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Comments: 14
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.2778
Condition: Normal
ID: 5312


September 28, 2008, 10:46 am

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Zhalinth Deshar


An Elven made memory stone

Full Item Description
The Zhalinth Deshar is a flat tablet made of specially prepared and fired clay. It is generally 1.5 to 2 inches thick, and no larger than two or three hand-spans in dimension. The surface is marked with deep holes and labyrinthine impressions that lead from the holes to the central hole in the middle of the tablet. As a clay tablet, it is rather easy to shatter, and somewhat heavy.

The elves, being long of years, sometimes are burdened with memories they no longer wish to keep. This could be as little as a romantic tryst gone sour, or memories of a century long war that decimated kin and country. The original Zhalinth Deshar are Memory stones, each one capable of holding the memories that are willingly placed in it. These tablets can be used regularly, the memories being taken from them before being put back in. The memories are not copied, nor can they be shared. A Zhalinth Deshar can be used by almost any sentient being, though it works best for elves, then humans. It works very poorly for humanoids such as lizardfolk, merfolk, and so on.

Magic/Cursed Properties
Not all Zhalinth Deshar work as intended, and some are the products of malicious intents, others simply poorly made. There are a variety of known defective Zhalinth Deshar.

Memory Stealer - This damaged Zhalinth Deshar was mis-made by the artisan and enchanter. It stores memories, but does not return them when bidden to. This is the most common sort of defective Zhalinth Deshar, and they are broken by the artisans to prevent their misuse.

Empty Soul - This is one of the rarest of defects, caused by a critical failure on the part of the maker. These Zhalinth Deshar have the nasty ability to consume all the memories of someone trying to deposit them. Deprived of all memories, the elf is left an Empty Soul. With some work and a great deal of time, the elf in question can be normalized to society. The process is similar to that of stroke victims in relearning basic motor functions and language skills.

Trickster - Made with malicious intend, the Trickster is like an Empty Soul, but after consuming all the memories in a host, it replaces them with the memories of the last person who was wiped by it. This leaves a new persona in a new body. It is believed that the origin of this type came from a dark elf seeking to gain a new body, leaving his behind and taking that of the next person to hold the tablet.

Tablet of Confusion - This tablet, poorly made, does not work as intended. While it holds and restores memories, those memories are damaged and degraded, often out of sequence or scrambled.

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Comments ( 14 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted EchoMirage
September 28, 2008, 5:33
Wow. You know this goes right into my campaign, do you?
Voted Cheka Man
September 28, 2008, 13:05
Very well done and orginal too. 5/5 and it will get an HOH later.
Voted Maggot
September 29, 2008, 2:16
A skillfully crafted item which can feature prominently in a variety of plot-hooks. The addition of defective and potentially dangerous tablets is a lovely touch.
September 29, 2008, 7:20
When can I stick a HoH on this?
September 29, 2008, 12:34
Later on - HOHs are being reworked to bring attention to older subs. For recent subs, your best way to put a 'wow' on a sub is to vote high and comment accordingly.
Voted Dozus
September 29, 2008, 8:05
Kinda neat! Reminds me of various sci-fi versions where androids download a different personality, or have to recover lost memory data. Translates great into the fantasy setting.
Voted valadaar
September 29, 2008, 12:33
Well damn, this is a pretty darn cool idea!

Some more:

History Rewritten

This stone is deliberately made - it will allow an outside user to manipulate the memory stored within.

Dreadful Recall

This stone will return a truly awful false (or maybe even true) memory whose subject matter is soul-scarring.
September 29, 2008, 15:09
Oh my, these are neat!
Voted MoonHunter
September 29, 2008, 16:14
A lovely item for an Elven or Immortal society. Now you no longer have to feel bad about those past experiences. You can now "whisk" them away, and never have to think about them again. (But still around, should you need the experience).

So mechanically you might score skills/ xp in these memory spots. After all, if you are forgetting that century long war, you are forgetting all that combative skill advancement, tactical knowledge, and so on as well.

This works very well in a game like Burning Wheel which has
a mechanic of grief (melancholy), where you can loose these points, with somekind of trade of checks/ skils/ xp.

There are a lot of uses beyond the sanity maintaining of a near immortal being. Some are unpleasant.

The mechanism for transference is a bit vague. And the retrieval. Other wise you could have someone trained as an assassin, then they "give" their memory of that time over, and then later told to retrieve this when the see "that certain someone" (or compelled). Thus instant assassin that is undetectable before the retrieval happens.

I could see the mechanics being abused by players who "want to forget their romantic home life" for a time, so they can be stone cold killers of their younger days again. Literally, you could be swapping out skill sets and memory sets.

The easy to break is something I would think they would address. After all, unless the point was to totally forget the memory, you would try to make them hard to break.

Can you be compelled to give up a memory? Forced or told to give up part of your life as punishment for a crime?
A new variation of Elven Prison.

September 30, 2008, 1:13
I'll answer the questions (those that end with question marks)

Can you be compelled to give up a memory?
In theory, yes. Manipulation and mind control can be used to make someone give up a certain memory, this is dicey though, because the coercer has no ability to tell what went into the stone, or if it was even used. If someone really wanted to steal someone's memory, they would likely try to use a cursed or faulty stone.

Can you be deprived of part of your life as a punishment for a crime?
In theory, yes. As with the above, someone could be forced or compelled to give up their memories. Give up enough and you can loose abilities, skills, knowledges, and so forth. An assassin could be regressed to the memories they had as a teenager, or younger. Of course, this would require alot of very effective, very creative 'encouragement'

This mode of thinking gave rise to the old elven adage, Give a human a gift, and he will make it a weapon.

Some Observations:
There are a lot of uses beyond the sanity maintaining of a near immortal being. Some are unpleasant.

Indeed, the cursed version came long before the benign elven version. This is a supporting post for some other things I am working on. You're not far off target.

The mechanism for transference is a bit vague.

If I could fully explain how it would work, this post would be a great deal longer, much less comprehensible, and I would be either barking mad or an honest to God sorcerer. It's magic, it's vague, science is precise.

I could see the mechanics being abused by players...

Give them cursed stones if they are going to abuse it, or dont let them have them.

Also, deleted your double-post
Cheka Man
September 30, 2008, 11:38
Tablet of the Dead

Gives the memories of a dead person, (it has to be used quickly when the death has only recently happened) but not their spirit. So rather then a spirit possessing the body as such, the affected person thinks they are another person. Some think that it and the Trickster are the same thing. Used to punish Elves who murder, by making them become in affect the one that they murdered.
Voted Ramhir
December 8, 2010, 23:15

Like EchoMirage said, this goes into my campaign. A wonderful item. Thanks.

Voted Dossta
July 17, 2012, 17:31
Loved this little thing. It has so many varied uses and could cause no end of trouble. Plot hooks abound!
Voted Phaidros
July 18, 2012, 14:08
Nice little bit of something more common in sciencefiction than in fantasy: memory storage and memory hacking. If we take the computer-analogy further, would a highly skilled mage be able to create virusses or worms, to take over society?

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