Kilvan's Cafe Three. by Susan Van Camp
All About Odylic
Where to Find it, What it Looks Like and What can be Done With it.
It's quiet in Kilvan's Coffee House this morning. A few patrons sit on benches, their hands wrapped around steaming cups, their voices soft in quiet conversation. Your characters are sitting at a table, enjoying an early morning coffee, when they hear the shop door bang open. A dwarf stands in the doorway, her black hair plaited in hundreds of tiny braids, her broad face broken by a feirce grin. She stomps over to the counter. Without a word, the shopkeeper hands her an extra strong granite brew, a favorite drink of gargoyles. Coffee in hand she walks across the room until she's standing by your characters' table. "This is my regular place," she says. "Mind if I share it with you?" Without waiting for a yes or no, she dumps her backpack onto a stool and climbs up.
Now that she's close, your characters notice a few things about this dwarf that couldn't be seen from a distance. Her calloused, crack skinned hands look like they've seen a lot of hard work. She wears good quality clothing, but a faint, smoky odor rises from them. Any characters who have Way of the Smith may recognize this as the smell of a forge. She also wears more than a dozen necklaces, each set with a small stone of a different color. Any magic using characters feel a glow of pristine od coming from these stones. They must be odylic.
The dwarf notices your characters looking at the stones. She smiles, takes off the necklaces, lets their chains rattle through her fingers. "Like them?" she asks. "I made them myself. I'm an odylic stone smith."
When your characters respond with blank looks, she grins even wider. "I cut and forge odylic into interesting objects--like channel daggers, witch charms and such."
When she mentions magic items, all of your characters perk up. Noticing their sudden interest, the dwarf picks up one of the necklaces, wrapping its chain around her fingers. The necklace stone is bright red with veins of gold running through it, unlike any odylic they have ever seen. "My name is Masa Forgefingers," she tells you. "If you folks have a little time, I'd be happy to tell you all about odylic."
Your charcters don't have a lot to do this morning and they're intrieged by all of those colorful stones. Masa takes a drink of her brew then begins to speak.
"It doesn't look like much when you first see it: Just dull, cold stone. Hold a small piece in your hand it seems like any other rock. Hold it a little longer and you'll notice a faint tingling in your fingers, then in your palm. Soon this tingling travels up your arm. If you're motal, the sensation quickly becomes pain. If you're a shape shifter, the feeling turns into a warm glow that spreads throughout your body. That's what it feels like to hold odylic."
"In all the world, nothing is more precious. Everyone wants odylic: Necromancers, shape shifters, mortals of all races. They work like slaves to find it, fight like drakkles to keep it. Odylic can be more valuable than life to them. This rock gives power to anyone who has it and understands what it is: The strength of pure magic, trapped inside of stone."
"Of course, you all know how strong odylic is. You've seen it at work when you go to temple. You do all go to temple don't you? Seen that big black stone sitting on the altar, felt a tingle down your back when you approached it? If you thought that tingle was Elethay's power, I'm going to have to dissapoint you. You were feeling the strength of that stone. The goddess works through the stone, using its magic to reach her worshippers and cleanse a region of warp. However, just because it's a holy stone when it's in temple doesn't mean that all odylic is sacred. Odylic is just rock. It's only as good or bad as the purpose you put it to.
What do you think, that a necromancer is sacred to Elethay when he uses a Relic of Rashule? Hah! Unlikely, my friends.
"Before that necromancer, or anyone else, can use a magic item, someone has got to make the magic item. That's my job. I know odylic as well as I know every scar I ever got sending madspawn to the void. It's all I do, nowadays: Hunt odylic, work odylic, talk to it like a sweetheart. I find cold rock and teach it to sing, to dance, to burn, to part flesh quick as butter. I make magic items. I know the secrets of stone, old knowlege once held only by dragons."
"In those old times, dragons lived high up in their clanholds, apart from everyone else. They had their politics and their ancestors and their pups to keep them busy. And their odylic--oh, did they have odlyic: Great slabs of sunsblood bright as dawn; giant globes of moonglow, bigger than your head. It was the center of their lives, you see. All of a dragon's power and status was connected in some way with odylic. They built their clanholds on mountain peaks rich in odylic, then hunted and hoarded to get more. They fought wars over it. Nothing was more important to them."
"Some dragons used odylic to build giant clan monoliths. These were spirit houses for dead dragons; their ancestors could linger in a well-crafted monolith for thousands of years. Others dragons looked for a different kind of immortality. They crafted powerful magic items, which they gave out as gifts to other dragons, and even to mortals in later days. Each magic item was designed to glorify its user; to activate it, a user had to say, or think, the maker's name. This was intended as another kind of immortality. The maker would be remembered as long as his magic items stayed in use."
"And it worked. I trust you've all heard of Kilvan? He was a master odylic smith, a genius of stonecraft. You know of Kilvan's potion and Kilvan's Talisman. Do you know that Kilvan made more than a thousand different magic items? We know, because we found a complete list of his magic items carved on a taur bone tablet. Most of his masterworks were destroyed during the Deathday Massacre. Only a few items survived. Still, there might be more, hidden deep in clanholds where necromancers haven't found them."
"Deathday was hard on odylic. Necromancers carted off a lot of the clanhold stone. Dragonstorms warped much of what remained. Most of what we have left can be found on the slopes of pristine mountains. If you folks happen to travel such regions, you might want to know what raw odylic looks like. I pay a good price for uncut stone, especially if you find the rarer types."
Masa lays out the necklaces in a row. Removing a small leather pouch from her belt, she upends it. Small, dull colored rocks clatter against the tabletop. She pushes rocks around until one dull stone lies next to each brilliant necklace stone. Your characters realize that the matched stones are all similar in color. A grey pebble sits by a silver-gray agate. A dull red rock lies next to the brilliant red stone she showed you earlier. Mesa nods at her arrangement of rocks. "These are the seven sisters, the seven different kinds of odylic. You'll find all of them but one in the same kind of place: Pristine mountain peaks. They'll be in rocks exposed to open air. You won't have do much digging; odylic is never found more than a foot below the surface. The rarest types often crop up at surface level. You can just reach down and pick one of these up off the ground--if you happen to look in the right spot."
She taps a finger next to her matched stones. "Finding that spot can be tricky. Uncut, unpolished odylic is easy to mistake for ordinary stone. I'll try to help you remember what to look for."
She points at the dull red rock and its counterpart, a blood red gem shot through with meandering streaks of bright gold. "This is sunsblood. It's the only kind of odylic that can be forged like iron. You can mix it with other ores to create a magic weapon. It's also possible to make a weapon entirely of sunsblood, but that would take a lot of stone, and it's one of the rarer types.
The next pair is a purplish grey rock sitting next to a purple-black stone that gleams in morning light. Your characters see faint violet lines glowing in the depths of the necklace stone. "You should recognize this one," says Mesa. "It's common odylic. Temple stones are made of it. Nowadays we don't bother to cut and polish stones for worship. We just find a big hunk, carve holy runes into it and plunk it on an altar. I use it for a lot of different magic items; it's not as powerful as the rarer types, but it will serve for most uses. This type is most common, which means that it still takes a work to find. I'll pay for pieces head sized and smaller. Anything bigger than that can be used as a temple channel stone, which means it should be donated to a temple.
A green black pepple lies alone without a matching necklace stone. Masa's lip curls in disgust as she points at this single rock. "That's taintstone. Any odylic will turn into this garbage if it's exposed to warp long enough. If you happen to see it cut and polished--and pray that you never do--it will be black with yellow-green veins. Taintstone is useless for anything except warped magic items like skulls of souls. It's worthless to me, unless it's purified first."
An ordinary looking gray pebble lies paired with a silvery stone laced with pale yellow veins. "That's moonglow. It can be hardest to spot because it looks so commonplace when it's uncut. Your best bet is to roll a peice between your fingers." She places the pebble between her thumb and forefinger, rolling it back and forth. Immediately dusty fragements crumble from its surface. "It's extremely brittle. You'll want to be careful handling it; I pay more for uncut moonglow than moonglow dust. It's a rare type, good for making potions.
An ivory rock lies next to a pearly white stone veined with pink. "This is mother's milk. It takes cutting and polishing better than any of the others, so we use it for magical jewelry, such as Kasalorn's Necklace. It's a rare type and I pay well for it."
A dark brown, granite skinned rock sits by a small, golden-brown slab. Flowery veins of silver trace the slab's surface. "You might have seen this one before in ancient ruins. It's called earthflower. During the time of the Mortal Kingdoms, masons used this to build magical towers and walls. It was once easy to find as common odylic, but now it's a good deal more scarce. If you're lucky, you might find a big outcropping of earthflower. Any one prince set on building magically enhanced walls will pay a fortune for a find like that.
The last two stones are especially striking. A blue-gray rock with hard, jutting edges lies next to a bright blue stone covered with cloud-like patterns and shot through with jagged veins of yellow-white. "If you find any of this, consider yourself blessed by Elethay. It's called stormstruck and it's the rarest type. We use stormstruck in combination with all the other types of odylic. Even a little of this stone will enhance the power of a magic item many fold."
Masa sits back in her chair, hands cupped around her drink. "Bring me any of this and I'll pay you in gold. Bring me enough of it and perhaps we can talk barter; I'll make you a magic item in trade. That's a good deal for both of us."
Your characters want to know more, especially about her offer to make magic items. However, Mesa is finishing her drink, gathering her stones and necklaces, pushing back her chair. "We can talk about all that at another time," she says, shouldering on her backpack. "I'm a regular here at Kilvan's. You'll see me again." With a smile she walks out the door, leaving the smell of a forge and a faint aura of pristine od in her wake.
Susan's Notes: For the purposes of games, here are the prices that Masa (and most odylic stone smiths) will pay for Odylic.
Sunsblood: 400 GP per 1 CAP of stone.
Common: 50 GP per 1 CAP of stone.
Moonglow: 300 GP per 1 CAP of stone (100 GP per 1 CAP of dust. If not handled carefully, moonglow will fragment into dust).
Mother's Milk: 500 GP per 1 CAP of stone.
Earthflower: 75 GP per 1 CAP of stone.
Stormstruck: 700 GP per 1 CAP of stone.