Galron has found lasting fame for simply being the first one who mentioned the stones in the record. This ancient parchments, translated into so many languages, is a hodge podge of various techniques that can be done, processes to do many of them, and vague hints about what can be done what the older magics.
Galron was, by all reckoning, a mage of middling repute. However, he has achieved ever lasting fame centuries later as being the writer of some of the oldest surviving thaumatugical works known to the world. Scholars today are unsure if Galron was writing personal notes or a text on magic, based on the surviving fragments. His writing style was simple and direct. Maddingly, he is referencing things which seem to have been common knowledge in his day but are lost to today.
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Galron Stones (Sharing Stones as he called them) is a technique included in his works. Some say the technique has been discovered and lost dozens of times since Galron wrote of them. Others say the technique does not really exist without a degree of magic as of yet rediscovered. Sharing stones allows for the creation of magical items nearly instantly according to Galron.
Reo Historican d'Thaumatugican - The History Path of Magic
printed 1473 New Blue Press newbury 119pp. 18 illus.
History and Explanation
In truth, the technique to create Galron Stones has been lost and found a number of times over the centuries. The only magickers who find it seem to be people who are producing many of the same magical items - usually for organizations. The technique seems to become obvious to magickers performing this task. So obvious in fact, they do not pass the information on to others (other than those working with them in in their workshops and sometimes not even to them).
First, a little review. Magic items are made by binding an energy matrix of some kind into the item and empowering that matrix through some manna flow. This enchantment converts a spell process into a minor magical thing bound in the matrix of the item. So rather than being a matrix to focus and color energies flowing through it, the matrix is self containing and motivating. The magic item then has its own powers to flow magics.
The original use of sharing stones was to help speed up the enchanting process. By mounting similar stones on similar items, through the law of association, the enchantment of one item would enchant the others. (No more than 12 stones can be used in this process at a time).
As any enchanter will tell you, the stones do not perfectly replicated the enchantments of the first items. This opinion is held by most modern magic users.
What a few enchanters know, is that the stones do created enough of a matrix copy that they can speed up the enchanting of the related items. Cutting the time of enchanting for the duplicate items by 1/3) To obtain this speed takes a familiarity with the 'trick' (Feat/ gift/ technique, special skill required, or a very successful arcane scholarship roll (substituting until feat/ gift/ skill is taken).
These enchanters would then begin again, with another set of items, enchanting one item to make the others easier to enchant. This is the secret technique of modern enchanters.
The True Secret is.....
The True Secret Technique of the Galron Stone is to not start again, but simply attune new stones to the original stones. By attuning the new item and empowering the 'new generation of stones', the new stones echo the matrix into the new similar item. Any number of stones can be attuned to one of the original stones of a fully enchanted item. The attunement of the stone (requiring the original item), attunement of the new item, and empowering of the stone takes about 1/10th to 1/20th the time it would take to enchant the original item. The fraction is based on how much weaker the echo item will be.
The Echos are weaker....
Now this matrix is not as strong or as bound as a properly enchanted matrix, but it is there... and can be used. Thus items that grant +2 would be +1 or less. Those granting invisibility might grant limited invisibility or even just pluses to stealth. Fire Controlling items might be merely fire influencing. Power effects and levels are reduced down one full step of efficiency. Even these echo items have limitations.
.... and need reinforcement
These duplicate items are not enchanted to be self empowered, thus action must be taken to re-enforce or recharge the patterns in the stones. Most items will have only one way to empower the matrix, however some have many. The various options are:
*Feeding the Stones power to maintain the matrix. (his works well for energy point systems: manna, long term fatigue, power points, or what ever. Hit points of self sacrifices is possible, but it must be a percentage of the total, rather than just a set amount. Even 'spell slots' can be burned to feed the stone ever day or lunar month.
Certain actions, relating to the use of the item, must be performed (over and over again) to re-enforce the matrix. So this would be things like: repeating a sword drill, dancing a certain way, standing stock still and remaining perfectly silent for an hour, scribing 20 pages,
By successfully meditating upon the item for 15 or so minutes, can refresh the matrix. Of course the meditator must be familiar with the object (contemplating it for quite a while) before this will work.
*Recharging from external sources:
This runs the entire gamut of possibilities.
Items of fire control, might need to be kept near a roaring fire for a few hours between uses. A cloak of invisibility might need to be exposed to a full night's worth of moonlight to be charged for the month. Tapping the power of a specific organization or spirit 'In the brightest day, in the blackest night....'
If your magic system requires endurance or manna or power points to be used to 'run' magic items, echoed items will need both manna to run the spells AND reinforcement.
Each Galron Stone is a gem stone of some kind, normally semi-precious. Once the stone is attuned and empowered, the stone will nearly glow with an opalescence (similar to the sparkly shine of an opal). These stones will often take on additional colors as well. A Jet Galron stone will usually pick up silver or white star like flakes, a lapis will pick up more green and possibly reds and light blue lines though it.
Galron Stone items will be 'weaker' versions of more expected magical items. They need additional effort to reinforce/ recharge their powers. Their advantage is that they can be 'mass produced' by a master and a few apprentices. Now only people who are trying to replicate dozens of the same items will rediscover this technique. So it will probably restricted to someone making things for an organization, government, an entire guild/ profession, or similar historically significant grouping.
The first 12 Sun Swords of The Blades of the Golden Sun were to be incredible. They were to be effective in combat, give edges to certain tasks that a True Blade might need, and to grant their wielders all the known battle magics. They would take 7 years each to enchant. While preparing for this task, Pierzo the commissioned ArcaneSmith, studied many sources... trying to duplicated the powerful magics of the past. Rereading Galron, he thought to use sharing stones to make all 12 at once. While that did not work out as well as he hoped, he discovered that he could attune other stones to First Stone, creating the first echo. The echoed blades did not grant battle magics to their owners, but granted the ability to cast battle magics (even if the owner had no magical aptitude), if the owner learned the spells. It also increased their owner's abilities to learn related Blade's skills as well. (Reducing study times to 1/3 of expected)
When he enchanted the echoed item, the result was not as powerful... but gave him the idea that he could enchant every Sun Sword of every Blade. While he was finishing the 12 prime swords, in only 29 years instead of the expected 84, he gave his proposal to the Blades of the Golden Sun council. They agreed that every blade could have such useful magics. Within the decade, he and his apprentices enchanted nearly 400 existing Sun Swords. After his death, his apprentices finished the remaining 1600 in the decades following. Not long after, almost all of the apprentice cadre was lost in a raid made by minions of the Dark Night (thus nearly losing the technique to history once again).
For GMs - Why have all this?
So now that you have this technique, what is this used for?
Rationalization and Justification really.
The existence of this technique allows for 'institutional items' or hundreds (if not thousands) of similar minor magic items to be in the hands of large and important groups in your world.
Since the technique to make this number of items is easily lost to history (so simple nobody documents how to do it), it allows you an explanation for why mythic or ancient organizations have these items and 'modern groups' do not.
Perhaps like 'ultra-tech' in modern and near modern games, only certain special groups (like secret spy organizations, assassins, or the ultra elite religious fighters) will have access to it.
Since someone else might figure out, you can have the existence of opalized gems be the signal to clever characters that this item might be a 'minor magic items'.
The echoed lesser powered items, allows you also to have a 'cost in time and effort' for those who want to use magic items. Perhaps the originals are powerful and one of a kind, but the duplicates are much more common.
What are all of your thoughts on this system for enchantment? Does it serve a useful function, allowing for many minor items and institutional equipment? Does anyone else want to create items using them?
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? Responses (12)
VERY interesting!! Technical posts are not usually my cup of chai, but I like this one a lot!
A way to mass produce magic items.
Hmmm ... interesting
Must say, I like this nicely explains the existence of large numbers low-level magical items
Could the copies be used as originals to make further copies (with the copies of the copies being even less powerful of course)? If so, the whole process would become exponential, resulting in a few high-powered items (the originals and maybe the first and perhaps even second generation copies) and vast numbers of lower-powered items.
Great stuff Moon definitely up to your usual standard 4½ / 5
Actually, copies of the copies would do you very little. What is the shadow of a shadow after all. Sure you could do it, but it would take almost as much work as doing a minor charm or such from scratch, as you would have to repair and rework all the missing matrix parts.
Now if you destroy the parent item, the first generation one, then all the second generation ones should fall. However, just like pieces of a hologram, if you have enough in place, you can keep perfect copies of the original.
OK limits it a bit (probably all to the good) but still allows for relatively large numbers of lower-level magic items thanks for the clarification
The telling is good, while the mechanic (mass production) is rather modern in thought. I think there could be a key weakness, say there are 12 first generation sun swords, destroy them and the other 2,000 copies are all going to fail? Seems like a highly viable target of a quest.
We would use the term 'mass production'. They would use the term crafting of the many, or swift crafting or creation of the set. Or they would spend several minutes explaining the idea that to modern/ post modern players are summed up in the idea/ phrase Mass Production.
Ok it took me a while to see where this submission was going but I liked how it tied into the Sun Blades.
I like the idea and the concept for a very high yield magic item world. What I mean by high yield is that you potentially have the capability to create such a huge number of minor magical items that normal items would become useless and only created to form these magic item chains. I love the concept and idea, I really do.
But I fail to see a need for such a huge mass production (swift crafting) of low level magic items. I like my magic items rare, scarce, sought after, and highly problematic to use.
Otherwise, a very nice set of instructions. Good job once again Moon.
In most settings, I would agree... the prolification of magic items can be an issue. However, there are campaigns and organizations where this would be different. So, with the Sun Swords 2519 and a setting where they exist, there are 'notable magic items' of power and advantage... then there are minor touches of magic (like most sun sword users). Most adventurous, and some 'normal' peoples will only have contact with minor magics. The existance of a MAJOR ITEM OF POWER will usually preclude most of the wolds trying to get its hands on the item and use it for their own ends.
Absolutely... and not to make my view more proper or real than the other as they both fit into a setting. It would make perfect sense that should the process be a secret and only used for certain people. An entire nation could outfit their armies with the mundane items and unleash hell on their enemies. Tales of their troops being superb in battle would escalate and the honors would ensue... I still love it. Just because I wouldn't use it doesn't mean it isn't a good idea.
A very solid post with a lot of details that can be used in multiple systems. It becomes a lot easier to mass produce magic items in the system I use so this has less value to me.
That is not to say that it would not have a place in my game world. Also the replication of replications can be avoided by holding on to the necessary originals to keep the process at a high level of power and true replication of originals.
Very good idea.
I really like this concept, especially since the 'original' becomes a key factor and could easily become the focus of adventure.
eg. An elite unit equipped with enchanted armor and weapons guards the king/dingus/other notable. Due to government incompetence and cost cutting, rather then multiple scattered originals being used to provide the equipment, the entire units' equipment are tied to a single set. This set is fairly well protected, but still represents a single point of failure that could turn the nearly invincible unit into one much easier to defeat.