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Viridian Stones Unfinished Draft

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Preserver Stones & virdian Stones

 

Fragmented remnants of efforts to crystallize raw energy, these relics of Preserver science have lain buried under the Atlas Mountains for millennia, only recently becoming unearthed and exploited.

 

History

 

The Star Stone, power source of the mighty Citadel, its master, the artificial being called Mentor and the famous Star Knights.

The Nightstone, gateway to the Schattenwelt and conduit of yet darker secrets, long lost on Zultas and recently come to Earth.

The Moonstone, core of Farside City's society and infrastructure, with unimaginable transformative power.

 

These and more were created by the enigmatic Preservers to sustain and empower their creations throughout the cosmos. But, as with all science, there is no clean line from hypothesis to successful result. A small group of gems, enough for one human to count within their lifetime, were preceded by countless failures that had to be shattered to avert catastrophe. These fragments of searing cosmic power could have been dumped into some black hole, but the Preservers had different ideas. 

 

Most of these shards had exhibited a loose kind of intelligence, a compatibility and drive to connect with other forms of life. On Earth their experiments in uplifting new intelligences were just beginning to bear fruit and they had already noticed a faint glimmer of what might be psionic potential. The tribes with roughly the strongest strains of this potential were taken to a preserve on the Moon while the Preservers started a little terraforming. Where the Columbia River would one day empty into the Pacific Ocean a mountain range arose, covering a titanic extraterrestrial mineral deposit emitting a subtle psychic pull on humanity.

 

The Preservers then left the deposit be, confident that humans would discover it and be guided further towards a future mirroring the Preservers' own. 

 

But all those shards' competing energy impulses slowly warped the shattered, failed cosmic gems. The pull on human minds ebbed to nothing in mere decades. By the time the people who would become the Chinook had moved into the river delta thousands of years ago, their migration had nothing to do with the staggering wealth hidden in the harsh and game-poor mountains. For millennia the Preservers' gambit mutated and fused, until something totally new simmered beneath Mt. Stanley and Mt. Forge as the young volcanoes hurled fire and ash into the sky. One eruption sent a rich vein of viridian scattering over the globe.

 

It's only recently that the so-called viridian Stones have started to come out of the ground and directly into human hands, starting with the 1840's gold rush where the mania swept all the way to tiny Fort Emerald. Though the Atlas Range turned out to have a startlingly rich supply of gold, silver and precious stones, it put Fort Emerald on the map when Viridian Stones were discovered. Their composition by then had bonded with terrestrial chemistry, the lustre and quality of these "Atlas Emeralds" raising many eyebrows.  However their still-latent bond to living things made it hard for people to sell or trade them, feeling an irrational attachment to the gems and little urge to find more. That and the trouble and expense of shipping said riches out of isolated Fort Emerald helped slowly kill the mining industry in what shortly became the first Emerald City, though viridian stones have recently undergone a renaissance thanks to a dedicated tourism and heritage marketing campaign focused on the rugged frontier days of the 1800's. 

 

In the 1860's Emerald City's one and only brush with the American Civil War occurred when Confederate agents stole stocks of precious metals, gemstones and cash from the Red River Diamond Exchange, including a shipment of viridian stones meant for Freedom, New Jersey.  

 

In the modern day viridian stones are usually found in centuries-old heirlooms, chic handmade jewelry, arranged into street art sculptures, or as components in secret supertech labs scattered throughout the Emerald Cities.

 

In the Sub-Terran Chasm(other upcoming Guidebook entry) created by the dimensional reshaping which resulted in the Atlas Range, viridian stones are the universal currency among the Igneous and Magmin kingdoms, as well as the basis for the new technology of the Morlock coalition. They have no psychic impression on non-humans, so the stones trade monsters' hands with ease.

 

 

What they are

 

A viridian stone is in some ways analogous to one of its greater cousins, a nigh-limitless and effectively infinitely-malleable power source accessible to both technology and organic beings. The chief difference is focus and scale. A viridian stone isn't capable of the same stunning feats as, for instance, the Star Stone, but it is also much less overwhelming and manageable. 

 

Physically the viridian stones are, in natural state, raw minerals found nowhere else on Earth. They are smooth and faintly warm to the touch, with obvious jagged breaks where they were shattered and partially-reformed in Earth's volcanic furnace. Polishing and shaping them is easy even for unskilled persons, and a common hobby around the Columbia river delta, revealing an inner light.

 

What they do

 

viridian stones enhance and strengthen existing attributes of the beings they bond to and who bond to them. It makes insightful people more empathetic, the strong-willed are even more unshakable, if superhumans get their hands on them they discover new things about their powers. Some of them are similar to daka crystals and can transmit and store energy in an incredible variety of forms, a quality being investigated by ASTRO Labs.

 

Some people who bond with viridian have their latent powers awakened. But usually the stones cannot spark "real" powers in isolation, most being far too weak.

 

There is a loose correlation between the colour of the Stone and the trait it strengthens, though that varies drastically thanks to humans normally only capable of seeing in the visible light spectrum.

Roughly, the most common colours are:

 

RED: Red viridian stones strengthen inner resolve, focusing existing drives and making it easier to push through fears or distractions. Stronger bonds can make one all but impervious to outside influences but at a cost. Some become obsessively fixed on something that used to be a mild interest, given to enormous mood swings or driven at a goal to the point of irrationality. Mechanically speaking, they usually affect Will saves and Will effects along with Concentration checks.

 
ORANGE: Orange viridian stones increase one's attention to detail, to how things work. Most commonly this makes their people better in social situations or in understanding technology, but culture, physics and other areas of academia open up as well. As the bond strengthens innovations and new angles come more naturally and a viridian bearer can get an accurate read on a mark or comprehend alien power systems with a mere glance. The problem is how it tends to push people toward determinism or fatalism, restricting their potential unless the bearer has a powerful will and sense of self. Bearers of orange stones also run the risk of megalomania thanks to seeing around the veil that blinds the world. Mechanically it effects Craft, Knowledge, Notice and Sense Motive checks, gives bonuses to Assessment, Artificing and Invention rolls and can give access to the Analytical(Normal Visual) or Detect Weakness Super-Sense.

 

YELLOW: Stones of this color attract and hold the attention of other beings on its bearer, giving them an imposing and magnetic presence. Bonding with a yellow viridian stone lends itself well to natural commanders or shyer types who hate being talked over. Bearing this stone runs the risk of autocratic tendencies, loss of empathy and otherwise having trouble being a follower and not a leader. Mechanically, it can give bonuses to Intimidate checks, Daze, Fascinate and Startle rolls and enhancement to Emotion-Control: Fear and Mind-Control rolls.

 

GREEN: Verdant viridian stones deepen ones understanding of their own and others' wellbeing and mental and physical state. Closer bonds with the stone even allow bearers to tangibly affect the health of other beings at a fundamental level, and improve their own phsyical capabilities. Stronger ties to greenstones can weaken the sense of humanity as bodies and minds become more under the bearer's control, either aloof and inhuman or savage and bestial. Mechanically they can give bonuses to base Attributes. Handle Animal, Knowledge(Behavioural Sciences/Life Sciences), Medicine and Sense Motive checks and enhance powers with a Constitution or Fort check.

 

BLUE: The most common colour are the sky-blue stones. These tie minds together with thin threads, enhancing empathetic and persuasive traits, artistic skills and deception. Stronger bonds with the stone can turn a merely eloquent speaker into a spellbinder, evoke hope in the depths of utter despair,  give insights into the depths of another's thoughts and feelings and radically alter other's perception of the bearer. Mechanically, they give bonuses to Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Perform, Sense Motive and Sleight of Hand skills, at higher levels they add to the bonuses from Aid actions, Distract, Inspires and Fascinate rolls, Mind-Reading, Mind-Control and Morph(increasing the DC on checks to Notice) rolls. 

 

INDIGO: The deeper blue expands perception. Bonding with an indigo stone grants eyes eagles would envy, or the skill to feel the tug and ebb of gravitons, the gift of never failing to know where anything you have touched is.  Mechanically, indigo stones can give bonuses to Notice, Search, Sense Motive, Survival, Tracking, gain access to the Blind-Fight and Uncanny Dodge Feats, add a bonus to rolls on Perception range effects 

 

VIOLET: 

 

BLACK: 

 

WHITE: 

 

 

 

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