BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

The Lens

Loosely designed on the traditional mariner's telescope (but see below for a physical description), The Lens was a master work that combined the skills of metalworking, goldsmithing, alchemy and sorcery to create the most powerful physical seeing device in all of Qal'ath, arguably the whole of the Erdàn Savànii.   It was kept atop the Crystal Circle Tower to enable the Circle to keep watch on Qal'ath's borders and, through careful meditation and Elemental Channelling, even further. This was especially important at times when Claris was not present as no other members of the Circle at 553AFD had the Gift of Far-Sight.   ^ Article Sections

Physical Description

This will need breaking down into component parts to fully explain. As a one-of-a-kind, the Lens is a device of many intricacies. Please have patience with this Chronicler, who is master only of records, and not of craft!  

Wind-Resistant

As it was always destined to stand atop the Crystal Circle Tower just outside of Bezélan, its physical construction had to be carefully considered by the Elelupii engineers charged with drafting the plans.  
Its Base
It had been with the utmost care - and only minor (now repaired) damage to the top of the Tower, that the base's six legs were embedded into the Tower's stonework. The base was further reinforced by Melàfii. This nearly guaranteed that in high winds, the drop in temperature would seal the legs more firmly in place.  
The "Scope"
Therefore, unlike the mariner's telescope, the Lens was not a completely solid tube, or cone, as this would render it likely to be cast down in the event of high winds. Instead, circles of silver (imported from Shevezz after the First Destruction) were fused together by strips of the same metal, allowing air to pass through without the construction impacting the angle or the view. Silver was chosen due to it reflecting light without affecting the colour and was deemed a more appropriate metal compared to, say, Pale Steel that required several rounds of refining before use.  

Crystalised Discs

Despite the name "the Lens", it was multiple lenses that worked together, even for the non-Myst Sensitive user. But these were not the same kind used in traditional scopes, monocles, or looking-glasses. These were made from nearly one hundred percent Ice-Light Crystals (glàsormélii or glysormélii in Foyiitùn), which were not Element-aligned, but procured from the far North of Frostplain near the Glàsdei-an-Orma.  
Innovation and Protection
These crystals were then worked carefully by Alchemists of Bevérohii and Qal'ath to fashion clear discs that would, from one direction, enhance the view of the user, and from the other, sharpen the image for the user (see below). Being made of such materials did make them fragile, but each was housed in its own reinforced outer disc before being carefully fused into a ring on the scope. Instead of attempting to attach metal to the fragile discs, Kinàglàs Crystallettes were used to fill the with a lowercase 'v') between the disc and the ring. So long as sheltered from direct sunlight, which the disc assured, the Kinàglàs remained cold and "tacky", creating a form of natural gum, which permitted a tiny amount of movement for the disc. Given the Lens was rarely used in anything more than a mild breeze, this movement had never been known to affect its accuracy or function.  
Scratch Resistence
Being kept open to the Elements, and given that small-sized debris can be thrown up by the Air at any point, ensuring specks of dirt, feathers or twigs did not scratch the lenses was of vital importance. Therefore Canovan Polypse Sap, which is more commonly used to treat minor skin abrasions, was applied to the lenses. As the sap protects the skin from re-scratching, so too does it protect the discs. Canovan Polypse, while not the most common garden plant in the Realm is nonetheless easy to grow in almost every climate.   Note: While it may sound like the Lens was made only of the rarest ingredients, this was only true where more common ones were insufficient. While the Elelupii knew business practice well, they were also not inclined to spend where it was not needed, which was the case here.   The Lens contained no fewer than ten of these discs at no small cost to the Capital but greatly expanded the early-warning system the Crystal Circle had of incoming threats.  

Bi-directional

Due to the Ice-Light Discs, the Lens could be used from the wider and the narrower end, depending on what one was looking for. It was one thing to see an incoming rampaging hoard of boars from the edge of the Forest of Doon, it was another to see which one was leading them. The same applied to searching for an individual in a crowd. Using the Lens with the narrow disc pointing at the target was more tiring on the eyes, but accurate information on who led an incoming army, or which pass through the mountains a storm was approaching from, was usually worth the physical toll.  

Enna Measure and Locking System

Being the second highest point in the capital of Bezélan after the Light Spire of Saf-Athan Palace, the Lens was the only real defence against airborne threats - and by defence, again, that was only in terms of warning.   The Enna was usually an estimation of the distance of airborne objects (including creatures, clouds and the sun for example) from the horizon. The Enna was also the founding principle behind the design of the Moondials used by the Nightwatch guards.   Thus from the Lens' base protruded a sturdy rectangle of Pale Steel, which had been very carefully positioned to be directly in line with the horizon. A half-circle of the same metal was fused to the base and the horizon-line and engraved with Enna measurements. With the Lens able to rotate and pivot, it could be pointed anywhere into the sky and then, with a simple screw-lock, anchored to the object, allowing the Enna to be taken, rather than estimated.  

Induction Focus

Between the base and the scope is what one might call a "Manufactured Crystal". The Induction Focus is not made of crystals at all, but a form of rock that has been firstly weathered (usually by water, such as a river or, ideally, a waterfall) to a level of translucency but has then undergone some methods of manual interference. "Manual" need not mean "non-mystical" and indeed it does not, in this case. "Manual" and "not naturally occurring" are synonyms when used in relation to this particular item.  
Moulding and Melding
The Focus is roughly a cone in shape, heated as far as the forges can go, then hammered into the correct shape. Once cooled, it is set on the base with the wide cone end downwards and the tip upwards. From that point, the delicate metalsmiths of Bezélan with contracted (and Royal Assented) help from Shevezz joined the focus to the top of the legs and the base of the scope with Melfyòrm, which is known to conduct magical/mystical energy better than most other metals.  

Infusion

Once the "traditional" crafts have played their part, The Lens is functional for the non-Myst Sensitive. But that only used a fraction of its capability - a design feature intended to ensure any uninvited "guests" could not see it as anything more than an overly-fancy and fragile star-scope. The next step was for a Mage to pay the "Lens' Price".   ^ Article Sections
 

The Lens' Price

To maintain the levels of vision required, the Induction Focus had to be "activated", which exacted a price on its user. The Crystal Circle's need to protect the Realm of Qal'ath before it was forced into military or political action, necessitated the extra range and visual flexibility. For this to be made possible a "link" between device and user was forged through what Frehghan would call "The Lens' Price". This "price" was a shard of his own Elemental Essence being transferred to the Lens. While one's Elemental Essence replenished over time, if it was paid frequently over a long period of time would cause a fatiguing and fading effect on the "linked Mage". Thus, when the Realm needed the vision the most, the Guardian who could provide it often became less capable of doing so, at the risk of developing Elemental Essence Degradation.  

King's Fallacy

While most Mages knew how to moderate how much and how often they were exposed to such artifacts, most rulers of Qal'ath were either oblivious to the danger, or did not care, so long as the information they sought was delivered. This eventually led to several generations of Circle Mages to internally refer to the "King's Fallacy" - where the requirement of the ruler of the Realm was, by necessity, impossible to deliver due to the methodology by which it could be delivered. To clarify, this did not only apply to the Lens, but to many other mystically-delivered outcomes.   The abandoned "Perfect Soldier" project was one such Fallacy. (Read Prose: The Legacy of Lyth).   ^ Article Sections

Utility

Unlike the aforementioned Far-Sight gift, the Lens was only capable of geographical/visual focus. However, under certain incantations, the Mage using it could also see beyond items, or past geological structures such as mountains and view areas that would be otherwise obstructed.   Its main purpose was not just educational, but formed part of the Circle's vigil as it sought to be the early-warning of impending issues that the current King of Qal'ath would need to be made aware of. It was also critical for seeing Elemental Disruption when the Guardian of that Element's Crystal was not present in the Tower. The Mages could then work to redress such imbalance, without the need of officially warning the ruler and leaders of the Realm. "Silent Defence" was provided as a combination of their Elemental Sensitivity and the scientific provision of the Lens.   ^ Article Sections

Manufacturing

Only one Lens was ever created, though lesser ones had found niche markets, none were as powerful or versatile as the official Lens. As it was a prototype that itself was developed to be the final product, reproducing it was prohibitively expensive.
Article Sections On larger screens, you may only see the top option of the menu. Simply hover your cursor over it to unfurl the whole menu.
 
Primary Users
Frehghan, Farynna
Other Known Users
Claris
Preconditions of Use
Myst Sensitivity
Main Materials
  • Pale Steel
  • Melfyòrm
  • Fyrabià
  • Ice-Light Crystals
  • Canovan Polypse Sap
  • Kinàglàs Crystallettes
Races Involved in its Creation
Elelupii, Paràntii/Qalathii, Shevezz

Access & Availability
Only Members of The Crystal Circle and Farynna had access and were permitted to use The Lens. In practice, the only Circle Mage that engaged with it regularly was Frehghan.   As only the King's representatives and tradespeople delivering supplies ever came near to the Crystal Circle Tower, knowledge of its existence was rare.
Insider Info

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Cover image: by F J Brodie
This article has no secrets.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!