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Friday, 12 April 2013

The Megalith


The Megalith

The Story of the Grouzhina Flood I created I retrospect of what Humans do to our  World.
We must learn that most we do will have some effect on the world. In the same retrospect I created the following about the Megalith we know as Urt or Mystara.
I read a Dragon Magazine article about Seismic Force Points, that explains how certain spells would affect the power stored underneath the crust.  (an excellent article by Jennifer Tittle Stack in Dragon Magazine 265 page 34).

Though I would not use the special Druidic class she used herein, but I instead would give the same powers/spells to Earth-Elementalists instead—especially since Earth-elementalists of mystara are affected by the very on sphere..

The point is that it could also be used in a different way. In the Almanacs we saw a sudden run on a newly discovered mineral that increased magical power but at a later moment would decrease the same (Mnemnonic mineral it was known). But this purely natural mineral would have had special effects in the world or in its vicinity to flora/fauna/ and even matter or magic. Other materials would have similar effects; (I'd mention the brilliant mineral Cloudstone  Bruce Heard created in his Blog about the Floating Islands of Ar (http://bruce-heard.blogspot.nl/2013/01/Ar01.html#more].

He also speaks that the mineral is almost depleted (at least as far known on the Outer World). In the Hollow World many floating continents exist, so apparently the same mineral can be found there more often and apparently in greater amounts.

I'd surmised why Cloudstone minerals would exist. They were most likely connected with the stearing mechanism of the Megalith that Urt/Mystara is.

How that exactly works I havent Figured out yet, but it would make it logical in a magical world.
It also explains that other Minerals with special powers, would probably have had  functions for generating/collecting energies or for distributing them. Similar to our nervous, muscular-electrical, or lymphe-knode system. It would explain a lot of the magic-interactions of Mystara.

The mining of these materials thus would greatly affect the megalith itself. I've read some articles on Pandius of the Megalith being in its sleep modus and being a hollow variant.
That does not seem logical, even in a world as magical filled as Mystara.

No creature would remain inactive with the amounts of damages done to it, as is done to Mystara; An Explosion so enormous that shifted its axis, altered poles, currents and seasons, Causing enormous upheavels  (Plateaus up like Atruaghin, and down like Taymora) , and  Gigantic worms (Burrowers, Purple worms and others, crawling through it, many creatures feeding from its crust, and so on. All this without awaking it. It would seem much more logical that the Megalith Urt/Mystara is dead (or at least Dying), and that the feasting of the corpse has begun long ago.

A Copy from the Old Immortal Set
Megalith
Sphere:                         Matter
Status:                          Empyreal
Power Points:                5000
Anti-Magic:                    75 %
Armor Class:                 -5 (core) or + 15 (mantle)
Hit Dice:                       Unknown (see below)
Move:                           Constant (see below)
Attacks:                        See below
Damage:                       See below
No. Appearing:              1
Save As:                       Empyreal 5
Morale:                         12 +
Treasure Type:              Self
Alignment:                    See Below (Habits)
XP Value:                     Not Applicable


Correct Digital Mastering of Mystara by Thorfinn Tait
Clearly revealing the shape resembling a round polyp without roots or arms.

Megaliths are the largest known life forms in the multiverse. They may be related to baaka (q.v.), but are of a greater order of magnitude, and are as yet classified as a different life form. A megalith may, at first sighting, appear to be a planetary body. In its long dormant phase, it may be indistinguishable from a planet.
The smallest known megalith is about 3000 miles in diameter; the largest, over a million. The average weight of a megalith’s form varies from 100 to 500 pounds per cubic foot. Its exact Hit Dice are unknown, and of no practical use in games, but are believed by Immortals to be about 1 per mile of the creature’s diameter.
A megalith’s body has two distinct parts. Its center, in which the life essence resides, is a warm, solid core weighing almost 20% of the total mass. This core, effectively the creature’s brain, is protected by an outer covering of mixed solid and liquid matter. This covering is called its mantle, and can withstand nearly any imaginable attack due to its sheer size.
Over long periods of time, very thin layers of earth, water, and air collect on the creature’s surface. Most transient life forms present during a megalith’s active phase confine themselves to these added layers, and rarely penetrate any large fraction of the mantle.

Abilities and Limits:

Active

In its active phase, a megalith can use all forms of Power attacks, and can create any magical effect within its Sphere by standard procedures. The range of such effects is measured from the creature’s outer edge, not the core. A megalith in dormant phase is immune to Power and magical attacks.
Megalith Strength and Constitution scores are extremely high. They vary by the creature’s size, with a minimum of 1000 (virtually incomprehensible even to Immortals). Megaliths have no Dexterity whatsoever, and are immune to direct attacks on that ability score. Mental ability scores, including Charisma, are of the usual range for Empyreals (50 to 75).
During its active phase, a megalith can communicate by gentle, subtle manipulations of the surface of its mantle. The only mortals able to understand megalith “speech” are specialists called druids, and even they do not fully understand the process or the implications. Immortal intelligence, augmented by magical aids such as telepathy, can establish two-way communication with megaliths in active phase.

Dormant

During its dormant phase, a megalith rejects all attempts at communication, and will instinctively use its mantle to defend itself or to repel irritants. Its physical attacks include great earthquakes and huge volcanic eruptions. The latter may be used to hurl large quantities of lava (molten liquid matter) to a maximum range equal to the megalith’s diameter. The combined force and heat of the lava causes an amount of damage equal to the megalith’s Hit Dice, thus instantly slaying any victim hit and utterly obliterating any object, even an artifact. An Immortal may make a Dexterity check to avoid being struck,
with bonuses or penalties based on the amount of warning indicated by the circumstances.

Resistances:

A megalith’s core has 75% A-M and is immune to direct Dexterity attacks, but has no other special defenses other than its protective mantle. Only the core life force can be attacked by Power or ability score attacks, and the process of physically reaching it can be difficult.
 
Correct Digital Mastering of Mystara by Thorfinn Tait
revealing innards (Hollow World) Mystara in correct proportions.

Habits:

The monotony of a Megalith’s life is broken by cycles. Each cycle consists of two phases, active and dormant. In the active cycle,  the megalith is fully awake and Lawful in alignment. It observes its surroundings and examines itself constantly, noting the appearance and disappearance of life forms on and within it aiding their development and defending itself. Of generally good intentions, a megalith will try to avoid unexpected movements while awake, for such can damage or destroy the life forms. The active phase lasts for 10,000- 1,000,000 years (ld100 *10,000).
Near the end of its active cycle, a megalith loses interest in its surroundings. It cools its outer parts by rotating with increasing speed, slowing only after all extraneous material (such as water, life forms, etc.) is discarded. It then withdraws its life force to some central point, finally lapsing into a dormant phase (similar to animal hibernation).
During this phase it ignores most activity within, on, and around itself, and becomes Chaotic in alignment reacting randomly and instinctively. Whether it dreams or not, who can tell.

Background:

All the known megaliths were created at the same time as the multiverse. The home planet of all PCs is a megalith, now nearing the midpoint of its active phase. The Immortals made special arrangements with this creature, who is known to them as Urt, before starting to cultivate life forms upon and within it.

Needed alterations

As seen in the Habits a megalith alterates its active and dormant phases between 10.000 and 1.000.000 years.
According to found Hollow World Boxed set  Mystara is milions of years old.
As  an active megalith cools its outer parts by rotating with increasing speed, slowing only after all extraneous material (such as water, life forms, etc.) is discarded. It then withdraws its life force to some central point, finally lapsing into a dormant phase (similar to animal hibernation).

Such an event did not happen. According to the stories of Ka the Artisan and Ordana life continued in a constant line. Some disasters did happen, but nothing was expulged from the Planet.
This concludes that; or the periods of Active/Dormancy are wrong, or –much more realistic—that the creature is no more living at all.
The activity of the planet, is just a continuated biological process slowly (very slowly  in this case) losing its energy to continue.
The noting that  Urt/Mystara was nearing its midpoint of its active phase would have been long before Ka an Ordana came to exist.
It is also known that it were not the Immortals which created life in the Prime Plane (Also canon material—although I can’t retrace it) Thus Life as we know it must come from other sources; why not the gigantic sources of life we know as megaliths, who pour their balanced  energies out over itself thus creating life as a by-process of its own existernce. It is thus these Balanced energies (probably controlled by the Megalith (or the Old Ones) that create and sustain life.
As these energies are depleting extremely slowly, it would also be more reasonable for a dead Megalith.

The Death process of a Mega-magical near-to-immortal creature like a megalith are of course unknown. But it would clarify everything. The body-processes slowing down (there have been Ice ages according to TSR sources and clearly visible facts—creatures evolutions/adaptations, surface alterations by ice), the feasting upon its remains (The worms and multitude of life living on it), the slow degradation  of its sources (the body was warmer long ago in the Dinosaur era) and the uncontrolled motion of it(hanging in a constant orbit around  the sun). All these would make sense now.
And the sole reason for this would most possibly be Thanatos, supreme Hierarch of Death of the Sphere of Entropy.
He hated  this form of life—as these beings originating from the dawn of time are nothing more than pure life itself,  with their near-infinite hit Dice as according the Old Immortal box..
The killed creature would not lose its tremendous powers immediately, but it would be dead. Caught in an orbital motion around a sun, captured in its gravitational wake.
This would also explain the two moons of Mystara , Matera and Patera; one invisible and unknown to most—but a  source of pure magical matter, the other also a dead body (and according the same information on Pandius  also Hollow.). It even would explain the Apocalypse Stone (from the same named AD&D adventure which could be used on Mystara roughly together with the Wrath of the Immortals), and

I read all and surmised the following story. Keep in Mind that even Thanatos has forgotten what and how he did this, but would be glad to know that he did this and why, he would be very unhappy for knowing that the very life-force escaping from the dying body would have been the reason of the explosion of different sentient and non-sentient forms of life of which many became Immortal in their own fashion.

The Death Of Urt

It was at an early moment in Time that the Immortals, under which were Thanatos, found that not only did the Megalth collect Matter, Water and Air, upon themselves,  but first in history it was on the bodies of Megalith where arose miniature forms of life. Like tiny flees on a body, these forms evolved rapidly due to the magic emanating from the Megalith.
Immortals soon learned themselves to create life with spells like Create Species, using the same source of balanced forms of energy (Matter, Time, Thought, Energy, and even Entropy balanced together).
This was a thorn in the eye of Thanatos, supreme Hierarch of Entropy (and probably one of the rare entities from the Era of Chaos—we are now in the Era of Order), and he took ways to try to discover their destruction. Thousands and thousands of experiments were needed. He tried to slay them by impacting them with meteors, or solar flames, expulged doses of magical powers upon it, etc. , but either they did not react at all (even when it’s surface was a wasteland), or attacked with full force.
Then he tried to alter some of the small lifeforces into gigantic forms of pests (a trick he first tried on the lifeforms themselves, which worked so well that evben in the real-world pests are the most prolific lifeform existing). The Burrowers were thus created. But even now the megalith did not react, just as many lifeforms sometimes seem unaffected by pests , the Megalith weren’t either. Their power of life was so strong that wounds restored themselves in decades or centuries. (a mere fragment of time in the existence of these creatures).
Contemplating all his actions, failures and wounds, He found a small Megalith and a Larger one. The larger one was named Urt by the Immortals, and was very large. He looked upon the two Megalits initiating a reproduction method. It was a sudden idea, when he discovered that Megaliths weren’t immune to their own powers. This was the reason they gained offspring, in a way he did not understood.
Thanatos, though Immortal, was inexperienced, and direct to act. With his Immortal power of Shaping Reality by moving celestial bodies, Thanatos grasped the  smaller Megalith and slammed it unsuspectingly into Urt. The blast was terrible, killing most life on it as was, expect the minute forms like Algea, bacteria, Some Plants and creatures like the Burrowers deep inside itself.
Free downloadable Phone Background

The smaller one bounced back and was dead in an instant, its innards spewn out in a wide spray.  Urt, however, was dying rapidly, its essence slowly pouring out of the wound (or the pole most near to it—this is unsure). 

It still succeeded to combining the essence of the smaller Megalith with some of its own, thus creating the Stone of Corbinet (see adventure the apocalypse Stone). 

This stone is in fact nothing more than an egg, which will grow into a Megalith if set out in space in millions years of time, probably feasting unknowingly upon some of the remains of its parent(s)—what creatures do to save their kind.

Soon thereafter Urt died. The last remains of its gigantic lifeforce—its brain, heart, soul combined was expulged out of its crust.
Free Downloadable PC Background
The expulsion of the softer organs of the Megalith; its brain, sensory organs and other.

Slowly this pure magical matter coalesced with the parts of the smaller megalith innards it bounced into outside the body. The magical matter combined was drawn into the gravitational orbit of the body, and gravity slowly mixed it together into a new, yet invisible, orb of magical matter. Together  with the smaller dead Megalith it follows an orbit around the body (which is later known as Mystara. Thanatos, as yet was unaware of either the Stone egg, as the invisible moon.
From Coast to Coast site about Hollow Earth

The body of the smaller Megalith became known as Matera (sometimes mentioned as the Father, and the Body of Mother Earth is named Mystara), the unknown invisible moon is named Patera by the immortals who later discover it.

The Planet  Mystara seemed dead at first, yet the immense energies it had, were still available. Although the layer of air and water decreased (it actually seeped in the Hollow World), upon the carcass the planet actually was, life literally exploded. Thousands and thousands of species arose and lived on and from it. The energies, slowly—very slowly—subsiding. This explains the multitude of lifeforms earlier in history, slowly decreasing in number over time.

The Immortals, curious as be took residence upon Matera and create the tiny plane Pandius., to view and explore the sudden experiment laid down to them.

What actually did happen, they never knew. Some outside force (The Old Ones?) erased the memory of all immortals who knew it. Thus even erasing their own histories.

Some Immortals (and recently even a very few Mortals) discovered the Great Crater in Norwold. Within the middle the metallic ore remnants of another source. They imagined all that it must have been a comet, or meteor, yet bigger than ever before. Soon thereafter Ka discovered the Hollow World while examining the wound itself. He forgot what he actually researched and placed all its interest in this new location.

Then the Interstellar Craft FSS Beagle crashlanded on Mystara, disabled by the very life-energies it still emanates. The humans soon discovered the technology and somehow fused it together in a technological/magical combination (Techno-magic). This caused the explosive rise of this culture, but it did not last long. An engine of the vessel exploded after some wrongly handling and within its blast it literally wiped the Blackmoor culture from the face of Mystara.
In the wake of Destruction, the Planet tilted, poles changed and the original openings (which were the megalith’s sensory organs)  became visible.
The Immortal closed them up with debris collected from outside Mystara, and from the new polar gates they created instead. This they did to prevent depletion of sources like air and water. As they had discovered that the patterns of Air and Water still influenced eachother with the changing seasons.
from
http://blackmoormystara.blogspot.nl/2012/04/wotc-to-kill-princess-ark.html

by Robert J Schwalb?

Currently Mortals and immortal alike survey Mystara, and even beyond. Patera and Matera are visited (though the common public knows still only one moon), and matrial from extraterrestrial origin is discovered. 

The knowledge of other planets becomes more widely soread, and even extra-terrestial interactions have been made. All these confirm the rumors that Mystara is something way different than a common hunk of matter balanced in an orbit around a sun. 

What this difference is, Only immortals know so far. Maybe in time, the dreaded disaster will become known; 

maybe…

maybe then, the common people will come to understand that the world they live on is not an infinite source of whatever, and maybe… 
yes maybe they will grant it more respect. 

This in the Real World as in this Game World.
All actions have reactions, not all are wanted, so balance or stop those actions causing them.
Continued inhttp://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/2013/04/the-megalith-part-2-lesson-by-mergrath.html

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