King Waria Shorthold - of whom it is told had his men burrow into the very core of the world to extract the most glorious metal, merely to make an enormous statue of himself - was a dreadfully vain, and also fearful king. On the first year of King Shortholds reign, a knife-wielding assassin had made his way past all the guards and into the kings main chamber, where he attacked the king, almost slaying him were it not for the king tripping on the hem of his robes whilst trying to get away, and falling on the assassin, knocking his head on the floor. Ever since that incident, the king has been deathly afraid that he might one day be de-throned or dispatched by some unforseen assailant, and after many long months of living in this dread, he could bear it no longer - he summoned the last TRUE diviner to his chambers, and ordered that he was not to leave the room on pain of death, until he had created a device which would allow him to be sure that he would ALWAYS be sure of his position, in the future. After three weeks of study, the diviner, much to his reluctance, placed a shard of glass - 10 inches by 10 inches - on a table, and then cast a powerful enchantment, thrusting his hand five minutes into the future through a time-loop, grasping that same shard of glass, and wrenching it back into the present. The glass seemed the same, and looking through it did no good, but the reflection of the glass, showed the reflection of five minutes into the future, of those who looked in it. Truly a powerful object - but the Diviner did not stop there...
And the king was pleased! He ushered the diviner out the door without thanks or payment in any form, and then set a stand - lined with gold and silver fillagree - by his throne, with the glass inset into it with a reflective backing. For exactly a month, the king found himself staring into that mirror, and gloating at the sight of himself, still seated on that throne with his smirk. After a month, however, during the night, the glass dulled ever-so-slightly. The next morning, when the king sat on his throne, and then stared into the glass, he saw himself, sitting there once again, smirking. After five minutes of this staring, however, the king spied movement behind his throne in the mirror. The king peered closer into the glass, curious, and abruptly, a dark-clad figure leapt out of the shadows behind his throne and pierced the future version of King Shorthold in the heart, killing him.
Ten minutes later, the kings advisor entered to find king Waria Shorthold Sprawled on the floor, dead. Further examination of his corpse found that the king had died of shock and terror. Before exiting the chambers to alert the guards, the advisor snuck a glance into the slightly-tinted mirror that the king was always glaring into, and he simply saw a reflection of himself, showing the guards the corpse of the king.
The last TRUE diviner died several weeks later, and it is said to those who knew him, that he had the look of utter content upon his features.
The last true diviner hated the king and all he stood for - vainness, arrogance and foolishness. Perhaps the diviner wanted the king dead - perhaps he even hired the FIRST Assassin, looking into the future to tell him which way to go so not to be seen. Either way, it does not matter, nor does what the diviners motives were. The cruel treatment that the king gave the diviner was enough for him to put a curse on that shard.
The Window of the Mind does show five minutes into the future, to an extent - the future, though, is also worked in with what the person WANTS to see - the king wanted to see himself seated on the throne, alive and well, and so he did. if a person wishes to look into the future to see if he will fight and slay the great dragon, the future most certainly WILL show him slaying the dragon as that would be what the person wants. But in truth, the dragon will probably snap him up in a second - though he still will fight the dragon.
The diviner placed a SECOND enchantment on the item, however - one that took place one month after it was made. After a small amount of time - 20 minutes or so, if one continues staring into it, it will show not the correct future, but a twisted future, including the worst fears of a person - the Kings worst fear was that he would be assassinated, and so that is what he saw. This future does NOT come true, but it may cause people to alter their judgement and make wrong moves.
the Diviners purpose in altering this was simply to prey on those similar to the King - those vain (that would look in the mirror frequently), and those foolish enough to trust fate into a mere object.
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? Responses (11)-12
I think this is the first 5 star rating I have given in quite a while.
It is an interesting item. It has excellent back history. It has plot hooks. It has everything I could want in a post, short of a picture of the item.
The 5 minute limitation. How useful would that have really been to the king. It seems that 5 minutes is pretty short of a time and not sure if that works. In 5 minutes there is very little foresite that can be gained realistically. For instance, if somebody were to try and slay a dragon, to see the future they would have to be right outside the 'cave' (assuming all dragons live in caves) and perhaps see what was going to happen, and then I think it would be very rare that a slaying could be accomplished in 5 minutes so what could they see. Himself walking in. Once there it would be foolish to watch what would happen in 5 minutes, too busy dealing with a dragon attacking you.
The limitations are immense. And to sit and stare in it for 20 minutes? It would sort of make you a fool, after all if you were going to sit and stare for that long, you would sort of know you were going to just sit there so watching yourself sit there isn't the most entertaining thing. Oh wait, going to the bathroom....oh yes, I am getting that feeling now.
Limited uses, perhaps audiences. You could see who you were going to meet. If there were sound or you got a lip reader, you could do some party tricks and tell them what they are going to ask. But I think the king would have taken this TRUE seer and made him make something a little more useful.
Maybe I am too harsh because it is an excellently detailed item....just not sure of the utility of it. I dwell on the 5 minutes, and that is trully the thing that I think needs to be changed somehow.... -witholding vote for now-
Though Strolen is right- 5 minutes is pretty short...
The king only wished to see that later on, he would be on the throne - If he saw that in 5 minutes time, something was going to attack him, he could leave, or make countermeasures. This item tells what the future will be in 5 minutes if one had no foresight. And though 5 minutes may seem little, if you knew, for example, taht in 5 minutes time, a hacker was going to use a loophole you know about in your site to destroy it, you would work to close that loophole, wouldnt you? Such a small amount of time means that if acted quickly, the result could be changed. Also, if it were much further ahead of time, the item would be starting to get a bit too powerful, in my opinion. Wheres the fun if you know everything thats going to happen to you in 30 minutes time? You can stop everything from happening at leisure!
5 minutes gives a frantic quality to the item - the king thought that he was going to die in 5 minutes, so he paniced. causing a heart attack, or what-not.
On the topic of the dragon - You must remember the item shows you also what you WANT to see, not what will happen, so, though it may not show you standing atop the corpse of a dragon, it might show you stabbing a sword into a dragon, or winning the fight. Something to boost foolish confidences.
Erm, 20 minutes staring into it isnt what I meant to say, sorry ^_^ I mean, after 20 minutes in total.
This item is not supposed to be a campaign starter, nor any major, RPG revolving item, but just a bit of a curse that can be thrown onto unsuspecting PCs, who find a 'beautiful mirror which shows them doing things they were planning on doing, anyway'.
This is a mirror that is designed to break down the arrogant optimist, who thinks that every bauble is a treasure, and thinks that things are what they seem. Its designed to be a tweak in the RP.
'But I think the king would have taken this TRUE seer and made him make something a little more useful.'
In response to this, I want to stress that I find Time travel and future-sense as extremely powerful, not something that any two-bit mage can do. In my mind, 5 minutes into the future IS a HUGE accomplishment (I mean, can YOU do it? :P). If time travel were something even great powerful mages could perform, wouldnt there be many incidences of it?
(I also like the idea of having a small party sitting around, when suddenly a slit in reality appears, and a hand slides through, grabs a shard of glass sitting on the table, then slips back through the slit, which promptly seals up again. The group would be stunned ^_^)
Well, I hope thats explained a thing or two for you, Strolen :) Though the item itself may not be to your taste, anyway, and thats no problem. To each their own.
To conclude, I'd like to stress that this is NOT a device which is supposed to be looking into the future, and nothing more. Its something which is supposed to decieve people.
Thank you ^_^
'(I mean, can YOU do it? :P)'
Yes, yes I can.
Captian, you should KNOW that you are the exception! I merely didnt think I would have to point it out ;)
I would have pointed that out five minutes earlier, but I saw I needed to go to the bathroom. ;)
Nice, but I agree with the watching oneself watching the crystal, which is why I won't give 5/5. 4/5
Bump! Wicked stuff this!
Great post - thought it would be easier to ensnare if you looked a little longer in the future.
But that point has been done to death.