Telling Stones

By Nick Kristof.

Telling stones are typically considered a "minor" item in that, in ages past, they were an extremely common form of communication between two people. They are not nearly as common in the present, but they are well known in myth and legend and are common in some isolated areas around the Sea.

At its most basic, a Telling Stone is a small item, typically a stone or gem, upon which is "recorded" a message. An individual who wants to send a message will obtain a stone, usually already enchanted, and conduct a Ritual of Preparation. This ritual attunes the stone to the sender and also allows the sender to "address" to stone to a specific person or not, as he sees fit. For stones that are not specifically addressed, anyone can activate them to receive the message. For those addressed, only the person to whom it is addressed can activate it; however, in some cases, powerful magics can be performed to steal a message. Once a stone is attuned to a specific sender, he can keep it in his possession for an unlimited time until ready to record the message. Once ready to record the message, the sender performs a Ritual of Telling. As soon as the ritual is complete, the sender will speak, sign, or act his message. The stone will record the sender visually and aurally, including all possessions with which the sender is in contact. Once the message is recorded, the magic is sealed in the stone until the Ritual of Listening is conducted by the receiver. This Ritual involves activating the stone by alternately grasping it firmly in the receiver's hand, placing it in his mouth, or sometimes even completely swallowing it. Once activated, the receiver loses consciousness and is shown a vision of the sender speaking the message.

Telling stones come in many sizes, some as small as a marble, and some as large as 1-2 inches or larger in diameter.

Common is a "Lover's Stone", a "love letter" sent via Telling Stone. There have been accounts of Telling Stones where the receiver conducted the Ritual of Listening, lost consciousness and never regained it.