Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chapter 7 - Apple

It was a little-known fact that the Golden Apple of Eris was neither an apple nor truly golden. In truth, the Apple could easily be said to be the physical embodiment of desire, as its form was completely malleable, and the Apple became what each viewer most craved in the world. As such, the Apple was one of the perfect mediums for creating conflict and discord, the desires of sentient beings being powerful enough to override their own common sense. Throw the Apple into a room, and soon each and every creature who viewed the apple would be battling to possess it.

If only for that one aspect of the Apple, it would perhaps be the most feared artifact in all the world. But in other hands, such as the hands of a skilled xotimancer who was high in the favor of the forces of Chaos, the Apple became a much more fearsome object. Such a person could, at will, force the Apple to become just about any object the person could imagine, whether that item was a sword of unearthly craftsmanship, a beautiful garment, or some other thing. The real power of the Apple in such hands, though, lay in its ability to impart its aura of desirability upon the xotimancer wielding it. Such a person, in possession of the Apple, would find their personal magnetism and their abilities to manipulate the hearts and minds of anyone around them increase beyond imagining. Such a possessor of the Apple could easily become the most favored advisor of a king, the leader of a revolution, or even the goddess of their own religion.

Of course, the Apple could not entirely influence the hearts and minds of all people, and those who were high enough in the favor of order could often see through the glamors of the Apple, as their minds were often too clouded by the desire for perfect order. The Justicars, in particular, were fanatical enough in their devotion to Tyr to be nearly immune to the effects of the Apple, and they had been able to capture the ancient and fearsome artifact from one of its owners, a small-time conman who used the Apple to seduce and murder his victims. But the Justicars could not quickly find a way to destroy the Apple, and so they kept it in their Ivory Tower, researching ways to destroy the implement of Chaos once and for all.

Porphyria caressed the artifact in her hands, entranced by its potential. To her, the Apple showed its true form -- the potential for unbridled power, and Porphyria knew in her heart that that was the thing which she truly craved most of all.

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