Elemental Harp of Earth (Rune Harp):

The magic to create rune items in among the rarest of magic and many scholars consider the art to create such items to be a lost art. Weapons are generally the most commonly considered rune items although other run items are known to have been created as well. These include rune books and rune rings. Finally, there is a handful of rune enchanted musical instruments. Of these, the four most famous are the four harps of the elements, one of air, one of fire, one of water, and finally one of earth.

There has been a lot of investigation about these instruments and their background by scholars with a musical instrument. There is not clear consensus about who might have created the instruments. Of course the most common suggestion is one of the Gods with Thoth being the one most often named. He is known to have create a huge number of runic items and is one of the most skilled beings in the Mega-Verse as far as mystic arts.

Many stories have been told or written about these instruments. As might be expected, many are sung. The minstrel often highly embellishes their stories and much is believed to be just stories. It has become an obsession of scholars to try to figure out what stories are real and which are fabrications. Even those believed to have a basis in fact are believed by most scholars to be highly embellished. It also does not help that the instruments are known to have disappeared for decades, and even in a handful of cases, centuries.

The design theme of each instrument is the element that the instrument is focused on. The style of this hard is quite different than most of the other instruments. The frame of the harp appears to have grown and appears extremely natural with even the texture of bark. It is some kind of metal but has a brown tone to the rune instrument. The strings themselves are constructed from some form of green metal and there is no sign of a way of tuning the instrument. The instrument, including the strings, appear to be indestructible, and the instrument never needs tuning. The music played from the instrument has a solid and earthy feel to it, almost at odds with the instrument itself.

Like the other rune harps, the harp has an affinity for musicians far beyond any affinity for those who practice the elemental arts. This includes those who practice the arts of the earth. The harp will allow virtually anybody to play it although it seems to only be willing to bond permanently with those with the skill to play a harp. The harp seems to like fairly slow and mellow songs, especially those about the earth and about life growing. Good and evil are concepts which are virtually uncomprehendable to the instrument. Honor and fair play are also almost alien concepts. Still, the are some areas where it does take a stand. Murder, especially heinous murder, and the enjoyment of the suffering of others will cause disdain in the instrument. It does have problems with extremely strong emotions such as fiery hatred. It is a ver slow an even tempered soul and takes much to anger. Of course, it if does get angry, it does take quite a long time to coll back down again.

There is a magic in the harp which allows it to be played by virtually anybody. Of course, those with a gift for playing the harp can make the music even more beautiful. The player of the instrument does not gain the ability to actually speak the tongue of elemental beings but somehow an elemental can understand the music played as if being spoke to. The player can also understand the elemental. This is not limited to the earth but all of the elements. An Elemental also seems to automatically bestow a respect on a player of the instrument as if they are an elemental master themselves. One of the advantages of this is that an elemental will normally not attack a person in possession of the instrument and will usually warn them before they do even if directed to attack.

While playing the instrument, the possessor of the harp can cast a number of earth elemental spells. One of player's hands must remain on the instrument to continue the magic flowing. The player of the instrument can make plans grow or make them die. There is an ancient story about a harpist who caused the sacred tree of a royal family to wither and die. The next year, the entire family was dead or in exile. To protect the player, the player can create walls of thorns, cause sand storms, and even create a chasm. Finally, the instrument has the ability to bring to life a little mud mound. This fragment of an elemental will follow the orders of the harpist including defending them.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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