Full Item Description Crafted entirely from black obsidian,it is a massive roughly carved zig-zag built to resemble the deadly lightning bolts that accompany powerful storms. The undulating surface of the Alter, peculiarly enough for an artifact constructed by seemingly primitive hands, is perfectly smooth, with nary a flaw or crease marring it. But that little oddity is completely overshadowed by something else far more striking:Strange sounds seem to emanate from within the Alter, thunderous, ear-splitting noises reminiscent of the destructive elements of nature at their most wrathful and furious. A man would go deaf without doubt, were he fool enough to rest his ear against the Alter in the hope of divining the source of those odd acoustic anomalies.
History The Alter of the Storm has a story that goes back eons, well beyond the domain of time as mortals reckon it, dealing as it does, with the concerns and ambitions of beings who are well placed to regard our cherished notion of time as a concept utterly irrelevant to their existence. As such, you will find no mention of it in even the most ancient tomes to be found in the possession of humanity. But lest you find yourself tempted to dismiss the Alter as nothing more than pure moonshine, the ostentatious child of my capricious and idle imagination, let me hasten to say that it is very real. So call me a lazy story teller if you will later, but hear me out first. There's a story behind the Alter, and it's a very fascinating one at that. One that your local weather god would probably be rather interested in hearing...
Let me take you back all the way to this sly little sprite by the name of...I can't remember what it was. Funny sounding and long it was,as it's wont to be with unhuman folks. But I digress. This little spite, now he was an elemental. You know, hose powerful beings that control the weather. But this little sprite, he wasn't so powerful. All he could do was bring down a little sleet. You know, few frozen little lumps that'd be hard pressed to knock a pigeon out of the sky, let alone smash your roof to smithereens. Puny and pathetic, he was. And elementals, they're a lot like wild animals, you know. The big honking ones always end up eating the runts, so they can absorb their essence as you'd call it, and grow even bigger. Yes, law of the jungle and all that. But this little runt,
he was a lucky one, having managed to avoid his big, hungry brethren. Of course no one's luck runs forever and he'd probably have suffered the same fate as all those other weaklings eventually. If it hadn't been for this funny little trinket he found floating around in an obscure corner of the good ole elemental realm that neccessity had forced him to take refuge in. There it was, just hovering innocent as you like, a big silver shard. But it was no random bit of debris. The little guy might have been a runt, but he wasn't stupid. There was this powerful force radiating from the shard,an... awareness of sorts, if you will. It did not speak of course, but the little elemental knew that there was this weird presence dwelling in the Shard. And that's when his little idea occurred to him.
Weak and puny he might have been, but like I said, he had a sharp mind. Prostrating himself, he begged the presence in the shard to aid him in his endeavors, calling it the most magnificent and powerful thing he had ever encountered, promising he would build a sacred sanctuary for it, provided it agreed to..render a little service for him.
Our little friend here, you understand, decided that the discovery of this alien but all-powerful presence represented a sudden change in his fortunes..
And so carefully taking it with him, the shard that contained the presence, he summoned an old friend of his, a middling jinn, to assist him in his undertaking.
They laboured long and hard, and before long,(as the elementals reckon it), the promised sanctuary to the presence within the Shard had been constructed. But it contained something else, the subtle enchantments of the jinn woven with the raw, primal energy of the shard buried deep within the core of the monumental shrine housing it..
A month after the discovery of the shard by the little sprite, something of titanic proportions happened that would send the delicate balance of power in the elemental world into painful upheaval.
A terrifying fire elemental with an infamous reputation and most monstrous of appearance to behold, known by his fearsome title of Raiju the Burning Peril, out on the prowl for some prime earth or weaker water water elementals to devour, was fortunate enough to sense the frenzied distress cries of what seemed like a particularly large water elemental.. He always relished the prospect of feeding off prey that was too weak to defend itself. Wasting no time, he transformed himself into his preferred form for travelling, a humongous cloud of fire, and blazed his way across, eager to reach his unfortunate quarry. Every time he soared closer to where he felt the being's aura emanated from, he could feel its strength and vitality ebbing away. With luck, the water elemental would almost be too wounded to put up even the pretence of a struggle once he arrived on the scene. Oh, he could almost savour the sweetness of absorbing its essence into his, I warrant.
Too bad that euphoria wasn't fated to last for very long. Finally reaching the location in which he gauged the moans of agony to be emanating from, he found that was no dying water elemental awaiting his ravening jaws. Just a funny looking black rock that looked a bit like a lightning bolt. A rock elemental with a healthy streak of individuality then? He didn't care much for the taste of the few he'd had the misfortune of eating, and additionally, they were ever so difficult to leach and digest, but he had pushed himself rushing here and his fiery belly had worked quite an appetite along the way. It wouldn't have done to cheat it. The Burning Peril ever did let his belly dominate his decisions.
And so he whooshed towards the funny zig-zag rock in an explosion of flames, ready to envelope what he believed to be the rock elemental, and consume its essence. Only to see the flames of his body pass through the surface of the rock instead of scorching it, as it were more an illusion than an actual object. His instincts kicking in too late, Raiju realized he had stumbled into a very clever trap. To his immense horror, he found a mysterious force dragging him down INTO the rock itself. But the hulking fire elemental wasn't ready to give up without a fire. He didn't have a fearsome reputation among the lesser elementals whom lived in terror of him, for nothing. Blazing with the ferocity of a forest fire, he summoned every modicum of his considerable might and unleashed a barrage of flaming missiles, each of which would have been suffecient to set an entire village ablaze by itself, directed against the surface of the rock mass, even as it rose up to meet his torso. And for a moment, it appeared that he would prevail against this diabolical enchantment through sheer force of might, with the black surface of the rock actually begining to melt ever so slightly.
The moment of victory was to be short-lived. Just as his spirits soared, a powerful roar of thunder reverberated across the sky. Accompanying it were the quick flashes of lightning bolts that rent the skies above apart with their jagged blades, unleashing a massive deluge of rain that quickly doused his massive flames, leaving him a smouldering and trembling wreck. For the first time in his long and brutal existence, this vicious and powerful elemental, this fearsome arch-hunter, was afraid. Despite himself, he begun to whimper in terror. The Burning Peril was now reduced to a snivelling wreck.
And then the awful presence overtook him. It was huge,
immense, a behemoth that crushed the last remaining shreds of resistance left in him, a demonic roar that filled his hearing utterly, the hellish, shrieking fury that suffused the primal scream of savage anticipation, setting his powerful shoulders trembling. And simply like that, it was over,his strength leaving him to flee into the recesses of the rock, the entire length of this once proud inferno inexorably sinking in to meet its doom..
After that, quite a few other similarly large and predatory elementals begun to hear the cry of a fire-elemental in great agony. Harboring hopes of an easy meal,they would track it down. And they too, would find the same fate awaiting them, all vestiges of ego and dominance crushed along with their strength, all lost and forgotten in the ghastly storm screaming within the black Alter.
And all this while, the little sprite, swelled ever larger and more bloated, drunk on the captured and confined essence of those once fearsome elementel beasts of prey he he had lured into his sly snare. He had grown immensely on the stolen power he harvested so carefully from the Alter. No long minute and frail, he was vast now, easily capable of slaying with his massive daggers of freezing sleet, a thousand Raijus. The Storm, as he had come to term the presence dwelling within, was content to let him sap the energy of the pitiful captives held within the Alter. All it cared about, was sating its inexplicable rage by destroying any foolish enough to challenge it.
But as mortals sometimes say, a greedy man always kills the goose that lays the golden eggs. For some, enough is never enough. What holds true for a mortal, also hold true for an elemental. Especially for an elemental. Powerful though he had become, he yearned for greater power still. And above all, he was eager to claim the power of the Storm itself as his own. Why be content with the victims it tossed him him, when he could in one dramatic swoop, take it by surprise and make its awesome power his own?
Thus it transpired, that emboldened by his own misplaced arrogance and hunger, the fool unleashed all his power and focus into a powerful spell he brought to bear down on the raging nexus of the Storm, determined to draw the entirety of this massive force into his own body. But it merely shrugged his spell off like a shackle made of garlands, amused by the presumptousness of his assault. And then it was at last his turn to hear the frenzied scream of ravenous delight drown out all thought and courage, all hope of survival..
Once it was done with him, it ripped a gaping hole in the very border seperating the elemental relam from the mortal one, determined not to dwell any futher among the ingrates of that world.
And so it wasnt the goose that had its stomach cut, but the greedy fool. But now that you've heard my story, won't you let me out? There's so much I would give you..
Magic/Cursed Properties The Alter of the Storm is nothing short of the equivavelent of a prehistoric tar-pit for rapacious elementals. Upon hearing the desperate screams coming from the Alter, they rush towards it, expecting an easy feast. Instead, they end up becoming part of the Storm's prison, adding their voices to the screaming chorus that gave such pleasure to the Storm.
Among all the unhappy unfortunates seduced to their doom, the architect of both this devious death-trap and his own downfall, alone does not roar in fury and frustration. Instead he chooses to remain lucid and sane, hopeful that any mortal who stumbles across the Alter, will be tempted to take pity upon him and smash it to bits, releasing him from his eternal gaol. But if this is acomplished however, he will do his utmost to slay his ''saviour'', fearful of this bane of elemental kind falling into the hands of mortal sorcerers. Be warned that he is very persuassive, apt to promise mastery over the elementals to any gullible mortal that comes his way.
Some time ago, I posted up the Shards of the Storm. In essence, they are fragments of a goddess's essense, containing a piece of the driven fury of the concept of the Storm. Much of their purpose, from a GMing point of view, is to provide a common thread for items of power. So? So, so far I have only been able to come up with two not-weapon items to make out of these, and I'd like to see what better minds than mine can do with them.
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? Responses (3)-3
Very nice piece of work Maggot.
Very good, an Elemential trapping item. Happy New Year 2006 btw!
Makes me think of Ghostbusters, just got to lure the elemental close enough and it gets sucked right in.
No trouble thinking up an infinite variety of elemental scenerios where this would be needed to finish a 'quest.' From having to go to the elemental plane to having to destroy a local elemental the key to the adventure could be finding and using this alter.