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ID: 504

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November 2, 2007, 10:23 pm

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Watcher

By:

Known to the priests of Schiehallion as "The All-Seeing Eye", Watcher is in actuality merely one of the more minor of Corvus’s orbs. Little did Corvus guess that such a mundane tool would one day be revered as a fountain of knowledge.

Like ShadowEagle, I feel it’s about time I had a stab at contributing to the legend of Corvus. It should be stressed that this is not an official Corvus publication and that Moonhunter is free to offer any criticisms, amendments etc. of this submission if it does not fit in to the way he has imagined Corvus.

The priests of the Great Temple of Schiehallion in Herata are renowned across the world for their wisdom and knowledge: rich men and kings come to seek answers from them for the priests frequently possess knowledge that there would seem to be no way of obtaining. The source, however, of their knowledge is a closely guarded secret: securely kept in an inner sanctum open only to a privileged few lies the All-Seeing Eye, a perfect crystalline sphere approximately six inches in diameter. Upon gazing in to the sphere one can see images of scenes: some seem to be from areas close by, whilst others are from lands that lie on the other side of the world. Mostly the Eye displays events as they are unfolding, but sometimes the scenes appear to be from the past; perhaps just a few days old but perhaps many centuries long gone. Equally varied are the nature of the scenes: one moment they may be of palaces or battlefields, the next of a child playing in the streets.

The All-Seeing Eye fell in to the possession of the priests of Schiehallion approximately three and a half centuries ago, bequeathed to them as part of the estate of a rich noble who died without heirs. The origin of the Eye is not known to the priests and is a matter of heated debate: the larger party maintain that it is in an artifact of the gods, perhaps even of Schiehallion himself; others maintain that it is the work of human hands, perhaps even created by the great wizard Corvus, also known as Corvus. It is these priests which are correct.

Corvus the Mad, as is well known, spent a large part of his life creating orbs, some of which were mighty in the extreme, whereas others, such as Warmer, were comparatively minor. As Corvus began to grow older, three things happened: the number of his orbs increased; the size of his already large manor increased (thanks to some golems dedicated to building) and, as would be expected in an old wizard, he began to get a bit forgetful. Now, a wizard like Corvus isn’t the sort who takes kindly to having to spend half a day searching through his manor to try to remember where he last put the particular orb he was looking for and so he created Watcher, now known as the All-Seeing Eye.

The purpose of Watcher was simple. Upon looking in to Watcher and speaking the appropriate commands, Corvus could see the area around any of his orbs he so chose. The scene was displayed as if Corvus’ head was in the position of the orb (but with all round vision) so the orb itself did not appear in the scene. This was usually enough for Corvus to locate the position of the orb and find it.

It went on this way for years. Rather than having to remember where all of his orbs were kept, Corvus simply had to keep Watcher on him. The constant presence of Corvus had a surprising effect on Watcher: it did not drive it mad, or cause it to pick up any aspects of Corvus’ personality, rather it seemed to have given Watcher a superiority complex. The fact that Corvus preferred Watcher’s company over that of any of his other orbs was a clear indication, in Watcher’s eyes, of Watcher’s pre-eminence over the other orbs. What the Orb of Corvus or the Dark Eye think of this attitude is unknown.

The Voop occurred. Watcher was eventually found in a field by a farmer. Amazed by it, the farmer sold it to a merchant who passed it on to a wizard for 20 times the price he had given for it. Since then Watcher has passed through the hands of many: wizards, priests, merchants and nobles, eventually ending up in the hands of the priests of Schiehallion.

Without Corvus to give it commands, Watcher appears to just be displaying images of the other orbs at random. What should be remembered, however, is that just like all the other orbs of Corvus, Watcher is an intelligent, living object. In actual fact, Watcher is doing exactly as his name suggests: watching. Being an orb, he is aware of the millennium long power struggle between the orbs and watches them keenly. Despite his total lack of power, he regards the other orbs in a similar way to the way they regard mortals: as children, playing for his amusement. He can actually view the area surrounding all of the other orbs at once the image that it is displayed is simply the one that he is concentrating on the most. This is the reason why sometimes the scenes displayed are those of the past: Watcher is thinking back to events that happened long ago, the significance of which has only recently come to pass.

The priests of Schiehallion, of course, are unaware of this; neither do they have any inkling of how to control Watcher (nor are they likely to find out: Corvus was mad, after all). Nevertheless, erratic as the knowledge that can be gained from Watcher is, it is still valuable. Day and night, a rota of priests keeps watch upon Watcher, carefully noting down all that is displayed. The priests have used the knowledge gained wisely, guiding the Temple to greater prominence and influence in the kingdom, whilst always keeping close the secret of their knowledge.

- Watcher is interested in the power struggle of the orbs, not the concerns of humanity. Whilst these will frequently coincide, it may sometimes happen that the marriage of two peasants will be more significant in the long run than a major battle. This could be quite infuriating to the priests.

- Watcher can only see an area where an orb is. He is also not aware of the thoughts of the orbs, just what he can see.

- It would potentially possible for someone looking in Watcher to begin to figure out the connection between the orbs. It would be quite tricky as the orb isn’t shown in the scene and, in addition, given that people donât know where all the orbs are (or even that these magical items are all orbs of Corvus), they would be unlikely to jump to any obvious connection between the scenes. Minor orbs, especially if they move around, would be especially unknown.

- Nevertheless, Watcher is perhaps the only (though very unobvious) clue that people have of the fact that the orbs are intelligent and are playing games with humanity. Even if someone doesnât realise that, they might still realise that Watcher is showing the things that are important in their world, e.g. "Ah, so Watcher is showing me these peasants are getting married. Make sure to watch their descendants carefully."



Magical Properties:

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.



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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

MoonHunter
July 18, 2004, 3:20
0xp
Thumbs and tail up.

Humans are always looking for patterns and believe they have the answers. So they are seeking deep wisdom in someone who is just surfing the channels.

It would probably watch the other items of Corvus too, so it is watching other trinkets as well.

It would also be watching the area around where orbs (and other trinkets) are buried in the ground or in the water. And the sky high view of the anti-gravity orb that someone let float upward centuries ago.
EchoMirage
July 24, 2004, 2:52
0xp
I would just love to see the PCs figure THIS out. I'd bet that 95% of gaming groups would give up, and dismiss Watcher as just another botched crysstal ball. :D
Shadoweagle
August 2, 2004, 5:35
0xp
Hmm. I am thinking, now, of a huge game, or a quest, or an obsession, played by a party of adventurers. They have, in their possession, the watcher. Their mission is to seek the places that the watcher shows them. After they figure out and go to two or three of these destinations, they will realise that watcher is rewarding them each time they reach their destination, with an orb of varying powers. Imagine someone who manages to collect all of the orbs? Vast power indeed.

But what of this: What do the orbs think of this? Will some orbs not take kindly to bieng taken and collected? Perhaps some of them will think it a fun game, and play along with these adventurers. Perhaps some will find it so interesting, that they will battle or reason or manipulate against the orbs who seek to stop the treasurehunt, just to keep it going.

this can turn into a years-long treasurehunt, and therefore a huge campaign.
MoonHunter
August 3, 2004, 1:05
0xp
Most of the Orbs really would not care who owns them. It would give them something to do. Most do not have huge agendas. If you let them have their foibles and use their psychological issues against them, they will do what ever else you ask. The only one who would have an issue would be Charlie's marble AKA the capstone of the Grand Staff of the Black Dragon Magi. She would have significant problems with someone trying to "use her", but given the right pursuasion.

Of course, he could be collecting some of his lesser cousins at the prodding of one of his more powerful cousins (possibly the Glowlights of the Library or the Order of the Forgotten (GalwaEnchena's caretakers) as the suprise villians).

Of course the big kids (Dark Eye and Orb of Corvus specifically) could be behind it all or they could be fighting the event with EVERY TOOL AT THEIR DISPOSAL. That would not make for a long lifespan.
ephemeralstability
August 6, 2004, 14:46
0xp
I like this idea. Might there be a sleep phase? The Watcher appears to lose its predictive ability and to become a reflective glass sphere. In fact it is still functioning, but it is watching itself and its environs, to make sure nothing untoward is going on.

ephe!
Voted Murometz
November 2, 2007, 22:24
0xp
Edited: fixed weirdo characters (since this just became my favorite Corvus related sub!)
Voted valadaar
October 24, 2013, 9:41
0xp
This is neat - wonderfully built atop other content. Good stuff!

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If mana recovered slowly enough, and mages could pass it on freely between them, the ephemeral force would become a valuable trading commodity on its own.

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