Monday, February 7, 2011

Isle Imperium: The Early Shards

A more advanced version of the Ossis
shard -- the Essential Savant of
Bone (Ossis Potior Excelsis)
Shards are (usually) finger-sized stones with a semi-crystalline shape, with a light to heavy pattern of silvery metal veins that criss-cross the smooth surface (and probably the interior) of the artifact. They confer abilities, costumes, and a subtle personality shift to those bearing them.

The first batch of shards that our group bore were:
  • Ossis Potior (Bone Collector) -- taxonomy: cleric
  • Proeliator Lamniar (Blade Bravo) -- taxonomy: warrior
  • Umbra Beatus (Saint of Shadows) -- taxonomy: rogue
  • Sanomagus (White Mage) -- taxonomy: cleric
  • Aduromagus (Fire Mage) -- taxonomy: wizard
  • Tripudior Tempestas (Storm Talon) -- taxonomy: dragoon
  • Cepi Monstrum (Blue Mage) -- taxonomy: acquisitor
... even here some contradictions and hints about the nature of naming and taxonomies could be seen. Why was something called White Mage, and yet given the taxonomy of cleric? Why was something called Blue Mage when it lacked the -magus suffix that the other two mage shards enjoyed?

At the time, we didn't exactly know how these things were named and classified -- their meanings came to us as a vague understanding, already distorted by several layers of misinformation. But it was often useful to keep track of these contradictions, as our GM was fond of hinting at future complications that would bedevil us.

The next batch of shards that we came across were:
  • Vitualamen Ex Vesperis (Paladin of the Lost Hour) -- taxonomy: knight
  • Specialis Vesica (Hexrazor) -- taxonomy: artificer
  • Silvamanus (Thornthumb) -- taxonomy: forester
  • Pandus Phantasmis (Phantom Archer) -- taxonomy: warrior
  • Mitis Scientia (Gentle Chemist) -- taxonomy: chemist
  • Concinnarium Vigilo (Harmonic Warder) -- taxonomy: aggregator
  • Nuncio Caecus (Cyclopean Nuncio) -- taxonomy: summoner
Our D&D / RPG class awareness was stunned at this point, because the implied complexity of taxonomies was formidable, and we wondered how consistent or accurate taxonomies were.

Of course, in addition to these mysteries, we were struggling to survive -- so these types of thoughts were pushed back as we struggled to find out what these damned things did. Ossis Potior gave my character useful abilities against the undead, Silvamanus granted Catalina a very useful ability: "avoid pitfall", Sanomagus was our go-to shard for healing anything, and both Ossis Potior and Pandus Phantasmis helped me greatly later on in the campaign in avoiding certain death many times.

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