Curved brass shard
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Located in the North exhibit room of the River's Rest Museum, this curved brass shard sings a song of actions and the consequences of those actions.
Even the most cursory examination of the shard reveals it was originally a part of some larger object, now shattered. It is almost the size of a buckler. It's as thick as a triple layer of troll hide and about the length of a halfling's forearm. One side of the curved chunk of brass is smooth, the other is adorned with ornate scroll work. Attached to the shard is a tag that reads "This is a fragment of Oteska's Bell. Crafted at the direction of the corsair Oteska, the bell was intended to give warning when any vessel of the Imperial Turamzzyrian Navy entered Maelstrom Bay. Legend has it the bell was responsible for Oteska's death."
As you sing to the curved brass shard you are caught up in the vision of a small tavern set off to one side of a public square paved with large stone blocks. A crowd, restless and resentful, has gathered in the square where they are being addressed by a half-elf clad in the attire of a sea captain. "We require your brass," the captain says, "in order to create a warning bell. This bell is for your protection as much as for ours. I know you want to cooperate. My men will come to your homes to secure the brass." You experience a sudden rush of dizziness as you begin your song. When it fades you find yourself in a hovel. A pair of sailors stand in the doorway, grinning at an angry old woman. In her spotted and bony hands she grasps a brass ewer. "This be me grammy's pitcher," she says, her voice quavering. "And she gots it from her grammy, who tooken it off a cart what belonged to some lord. And I means to give it to me own granddaughter." The sailors laugh as they snatch the ewer from the old woman's hands. "Me curse on you," the crone spits, "and on him what's behind this wickedness! And me curse on your foul bell! Good fortune and wealth to him what rings it 'til it breaks!" At that the old woman grasps her chest and falls dead to the floor. As you sing you hear the low vibration of a bell being rung. The image of the half-elf sea captain sitting at a table in a lamplit tavern room comes into focus. Through a window you can see the moon-splashed silhouette of a low, open-framed belltower. The captain stands suddenly and hurls a flagon across the room, splashing the floor and wall with ale. "By the gods," he shouts, "we have a crew of trained fighters! Can they not stop the people of this hell-hole of an island from ringing that bloody bell?!" As a servant cleans up the mess a second half-elf, also clad as a sailing officer, speaks up. "They believe the old woman's curse," he says, his hand rubbing his temples. "They believe if they crack the bell they'll come into a fortune. We've chased off many, whipped several, and hung one...but they keep coming back. They just keep coming back." Your song is punctuated by the sound of men grunting in unison. As your vision clears you see a group of half-elf sailors gathered around a brass bell hung in a low tower. The men struggle to unhang the bell. At the foot of the open-framed tower stands the sea captain and his officers. The captain is glowering at his men. "Smartly, now," he orders, "heave that blasted bell off its moorings!" He turns to his officers and snarls "I'd rather be caught by the bloody Imperial Navy than listen to that hellish bell again." With a concentrated effort the sailors manage to dislodge the bell from its mooring. It falls to the floor of the tower, shattering some of the timbers. The tower, suddenly unstable, collapses in a sudden rush. The bell falls to the ground, crushing the sea captain and two of the sailors beneath it. With a sound like the screaming of an old woman, the bell shatters into hundreds of small shards.