were he resided. The justice scales on a field of coins he knew to be of King Woedan of the southern Kingdom of Ediren.  He woke with many questions and no answers.

The next day some of his answers were given to him. A page from the capital came to the small village to announce all able bodied men who could serve at arms were to announce themselves at the castle by mid day in three days. A war was brewing between Rhomas and Ediren. Marcus knew the Gods had spoke to him in his fevered dreams. His son stepped up and claimed he would be there. His son, Anthony was no long a boy. A man grown, with arms to match his fathers grown from hours bent over the anvil. He would go to war. Marcus knew then what he must do with the metal he found.

He spent the three days pouring over his smithy, working the metal. Forcing it to do his bidding, mentally bending it with his will alone it seemed. Bending it over and over, demanding it be finished for his son's departure. When his son woke on the third morning, he was gifted with a sight that brought tears to his eyes. His father handed him a rounded shield of immense beauty. Silvered and smooth, it shone in the light with a bluish tint, like the after image of a lightning strike. A small disk in the center showed an etched hammer and anvil, a testament to the family crest they so laughingly talked about. Energy seemed to jolt his arm when he first gripped it, standing his hair up slightly.  Anthony took it and was surprised by the weight; it was light but firm, solid in his thick hand.

No words were spoken by Marcus, a tear drifting from his eye, but Anthony knew. "I will father. I will make you proud." With that he gathered his few possessions and left.

Anthony was given grief by many superiors about his shield, claiming it stolen. However, whenever someone tried to take it from him they failed. He would push them aside like a grown man would a child. His captain saw this and was intrigued, spoke with Anthony of the history of the shield and allowed him to keep it. His size and talent at learning warcraft quickly stood him out above the others. He quickly rose to a position of trust and skill. Anthony went to battle, his shield in hand and his promise to his father on his lips. He was nervous, but not scared. He knew that nothing would stop him from returning to his father.

Soldier after soldier blasted into him, but his shield was always there stopping the attack as if by its own will. He would always enter the heaviest of combat leaving with minimal injuries and plenty of honors to claim as his own. His commanders saw this and elevated him quickly, seeing his potential. Soon his name was talked about through the lines of friend and foe alike. Soldiers would rush to fight by his side so they could say they were there in the thickest of battle. Enemies would try to angle away from his men, avoiding his raging talent. Indeed it was raging. When he fought, storms boiled and thunder always sounded, but no rain would fall.

When he was on the battlefield, he didn't see what others saw. He saw the Gods. He witnessed the Gods battle every time he swung his sword. Every time he blocked a strike, he saw the Gods battle each other and he knew it to be true. He was no longer Anthony; he was becoming them, becoming a God himself. With each passing battle, his renown grew, and so did his rage and sense of himself. He began to ignore the commands of his superiors and make his own battle designs, always coming out on top. He demanded his soldiers to follow him or die; they did willingly at first knowing they would gain respect. Then his demands began to worry even the stoutest of soldiers.

During one such meeting with his superiors, they commanded of him to use his force as a reinforcement only unit. Anthony refused and went to battle with his men, who were beginning to reluctantly follow his lead. Many of them were beginning to become injured as they found the tightest of enemy forces to battle each time. Some were not making it anymore.

His commander confronted him on the battlefield about his insubordination, Anthony's answer sounded with the swing of his sword. They fought amidst the tumult of soldiers on both sides, with each swing enemies stopped and stood and watched. Shoulder to shoulder previous enemies watched for the outcome of the single combat. Blows were traded, but only his commander was hit. Many times it would seem as if Anthony would be struck, only to have his shield to stop its progress instantly. On one such strike, the commander saw an opening in which no one could defend, Anthony was over balanced and his shield was behind him. He struck and was knocked to his feet as a wall of wind erupted from around Anthony and blocked the strike for him. Those close by were also knocked to the ground; the force of the wind was so strong. "You can not defeat me! I am the God of the Storm!" His cry resounded loud enough over the battle field that most within hearing stopped fighting. He thrust his sword into his commander’s throat and bellowed at those around him, attacking anything that was close.

The wind came to his aid and threw enemies aside who tried to flank him. When he struck light flared and sent those he hit flying away, smoking and twitching. The soldiers of Ediren began defending him for a short while, but when Anthony began attacking anything with reach, they began helping their former enemies to defeat the monstrosity before them. The fight was long and fierce, but Anthony walked away unscathed, his blood boiling from rage. His last kill was a young soldier, no more than a boy of thirteen. His doe eyes broke through the rage and anger of Anthony and he saw what he had done.

He ran in the night and didn't stop until he collapsed. He lay, covered in gore and blood, some of it his enemies but most of it his previous friends. He whispered prayers to the Gods to beg forgiveness of his crimes, but no answers were forth coming. This angered him again and he sought to punish that who brought this on him. He anger, his rage filled him he cried out to the heavens and it began to rain.

Marcus has heard of his son's exploits and his skill and was proud as any father could be. He was shocked on evening to hear a bang at his door. The rain had not stopped for weeks. He opened the door to see his son. Or he thought it was his son. He seemed larger, his muscles taunt, his face and neck corded in rage. "You are the reason for my damnation and that is the reason you die." He struck out with the shield his father created and lightning struck the small house.

No one knew what happened but no bodies were found in the charred house. The metal crest of the shield was the only thing intact. It was brought to the King who gave it to his must trusted commander. Tales of his exploits rang through the Kingdom and enemy lines as did Anthony's.

Magic Properties
The metal crest can be attached to any item of substantial size, such as a shield or a breastplate of armor. It can also be worn as a necklace or amulet and has been known to be used as a brooch. Tales of it being sewn into the back of a gauntlet also have followed in its wake.

The crest was made from one of the Shards of the Storm, a testament of the Gods ability and anger. From the love that was placed into creating it, it will protect the wearer from harm by calling on the forces of nature and of the storm itself.

It can create walls of air at the wearers bidding to block attacks. If the wearer is unaware of the attack it can send a force of air to propel the attacker away, blasting the air from their lungs.

It can also send charges of energy into an attack by the wearer. This sends the anger of the gods in the forms of energy, similar to lightning into the victim. A sulfurous odor always seems to follow behind such a strike.

There is a great price to pay for using this item however. The more it is on their person, the more they will feel superior than those around them. They will begin to refuse advice and orders. They will also begin to become real quick to anger at the slightest of offense. This seed will continue to grow in them until they begin to feel as one of the Gods. This is brought on by dreams of the Gods warring, and images of the battles they fought while on the battlefield. If they are strong enough they can fight the urges for a time, but it is inevitable that they will break under the pressure of the Gods will and turn on those around them.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Nobody
December 6, 2005, 13:25
This is a pretty good item. As far as powers go its pretty standard, and the enraged madness is typical for a Shard of the Storm item, however I like how the dreams were worked into it, and I appreciate the user feeling that he is actually a God himself. This adds character to the post.

The history is also particularily well done.

Mediocre Item+Good side effect+Awesome storyline=3.5/5 (Sweet Idea)
Voted Siren no Orakio
December 6, 2005, 17:06
This is well done: The powers of the storm fit well to the defensive nature of the original device, and the connection to the divine, is well executed.

I also like the attachment to the crest rather than building into the object itself: This item could be used for far greater things than simply for a single person... and exact so much more terrible a price.
Voted Scrasamax
December 6, 2005, 17:07
Basic magic shield + Well written History + Tie in for personal campaign = 4.5/5
Voted Murometz
April 29, 2006, 17:09
Voted Cheka Man
October 16, 2006, 8:33
Only voted
Voted valadaar
August 7, 2014, 15:20
This has a fair amount of potential, and a decent backstory. The powers seem a little high, but can be considered to be the exaggeration of legend.

Good stuff!

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Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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