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Against the Shadow  |  Runes of Power  |  The Wanderer's Gift
The Wanderer's Gift
The Wanderer's Gift

    Four figures struggle against the fierce winter wind that drives the sleet like daggers into their skin. Three are huge forms, draped in furs; the last is much smaller and far slighter than the others but obviously leads the group.
    The largest of the figures screams to be heard over the wind, “Leastian, we’ve got to get out of this wind. Where is the shelter you promised?”
    The slight figure turns, its pale white face almost expressionless. “Not far my friends, the wanderer’s gift is just ahead, in the trees.”
    Through the sleet, a towering stand of ancient pines cling to the hillside, seemingly bound together to protect them from the howling wind. Within moments, the four figures slip through the branches and enter a space between the trees that is mercifully free of the wind. The area is covered in pine needles. In the very center of the small clearing is a large rock inscribed with the flowing characters of the elven language.
    The pale elf walks around the rock examining the various symbols. With a slight smile, he locates the one he seeks, places his hand on it and whispers a short pray to Xione, Mistress of the Coldest Wood. The chill air is suddenly warm. Smiling the pale elf turns toward his three Dornish companions, “the wanderer has given us the gift of warmth. We can rest comfortably and well until morning, the heat should last that long.”

    The wanderers’ gift is a rune inscribed stone that was once common through the northlands, but now, sadly, is rarely found outside the Veradeen. The wanderer’s gift, when activated, provides warmth in a 30-foot radius for 10-20 hours. The rock (or other rune inscribed object) does not change temperature. Most wanderers’ gifts store from 1-4 charges before they cease to function. The Erunsil highly value the wanderer’s gifts and will restore its energy (6 points of spell power) before departing.
    The stones were created by the Erunsil to provide shelter for their patrols in areas where there were no villages or other places of refuge. In the Second Age, the Dorns were given the secret of the rune and used it to support hunters and herders. When the Shadow’s armies crushed the Dorn, many of the rocks were destroyed or had their power drained. In isolated areas of the north, if you know where to look, there are still wanderers’ gifts waiting to warm a tired and cold traveler.

Author: Kane

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