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Thunderstones

Sent from the heavens, a flash of advancement.

Sparks from the heavens

The gods wished to punish the people of Verra'Talu. The gods were unhappy with the amount of prayer and time dedicated to them. The priests called it the rancour of Yohir, the common man swamped the temples. This wasn't a punishment, this was a gift. 163 years ago a single thunderbolt hit the land to the northeast of Verra'Talu. This thunderbolt was strong, the strongest the people of Paha had ever seen and from the ground; soil and stone sprayed into the air like a bird freshly freed from its cage. Large streaks of pale blue tunnelled light cursed and swore at the earth below and shattered the clouds of the Storm Wall above. As violent and booming as the birth was it ended as abruptly as it began. Ricocheting off The Shimmer the objects fell to the ground in a drizzle of apologies and forgiveness. All the while a Baron watched.   A scouting party from Midfield was assembled and sent to Paha. They lacked weapons and armour, carried no flags and had enough provisions to last them only half the day. Their horses needed watering and their clothes were torn and unpatched but this did not stop the lustre of the Baron. Upon their arrival into the Storm wall, this party found electrified buzzing rocks, no bigger than a firbolgs closed fist but floating an inch or two from the earth. These rocks pulsed in the hand and sent a tingle down the arm of the wielder. Making them slightly uncomfortable to hold. After proper investigation, it seemed these rocks absorb some of the arcane energies of nature that surround them. These rocks were called Thunderstones.

 

The Driver of Revelution

Thunderstones were a perfect catalyst for military and societal expansion. These stones would be worth double, triple their weight in gold but they were locked away. The baron cautious of their power and unsure of his own intent with the stones locked them deep in the vault of the Grainkeep. When down there he told his innermost circle of nobles about their existence. Together they weaved a story to tell the common man.
"The blue streaks seen across Verra'Talu were nothing more than reflections of the Shimmer."
"The light did not bounce but merely ran across the Shimmer."
"Nothing hit the ground, a mere fallacy."
  As the common man fought over the plausibility of this the Midfield Barons moved in secret. They transported small amounts of these thunderstones from the Storm Wall to the Grainkeep. Stockpiling night after night hidden caravans. In the depths of the Grainkeep after a year, the barons had amassed a scrapping amount of Thunderstone. Then they started their experiments. The first scientist marvelled at the beauty and nature of the stone and held the stone inches from his spectacles. Whether by chance or a whisper of fate he let the stone fall from his grasp. The response was unexpected and overwhelming. A sound resembling the sharp crack of a whip and sudden intake of air permeated the room, then silence, and enough time to feel the sweat trickle down the artificers' brow. Then an almighty bang likened to a thousand mountains crashing upon the earth simultaneously. The sound of the impact echoed far beyond the chamber of the Grainkeeps Artificer. With a squeal, the Artificers hands covered his ears. ringing rattled around his mind, the sound shaking his very core down to the microscopic. The artificer picked up the shattered stone from the floor and looked... here he held a weapon if he could only find a way to utilise it.

 

A Boom in a Busy World

After hearing the boom the palace guard rushed into the Grainkeep. They suspected an intruder had broken the ageing stone walls with some sort of magical incantation. Instead, they saw the artificer standing there a smile on his face. The guards quickly had news to report to the Grainkeeps Baron. All their work had paid off. Midfield had discovered something that the other two nations did not, a stone made completely of magical energies. The Barons however needed to be shrewd and calculating, for the Thunderstones could only be found in the Storm Wall and that was a great distance away from the Grainkeep not in their territory.   The problem of supply would come later, for now, they turned their minds to the utility. The technology had to be identified and created slowly as to not arouse too much suspicion, to not tip their hand to Paha or Estua. Everyburining torches were the first invention, harnessing the natural glow of the Thunderstones proved useful in small quantities. Give a few pinches of Thunderstone into the wrapping of any torch and the thunderstone prolonged the life of the flames. Next came the prestidigitation machine, finally ending on magical music boxes. Estua got wind of this new technology and humans are often jealous and greedy. They went to war with Midfield to claim the prize for themselves, bringing in an age known as the Thunderstone Wars.

Thunderstone.jpg
  Thunderstone found in the Storm Wall
  Usually no longer than a fist and the same rocky colour as any other stone. The thunderstone traditionally looks like a lightning bolt petrified into the rock. Thunderstones emit a slight hum and build static when touched.   Cost: 7gp for a small 2lb stone

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