Perfectly clear crystal sphere
As requested, the loresong for the crystal spheres is below. Any out-of-the-ordinary third person messaging is in parentheses below the verse. Enjoy!
- a perfectly clear crystal sphere
Faint reflections of your surroundings shimmer off the smooth, perfect curve of the crystal sphere.
As the sphere responds to the vibrations of your voice, you sense magic dwelling within it. The nature of the magic is linked in some ways to your own bardsong -- a magic of the mind, though not one shaped in the same ways as yours. Colors play softly across the sphere's surface.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. Colors play softly across the surface of a perfectly clear crystal sphere in Bard's hand.)
As your voice delves into the clear crystal sphere, you determine that this sphere was once part of a greater artifact, but a catastrophic incident shattered the structure and destroyed that greater magic. You sense a power within the sphere that is ancient beyond mere years, a length of time measured better by elves than humans, and better by the stars than by either race.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. Tiny points of light shimmer briefly around Bard's clear crystal sphere.)
Searching further for information about the sphere, you sense that the greater magic was a magic of scrying and location, with abilities to predict both the future and the past. You sense that the hands of many master craftsmen were involved in creating the greater artifact. Now, the sphere still cradles scrying magic, but it is a frail shadow of its former existence, stretching only through aspects of the present and only in a small ring around its possessor.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. Bard's expression grows distant and contemplative as she finishes her verse.)
The magic of your loresong calls an image forth from the sphere. You see a delicately formed glass sculpture depicting an erithian woman with twenty or more squid tentacles fanning from her body in place of arms. She is far taller than any true erithian, standing twenty or twenty-five feet tall, and each of her glimmering tentacles cradles a sparkling crystal sphere much akin to the sphere that you hold now. Scribes stand around the sculpture, scribbling intently across pieces of parchment as they gaze into the various spheres. A serene smile graces the sculpture's face as she watches her watchers.
The image fades away.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. As Bard finishes her verse, an serene, thoughtful smile touches her lips.)
Your magic reaches into the sphere and recalls images that dwelt within it in the past. As visions swirl before your eyes, you sense that these images first shone in the crystal when the crystal was part of the greater artifact and lay cradled in one of those glimmering tentacles. You see a dwarven man covered with pustules and bent with heavy coughing, a crowned Faendryl woman lying motionless upon a funeral bier, a tall giantman woman with a cobalt blue mask tattooed across her face, an auburn-haired human man holding an orchid and a dagger, an elven woman praying to the starry darkness beyond a prison window, a veniom airship gliding through the sky, a gilded scarlet drake dying as a sylvan woman weeps, a group of translucent children running through a pair of black gates that rend the earth and sky as they open.... the images flash and fade, coming faster and faster, until they melt into a blur.
With a sharp jolt, the flow of images ends, leaving you as dazed as if you had just awakened from a sound sleep.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. Colors flicker brilliantly within the sphere, but Bard does not look down, staring away instead with a dazed, unfocused expression. Suddenly, Bard jerks and shakes herself slightly, and her eyes refocus.)
As you summon the lore of the sphere with your music, you are plunged back into a vision. You see a terrible battle in the chamber surrounding the erithian sculpture. It is impossible to tell the identities or even the races of the attackers, although they are as tall as the erithians they fight, for their forms are completely swathed in white silk. Most of the scribes flee, but some try to protect the great statue, and their bodies are spilled on the ground for their trouble.
Then, a new presence enters the room -- a woman garbed in turquoise blue silk who bears a gleaming katana in her hand. She fights with greater skill than anyone else, whirling and slashing in a dance of unerring death that lays waste to the attackers. Soon, only one attacker stands, and she pivots precisely before bringing the katana sweeping upward through his body.
The katana passes cleanly through the attacker's body, splitting it into two halves, and connects with the sculpture. Both katana and sculpture shatter. Fragments of glass and steel rain across the ground like petals in a windstorm, and the crystals strike the ground with the heaviness of apples shaken from an orchard. The crystals do not break, although, from the horror on the warrior's face, it makes little difference that they do not.
She is the only one standing. She drops the hilt of the katana, turns, and flees. The vision fades out on her departing shadow.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. An incredibly loud ringing sound, much like the sound from the rim of a rubbed crystal wineglass, comes from the sphere in Bard's hand.)
Another vision comes from the sphere. Instead of touching you gently, this one closes about you with the cold strength of a skeletal fist, forcing you to observe what follows.
The chamber stands deserted, heavy with the dust of passing decades. Skeletons litter the floor where scribes and attackers fell. Debris from the sculpture and the katana litter the ground.
A cold wind sweeps through the chamber, stirring the debris gently. White mist coalesces beside the door and becomes the shape of the former katana-wielder, now translucent and ethereal with the touch of death gone by.
One by one, the ghost picks up the spheres and cradles them gently in her spectral arms. As she touches each sphere, a faint shock runs through you, and you intuit that she is transforming the nature of the spheres' magic as she touches them. The ghost whispers in erithian, but you understand the words as if she had whispered them in your native tongue. "Some things should never have been. Some things should never be again."
Then she dissolves, taking the spheres with her, and the chamber is left empty. The vision fades away.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. The image of a ghostly erithian face shimmers briefly within the crystal that Bard's holds, but it is impossible to determine any details from this angle.)
A cold tingle runs across your fingertips and palm where your skin touches the sphere. The presence of the ghost's touch still contaminates the crystal, preventing it forever from being reassembled as part of the artifact that once contained it. The world around you seems darker, colder, infused only with shadow, bereft of any hopeful future... and then your verse ends, and the brief impression fades.
(The clear crystal sphere seems to respond to the magic of Bard's song. Bard's expression grows dark and distant.)
You can discern nothing more of the sphere's nature.