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Author Topic: (Dragonward) Shield of Ximax  (Read 10827 times)
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Takashi Logan
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« on: 03 August 2005, 10:39:00 »

Overview
The Dragonward is an ancient artefact, said to have been forged already before the time when Ximax was first established and the founding of the Academy of Magic, probably sometime in the third millennium before Santhros. It undoubtedly is a powerful artefact, which is now lost in antiquity; its enchantments are potent, perhaps made by the founder of Ximax, Ximan Xuran, himself. The item's exact history and destiny is shrouded in myth.



Description
The Dragonward, commonly also often simply referred to as the "Shield of Ximax", is a shield with a width of about a half ped across at its widest, and 3 quarters of a ped in length. The frame around this shield appears to be partly constructed of dragon bones; the lower part looks as if a dragon's wings are stretching around the border.

A common belief about the shield is that the scale like front is actually dragonscale, only adjusted with the help of a potent smith to a mage's needs, but this theory seems very unlikely. Were it so the shield would be stronger than any known metal in existence. By most it proficient scholars is therefore actually believed that the shield is made of metal, most likely of a magically permanently strengthened steel, overlaid in bits of mithril, and made to look like dragonscale. Should this be so, it would be quite difficult to break. Whatever its metal, the colour of most of this shield is gnastheen green, with a frame of gold The dragon's head, at the top of the artefact, is gifted with eyes as red as the fireweed's dye , which are most likely rubies.


Usage
The Shield of Ximax, despite its appearance, is not an implement of war. Though its impressive appearance does suit an object of its powers. Said to have been originally designed when the Orb of Ximax was discovered, it is well documented that it was used to dampen the power of magical spells so that they could be cast within range of the Orb. The theory behind it is that it acts in opposition to the force of the Orb itself, weakening the spells so that they may be cast safely.

Its only other power is that it has an enchantment of great potency in the magical realm of Xeuá upon it, some call the Dragonward an "auratic beacon" of unparalleled power. It is said to have been used in the original binding of the Orb, to gather those who aided in the constructions of the bonds of the Orb to the side of Ximan Xuran. He may have received it from another, or have enchanted it himself. But it is said to have been able to rally men, elves, dwarves, halflings, brownies and beasts alike to its wielder's cause.

To give a good example of the artefact’s auratic powers: The shield appears just before the downfall of Ximax in 733 b.S., when it is also lost, as told by the following account:

"And lo, just when the siege amounted to its greatest point, the Archmage of Xeuá, came out onto one of the towers, and even without the high staff, was still a great menace to the dark elven forces. He bore a great shield, gold and green, and its metal appeared like the scales of a dragon. And the defenders of Ximax, elves, humans, Volkek-Oshra, dwarves, even Ximaxian cats and rats fought back against the besiegers with new found vigour."

-- Excerpt from the famous "Gloum's Book of Lost Artefacts", p. 57, quoting from an eye-witness.

There may be quite a large amount of this leaning to points of exaggeration, the point of the Ximaxian cats, and Ximaxian rats, as well as dwarves, is very sparsely thought of, as it is very improbable that there were enough of them, but the general idea is captured. The power of the shield apparently managed to rally the defenders to the side of the Archmage, though the dark elves were not affected by it.

However, later on, the story continues:

"A dark elf, with a bow, attacked the Xeuatán, and struck him; the great defending shield fell from his hand, down from the tower he was standing at, and landed in the mud below.

Nothing is known of what happened to the shield after this; however it is safe to surmise that one of the dark elves carried it home as a war trophy."


-- "Gloum's Book of Lost Artefacts", p. 58

Myth/Lore
The Shield of Ximax has many stories and myths surrounding it. 3 of the most common stories are recorded here:
In the ages before the formation of the City of Magic, there existed a tear in the fabric of the dream, and from this tear, arose a wonder. A force which enhanced magic, to the potency of a hundred thousand fold, as if it was light, projected through a pane of curved glass. The simplest spell, like those used for lighting small fires, would destroy the mages casting within a distance of at least a quarter of a dash. The simple fire lighting spell would become a torrential firestorm, like the fury of Helcra unleashed in a small alleyway. Then came the great mage, Ximan Xuran, discovered this force, and began to comprehend its power. Using an artefact of great power, and the help of many others, he constructed the Eleven Wards, bonds to contain the Orb.  The Artefact used, could dampen magic, and even rally forces to the aid of the wielder. It is known as the Shield of Ximax
.

The next goes as so. It was discovered as part of a charred mold infested journal while the catacombs built during the Dragonstorm were being refilled.

Xuran enlisted the aid of orb itself in building the shield. His simple spell caused the metals to grow hot enough to turn even mithril to putty, even while at the periphery of its effects.
He strengthened its base steal and had it overlaid in mithril. It was magnificent. Finally he bound its dampening spell, the last great spell cast within the orb's range. I myself couldn’t understand the mechanics of this spell but it was amazing. The effects of the orb began to lessen while one was near this shield. It was designed as to be practical to carry, and not easily carried off or recognized. At first he had it coloured in copper, so that none would steal it. When the academy was established it was coloured in a more pleasing manner.


The final account, again rather ruined by time and ill keeping was found, this time in an old walled off part of the academy.

Today a fabled artefact was brought forth. Now, when none would dare attempt to thieve the artefact from the care of the Archmage, it is coloured anew. It is now Gnastheen Green and golden framed. The dust was scrubbed from its gilded eyes. I was invited to see it placed in its ceremonial ring for the cleaning and restoring. Around it were written letters in Gnomish. Unfortunately there were none among us who could read the Gnomish Tongue.
From this description and some of the lore above, a painting has been produced that is believed to be quite close to the actual artefact's appearance.

*The Chronicler notes that most of this is speculation, and extrapolation from these texts. However the notes kept at Ximax were precise in their nature and most of the accounts are most likely quite close to the truth.
** The Chronicler regards none of this as history, nor as it is too close to the mythical to be placed as such.

___________________________________________________
Edits will be made!

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/5/06 15:19
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 03 August 2005, 13:31:00 »

Well, it's a nice start, but you're still far away from a working entry, which could be used on the site, Takashi.

This starts at the name for the object - "Archmagi's Treasure" is not very creative and unique - and ends with the Myth/Lore part, which is completely missing right now. And Myth/Lore definitely should be the most important thing at an artifact. History also is just a fragment at the moment, and the artifact in general is much too vague.

So it's a start, but there's still quite a bit ahead to make it work.


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« Reply #2 on: 03 August 2005, 15:51:00 »

it does have the pencil posticon, right?

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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #3 on: 03 August 2005, 16:56:00 »

Overview
The Archmagi's Treasure, and ancient artefact, forged before the time when Ximax was forgotten (the time when Ximax was forgotten? I don't remember that time. Can you provide some dates?), is a powerful artefact, shaped like a shield,

Description
The Archimagi's Treasure, is shaped like a shield, with a width of about a half ped across at its widest, and 3 quaters of a ped in length with a dragon (I don't understand this prep phrase "in length with a dragon." What does this mean?). The bones of its wings stretching around the metal, or so it appears, it is actually believed that the shield is metal, most likely a magically strengthened steel, overlayed in bits of Mithril, made to look like dragonscale, should this be so, it would be quite dificult to break. (This last sentence is long and a bit confusing. Perhaps you might break it down? Also, what color is this shield? Try to be very clear on it's shape and this detail about the dragon. It sounds very interesting, but it's hard to understand!)

Usage
The Archmagi's Tresure, despite its appearence, is not an implement of war. Though its appearence does suit one of its powers (This is a fragment). Originally designed when the Orb of Ximax was thought to have broken its bonds (Again, dates of this. Are you talking about SWI? When the dark elven forces lay seige to Ximax and everyone is forced to leave? Dates are good, and using the titles for the names of these events [i.e. Decay of Ximax]), it was used to dampen the power of magical spells so that they could be cast within range of the Orb. Its only other power, is that it has an enchantment of great potency upon it. It is said to have been used in the original binding of the Orb, to gather the forces required to the side of Ximan Xuran (I don't understand this. It is used to bind the Orb in the beginning when Xuran and his followers were trying to contain the orb's power, and it was also used to "gather forces"? What forces are you talking about? How did the shield do this?). He may have recieved it from a god (What god? And remember that Xuran was a human), or have enchanted it himself. But it is said to have been able to rally men, elves, dwaves, halflings, brownies and beasts alike to its wielder's cause. (How did it do this?)

History
The Shield has been recorded as being used at several points in history.
The shield appears just before the decaying of Ximax, when it is lost, as told by this account:
And lo, just when the siege amounted to (break here if you want to write this in iambic pentameter. if not, forget it)
its greastest point, the Archmage of Ecua


Myth/Lore
Perhaps this object that we've been talking about for so long is simply legendary, and everyone thinks that is was born of a pond made where one of Avá's tears fell and remained. Maybe forged by Coór in dark ages long since forgotten. Whatever it is, it will make your entry seem wonderful, and even mysterious (Because most of the people of Ximax are humans, and because Xuran was a human, the Coor and Ava stories might not work. These are elven gods that are not worshipped by humans. Perhaps you can play around with the War of the Chosen, or even another God/Goddess?)

Add detail! Also, you really need to check your spelling and grammar in this entry. Re-read it and run it through a spell checker!

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« Reply #4 on: 04 August 2005, 12:20:00 »

I'm confused as to how this artifact looks. Does it have a dragon on the front? Is there a skeleton of a dragon on the front? I think its one of those two, but I'm not sure. Details would help to clarify how it looks, and mention what colors it is. Its always nice when an entry mentions Santharian colors.;)  

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Takashi Logan
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« Reply #5 on: 04 August 2005, 13:59:00 »

alright, it has a picture basis, ill toss you the link at some point, but ill get santharian colours up there!

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #6 on: 04 August 2005, 14:04:00 »

I've added the picture to the post above.


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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« Reply #7 on: 04 August 2005, 14:08:00 »

Thank you Arti!

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Mina
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« Reply #8 on: 07 August 2005, 02:49:00 »

Argh, the Orb of Ximax.  I think we really need to get around to discussing what it's true nature is, considering how important it is.  I don't think we know yet how the power of spells can be strengthened or weakened, but we certainly need to at least have a general idea how it's done if we're going to write about the Orb and the Shield Dome.  

Also, the Archmage of Ecuá would probably not have wielded this artifact against the dark elven forces.  It's stated in the entry that he betrayed Ximax and helped the dark elves to defeat the Ximaxian army.  


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« Reply #9 on: 07 August 2005, 07:03:00 »

Yes, you got it wrong, Taka, the history says otherwise:

Quote:
The Siege of Ximax
Ximax is laid siege by dark elven forces, who are aided by the betrayal of the Archmage of Ecuá, Moh'nul, who takes the Black and High Staffs to the sieging forces. After four years of the siege, the Ximaxian forces daringly force the dark elves back to the floodplains. They plann on retreating and leaving the dark elves to be crushed by the coming floodwaters. Sadly, Moh'nul thought of the strategy first, and the first notes of retreat have barely sounded from Ximaxian trumpets when the floodwaters flowed in, crushing the Ximaxian army. Without the aid of its best magi, Ximax soon falls to the dark elven forces, who set fire to the great city.


And then - isn't it the dome, the inner tower who holds the orb in check? What makes more sense, for a doem surrounds such a dangerous thing like the orb.

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Takashi Logan
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« Reply #10 on: 07 August 2005, 07:50:00 »

ACKK!! I got those two mixed up again!
*slaps forhead*

Ill edit that..

And im talking about before the dome here...
but ill clarify

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« Reply #11 on: 11 August 2005, 13:25:00 »

How's the progress here, Takashi? I saw Rayne made various good comments and you added stuff in the meantime, but although I see the "ready for comments" icon you don't seem to be done yet.

For example you still don't explain the "before the time when Ximax was forgotten" - that's also quite a generalization, you know. Furthermore the Overview part should contain at least a hint on what the artifact could really do, as you mention later e.g. "it was used to dampen the power of magical spells so that they could be cast within range of the Orb".

Also I've mentioned already last time that "Archmagi's Treasure" is not a very creative and unique name - perhaps you find a better one?

Finally this picture contains text in Latin, which we cannot put up that way. Therefore: We need a suggestion with what text the current one should be replaced - I then can ask Quellion to adjust the picture (hopefully it isn't that much work).


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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« Reply #12 on: 10 October 2005, 11:59:00 »

Alright, back to work. I am officially shutting this up, it is closed for the time being, As my little room is locked as i attempt to learn the general theory of magic so that I can work on other projects.

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« Reply #13 on: 10 October 2005, 20:05:00 »

Art, that's not 'Latin' - that's Gnomish!   No problem! :rollin  

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« Reply #14 on: 11 October 2005, 12:08:00 »

Hmmm... This wasn't so bad, just needed a little more work - I hope you can get back to it at some point, Takashi!


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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