'Glorious is she whose tongue is lightning, whose breath is whirling wind, thunderous voice of the heavens and breaker of sky's illusory peace, whose rage churns the deep waters and lays empire to waste, the Storm Queen who reigns forever.'
- The Book of the Storm, plate 14
Full Item Description
Bound in black leather, this book appears simple from the outside, but the pages are written in a chaotic script and illuminated with disturbingly strange and evocative scenes and imagery which sometimes seem to glow with a faint metallic sheen. It concerns the Storm Queen, the tone is devotional in nature and dwells on her domains, powers, and mysteries to a great extent. It speaks of her battle with the Lord of Greed and the divine weapons Typhoon and Monsoon. Parts of the book are composed of chants, hymns, and prayers.
Arkost Meneis was a wizard renowned for his scholarship and research on many subjects, particularly in weather magic. While he was known to have a cruel streak, no one ever suspected that he had been a devotee of the Storm Queen since his early youth, when a hurricane devastated his city. Most of his wealthy family had retreated below ground, but he was forgotten as he had shut himself away in study. The storm rended the manor open, but somehow he was not pulled into it. In fact he saw a vision of the Storm Queen herself in the hurricane, which filled him with awe and terror, and this and his survival would forever be proof enough for him that he was one of her chosen.
Although this experience had a profound effect on Arkost, life soon continued as normal. The city was built again, and prospered thereafter. He made great progress in magical studies, and appeared to everyone as a typical young mage of his social class, though talented and precocious. In secret he worshipped his Mistress, sometimes with others who shared his faith, vulgar sailors who prayed oaths to her for mercy on the seas.
Many years passed. His name became well known in wizard circles, and by middle age he was widely known as a scholar. He travelled far and wide for the purpose of research and experimentation with weather magic, at the same time deepening his knowledge of his goddess. His obsession knew no bounds, and while his secret was hidden from the outside world, many noted his eccentricity, some even noticed the dark clouds that often seemed to gather round his tower. In seclusion he strived to serve her, so that his purpose would become known to him.
It came at last on his final expedition, to a place that had long called to him, the Desert of Divine Despair. Gathering a group of laborers and experts he travelled to uncover the mysteries of that land of which there was so much lore. Little is known about what occurred on that expedition, only that few who traveled on it returned, and that those who did refused to speak of it. The trip was regarded as a complete and utter failure, and the institutions which had previously supported him now distanced themselves. His reputation was all but destroyed, but oddly he didn't seem to mind. He cloistered himself away in his tower, and no one saw him again. After all, he had found what he needed, a fragment of silvery metal pulsating with profound energy..
For weeks he prayed, fasted, and called to the Storm Queen. The vilest of rituals were performed, while on the outside a great storm gathered over the city and rain and thunder beat down upon the homes of the unknowing populace. Finally, it came to him, his purpose, the reason he was chosen. Through an arcane process he transmuted the Shard of the Storm into ink, and began to write in an inhuman frenzy, as if his Mistress was channeling the words through him. The work took only a day to complete, and as he finished the very last line, Arkost Meneis collapsed and died.
When he was discovered, his secret was finally revealed. For the most part the controversy was hushed up. Evidence of his obsession was destroyed, including much of the research he had been working on previous to his death, but the book was lost.
Anyone in the book's presence can feel a distinct vibration in the air, which intensifies when passages are read aloud. When certain chants are repeated at length, the weather will gradually worsen culminating in powerful thunderstorms. As well, the chants have a chaotic effect on the listener, filling them with a ecstastic frenzy and stirring them to act on wild emotions and act impulsively.
Much of the book is cryptic in nature and it requires prolonged study to come close to comprehension of it. Such understanding can be a bane or blessing, for the secrets within are of a divine nature not meant for mortals, and a number of scholar's minds have been unhinged in the attempt to grasp the hidden meanings of the text.
Known copies are few in number and much of those are incomplete and inaccurate, because of the effect the book has on the mind of the would-be scribe. Other copies are thought to be in existence, in the hands of the mad priests of the Storm Queen, of course no copy has the magical effects of the original and due to incompleteness may not have the same potentially deranging effect. In fact many of these are simple retellings of the myths and legends of the Storm Queen and copies of the more decipherable portions of the book.
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 (6)-6
Excellent work. I like how you involved so many aspects of the Shards: the Storm Queen, the Desert of Divine Despair, the Shards themselves. Well done.
This would be very useful for a rainmaker when the rains have failed for far too long.
I will give a full review and vote later. However, suffice it to say that I like it.
I am giving my vote for the completness of the history and the way it was offered. Well written and easy to understand.
I voted 3.5/5 for the submission.
I fail to see the use of the item other than creating a rain storm. Not really in the chaotic nature of the concept of the shards have been. However, the fact that it unhinges the mind of those who read it makes me assume that this is the chaos in which the item brings. I had hoped for more. The history is very good and that above all else has given me the choice to make this a 4/5 instead of a 3.5/5.
I don't feel moved by this like I have by some of the earlier shard submissions. Don't get me wrong it is real good but it doesn't jump out at me and scream shards. I like the use that the shards are transfered into something else other than an item but an ink. Very nice touch.
Solid and nicely done, might have do a piece of my own on metal inks...