Tuesday 23 August 2022

The Magic Mirror of Machodor

 


-- From the notes of Macho Mandalf

It was early on, when the walls of Minas Mandalf had scarcely dried, that a force of Dervish arrived to join forces with me. This in itself was not unusual, but their Leader Agamanon (Level 12 Cleric) had with him an item I had never heard of, one that would transform the nature of life in Machodor. The name of this magic item was the Mirror of Mental Prowess.

DMG 1e Magic Item description

AD&D 2nd Edition version of the Mirror


Before coming into possession of this mirror, messages travelling via Pegasus Express was the main method of communication, and required about 24 hours to go from one end of Machodor to the other. Now, messages could travel in real time. But not just messages; troops, materials, and most of all, Adventurers could now be deployed where and when they were needed.

The Adventurers believe I facilitate this for their benefit, which is partly true, but more often than not their efforts are directed towards the good of the realm.

Initially, I allowed Adventurers to simply enter the facility via the keep itself, but now I have them transported into the facility via a special room built for this purpose in the Adventurers Aid Society Octagon in the outer section of the city of Minas Mandalf.

Transporting large groups


King Valentine

I could even use this wonder mirror to make contact with my home reality; W.W.Earth. When I did so I contacted my old friend King Valentine of the Broldor Elves. He was experiencing great difficulties and welcomed the chance to bring his whole clan over to my new world.

I soon realised that this mirror was so important it required the highest levels of security. Therefore, I constructed a facility for this purpose deep under the Keep of Minas Mandalf . 

Original Design for Mirror Facility (now obsolete)

Striking at evil from afar


Once I had this power I felt compelled to use it against the forces of evil, but this is not always so easy as it sounds;

I focused on the mirror. "Show me Emlyn!" The surface swirls like stirred mercury. Mystical sparks crackle from the instrument's frame. The opaque surface moves to the edges as if it were alive to reveal -- nothing. All in the mirror is pitch blackness. All can be heard is a slow dripping and quiet lapping of waves. Then a brightness appears. A ball of flame lights a brazier to reveal a barge floating on a sunless sea. On the barge is an altar and a throne. Ghouls writhe around the base of the altar. Sitting on the throne is Emlyn, dressed in gold and white robes. In her arms she cradles a new born infant. Tied to the altar is a pregnant woman. She stands and lovingly raises the infant to her teeth. And feeds. On the altar the pregnant woman struggles and screams then she's paralyzed with fear as Emlyn approaches. A nail caresses the pregnant woman's neck. Then Emlyn looks up. "It's a peeping Tom I see. We've been waiting for you."


Only the final line of defence in the above set up prevented complete disaster when I tried to destroy an enemy of Machodor, the Penanggalen Emlyn. After this incident I rebuilt the Mirror room. The plans for the current layout exist only in my mind, so they cannot not to fall into the wrong hands.

Retrieval of lost items


There are certain magic items which, once used, disappear; only to reappear in some other location, perhaps even on another plane of existence. The Mirror has even been used to track and retrieve such items;

Machodor Psicorps Logs; Initiation of Cohn Jarter, Lawful Good Fighter level 3

The surface of the mirror changes and swirls, then finally you can see what looks like an icy cavern. Light is coming into the cavern from above, illuminating a number of items piled on white skins and furs, on top of which is a small box the size of deck of cards.

Okay so Cohn Jarter steps through the portal

As you step through you can feel your body being transported in some way, and then you find yourself in the very cold cavern. The process seemed to take longer than normal.

I move forward and attempt to find the deck

Once inside the cave, your eyes adjust and you can see a lot better what is in there. The walls are white and icy, but there is enough light to see. You carefully note the exact location where you are standing, knowing that you must find it again to return to Minas Mandalf. Ahead of you, the deck sits upon a pile of treasure; coins, gems, and jewellery can be seen as well as a potion flask and a scroll. As you move you notice 3 huge creatures standing around the treasure pile, clearly they are guarding it. They are 8' tall, look like shaggy white apes, you realise that previously they had been perfectly camouflaged against the backdrop of the icy cavern. As you watch they sniff the air around them, but take no action.

Okay so I'm going to creep, slowly and quietly, up to place where the deck is sat, and do the Indiana Jones thing with the false deck. I touch NOTHING but the deck itself, not even the surface it lies on.

Ok you expertly swap the deck out and the shaggy white creatures have no clue. That was so easy, you wonder if you could grab something else...

No I do not. I steal the deck, AND ONLY THE DECK, and creep back over to the portal to Minas Mandalf 


Conclusion


The Magic Mirror is now the back bone of rapid transport for Machodor, enabling routine travel to St. Therese in the 5 Cities area, the Flying Castle occupied by the Broldor Elves and their Cloud Giant allies, and the new island in the seas far to the south east. But, it has limitations; it does not work for the island of Bombrazillo beyond the peninsula, or areas specifically warded against scrying (as per Crystal Balls & Scrying DMG pg.119 --CJM.). Also, although it can facilitate two-way communications, there is no way to activate the Mirror from a remote location without first using some other means to attract the attention of its attendants. I have, therefore, made a high priority the recruitment of Psionic individuals with appropriate abilities to the Pegasus Scout Regiment.

Even now, the opportunity exists to smite evil, once again using the Magic Mirror to reach out and do so.

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