Dragonlance - Age of Might
Greystone of Garth
The races of gnomes, dwarves, and kender are all descended from the race of men. The gnomes, kender, and men all believe the story of the Greystone of Gargath, but the dwarves believe themselves to be the special children of the god Reorx, forged in the earliest days of creation. Virtually all historical scholars (except, of course, dwarven scholars) disagree.
THE GREYSTONE OF GARGATH
When he created the world, Reorx needed the assistance of men to help him with the work. To this end did one-eighth of all men and their families follow Reorx across the sea, in hopes of learning the crafts of Reorx.
For many years, men worked happily under the guidance of Reorx. Yet men tended toward either good or evil, and rarely remained neutral. The men became proud of their skills and used them for their own ends.
Reorx was angered. In his wrath, he remade these men into a new race. As they had become tinkerers, so they would remain for all time. He took from them the crafts he had taught, leaving only their burning desire to tinker and build, invent and construct. He made them into a small peoplethey became the gnomes.
Hiddukel saw all of this and smiled. Reorx had worked long and hard to forge order out of chaos. Yet now, Reorx saw that the balance of neutrality was not maintained. Hiddukel knew that Chislev also felt this swing in the balance. Herein was the founda- tion of mischief.
Hiddukel went to Chislev. With cunning words, he convinced Chislev that the forces of evil were losing. Their only hope, he said, was for neutrality to take ultimate control. Chislev agreed, and, at Hiddukels insistence, asked Reorx to forge the Greygem.
The Greygem was a marvelous artifact. A large clear grey stone of many facets, it was designed to hold and radiate the essence of Lunitari, the red-sphere of neutral magic. Hiddukel had convinced Chislev that this stone would anchor neutrality to the world of Krynn and solidify the neutral position on the planet. Chislev convinced Reorx of the same thing and thus the stone was created. It was placed within Lunitari and magic swelled within it.
Reorx, although still angered by the gnomes, had never forsaken them. He loved them, and now could see how they might yet serve him. He appeared unto their priest, and presented a plan for a Great Invention he wished the gnomes to construct. It would be powered by a magical stone that Reorx would provide. The gnomes, as was their wont, built the machine thirty times the required size and with mechanisms that never served any purpose. Their general consensus was that it would work once the stone was in place.
Reorx now finalized his plan. Among his servants he found a lowly gnome that truly worshipped his arts. In a vision, the little gnome saw the Greygem and wanted it more than anything. He approached the problem of getting it like any gnome . . . he invented some- thing.
His invention was truly worthy of the gnomes—a mechanical ladder that lifted itself into the sky. The strange device had pulleys and counterweights and wheels and cogs. It made a terrific racket when it worked. Yet Reorx smiled upon that gnome and gave to him a secret device. The gnomes ladder worked. One could set it upright on the ground, winch up the top section and then climb up to the top. From there, the bottom part could be winched up off the ground so that the ladder hung steadily in mid-air. Then, the operator would climb up the new section and repeat the process. Slowly, the ladder pulled itself up into the sky, and eventu- ally reached the scarlet moon itself.
With a magical net given to him by Reorx, the little gnome captured the Grey- gem. He lowered the ladder back to the ground, and went to place the Greygem into the Great Invention. But the moment he opened the net, the stone leaped into the air and floated quickly off to the west. All the gnomes rushed to pack up their belongings and follow it. They followed it to the western shores of their land and quickly built ships. The Greygem floated westward across the waters with the gnomes in pursuit until the gem finally approached the shores of Ansalon.
Reorx was deeply disturbed, for the gem created magical havoc wherever it passed. Beasts and plants were reshaped in magical ways. New races of animals sprang up over- night and spells cast went wild. Instead of anchoring neutrality, the gem only made the pendulum of good and evil swing more rapidly than ever before. He then understood how he had been tricked by Hiddukel and Chislev.
At that time, there was a great ruler among men, named Gargath. He was a barbarian prince who loved well the gods of neu- trality and served their purposes.
One spring day, Gargath was in prayerful communion with Zivilyn. When he looked up, he saw a grey gemstone floating above the altar. It pulsed with a steel grey light. Gargath took this as a gift of the gods and placed it high in a tower. Here, by various traps and magic, did he secure the stone so that all could see its light and yet none could take it away.
The grey light shone as a beacon for two armies of gnomes who had been pursuing the Greygem for many years. One army was filled with desire for the wealth the gem repre- sented. The other army was made up of those most curious about the gem and its workings. The two joined forces to recover the gem and proceeded to march on the castle.
The gnomes first demanded the stone. Gargath refused. They threatened war. He welcomed the fight. The gnomes were out- numbered. There was only one thing left to do: they invented something.
Two weeks later, a giant siege engine came thundering toward the gates of the for- tress. It broke down just short of its goal. The gnomes retreated with heavy losses.
Three weeks later, a second great siege engine approached, sounding like a hundred ghosts wailing. This one rammed the first siege engine and caught fire. It burned to the ground and the gnomes retreated with heavier losses.
Nearly a month and a half later, a towering colossus of a siege engine roared toward Gargaths battlements. Charging through the ashes of the first two siege engines, the drive mechanism broke. The siege engine fell forward and shattered the outer wall of the cas- tle. Although this wasnt exactly what the gnomes had planned, the result was good enough. The gnomes charged in through the broken wall.
As the gnomes rushed into the courtyard, both sides were amazed to see the steel grey light from the tower suddenly fill the area with unbearable light. When men could see again, the two factions of gnomes were sud- denly fighting each other. One side was filled with lust for the gem and the other side was filled with curiosity.
Under the power of the gem, the gnomes changed. Those who lusted after wealth became the dwarves. Those who were curious became the first kender. True gnomes yet remained in the far-off islands, but dwarves and kender quickly spread throughout the continent of Ansalon.
Of the Greystone of Gargath, none knew where it had gone. Some say the gem returned to the heavens, and others say it is hidden somewhere on the world of Krynn, where it will one day be rediscovered.