Nature: Imbued Item
First encountered: 4.7 "All the King's Mages and All the King's Men"

Description: Standing stones, tall or short, wide or thin, scattered across the landscape. All of them have runic inscriptions and carvings of one sort or another, and are often impossible to tell apart from the non-magical monoliths created by sleepers without the aid of magical scrutiny.

Effects: Drawing in and redirecting one or more Ley Lines nearby, often making it stronger or adjusting its resonance at the same time. They are always found in sets, where several Runestones are connected through the Ley Lines they regulate. Each such set has, with very few exceptions, a single Runestone which the the various lines maintained by the stones are channeled into. It's called many things, but it all boils down to it functioning as a nexus and focal point for the power provided by the other stones. It's fairly common for these nexus-stones to have been enchanted to serve as Nodes, converting the Ley Lines into easily used physical energy, though a number are used to empower spells and wards instead.

Info: These stones form various scattered networks throughout Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe, organizing and taming the earth-energies and making them easier and safer to tap into. Even today there are several important sites and factions that use the nexus-stone of the local network to power their defenses, armaments, utilities or whatever else they've come up with.

The Convocation-site of Frostating, for instance, has an incredibly powerful and complex Ward covering the meeting grounds, all of it maintained and kept active by the output from the nexus-stone powered by the handful of Runestones scattered across the surrounding landscape, with one of them even residing in Sweden. Similarly, one of the most respected Athenaea in Trøndelag is kept safe and comfortable by the Runestone it was built around. Many sites and buildings were placed where they are simply to take advantage of the stone found there.

Given the amount of work inherent in calculating, designing, imbuing and placing a single Runestone, not to mention a whole set or network of them, the art was lost ages ago. Southern historians among the Awakened often claim that they're remnants of Atlantean engineering, but norse practitioners dismiss this as narrow-minded, myopic and demeaning to the craftsmanship and skill of their ancestors. As the power makes them a hotly desired yet painfully limited commodity there's a long tradition of intensely severe punishments for anyone who meddles with or damages the Runestones, and even in times of war the opposing sides refrained from sinking so low as to sabotage their enemy's network of Ley Lines.

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