Elfstone Campaign Setting:
The Elfstones
 
 
By: Arjan Wardekker

The Elfstones are one of the central elements of the Elfstone Campaign Setting. They are an integral part of the world, its religions, its magic and its power structures. While being no larger than a cubic foot in size, they are artifacts of godlike power and have tremendous influence on life on the world of Alcarin. The Elfstones are the material reflections of The Creator, or better-said, condensed forms of The Creator itself (see: Divine Metaphysics & Creation). There are seven stones in total, each representing one of Alcarin's seven elements: fire, water, earth, air, positive energy (light, life, and creation), negative energy (darkness, death, and destruction), and K'zarr (power, magic, and divinity).

Influences on the world
The main influences of the Elfstones on the world are the bonds they form with certain areas (focal areas) and certain power groups (focal power groups) (for more information: see The Seven Realms). The stones are sentient beings with the desire to enhance their particular element and attract beings that live by these elements and help progress its interests. This is similar to the ways of normal deities of spreading their agendas and attracting a following of worshippers and servants, but on a much more abstract level.
The mechanisms of influence are many. Common ones include: the enhancement of certain attributes (strength, intelligence, etc.) near an Elfstone, casting of spells and creation of effects related to its element, hampering or countering spells, effects and influences of other elements (especially of the opposite element), influencing the formation and affairs of power groups around it through subtle weavings of fate, selecting its focal area and the transportation of itself and its focal power group to that area, modifying its focal area through geophysical events (e.g. floods, volcanic eruptions) and slow changes and conditions (climate, biosphere). Usually, these influences are fairly subtle, as the Elfstones think on large timescales. In rare cases, an Elfstone may resort to more direct intervention. Having godlike power, these interventions can be quite profound.
When an Elfstone is suddenly taken from the hands of its focal power group and/or taken out of its focal area, major problems will arise. Suddenly devoid of the centuries long bond and influence of the Elfstone, the group or area would experience a backlash towards the opposite element. E.g. should the Elfstone of fire be stolen, its focal area might suffer horrible floods, unending rains, tsunamis, and so on. Should the Elfstone of positive energy be stolen, its focal area would become haunted by hordes of undead beings and death and destruction would reign the lands. Furthermore, it would make the focal power group and the inhabitants of the focal area suddenly vulnerable and likely to be attacked by surrounding nations or hostile organizations, and in more fractured focal power groups, infighting might occur. Similar problems will occur when an Elfstone is taken into the area of its opposing element. However, this may cause even more problems, as the influences of both elements will become disrupted on a global scale. Such disruptions will start out as minor problems, but may turn into to major conflicts and disasters in the course of several months to years. An Elfstone being taken into opposite territory is insulting to the Elfstones of both elements and will make them more likely to resort to direct (divine) intervention.

Powers of the Elfstones
The Elfstones have the power and sentience of medium deities and as such have the power to do many incredible things, as they desire. However, the artifacts think on much larger levels of abstraction and time than mortals do and know that things will flow their way in the long run. They generally seem dormant. Besides their more open-end powers, the Elfstones have a number of standard powers in common:
Indestructible: An Elfstone cannot be damaged or destroyed by any weapon or spell, mortal or immortal. The only way to destroy an Elfstone is to throw it through a portal into the elemental plane of its opposite element. The Elfstone will prevent any such event, and only a greater deity (Levi or the other deities of the Upper Pantheon) can force it through.
Bound to the World: An Elfstone can only be moved through normal physical transport. It cannot be moved through interplanar transportation, such as etherealness, teleportation, plane shift, shadow walking, and other similar effects. The only known method of transporting an Elfstone over large distances is through permanent magical portals. An Elfstone knows what lies at the other end of the portal and will refuse to enter any portal leading to a destination that is not on the world of Alcarin. Furthermore, an Elfstone cannot be shaped into another form, and as such cannot be included in spells such as polymorph or gaseous form.
Attribute Enhancement: An Elfstone enhances its focal attribute in three rings of power. The bearer of the Elfstone receives an enhancement sufficient to raise the attribute from normal to very high (D&D equivalent: +6). Within a radius of 30 feet of the Elfstone, creatures receive an enhancement sufficient to raise the attribute from normal to high (D&D equivalent: +4). Within a radius of 10 miles, the enhancement is sufficient to raise the attribute from normal to above average (D&D equivalent: +2). The Elfstone may choose to suppress one or more of these rings of power in total or for certain creatures or types of creatures.
Standard Spells: An Elfstone can cast any spell or effect related to its spheres of power, at will. It can counter, disrupt or dispel any spell or effect related to its opposed spheres of power, at will.
Summon and Banish: An Elfstone may summon any being related to its spheres of power, or banish (to its home plane or realm) or destroy any being related to its opposed spheres of power, at will. Chances and effects depend on the power of the being, as indicated in the table below. This ability can be used as a free action, once per round, up to a range of 20 miles (or to a specific creature, when summoning). Deities will need to be individually targeted, but with respect to other beings the effect functions in a radius of 2 miles.

Being class1:
Roll on 6-sided die:
IIIIIIIVV
1 No effect No effect No effect No effect Summoned or banished, may return after a day
2 No effect No effect No effect Summoned or banished, may return at will Summoned or banished, may return after a year
3 No effect No effect Summoned or banished, may return at will Summoned or banished, may return after an hour Summoned or banished, may return after a century
4 No effect No effect Summoned or banished, may return after an hour Summoned or banished, may return after a day Summoned or banished, may return after a century
5 No effect Summoned or banished, may return at will Summoned or banished, may return after a day Summoned or banished, may return after a year Summoned or banished until released, or utterly destroyed
6 Summoned or banished, may return at will Summoned or banished, may return after an hour Summoned or banished, may return after a year Summoned or banished until released, or utterly destroyed Summoned or banished until released, or utterly destroyed

1Being class: I: Medium deity, II: Lesser deity, III: Demigod, IV: Greater being (e.g. upper level demons or celestials, greater or elder elementals, high level mortals), V: Normal being (e.g. common demons or celestials, huge or lesser elementals, low to medium level mortals)

Descriptions of the Elfstones
Below, you will find a description and specifics for each Elfstone.

The Deep Ember
Element: Fire
Description: An irregularly shaped rock that looks like somewhat cooled, but still red hot lava. It's about 1 foot by 0.8 by 0.6 foot in size and radiates a red, fiery glow in a radius of 30 feet. The stone is unbearably hot to the touch (except to fire resistant creatures), but it does not deal actual damage.
Focal Area: Narre'al
Focal Power Group: Empire of Narre'al
Focal Attribute: Strength
Spheres of Power: Fire
Opposed Spheres of Power: Water
Default Location: Emperor's Palace, Ciy of Middon-Nasár, Narre'al
Special: The Deep Ember is a very expressive stone, favoring strength, passion and directness. It attracts powerful individuals, especially evokers and other powerful magic wielders, as well as strong warriors. The stone's nature resulted in the formation of the huge and powerful empire of Narre'al, with a strong ruler that keeps strict control over his subjects.

The Blue Pearl
Element: Water
Description: A deep blue pearl of 0.5 foot in diameter, with swirling, wavelike patterns on it, which seem to be constantly moving. This produces a mildly hypnotizing effect, drawing onlookers' thoughts deep into its blueness.
Focal Area: Nentis
Focal Power Group: Theocracy of Nentis
Focal Attribute: Wisdom
Spheres of Power: Water
Opposed Spheres of Power: Fire
Default Location: High Temple, City of Nenacar, Nentis
Special: The Blue Pearl is a stone of contemplation and an ethereal view on the world. The object is a strong artifact, but it dislikes brute force. Instead, it favors a more sustained, long term course of action. It takes its time to determine the right course and exert its influence, like a river slowly carves out a valley. The stone attracts priests, philosophers, and artists.

The Granite Cube
Element: Earth
Description: An unremarkable 1 foot cube of granite.
Focal Area: Khemen
Focal Power Group: Kingdom of Khemen
Focal Attribute: Constitution/Endurance
Spheres of Power: Earth
Opposed Spheres of Power: Air
Default Location: Royal Palace, City of Arquen, Khemen
Special: The Granite Cube has an unremarkable appearance, both as an object and as an influence in the world. However, it is incredibly strong and durable. It doesn't attract as powerful and explicit people as do many of the other Elfstones, and does not favor a huge empire as a seat of power, but it's there and it's there to stay, fending off any attempts of the large and powerful realms.

The Feather Crystal
Element: Air
Description: A crystal of stacked, feather shaped layers of white crystal. The stone is about 1 foot long, 0.5 foot wide and 0.25 foot thick. It is incredibly light, weighing no more than the same volume in normal feathers.
Focal Area: Tholenfold
Focal Power Group: Empire of Tholenfold
Focal Attribute: Dexterity/Agility
Spheres of Power: Air
Opposed Spheres of Power: Earth
Default Location: Central Spire, City of Vilquar, Tholenfold
Special: The Feather Crystal is a free spirit, favoring agility and freedom of movement. It tends to attract acrobats, rogues, and aerial creatures. Due to its unrestricted nature, it also attracts many bards and sorcerers. It favors a large, but not densely populated or overly present, realm as a seat of power.

The Crystal of Light
Element: Positive Energy
Description: A colorless crystal radiating pure white light, within a radius of 5 feet. The stone is composed of several spikes and about 1 foot high and 0.5 by 0.5 foot wide. The touch of the stone is unbearable by an undead creature, although it does not cause actual damage.
Focal Area: The Mystwards
Focal Power Group: Elves, Order of the Horn of Valor
Focal Attribute: Charisma
Spheres of Power: Light, Creation, Life, Healing, Good
Opposed Spheres of Power: Darkness, Destruction, Death, Undeath, Evil
Default Location: Shrine of the Crystal of Light, The Mystwards
Special: The Crystal of Light is a promoter of life, light, and goodness. It prefers to be present everywhere, but has no need for explicit recognition or force. The stone usually does not form a large realm, but favors to work through spread power groups and smaller strongholds from which it can work through the entire world. The stone has a strong ancestral bond with the Elves and tends to attract paladins, healers and priests of good deities.

The Voidstone
Element: Negative Energy
Description: A piece of jagged rock that absorbs the light around it, creating darkness within a radius of 10 feet. The stone is somewhat egg shaped, 1 foot long and 0.75 foot wide. The touch of the stone is unbearable to any living creature not used to the negative energy (as are e.g. necromancers), but it does not cause actual damage.
Focal Area: Morrogh Ambath
Focal Power Group: Realm of Morrogh Ambath, Undead
Focal Attribute: Intelligence
Spheres of Power: Darkness, Destruction, Death, Undeath, Evil
Opposed Spheres of Power: Light, Creation, Life, Healing, Good
Default Location: The Waking Tower, Vaults of Uhmarra, Morrogh Ambath
Special: The Voidstone is the epitome of darkness, death and destruction. The sinister object enjoys to luster in its dark might and attracts many powerful beings with its promises of great influence on the world. The stone prefers to muster great forces and build a huge realm from the far places where none dare venture. It cloaks its realm in perpetual darkness, suffocating life from the region in a radius of many hundreds of miles. Among its primary followers are undead, necromancers, and other powerful evil beings that cannot stand the light.

The Stone of Divinity
Element: K'zarr
Description: A 1 foot diameter orb that looks like it consists only of pure energy. However, it does have solid form, so it can be picked up. The stone imprints a sense of immense power on onlookers.
Focal Area: The Olympeak
Focal Power Group: The Pantheon of Deities
Focal Attribute: All
Spheres of Power: Power, Magic, Divinity
Opposed Spheres of Power: Weakness, Anti-magic, Anti-divine
Default Location: Levi's Realm, The Olympeak
Special: The Stone of Divinity is without question the most powerful of the Elfstones. Where the other stones attract mortals and powerful beings to their sides, the Stone of Divinity associates with the gods. The stone is in constant contact with the other stones and influences even their actions. Its most potent power is that it can be used to create a new deity. An existing deity may use the stone to create a new deity of a lesser power level (greater, intermediate, lesser, demi). The stone can also be used to allow deities from other cosmologies to enter the cosmology of Elfstone. For more information: see Divine Metaphysics & Creation.

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