The Cenotaph's Guide

More than a weapon, I think it's a key. If we should unlock whatever's sealed or not, I'm not sure yet.  
The Guide is a rod of Thought-Metal with flattened, almost sharp, edges and encased in gold, found in the deepest reaches of the Cenotaph. Among the bones of an ancient civilization, of dusty bones and shattered skulls, the Guide remains pristine, untouched by the passing ages - save in places where the metal has grown outwards, curling into unnatural, grasping tendrils around the runes.  
When found, the bones and skulls around the Guide showed the same taint, click-clacking in the dark as the bones grew and collapsed again, making the ancient corpses dance in the dark.
 
by Midjourney
  All these signs point to powerful Artifice, the first and perhaps only ever made of the iridescent thought-metal, but its function is unknown. The most reliable arcane test, hit someone with it, has produced no greater result than a bruise or a headache, at least in the waking world.   Within dreams, the Guide is a great focus of will for any Dream-Eater who wields it, amplifying their ability to conjure things out of dream-stuff while in slumber. In the world of dreams, it is a shining light, a bright bolt of lighting grasped in one hand. It is a light which draws the Spirits from which the artifact draws its power and bleeds for the ichor that fuels it - attention best avoided.   Whenever used, the Guide bleeds a prismatic oil that drips upwards in defiance of gravity. Things hit by the oil grow short, coiling extrusions of the same matter they touched, whether it is stone or flesh. These mutant strands harden quickly and turn brittle, usually collapsing under their own weight; painfully so if made of flesh or bone.
The Cenotaph   An ancient tomb the size of a city, the Cenotaph is the final resting place of those who once called Patala home. Their names and stories have been lost to the dark, with only fragments of their cuneiform script deciphered - warnings all, of a gate that must remained close.   The Guide was wrested from the heart of the Cenotaph by desperate explorers, looking for anything help them in the battle against Patala's many horrors.   Read More About The Cenotaph
The repository of ichor that fuel the Guide sputters and fades with every use. It is soon empty.
  With the only story told of its past and purpose in a long-dead language, only fragments have been revealed of what the Guide truly is. Among the bones and long-dead inhabitants of its home, scrawling, maddening lines etched into the forgotten dead speak of a path which only the guide can illuminate.  
The Skein-Spiral Gates
Building / Landmark | Jul 30, 2022

At the heart of the labyrinthine spiral, with tunnels as long as human memory and as winding as a dream, something great and terrible stirs.

 

Thaumaturgy

With power stolen from terrible and unseen things beyond the veil, thaumaturgy can change the world like a potter molds clay. Whether it is flesh, metal, stone, or fire, Theurgs impose their will upon the world and reforge it to their liking... At least for a moment.   It is a rare and terrible art, surrounded by a thousand myths and one, singular truth - there is a price to pay for power. Always.  
Introduction to Thaumaturgy
Generic article | Dec 2, 2020

Power, but at what cost?

Artifice

Like catching lightning with one's hands, theurgs sometimes encase power within vessels. Called relics or artifacts, they hold a limited and singular type of magic, but allows anyone to have a taste of occult power.   As with Thaumaturgy, artifacts can be temperamental things, and careless use can damn the user just as easily as any foe.      
Thaumaturgy - Artifice
Technology / Science | Feb 10, 2021

Forging wonders both great and terrible.

 



Cover image: by Midjourney

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
28 Jul, 2022 17:58

"The most reliable arcane test, hit someone with it" XD XD this is the best test indeed XD   This guide seems very ominous... And it's running out of ichor and so of power!!! O_O That must have been the guide that helped th engineering from the cenotaph article when he was surrounded by shrikes then. So the ichor comes from spirits? Do we need to urgently go catch a few? XD

To see what I am up to, here is my civilisation challenge article.
29 Jul, 2022 18:12

Sort of! Ichor comes from Spirits - it's their blood, or essence. Thaumaturgy pierces the veil to leech it from them, like ticks! But most spirits are too vast and alien to really notice; a lot of the time, humans are like a mosquito on a blue whale.   It needs to be recharged, before it runs dry and they can't use it to do PLOT STUFF :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.