Saturday, February 2, 2013

Standing Stones

Legend: One day, the (now) god of magic, Math Mathonwy, agreed to take on a new student, despite his better judgment. Arianrod had a deep reserve of power, that if properly focused, could make her a wizard rivaling the power of Math himself. However, she had a cruel streak that worried Math, but he found her deeply attractive. What's the worst that could happen? Math taught her what he knew of magic, along with the dangers inherent with such power.

Arianrod was unstable, however, and a tad evil. For example, she once gave birth to two children and decided to love one and reject the other, just to see what would happen. She took what Math taught her and performed forbidden experiments, such as sacrificing sentient creatures for their mana. She loved the moon, and one such experiment involved creating a second moon, a reminder in the sky to everyone that she was a powerful wizard. Like Arianrod, this moon was dark and prone to random behavior.

The dark moon flew in an unstable orbit around the planet, throwing off tides, impeding travel and preventing teleportation magic from working properly. Many who tried to teleport during these early days died horrible deaths, until the source of the disruption was determined. Math was furious at Arianrod for disrupting teleportation, but mostly because he thought he had a shot at her. It turns out she was using him for his magical knowledge. Math cast out Arienrod, who finding Math's infatuation amusing, went on to cause havoc messing with the romantic destinies of men.

Math Mathonwy created the standing stones in response to Arianrod's actions, so he and his students could travel. He could not undo her creation, but he could counter it the best he could, for his own convenience. As for the tides that capsized countless ships and destroyed hundreds of settlements, he cared not. Let Manannan figure that one out. As you may have guessed, Math was kind of a dick.

It's believed the standing stones focus magic by compensating for the peculiar, difficult to predict, lunar variations  through astronomical tracking.

How they Work: Standing stones have three functions.

First, they enhance or augment something inherent in the environment. They're usually placed on planar conjunctions or ley lines. They can allow for planar travel to the plane on the conjunction or draw power from ley lines for other purposes. For example, they can be used to augment creativity, ward a region against certain enemies, or harness the power of the earth for a magical purpose.

Second, all standing stones can be used to teleport to another set of standing stones claimed by its caretaker. Once a set of stones is claimed, no force on the planet can retake the stones without the original caretakers permission or the death of the caretaker. A caretaker who is reincarnated or raised must reclaim the stones, possibly over the dead body of the new caretaker.

The exception to this is the primary power can be activated or deactivated through a high difficulty Spellcraft check (DC 35), while the caretaker is away.

Many druids control standing stones, with the stipulations that defeat in (non lethal) druidic combat requires they  relinquish the stones to the challenger. This is not a voluntary thing; it just happens upon their defeat.

Third, through a lengthy and expensive ritual, standing stones can be "networked" together to focus the power of standing stones for a particular purpose. This third use is inherent in every set of stones created by Math, but is rarely, if ever used.

Known Standing Stones

Blackthorn: You know of this, but it's controlled by Blackthorn the druid.
Tara: You have a makeshift teleportation circle in your headquarters in Tara.
Dead Gods: You're a caretaker, but the stones are unstable, requiring magic to stabilize them.

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