"The shard called to her from the box. It wasn't a prison but a shell, worn in the same way a mortal might wear wear a cloak. It wasnt evil, but many of its siblings were. It promised knowledge, patronage, power. It offered advice, help when needed, guidance. Its demands were simple - Work on improving yourself, gain knowledge and use it wisely. She was lucky it hadn't been one of the darker shards, or what it wanted from her would have created something terrible..."
- "On the nature of the Godshards" , author unknown
What is a Godshard?
To understand what a godhsard is, you must also know a small amount of history of the creation world of Easthalen. The details of this are sketchy at best, due in part to Halens scrubbing of historical records. What details did remain , through oral history, long lived creatures and the shards themselves, revealed that , as was suspected for many years, the current generation of deitys were not the creators of the world.
First came a being refereed to only as the Overseer. Though to be feminine in nature, she created the world, the universe and everything else with the aid of her children, the First born - the true deitys of Easthalen. The first born were not humanoid in any way. They would be considered almost demonic by some standards, horrific for the mortal mind to gaze on in the true form. Creatures made of the fabric of the universe itself. There were not evil, but pure agents of the Overseers will made manifest. Some say they were aspects of her personality given form. This is the most commonly held belief and one that has, in part, been confirmed by the shards able to relay the knowledge.
At somepoint in the distant past, when time was of no real importance, the Overseer left, for reasons unknown. As the First Born were fragments of her personality bound to the material existance of this universe, they would not have survived her leaving. Some of the First Born understood her reasons and were at peace, other aspect raged and fought against her.
In the end , when the Overseer left, the will binding the First Born together left as well. The remnants of her will fragmented, shattering into untold pieces, each bearing a small, tiny part of her divine power mixed with the personality of the First Born it had once belonged to. These fragments were to become known later as the God Shards.
The Nature of Godshards
Each Godshard is a unique artifact-level item, although they share properties:-
- Cant be detected by, or be affected by magic
- Are Indestructible - even a WISH spell will only remove the shard to another random location in the world
- Each has a unique base form that is related to the First Born it was a fragment of
- Someone bound to a godshard can tell if they are in the presence of another shard or someone bound to one
- Each shard is sentient and self-aware - the personality is based on the First Born it was a part of - Not all can communicate verbally or choose to do so.
- Requires a mortal "agent" bound to it in order to act out its will - cannot make direct changes to the world without a host/assistant
- Whilst powerful items, their sphere of knowledge is limited to the First Born there were a part of and anything they might have gained from previous bonded users - One that was part of a god of the weather would not automatically have knowledge or offer abilities based on blacksmithing for example
- The more powerful the original First Born it came from, the greater the power of the shard and what it can offer
The Bargain, the Bonding and the Benefits
Before a mortal can use and gain the benefits of a Godshard, it must first find one. This is not an easy process. Those who have studied the shards say "You do not find the shards...they find you." This has caused may to think of it as a joke until they notice they are serious. This is pretty much the truth of the matter. Shards , being sentient and powerful items, are drawn to creatures or a similar nature to themselves. Shards of the god of Knowledge are drawn to wizards who seek out new spells , War-Shards to great warriors and so on. The close the match of the personality, the stronger the draw.
Once a mortal has been chosen, by whatever tests the shard deems necessary, they are tested. It might be by simple questions, observations of them in action or reading their mind.
An offer is made to the chosen mortal. Act as their agent in the world. in return the shard will offer knowledge, power, information. The nature of their desire, what they require of their agents will vary from shard to shard, but as with other aspects, reflect the First Born it came from.
Some shards will accept rejection in positive ways, other angry and will lash out. No matter what, if the offer is rejected, the shard disappears, using teleportation to move to a random location in the world, leaning towards areas that would be advantageous to itself.
Depending on the nature of the shard, the bonding process is either instant and painless, like shaking hands, or a torment that can feel like it stretch on for years. Not all chosen can survive this process but the shard can help and hold back if they so desire. The more cruel ones do no not and let the divine energy flow into the mortal being all at once.
Assuming the mortal survived or the shard held back , the mortal and shard are now bonded. The shard will often shape itself into a new form of the mortals choosing. The full benefits of the bonding will, as with other aspect, vary from shard to shard, but all seem to boost something about the mortal and grant it knowledge of some kind. As the mortal grows in power and adjusts to the new spiritual passenger, they gain more and more benefits. Some of these though are the same for each shard regardless:
- Can sense if another shard or bonded-mortal is within 50 feet of themselves
- Gains a resistance to mind-control
- Gains an "on-call" knowledge base that they can tap into for short periods of time (related to the shard)
- Advice and warning from the shard on certain creatures if related to the shards nature
All the above benefits and more can be withdrawn at a moments notice by the shard, but many of them are wise enough to know that doing so is not a punishment or threat to do lightly.
Ultimately, each shard has one primary goal - To get the one who is bond to it to ascended to the divine ranks. By doing so , the shard, and thus the fragment of the First Born, once again has some measure of influence on the world, for good or evil. Each of the current deitys are known as Second Generation and all have their own story on how they got their shard.
Once part of the divine, the challenge to go from minor, to major to greater or "True" divine being begins. But as you are now immortal, you have all the time in the world...