The Obelisks of Aidona
The moment Lida stepped through the eastern gates, she felt the magic wash over her, enveloping her senses. She look over to the great crystal stretching above the walls that enclosed and protected it. She was home.The Obelisks of Aidona are a group of massive, natural formations of Deep crystals in the hub of Aidona, in the Sudric region of Mid Deep.
It is believed that the Obelisks were discovered by the first settlers of Aidona, back before the hub had even been founded. A group of wandering Deepfolk came across a large cavern that was empty except for a bright glow which emanated from two massive crystals. Upon approaching the crystals and inspecting them, the founders discovered that they were Deep crystals, and that walking between them gave one the sensation of having been submerged in their magic. Unlike the surface world, the Deep does not have leylines to provide a source for magic, and instead Deepfolk use small Deep crystals as a consumable magic source. To them, the idea that one could cast a spell without having to touch a Deep crystal was revolutionary.
With this revelation, the travellers soon discovered that they could feel very faint lines of magic emanating from the crystals that led straight into the walls of the cavern itself. They knew that there had to be more crystals somewhere nearby. They began to dig into the walls, searching for the others. As time went on, other travellers stumbled upon the cavern and its crystals and joined in the search. Eventually, a small town grew up around the mines and became known as Aidona.
Over time, the Aidonians found eight other crystals, and devised ways to dig them out and transport them back to the main cavern, where they positioned them, now called Obelisks, around the cavern such that the entire cavern became alive with the magic that travelled between each Obelisk. Strangely enough, each of the ten Obelisks was of a different kind of Deep crystal and allowed magic to be used from each of these ten domains.
Conflicts of Interest
Of course, a wonder such as these Obelisks would not remain undiscovered by the outside world for long. Within the first century of the hub's founding, word spread like wildfire through the Deep, eventually reaching the surface world at the time of the Breaching. Aidona soon became host to a steady flow of scholars and explorers, many of whom sought to exploit the Obelisks for their own benefit. Deep crystals were a rare commodity, they reasoned, and such large crystals could certainly be broken into many thousands of smaller crystals and sold for a tidy profit. Some tried to convince the Aidonians to do it, going so far as to bring it up with the city's lord, while others took it upon themselves to break off chunks to sell. Scholars, meanwhile, wanted to discover the secret of these Obelisks and would often try to chip pieces off for study or test various substances in the presence of the strong magical field. These actions, however, were in violation of one of Aidona's first laws, and offenders were thrown out only to be replaced by five more eager folk ready to try their hand at the crystals.
Eventually, in AV 1339, Aidona's lord and her council grew tired of the blatant disregard for the hub's laws and decided the only course of action was to shut the city off from all outsiders. The city was closed for nearly fifty years, during which time better protections for the Obelisks were established and the frenzy for them died down. Much later, around AV 1538, the hub welcomed its first official research circle, who were authorized - under very strict supervision - to experiment with Deep crystals other than the Obelisks to determine the properties of these monoliths.
There are ten total Obelisks, each of which is of a different type of Deep Crystal and thus has different affinities for magic domains.
The Life Obelisk is located in the fields of Aidona. It is pure white and provides a boost to life spells performed close by, which makes it excellent for the agricultural workers who live nearby. Because of the Life Obelisk, Aidona has excellent crop and livestock quality and rarely runs low on food.
Although the Death Obelisk boosts spells in the death domain, it is not regarded with fear in Aidona. It is located near the main entrance to the Catacombs, and often visitors to the catacombs will pay their respects to the Obelisk before entering. In special circumstances, the clergy in Aidona use the Death Obelisk's power to give families closure with their lost loved ones.
Being underground, weather is not an issue for Aidona. The Storm Obelisk, however, is still useful. It is located at the northernmost end of the cavern, in the fields. It is mostly used to condense moisture from the ceiling into precipitation to water the crops, but is also used to clear the hub's air of dust, poison, or stench.
The Water Obelisk is used to draw fresh water from deep below Aidona, which sits above a large reservoir. It sits near the public baths, where citizens can go to wash and relax.
The Stone Obelisk sits outside the entrance to the mines, where it provides extra power to miners even outside of the hub's limits. It helps to prevent or mitigate collapses in the tunnels or to locate valuable resources in the stone.
Although the moon is not visible underground, the Moon Obelisk provides a gentle glow from its location next to the hub's southern border. Along with the Sun Obelisk, it powers the hub's lights and helps to soothe the minds of the citizens.
The central Obelisk of Aidona, the Sun Obelisk is visible from all three entrances to the cavern. It provides a warm, bright light to the surrounding area and is used to power the hub's lights during their daytime. It helps to heal injuries and illnesses.
The Knowledge Obelisk is located on the Acropolis, close to Aidona Keep. The Acropolis is home to the council and its lord, as well as the main library and research facility of the hub.
The War Obelisk is inside the complex used for the Aidona Guard. It provides a boost to war magic, which is incredibly useful for training war mages for the Guard.
The Star Obelisk is the only Obelisk to not have a primary purpose in Aidona, given that star magic is virtually extinct. It is located next to the eastern entrance to the hub and is generally only used to improve the power of spells and to keep the network intact.
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