The greatest single accomplishment of mankind in the history of Khoras is that of a single spell which was conceived, arranged and executed by the will of a single man. This spell was called the Focusing and that man was Alrem Evarel.
For a detailed look at the historical events leading up to the Focusing, refer to History and specifically, the Age of Dreams.
Alrem Evarel was a genius, visionary thinker and a member of the Alliance (a powerful guild of mages) that held great power in imperial politics. Early in his career, he discovered that the sun of Khoras was outputting a type of raw magical energy along with light, heat and radiation. He also discovered that this raw magical energy was interfering with the flow of normal magic. This magical "static" he called dark essence. He conceived a grand scheme - a cooperative spell combining the magical skills of dozens, if not hundreds, of Alliance Mage Lords. This spell would convert this magical static, this dark essence, into useable energy - an unlimited fuel source for the Alliance to power their spells.
It was decided that the Focusing would be conducted far from the imperial capital and this was not without reason. In the border lands between the empire and Traxx there existed a large valley and region of hills known as Baen. The valley of Baen was dotted with numerous villages and near its center a town called North Aden. The town of North Aden was chosen as the site of the Focusing because of a small methkari mining operation which operated just outside of the town. The area was rich with concentrated deposits of methkari crystal. Alliance mages searched the area and found one particularly large concentration of ultra-pure methkari. The miners were ordered to clear away the rock exposing a single block of methkari weighing over 500 tons. This single massive crystal was a geological marvel. This crystal, which came to be known as the Core Crystal, would be the focusing element of the spell and would channel the cosmic energies involved.
|The image above shows the Assembly Hall with the Core Crystal at the center. The Assembly Hall featured a library, an observation platform, a tiered observation area and numerous alcoves around the room from which wizards could work their magic upon the crystal. The image above shows energy streams flowing into the crystal from four of these alcoves. The number of occupied alcoves would vary depending on the needs of the spell that day. Click on the image for a larger view.|
Rather than go to the expense and trouble of trying to move the 500 ton crystal, Alrem decided to hold the Focusing around the crystal itself. He rather liked the beautiful valley and the seclusion away from imperial politics. He thought it would afford the Alliance the privacy they needed to work. A large castle was constructed with the Core Crystal at its very center. This great hall, called the Assembly Hall, was constructed specifically for the casting of this one spell and it was here that the mages came together for their work. The Hall, the research and the training were all completed in the year 460 TIC.
The actual process of the Focusing involved forcing the dark essence into an alternate dimension. Numerous mage lords would position themselves in the alcoves and participate in a cooperative spell. The Core Crystal served as an amplifier and capacitor to channel magnify and store the magical energy. The spell energy was released from the Core Crystal each day when the sun reached its zenith. The energy was directed toward the sun, regardless of its position, by a lens mechanism in the roof opening. Each day, another portion of dark essence in the sun was shifted dimensionally.
Granted, this description is vague. Very few Mage Lords were able to grasp the complexities of Alrem's theories and almost all technical writings on the subject were destroyed when the Sundering occurred. All writings, notes and magical research at North Aden was destroyed along with the Assembly Hall. What little is known of the Focusing has been pieced together from writings that were stored elsewhere in the world.
The Assembly Hall was a gargantuan building designed with octagonal architecture built around the Core Crystal. A great opening in the roof is equipped with a complicated lens mechanism for redirecting magical energy.
The Assembly Hall was home to about 250 Mage Lords at the time of the Sundering, although the exact number varied from week to week during the years leading up to the Sundering. In addition, a population of almost 600 servants, slaves, laborers, apprentices, craftsmen and nobles served the Mage Lords. Within its walls it housed a great library, several laboratories and magical research chambers, an apothecary, a hospice, a tournament hall, a feasting hall, a dance hall, a market, several gardens, eleven pools, an aviary and more. It was much more than research center - it was a home and self contained city.
Because the Assembly Hall was built on top of a mining operation, the Alliance was able to take advantage of several dozen pre-existing mining shafts. These were built upon and expanded which resulted in a number of large, underground levels to the Assembly Hall. These underground levels were used mostly for storage.
The Assembly hall was home to over 200 Mage Lords, but only about a few were "active" (actually engaged in the spell casting process) at any one time. The Mage Lords worked in teams and alternated between on-duty and off. Each team of Mage Lords, when they were on duty, would show up at the great central courtyard with a dozen or so servants in tow, take up their positions in the alcoves, and begin casting their portion of the spell. Most of these mages generated energy for the dimensional shift. Others monitored the energies within the Core.
Once each day, when the sun reached its zenith, the Master of the Core (sometimes Alrem, sometimes another high ranking Mage Lord), would conduct the Zenith Ceremony - the releasing the energies stored in the Core and send the mutatetric waves toward the sun. Once all energies were released, the Master of Ceremonies would leave and the Mage Lords would end a "shift". Throughout the rest of the day and the evening, other Mage Lords would fill the Core with energies for the next day's Zenith Ceremony.
When the Sundering occured and the shock wave leveled North Aden and the Valley of Baen, the Core was shattered into thousands of pieces. Many of these shards vaporized at ground zero. Others were catapulted into the atmosphere only to land hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Because of the tremendous energies involved, these shards were imbued with the most powerful magic. Those shards that have been uncovered over the years still possess great energy and are called Sunder Shards. Sunder shards are exceptionally rare and powerful. Over the centuries, only fifty three shards have thus far been recovered, but scholars suspect that several hundred may exist around the world, waiting to be found.
This website was last updated April 12, 2020. Copyright 1990-2020 David M. Roomes.