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Lightning Rods and Eye of Kulshedra

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  • Lightning Rods and Eye of Kulshedra

    Fifth Day, Seventh Moon,
    Twenty-First Year of Recent Awakenings

    In accordance with the will of Her Majesty and in upholding the duties charged to me as Royal Chronicler of the Court, I hereby submit the account of Lightning Rods and Eye of Kulshedra.

    Lightning rods are devices designed to attract deadly electricity away from people who are passing through the open spaces. The first one was erected during the sixth moon, in the Outer Bailey courtyard and has been working effectively since. During construction, ser Mitsuko was struck and has since been healed by Nerina the Stormbringer. Master Orson revealed that humans are mostly made of water. "Amazing, I know. That is why Nerina can mend us so well; element of life and all that."

    On the twenty-sixth evening of the sixth moon, the Royal Alchemist led a group to the Inner Bailey courtyard to install the second rod. A barrel of earth, a tall copper rod, copper mesh wire and a round metal base were the components. Master Orson instructed, "We run out into the storm and plant the base in the centre of the courtyard. It has, ah, prong things ye pull out and give a good stomp on to fix 'em to the pavement. The rod gets screwed into the base. Meanwhile, set up the barrel a good stretch from the base, far enough away that we can run the mesh wire between the barrel and the base without it coiling or overlapping itself, but also out of the way enough, so people don't trip on it. One end of the wire goes into the barrel. Sink it about two-thirds or so into the barrel but not all the way to the bottom. The other end should snap into the little circular opening in the base. Like a peg in a hole."

    Working quickly in the Inner Bailey courtyard, Dame Keterin planted the copper rod in the centre and ser Leodegrance settled the barrel of earth far away from it. Sir Adahn hoisted and attached the copper rod and sera Taite trailed the wire from the rod to the barrel and sank it into the earth. The Queen's Equerry Mistress Heulyn stood guard, sword at the ready, in case of attack. Nurse Kaori waited nearby under shelter, but fortunately, the group worked swiftly, and there were no injuries from lightning or falling rocks. The group then retreated to the sitting room in the basement, where Master Orson told the story of the Eye of Kulshedra.

    Eye of Kulshedra story as told by Master Orson

    It is said that some centuries or millennia ago, Dragons intermingled with humans, helping to form our earlier societies and empires. The first empires of man, where humans congregated and built great city stations and nations, were said to have been guided by dragons. High dragons, specifically, who like the rest of their kind, like Rhumielle and Dresborne, had the ability to shape-shift into other living beings they encountered.

    To cement their governance over the empires they had seeded, the High Dragons had, ah, a sort of Dragon Guard, as it were. Humans who had been imbued with the essence of draconic magic. It made them stronger, faster, more loyal. These elite imperial guards oversaw the will of their Emperor, who was usually, in fact, a Dragon - unbeknownst to most of the people they ruled over. In this way the Dragons cultivated the early human civilizations of the world, their number much too few and their reproduction much too slow to populate and govern the world solely on their own.

    The Dragons achieved this through an artifact known as the Eye of Kulshedra, an ancient Theian relic with the power to bestow draconic essence upon other living beings, imbuing them with strength and power. Theians is another term for Dragons, often, as their homeworld was known as Theia before its destruction.

    By chance, one year, Master Ali came into possession of this fabled artifact. Had I not heard the tale from him directly, I would not have believed it - but the Master Trader is no liar. As it happened, Master Ali traded the artifact to another while he was here in the castle. He appeared as a handsome nobleman, of some wealth, with black hair and golden eyes, and an eye for draconic relics in particular. Master Ali has always been particular about who he does business with and the reasons for a trade. The sort that would accept a story as payment for a coin, and who is more interested in what someone would do with his wares than merely the payment they offer. Master Ali believed this man was, himself, a "rightful owner" for the object. At the time, I did not know what would lead him to conclude that.

    The man introduced himself as a Lord of Marrach, and in his finery - or perhaps for some other reason known only to himself, Master Ali didn't challenge the claim. I became convinced that this mysterious Lord was the dragon Dresborne and factored this into my own plans for the Philosopher's Stone - back when I intended to create one to restore His Highness. I convinced the Wizardess Saria, Sir Maugis' apprentice, to cast a spell that would "dig up" castle history or memories. That spell worked in the form of the journal entries that appeared all around the castle. The journal pages described the Dragons and their encounter with the Queen and Her entourage at the founding of the castle.

    The journals did not, alas, give me any clue as to Dresborne's whereabouts. The tale ended - if you have read the journal yourself, with Dresborne mortally wounding the Lord Consort just as a magic spell is cast. The spell sealed both Dresborne and Rhumielle into their human forms and Dresborne, ah, being shot off a cliffside with a crossbow as I recall. Dresborne and Rhumielle are linked - twins hatched from the same egg. If she is alive, then so too is he, somewhere. Ancient tales from the Under speak of the Dukes of old such as Sir Rumiss, the Conclave's founder, having an elite guard of skilled warriors to act as their personal bodyguards - the Red Sashes.

    I had hoped to seek out this Dresborne and implore him to permit the use of the Eye of Kulshedra, that I might use its essence to create the Philosopher's Stone and restore His Highness.
    As the tale concluded, there was discussion of the whereabouts of Rhumielle and Dresborne. It is known that Duchess Oriana is the human form of the dragon Rhumielle. The mystery is the location of Dresborne. It was conjectured that a mysterious cloaked man who has been seen recently, might be Dresborne.

    Master Orson said, "The reason Rhumielle's slumbering dragon form is in the Conclave's forest while Rhumielle's 'projection' is out here, is because this curse was raised, trapping both Dragons in these forms and causing them to forget where their dormant dragon bodies were resting. It was only because of the Waters of Mnemosyne retrieved from the Underworld, that Rhumielle was able to break *part* of this curse and remember where her body was."

    "Rhumielle's dormant 'true form' lays within the forest of the Conclave, which is blocked to us by the Nightmare, which was sealed there by Lightrend. This is what she remembered after drinking the Waters of Mnemosyne and, similarly, what the Triangle discovered when they finished their dragon compass, which was created through skymetal stolen from His Excellency's suite when Miyako attacked it."

    When the Triangle's dragon compass was mentioned, Sir Adahn reminded those gathered that Haylee had "found that dragon's body. And it is presumed that it is protected from her, by the same force that protected it from the nightmare. The most common speculation now is that these primes are somehow Haylee's answer to that. To break its protections and use the body and the essence to complete her philosopher stone."

    Sir Adahn admits too, "She says its a 'because I can' sort of reason, to prove herself to the other triangle members. But things are rarely as simple as they seem."

    Master Orson nods to Leodegrance slightly, "That is what I mean. If Dresborne is closer, then that is where [the Triangle's] compass would have pointed them. We don't know for sure that the Triangle are even searching for Rhumielle - that is an assumption. They could be seeking Dresborne all this time. Or perhaps both twin dragons are nesting in the same cave? Who is to say."

    Sir Adahn asked about the dragon's skull in the knight's hall and was told by the Royal Alchemist that "I believe it is a wyrm of some sort, not a true High Dragon like Dresborne and Rhumielle. As the tale goes, His Excellency defeated it some many years past."

    Since the events related above, a third lighting rod has been placed in the Gate Courtyard. Master Orson's experiments with air dissolving elixirs have also been successful. Seras Auriela, Diana, Elora, and Vessa have had the mark of Megaera removed. The Royal Alchemist is still working on mist dispersion stones which require saltpeter among other ingredients. Master Orson explained that saltpeter is a kind of dust found it in deposits in the rock. "Alchemists use it in explosive effects. It'll make the stones go 'pop' and disperse the energies that will nullify the mists."

    Dame Keterin's armour was severely damaged fighting the army of elementals in the courtyard. During that battle, the Dame held off a group of twenty thunderbirds, sylphs and metallic birds, to enable the rest of the combatants focused on defeating a savage harpy. To repair her armour, the Royal Alchemists requires obsidian, steel, and fel dust.

    This chronicle will be subject to changes and corrections. I humbly ask all readers to please indicate to me discreetly, any falsehoods I may have mistakenly communicated. It is by means of the conservation of the Past that we continue to serve Her Majesty and give substance to those that follow.

    In service to Her Majesty Queen Vivienne, The Office of the Chronicler, and the Denizenry of Her Majesty's Realm.

    Mistress Tine
    Royal Chronicler of the Court

    Mistress Tine
    Royal Chronicler of the Court
    Squire to Sir Edstave
    Junior Equerry to Lord Dolph Li'astri
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