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Rating: 4.3
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ID: 500

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October 27, 2005, 12:31 am

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Orb of Knowledge Absorption

By:

In the center of the great library, seated on a plain pedastal of twisted iron, sits a Grey crystal ball, 30 centimetres in diameter and with a misty interior to it. It is to this ball, that people go to find the whereabouts of books in the library, but the orb is much more complex than its simple task, though few may be aware of it.

(This is more of a fan-story than a history of Orbs, the great library, and Corvus. I have no idea how Moonhunter envisions these things, and this is just my thoughts. Moonhunter is free to offer alterations and additions, and abuses for the following ideas ;) )

The great library has been in existence for a long time. Few remember how it was created or who the first librarian of it was. The truth, however, was that Corvus - later known as Corvus the mad - Was the creator of the library. The first, greatest and perhaps most insane magician was the birth of those halls of knowledge in his early years whilst he was still learning magic. in his later years of course, Corvus retired to his estate in the land which would later be known as Corvin, and the library - at that time with only a few rows of books - now with its own host of librarians, grew slowly. People forgot the original owner of it, but the owner never forgot IT, even in his later ‘madder’ years. A few years before the great ‘voop’, The librarians of the great library entered their workplace, to find five orbs of softly glowing light on the main table, and in the center of the library, a grey, misted orb on a stand which could not be removed, no matter how much the effort. Nothing was taken from the library - it seemed it was a gift from somebody.
In reality, it was Corvus looking after his early dream of the great library. The five glowing orbs are described elsewhere.

The first librarian to find this orb, placed a hand over the misty object with curiousity. He breathed his thoughts softly in wonder - “What IS this…?”, and he was shocked and almost frightened to hear a smooth, wind-like echo of his own mind in his head, uttering “The orb of knowledge.” as though he were answering his own question.
Over the next few weeks, it was found that if asked for a book on a certain subject, the orb would whisper in the persons mind the location in the library it was at, and thus the orb was labeled the orb of categorizing. Any patron of the library could ask the orb where to find a book, and it would answer for them. So from then on, that was the accepted thought on the extent of the orbs power.

What is unknown to the librarians however, is that if any question is asked to this orb, the orb will respond, though in a riddling, sometimes double-meaning manner which may perplex and throw people off even MORE.

This orb is the orb of knowledge absorption. Its purpose was to remember. Ultimate knowledge is every magi’s dream, and a young Corvus was no different. This creation was his attempt at making that dream a reality by sucking in every bit of knowledge, but it failed, because the living, intelligent orb needed to witness things just like any other life-form, before it could remember it.
So the orb knew of everything in the library, and every area of Corvus’s estate, and knew much of what Corvus told and taught it.

But then Corvus’s estate went ‘voop’. All the other orbs dispersed throughout the world, and the Orb of knowledge saw how great this may be. Unlike the other orbs, it maintained an open speaking link with every orb, living their lives, learning their experiences. It knows of the existence of ‘the ones’, that ‘warmer’ had become ‘god’ over. It saw the lands that the ‘orb of Corvin’ opened its eyes over. It learned the politics and rulers of the ‘Crystal sphere of the throne’. It saw everthing the ‘dark eye’ saw from those it manipulated - and so on. Additionally, the Orb of knowledge opens a link to the minds of any who ask it a question and touch it, copying a small segment of knowledge and storing it.

All those who go to the library marvel that it seems to grow every day. Even the librarians who are there, each and every day, notice that they find books in there that they could have sworn werent there before. In actuality, the orb magically creates these books as it gathers knowledge, extending bookcases and spawning the books in their correct positions during the night. And that is how the great library continues to expand, and is why the great library is reknowned throughout the country as the best source of information.

And thus the orb continues to learn, and thus it slowly fulfils the dream of ultimate knowledge.

Long ago, the Wizard Corvus, created a vast number of magikal crystal orbs of various sizes, most of which were incorporated into other items. These orbs housed magikally created intelligences with the following powers:
1) The ability to influence and manipulate the minds of those around it to some degree.
2) The ability to communicate with any other Orb at any range, if it desires.
3) The ability to block or diffuse the power of another orb, 100% magik resistance against orb magik. It can sometimes grant that ability to others or use the power at range.
4) The ability to be nearly unbreakable (they are crystal after all)
5) 1-5 Magikal abilities to fufill its original purpose as a tool for Corvus. They were originally made as assistants and aides for Corvus. Since they have outlasted him and anyone who knew much about them, they are now free to follow their own agendas.

The items are immortal. Mortals are their playthings, their chess pieces, their hands.


Magical Properties:

-The orb of Knowledge absorption continues learning from those who touch it and those who ask it questions, by absorbing an amount of knowledge of ones life in their memory.

-The orb maintains an open link to all other orbs, and all other orbs allow this link to remain open, as they are aware this orbs agenda is merely the gathering of knowledge - not the use of that knowledge gained for power. It seeks only to fulfill why it was made, even though its master is reported gone. It gathers all knowledge that each of these other orbs collect.

-The orb can answer most questions asked by people who lay their hands on it, but the answers are always garbled, in riddles or difficult to decipher equations, or with double meanings which may lead people astray or confuse them. If asked the whereabouts of a book in the great library, it will answer simply.

-The orb also creates books as it learns. These books have no author, and are distinguished by the plain grey covers.



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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

CaptainPenguin
July 5, 2004, 22:15
0xp
Fantasticallistically amazing-ful!
I can't speak for Moon, but I think that it is a worthy addition to the Corvus setting.
Woohoo!

5/5!
MoonHunter
July 6, 2004, 3:43
0xp
EEEEK!!!! I have inspired Fan Fic!

I never saw Corvus as civic minded. He is about as civic minded as your average adventurer, that is to say... not much. But who knows... maybe when he was sane.

The only problem with said orb is that it has to be publically known, so it will be a target for light fingered adventurers, Evils in need, or politicals who would limit who would have access to it. If it is tucked in the reference librarian's office, you could ask the librarian... he toddles off to his office... toddles back ten minutes later with an appropriate riddle.

Just thoughts... It is your fan fic after all.
Shadoweagle
July 6, 2004, 5:39
0xp
Good thoughts :) I had thought that to the public, the orb was just like an index book which people can publically access to find books. Actually I like the idea of asking the librarian. How about looking at it from a different perspective:

A sage is reknowned for giving riddles which will always give the correct answer to a question asked to the sage. You must pay the sage, then leave the room for ten minutes while he 'speaks to the spirits'. Ten minutes later, he comes back, magically knowing an answer. But what if a thief is in your party who just happens to snoop around the sages office? "Oooh, whats this ball?"

With the lightfingered thieves - the ball is fused to the library and the stand - it would take powerful magic to defuse it. And as I now see I neglected to mention: like the glow-orbs, it is completely useless outside the walls of the library - it stops answering anything.
Voted Chaosmark
November 7, 2005, 8:45
0xp
Quite an interesting item. I never thought any could do the same thing as Moonhunter.
manfred
November 7, 2005, 10:34
0xp
Of course we can. And you can too!

Provided the result is worthy, of course. ;)
Voted manfred
November 7, 2005, 10:58
0xp
"What is unknown to the librarians however, is that if any question is asked to this orb, the orb will respond..."

Hmmm.... now, wouldn't someone sooner or later try to ask a different question, just for fun or by mistake? If it is there for hundreds of years, that is bound to happen. Another reason why it is kept secure by the librarians.
Voted axlerowes
March 25, 2009, 17:09
0xp
I like this one, it is clear, well written and would be central to any number of plots. However it does require you to accept the conceit that nobody in the library has found its true nature yet. The more I read of the Corvus setting the more I enjoy it. It has as very classic style to it. But again there are questions. This Orb is just a knowledge sponge, not a scientist. If it tests not knowledge and performs no empirical studies of things how does it organize and rank the knowledge? How does it seperate fact from lore etc?

So if I ask the Orb "Does prolactin passed through the breast milk effect thymus development in young males?" How will it answer.
MoonHunter
March 25, 2009, 23:15
0xp
One of the little flaws in this sub. Perhaps if The Library is associated with the The Royal Geographical Order and some Tinkers' Order, these things can be tested.

It does the organizational aspects the same way monks and scholars did since Greek times, Logic. As for fact and lore, until scientific rigor became the vogue, there was just sources of various qualities - some more respected than others.

Remember, this is on a pre-industrial age world (like most fantasies are), thus we can not apply Industrial, Modern, and Post-Modern filters to them.

As for your question, whom in the 12th or 13th century would ask that? Now if the world was that sophisticated, its data and sources would be better.
axlerowes
April 10, 2009, 1:39
0xp
Remember, this is on a pre-industrial age world (like most fantasies are), thus we can not apply Industrial, Modern, and Post-Modern filters to them.

Isn't saying we need to consider the setting and the source before determining meaning and value a Post-modern filter?
MoonHunter
April 10, 2009, 16:29
0xp
Actually no. It avoids deconstructionist implications (technically a modern ideal).

That aside, consider the globes as having "the sum of all socities' knowledge". This includes knowledge from "lost civilizations" and civilizations in other parts of the world unknown to the local peoples (getting knowledge from the Orbs that have been Vooped See Warmer aka Garnar'hklorrrathhhh ). It will not know the specifics of most peoples lives (Did Joanie marry Chachi?), but it will know a great deal about everything. (It might know where to find the marriage records for that town and time though,) Now if you are trying to use it to extend beyond the boundries of knowledge, it won't have the answer.

It might have a good guess. However, that is not its style.

I do know that the person who asked said question will have a burning desire to find the answer. (I.E. the orb will tweak their mind slightly and/ or tweak someone who will work for them, to find the answers.)
axlerowes
April 10, 2009, 17:26
0xp
if you want to go down this road....

weren't you asking that we seek meaning or at least find our standard for meaning and thus reality in a contextual light (i.e. within a fantasy setting)?

can you answer question about his post definitively even though you didn't write and thus may not understand the vision of its creator?

Can you explain how Derrida would have approached the question of what it means to know something, and would his definition be different if the subject he was describing existed in different periods of popular thought (he actually dealt with I believe)?

at any rate, i dig that the it is just a ball of limited knowledge, not a ball of truth.
MoonHunter
April 13, 2009, 16:58
0xp
Actually in this case, I can write definitively on the thoughts of the Author. I talked with him often. He wanted to do a "fan piece" off one of my subs, which he didn't need my permission to do but that is another issue. He did this submission after checking a number of things with me. Otherwise I would not of posted in such an authorative way. If you want to post a question to his PM, he still shows up once every few months.
axlerowes
April 13, 2009, 17:48
0xp
Thus does understanding the piece require an understanding of and a relationship with the author?

Does it enhance one's understanding of the piece?

This piece deals with knowledge and perhaps truth, have you been saying to that to truth and knowledge are based upon the context?

How is context different then a paradigm?
MoonHunter
April 13, 2009, 18:03
0xp
We really need to take the philosophical conversation offline, into PM or something. We are cluttering the poor post and not much adding to it.
axlerowes
April 13, 2009, 23:15
0xp
I think you under estimate how much RPG fans enjoy armchair philosophical babel, and discussions of semantics.

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