Mirror of the Fetch

Entry in the 2007 Holy Artifacts Challenge

Within an obscenely short time after Huma had bested the Dark Queen, a plague of scavengers descended upon the battlefield where the combat had taken place. They were searching for spoils – the contents of dead men’s pockets, still serviceable weapons, perhaps even a mislaid piece of Huma’s armour (or pieces they could claim were Huma’s to sell as relics to gullible knights…)

One such scavenger, a mercenary whose identity has been lost to the ages, stumbled upon a small pool of a strange black liquid. When he reached out to touch it, it proved to be a thin layer of a shiny, solid substance, roughly oval in shape, lying in a shallow recess in the ground. It was as if some dark fluid had fallen here and, rather than seep into the dust, had been rejected by the earth and dried here in the hazy sunshine. The oval was slick and weighed almost nothing, but was somewhat flexible – and tough, as the mercenary found when it slipped out of his hands to the ground, landing unscathed. He fancied it would make a good shield, even if it was a little small, and hurried off to the nearest blacksmiths he knew.

His hopes were to be in vain, for the dwarvern smith he took it to could do nothing with the black oval – it resisted any attempt to be melted and beaten into a more regular shape, and none of the stout dwarf’s tools could even scratch its surface when he attempted to attach straps. The mercenary sighed and left empty-handed, instructing the blacksmith to throw out the useless, if strange, material. But the smith knew better…

A dark dwarf he was, a dark cleric, now falling back on his old trade as a blacksmith since the Dragonqueen’s banishment from Krynn. He recognised the oval in his hands as being of Her Dark Majesty, and knew he could make use of it in better ways than armour. Long nights followed, nights of prayer, nights of sacrifice. Nights spent before the glowing forge. When he was done, the gleaming oval sat in a latticed frame woven of gold and silver and steel. Takhisis, seething and hurt, heard his prayers, heeded his sacrifices.

Though She could not set foot on Krynn, She could still work to bend it to Her will, and the dwarf became Her agent again. She would send commands via Fetch, denizens of the Abyss appearing in the oval’s dark reflection and telepathically transmitting Her wishes to him. The process was not without risk for the dwarf, for the Fetch would habitually try to trick him into meeting their gaze, at which point his soul would be forfeit and the Fetch free to enter the world. History does not recall if one ever succeeded, but it does note that the Mirror of the Fetch (as the oval became known) had many different users over the years, several of which vanished conspicuously. The device gained notoriety as carrying tidings from the Dark Queen, and thus came to the attention of the Kingpriest’s men shortly before the Cataclysm. It was forcibly taken from a temple to Her Majesty and none have seen it since. With the end of Istar the Mirror was assumed destroyed, but some argue that given its indestructible nature it must yet be in the world. Perhaps lost, perhaps hidden, but waiting to be discovered…

Detail

The actual substance the Mirror is made from is unknown. Some have theorised it is a scale fallen from Her Dark Majesty herself during the battle with Huma. Others say it is a dried drop of Her blood, it’s moisture spurned by the soil. Whatever its origin, the result is a thin layer of a glossy black material that cannot be harmed by any substance yet found in existence. It is very light, smooth and slick to the touch yet not wet or greasy, and rather flexible. If the residents of Krynn had ever seen plastic they might make a fair comparison to that.

The Mirror is roughly oval in shape, slightly convex, standing around 60cm high and 40cm wide. In its natural state it is no more than 2mm thick, but its frame adds to that by a few millimetres. The frame is a latticework of gold, silver and steel bands that fit around the entire back of the Mirror. It’s cunning design, and the Mirrors inherent flexibility, allows the Mirror to be rolled to half its size and locked in that shape until it is needed.

When a supplicant wishes to hear the words of Takhisis they simply stand before the Mirror and wait. Should She have anything to impart a Fetch will appear and communicate with the supplicant telepathically. The Fetch will always try to gain entry into the world by making eye contact with the supplicant, at which point they drag themselves through the Mirror and usually take over the body of the supplicant. Occasionally they will try to draw the supplicant through the Mirror into the Abyss, for reasons unknown. To achieve eye contact, a favourite Fetch trick is to appear to the supplicant as a dead loved one, imploring the supplicant to free them from their Abyssal torment.

No direct contact with Takhisis was ever recorded via use of the Mirror, it was always through the medium of Fetch. Thus it is possible that another God could make use of this communication device, should they have access to those creatures of the Abyss.

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