Fossil Stones

Created & Edited by IbbyWondrous
"Everything we do, we do because of the fossil stones. They speak to us our history, our language, and how the world works. They give us our magic and allow us to exist."
   

Visual Description

  The Fossil Stones (also refereed to as Rune Stones by some) are pieces of oblong rock that can rarely be seen embedded nearly in the ground upright, often tangled centuries of roots holding it in place. They present the fossilized remains of large arthropods of the late Carboniferous and early Permian periods, such as Meganeura and Arthropleura. Some of them are quite small, and are well hidden. Each one has a rune in the Miinuvian writing system carved into its surface, placed carefully on the stone as to not damage the fossil itself. When its magic is activated the fossil on the stone will glow a bright blue hue, or produce a ghostly blue mist.   There seems to be 5 of the stones in total dotted across the islands of Bituin. They seem to have been placed strategically by a larger being, most likely the Paruparo, as they connect in a perfect star pattern with each other. Since each stone is in different territories, it is a long travel distance between them. Areas outside of these territories are considered dead zones where their magic can't reach.

Magical Properties

The stones possess clear magical abilities, but as to whether it is natural magic, or a precursor enchantment is unknown. Their magic is vital to the Miinu's survival, however. It's magic is what allows new miinu to be born or created, as well as provides them an omniscient source of knowledge for them, teaching them their ancient language, science, math, and history. It teaches them how to build and survive. It is possible for it to record new information gathered by the miinu, and it's likely all of this information the stones know have all been recorded by other miinu in the past.   The stones are capable of changing and morphing themselves and others around them, granting powers to others, in either the form of blessing or curses. The most well known of these being the Miinuvian Connection.. It also grants the miinu themselves their own abilities, such as the ability to disguise themselves as their insectoid counterparts when in the eye of humans, or their general ability to shape shift.   The stones are capable of creating magical barriers and constructs around itself as a sort of defense mechanism. They can from spikes and brambles to discourage larger animals from touching them, and on rare emergency situations, they are capable of creating a ghostly body resembling the original form of the fossilized insect, however this almost never happens, as the stones have no reason to be moved, and must stay where they are.   Each stone seems to act as an anchor point for its territory. The territories form a massive, province wide spell circle that is crucial for the magic to function correctly there. The stones communicate with each other and that connection keeps the spell circle stable. However, if someone removes a stone from its place, that connection is broken, the circle is incomplete, and the stones magic becomes disrupted. Its believed that the spikes and the curses are a means of defending itself from this very scenario.

Known Stones

Each stone is placed in a different region of Bituin, and will usually have a Miinu settlement surrounding it known as a Stone Capital. Each stone is is identified by having the fossil of a unique prehistoric insect inside.  

Miinuvian Connection & The Rune Curse

As stated before, the stones are capable of granting powers to humanoids in the form of both blessings and curses, usually after some physical interaction with them.  

Miinuvian Connection

  Miinuvian Connection is a simple blessing that allows a human to see the true forms of the miinu at all times, rather than their bug illusions that most people see. It also allows them to understand their language and speak to them directly.   This usually occurs if someone saves the life of an insect who happens to be a miinu. The stones deem the person trustworthy for protecting a smaller creature out of the kindness of their hearts and reward them for it by dropping the protective disguises for them.  

The Rune Curse

The ruin curse is a nasty shape shifting spell that occurs when a humanoid being tries to disturb the balance set in place by the stones. This occurs when the stone is removed from its territory. Anyone who touches the stone when their bare hands outside of its territory will be effected by the curse. The curse turns the victim into a miinu, but in a slow painful way. It can take a long time for the curse to achieve its full effect, this is actually to allow the victim time to return the stone to it's territory, negating the curse.
Rune Curse
Condition | Sep 24, 2021

A curse that results into the transformation from human to Miinu.

The Meganuera Fossil stone glowing
Manufacturer
Tinsaeli Precursors
Item type
Magical
Rarity
Unique
Dimensions
8 in. (20cm) - 12 in. (30cm) tall.

Significance

Historical

It's still unknown if the Precursors created the fossil stones, or simply found them, but what is known is that they did use them for their magic. Its believed that they had placed the stones purposefully in such a way where they would form a massive spell circle, in order to enhance their existing shapeshifting abilities. When the province barriers went up, the precursors noticed that ordinary insects were not stopped by the wall and passed right through, but they themselves were incapable shifting down so small.   They believed that if they could make their powers stronger, become insects and pass the barriers as they pleased, getting around the travel restrictions the barriers enforced. However, this plan backfired, as when the stones were activated, the entire civilization disappeared without a trace. It's possible the cause of their disappearance was th rune curse at a massive scale.  

Cultural

The fossil stones are very important to the Miinu because of what they do for them. They worship the stones like gods, and believe them to possess the souls of their ancestors, the precursors. They treat everything the stones tell them as law, and the miinu will have a chosen speaker for the stones, someone who listens to them and relays the information to the rest of the tribe. These listeners are often the leaders of their communities and get special privilege to interact with the stones.   Someone interacting with the stones, who doesn't have direct permission from a listener to do so, is considered very disrespectful and is frowned upon. Anyone who does not show faith in the stones, or attempts to vandalize it in anyway are generally ostracized from their communities.   The stone brings order and stability to the miinu, without their guidance, the miinu risk falling into dangerous instinctual habits, such as territorial fighting and predatory behavior. It's believed miinu who live too far from a stone can go a little nutty, and become aggressive, running mostly on survival instincts.

Status of the Stones Currently

At the moment, the fossil stone from the southern most island, the aOrogramma illecebrosa, is missing. It was removed by Professor Garrison Anderson, an entomology researcher who was studying the Miinu after he discovered them. He was curious about the stone and removed it, not realizing the danger. He had the stone sent back to his home in Minau, which was all the way in the northern, mountainous mainland. Shortly after, the packages are found washed up on the beach on the mainland.   Enough time passes and the Professor is legally pronounced dead, and his home and assets are liquidated, causing the Fossil Stone to fall into the hands of a borderless merchant named Symon Cantillo. The merchant took the stone out of the province, only for he too to start falling under the effects of the curse, but not knowing the cause, he returned home with the fossil believing he was just sick. He too met a grim fate before he realized what was happening.   Currently the stone is sitting in Symon's now abandoned home. Without the stone the spell circle is currently broken and magic is unstable, and the North West territory no longer has their magic to protect them.

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