MerricB writes "Tales of the fallen Suloise Empire have fascinated children and scholars for generations. Bardic tradition keeps the stories alive, if not unchanged. Human nature being what it is, embellishment is a way of life for the story-teller. Here is another of Cirrem the Dreamer-Minstrel's tales of the days before the Rain of Colourless Fire.
The Rainbow Portal
By: MerricB (email@example.com)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
They called him the Artificer. He had no peer when it came to the construction of magical artefacts, and the Emperor of All Suloise knew it.
There came a day when the Emperor was caught in a sudden downpour whilst in the migration between the Summer and Winter Palaces. The heavy downpour drenched the royal party, and the favoured concubine of the Emperor caught ill and died shortly thereafter.
Furious, the Emperor summoned the court wizards before them, and commanded them to create a device that would allow him to travel between the Summer and Winter Palaces without being exposed to the weather.
The lesser wizards banded together and presented the Emperor with gifts of ioun stones and cubes of force, which were rejected when it became obvious that they would not protect the entire of the royal party.
The Artificer then arrived at the court and announced his solution. It fired the imagination of the Emperor and his court, and the order to begin construction was given - regardless of the expense.
And so the Rainbow Portal was created. In truth, it was just a large room in each of the two palaces, into which a control pedestal was placed. When the seven Rainbow Gems were set into position in the pedestal and the proper incantation given, all in the room would be transported into the matching room in the other palace.
It was one of the Artificer's apprentices who modified the Rainbow Portal so that it could transport people, creatures and objects to other destinations, and added a device to the pedestal that allowed its activation by the merely mundane rather than just wizards - though the Rainbow Gems were still required.
Other lesser variations of the Rainbow Portal were said to be created at scattered locations across the Empire and the continent of Oerik, but this final building project was in the final decades before the destruction of the Empire, so any reports of them are sketchy at best.
Of the fate of the original two Rainbow Portals, little is known. It is said that they lies buried under the ash of the Sea of Dust, though their gems were plundered and broken up centuries ago. Their lesser copies may still also exist, though unreliable at best - if they work at all.
The most important of the tales of the Rainbow Portal states that the Emperor once commanded it to bring him before the gods themselves. The gods were gracious towards the Emperor and the gifts he brought them, and gave him the divine right to the lands to the north - the lands of the Baklunish. Of this was the war created.
Sages may disagree with this telling, but I had it from my master, and he from his, and so on unto the days of the Suloise Empire, and as our first bard saw it, who can doubt his telling?