Journal Entry: Crystals and Mutations

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Ancient legend says that the god of darkness Cor-Dius’ bears an old grudge against the god of light Hel-Lustra. Some believe that this hate is so strong that it oozes forth from the earth and takes on physical form as mana crystals.

Such tales are nothing but silly superstition of course, but this one does perhaps accurately portray how dangerous and vile mana crystals can be. They are the scourge of human civilization all across the world. No matter where you travel you cannot escape the lingering threat of these deadly formations.

The most common type of crystal is rarely even identified as such. It is a black oily looking growth that is usually mistaken for rock, hence it’s name Blackstone. Luckily, this basic form of mana is inert and has no magical effects; it simply grows and spreads deep within the dark corners of the earth.

As it expands, Blackstone consumes the dirt and rock around itself to create long twisting tunnels. Eventually, Blackstone growths will run their course and old crystal formations will dissolve, leaving nothing but rock behind. This is how significant portions of the Dark Paths were probably created.

Unfortunately, that is not all Blackstone does. As it expands the crystals will occasionally consume something that causes what is commonly known as a mana stone to form. These crystals are bright and occasionally even glow, which makes them hard to miss. They come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, but the important part is the magic that lies within them.

Every mana stone has a unique magical effect that a mage can produce by using their mage gift to burn the crystal. While many are useless or even dangerous to users, some are extremely powerful and useful.

These stone are the foundation of a mage’s power, and all the stones created by the guilds are copies or offshoots of naturally formed mana crystals. This makes such stones incredibly valuable to mages, and thus treasures of great value. Many a life has been lost searching for such stones.

The Dark Paths are of course extremely dangerous themselves, but crystal formations make them even more deadly. For once you have Blackstone and mana crystals forming you will also start to see mutation.

Exposure to mana crystals sometimes causes the crystals to take root within living things. The process transforms an animal and creates a mutant. Such creatures are not only unnaturally strong, large, and swift, but the mana within them can actually imbue them with magical powers.

These horrors are the stuff of nightmares, and a plague upon all human civilization. As crystal caves grow they can breach the surface, and deposit their vile contents upon it. Thus, what was once considered safe civilized land can suddenly become wild and dangerous, as mutant abominations run wild across it.

Stories abound of such beasts, such as those of hard working farmers being slain by rats the size of dogs that can pass through walls or drive men mad with their whispers. Only, by removing the mana stones and sealing the tunnel can the nearby lands be made safe again.

Some of the creatures that dwell within crystal caves have no obvious earthly origin, but instead seemed formed completely of the crystals themselves. Slimes are the best known of these, but rumors persist of hulking creatures made of Blackstone that dwell within the deepest parts of crystal caves.

The magic derived from crystal caves is useful, but personally I do not believe it makes up for the threat such formations pose to humanity. They are just far too dangerous and unpredictable; you never know where one will appear, or what will crawl out of it.

Monsters of legend such as the Breshura Cyclops or the Wurm of Terringale were probably mutants as well, and the stories passed down about these monsters puts those of any modern mutant to shame. These creatures leveled cities and cast down empires. One day, I fear that something truly horrendous will again be born within the depths of these horrid places, and then all of humanity will weep and know the face of fear.

-Farstidiuous Der Lanmount, Royal Gervaien Surveyor.



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18 Comments
  • Torn
    April 1, 2016

    April fools! Crystals actually only ever spew forth sunshine and rainbows, and neeeeeever bring forth anything horrific. Nope. 🙂

    • ClearMadness
      April 1, 2016

      How did you know? 🙂

  • stephen
    April 1, 2016

    Thanks again for another chapter. I will vote each time you post one.

  • Dragrath
    April 2, 2016

    Assuming this isn’t an April fools joke(As it was posted on April 1st I’m naturally suspicious about these things…) Then based on this description I get the feeling that the crystals are actually microorganisms. If so then the formation of those deep caverns could very well be the processing of rock by whatever organism the crystals really are with the remainder either being converted into a different state of matter as run off. Slimes or even mutants could simply be a different phase of its lifecycle similar to how some amoebozoans alternate between solitary feeding phases and gregarious reproductive phases. Well that is what I speculate considering you have rules behind the superstitions that are held in lore. If they are rock eating organisms that are probably chemosynthetic they could easily fulfill the other aforementioned roles a mutant raging destruction would after all be a great way to spread itself over large distances…

  • Mr. B_S
    April 3, 2016

    the stories passed own
    the stories passed down
    Sry if posting about such a minor typo annoies you, just wanna keep something this high quality free of such cheap mistakes ^^ B_S

    • ClearMadness
      April 3, 2016

      No, it’s fine. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • vincent
    April 7, 2016

    I wonder how vessels and mages fit into this.

  • Fishy
    August 9, 2016

    I would like another summary about sloshers/vessels though, like how the elixirs work in them or how the residues will affect them. I only get bits and pieces of the information part of it in main stories or from comments. It is better to finally make a summary to piece all these pieces together.
    or you can make another more detailed documentary of the slimes too.

    • ClearMadness
      August 13, 2016

      That wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  • Life
    August 9, 2016

    How about a documentary related to ogres and trolls?

    • ClearMadness
      August 13, 2016

      Both of them? They’re not really related. 😉

  • GuesssWho
    September 23, 2016

    Are there ever human(oid) mutants?

    • ClearMadness
      September 24, 2016

      Yes, but the details are a secret. 😉

    • Zëno
      December 22, 2016

      That would be me

  • Shance
    October 12, 2016

    If you are doing another journal entry,I vote for vessels/sloshers. I would really like to know how that works on them, why some are compatible, and some end up addicts.

  • Warren Peace
    February 22, 2017

    Typo: Only, <—-(remove comma)by removing the mana stones and sealing the tunnel can the nearby lands be made safe again.

  • Artemis Optimus Maximus
    June 3, 2018

    ~Is it possible that the gods are simply primordial mutants that have had so many milenia to grow and strengthen they became godly?~

    ~Therefor would it be possible for a creature to, through the rapid absorption of crystals, ascend to god-hood?~

    ~Is that what blackmails destiny is?~

    • Artemis Optimus Maximus
      June 4, 2018

      ~Also if hel-lustra hates cor-dius wouldn’t sir masnin have attacked the bandits as, “most of the band worships cor-dius”-a goblins tale pg 153~

      ~does this also mean Cor-Dius is the god of ghouls or does hel-lustra just have a lot of enemies?~

      ~speaking of gods is there a single religion, with different people praying to each god. Or are there multiple co existing religions?~

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