As you’re making your way through the ruins of Ash-Kaaranel, Amon feels a momentary burst of magic and the slightly distorted, wavering image of an obviously concentrating Obi stands before you all. His brows wrinkled and the rings on his fingers sparking madly, he stares intently at you before he speaks.
“My friends!” His voice sounds like it’s coming from a loooong way off and sometimes is difficult to make out. “This is costing me a great deal of effort, so I cannot entertain questions. I will try to be brief, though there is quite a bit to tell you.”
The image wavers and flickers as Obi begins to pace, his tone taking on a lecturing note. “As you know, the question of why the Pillars of Creation are necessary has been a conundrum that we have yet to unravel. As you have, against all odds, successfully been collecting these Pillars, that question looms ever larger on all our minds. My attempts to discuss the problem with the Court Wizard have been met with stony silence. My suspicions here, are of course, raised rather high. Who knows what kind of dark magics the Lich Lords can bring to bear on even one of the most powerful wizards in the Empire?” Obi chuckles a little disparagingly at that and continues. “In any case, there are a number of explanations that are just as likely for why the Court Wizard has refused to answer my inquiries. But know that the possibility of treachery is one that I entertain and a possibility that you all should keep in the forefront of your minds as you near the completion of your quest.
“Friends, I don’t really know what you’re doing right now or why. Frankly, I trust you enough to believe that you are doing something that is of vital importance or you would not have detoured on our quest. Though I do not have a definitive answer from the Court Wizard, I have been able to study the Rings of the Masters for a sufficient time period to allow me to start entertaining some theorems as to the Pillars’ eventual use. I will try to be brief as the strain of this sending is beginning to wear on me.
“As you know, the Pillars are wonders created by the civilizations that came long before us. These civilizations were masters of arcane craftsmanship that far exceed our own in certain ways, though my studies have revealed that they remained blind to fairly obvious etheric provinces that have been thoroughly developed in today’s society. The Pillars’ creation was completed during the Lich Wars by combining our predecessors’ ancient arts with the sophisticated magic developed in our own age to create wonders that would allow us to break the death grip the liches had on our own society.
“My research has uncovered some of the individual purposes for the Pillars that I will share with you now. The Rings were created as a method to scry and gain intelligence on enemy movement. My research has led me to believe that, when they were created, they were even more powerful than they are now–and believe me, they are some of the most powerful Divination aids I have yet witnessed. The Sword was created as a weapon of ultimate combat against the Lich Lords. It would allow the wielder to become nigh invulnerable and wield the power of the ancients. It seems that, when it was created, its power was far more potent than it may be today. It made the wielder himself a weapon, with nearly limitless potential. The Chalice was created as a defense mechanism; an attempt to repel the undead that worked spectacularly, but was too late to help much in the actual war. My research leads me to believe that its defenses were far more potent when it was created as well. I think you are beginning to see a rather disturbing trend here. Finally, the Hammer of Creation was designed to support the Empire in a wartime economy. It could create nearly anything using simple materials. As a specialist in the Transmutation school of magic, the Hammer has piqued my interest more than any of the other Pillars. It is written that the Hammer also once made hordes of automatons that were used as front-line troops as our own armies’ populations were so drastically destroyed by the advancing undead foe that we were practically at the mercy of the Lich Lords.
“So knowing the purpose of the individual artifacts helps us to know a little more about what they may be used for in our current struggles. My studies of the Rings has been most fruitful in leading me to–I believe–solid conjectures about the natures of the other Pillars. Each relic covers a different facet of war. The Rings were for intelligence, the Sword was for attack, the Chalice for defence, and the Hammer for support. I believe that, combined, the Pillars might be used in some sort of magical ritual that might create the ultimate war machine. Something that would be unbeatable by our current standards of warfare. This avatar of war would be the champion of the Empire and thereby crush the Lich Lords once and for all.”
Obi pauses a moment to close his eyes and take several deep breaths. “My apologies, friends, I am afraid I am nearly at the limit of my ability to maintain this spell. I must be even more brief then. In short, I believe the Empire wants to create the unbeatable warrior. The ultimate avatar of war to go against the terrible magic of undeath that has been unleashed by the Lich Lords. I do not know how long such an avatar might last–especially given the evidence we have seen that the Pillars themselves are not what they once were in terms of power. But such an undertaking would, I’m sure, defeat the Lich Lords. However, the real question then becomes, what will the Empire do with such a weapon once the Lich Lords have been finally defeated? Can we even hope to control such a thing? At the moment, these are all merely hypotheses, subject to change. But I fear I am right and I fear that we have no other options. Keep what I have said in mind as you continue on your quest, my friends. I will continue to research the Pillars to solidify my hypothesis. But be wary!”
Obi’s image wavers wildly, then fades away.