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Friday, January 29, 2010

Voice of the Elements

This unusual artifact is a massive abstract oil painting, four feet wide and six high, framed with a flat and narrow, black-lacquer frame.The frame and canvas weigh a good 150 lbs, making it quite difficult to carry or move. The painting itself goes through a startling transformation every night at midnight, shifting from one image to another in the blink of an eye. One of four images will be shown at any time and the order of their appearance is completely random, though images will never repeat themselves day to day. The four images are:
  • Earth - A mass of overlapping, translucent squares and cubes, rendered in various flat shades of ochre and umber. Various areas of the painting seem to gain or lose intensity as one studies it. There is a subtle grainy texture to the entire piece, as if it were painted on sand.
  • Air - A simple circle of pale blue rendered on a silky white background. A pale glow seems to radiate from the center of this piece, though no light can be seen in a darkened room.
  • Fire - Angry red triangles seem to dance across this image, competing with the intense orange and yellow hues that are woven into the background.
  • Water - A study in blue gradients, this piece depicts soft horizontal strips of blue in a more or less light to dark, top to bottom arrangement. Various strips seem to shift from side to side as one studies the piece.
The painting radiates Legendary divination magic and Epic alteration magic. Discovering the exact nature of the item's enchantment is a Superb test of divination magic.

Each of the four scenes depicted connects to the named elemental plane, providing a conduit to a potent elemental lord. Once per day the painting's owner may ask a question and receive an answer via this link. Note that the elemental lord will be compelled to answer, but answers can be as obscure. Repeated use of this item will earn the ire of the elemental lord in question, which may have dire consequences should a direct confrontation occur.
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