Arios the Dancing Stone
Date: Sun, February 09, 2003
Topic: Beyond the Flanaess
The astronomers of Greyhawk have long ago established that most objects in space such as comets, have a particular pattern to their movement, but not Arios. What or who is Arios? Why and how does it spin thru the interstellar sea in seemingly random directions? Read on.
Arios the Dancing Stone
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Arios was once, long ago, an overly-ambitious human wizard who desperately wanted to sail the interstellar sea. He dreamed of visiting other stars and worlds and learning the wealth of knowledge that was sure to be found there. Yet at the time, the gods wanted to limit humans to Oerth, because it wasn't their time to travel the stars yet.
Arios was a very respectable wizard and was sought after for his amazing magics of flight, thus gaining council with high priests, kings, and Archwizards was no big problem for him. He asked them everything they knew about the stars, yet everyone he asked told him the same thing, "The gods have decreed that humans are not to travel the stars." But Arios would not accept this. He spent years researching magics that would be capable of piercing the sky and taking him beyond, yet he found nothing!
As old age began to approach, Arios became more and more depressed. Just as he was about to quit though, he heard of a group of gnomish researchers who belived to be close to finishing a projectile that could go to space. Arios funded the gnomes, and in turn, was to pilot the projectile.
When the projectile was finally finished, Arios was brought before it and was stunned! It was a giant crossbow!! As big as a mountain! He began to turn back but decided to go forth with it because he had devoted so much to it and it would probably be his last chance to fullfil his dream.
He got inside and the gnomes bid him farewell as they fired the massive contraption. Arios hung on for his life as the giant projectile flew. He soared and soared higher than ever before! He was almost out of Oerth's reach!.... And then he impacted upon the crystal shell that had been placed around oerth by the gods. The ensuing explosion was so great that the whole world felt it! Arios's dying form tumbled downwards to oblivion. But this explosion had caught the attention of the gods and the gods took pity upon Arios. They rewarded his lifelong pursuit by transforming him into a perfectly smooth red stone, and they flung him into outer space where he could move at will for the rest of eternity. Arios's dream was fulfiled and he was forever grateful.
He can still be seen today when he visits Oerth every few years and remembers those gnomes that helped him. And so, Arios shall dance umong the stars, forever.
SpellJammer, Crystal Sphere, Astronomy