The Primordial artefacts colloquially known as Witch Stones allow the user to interface with a complex machinery located outside the common space-time continuum and submit instructions for the machine to transform and transmute matter, energy and even the very matrix of space-time itself. This machinery is known among the arcane adepts as Ayn-Zohar, or the Merchaba Mechanism. Many believe it was built by the Primordials, but some say they merely discovered it in the depths of hyperspace and that it was when the god-king of the Primordials, dread Zeno himself, sought to find the origin of the otherworldly device that the cataclysm was unleashed.
Witch Stones are possessed of machine intelligences with personalities and feelings and may well decide to disobey the user’s commands if they feel they are not treated with appropriate respect. The referee plays the personalities of the Witch Stones in the same manner as other NPC:s. A Witch Stone has INT, WIS and CHA scores of 1d10+10 and can communicate through telepathy. Under certain situations, such as when the user first touches the stone or when the users actions conflicts with the desires and motivations of the stone, a Witch Stone may wrestle for dominance with its user. The referee will then need to make an influence check. The referee rolls 1d20 and adds the INT and CHA of the stone and compares the result with the INT + CHA + level of the user. If the stone wins the user looses control over the Witch Stone for a number of rounds equal to the difference between the die roll and the target number. During that period the bearer can not initiate any new spells, furthermore the machine intelligence of the stone may use any prepared spells in accordance with its own designs.
In order for a PC or an NPC to identify and operate a Witch Stone the character needs to be proficient in Super-Science. Once the character understands the nature of the artefact he or she must place it against his or her forehead so that it can attach itself and interface with the central nervous system (or equivalent system). If a Witch Stone is found by someone lacking the required skill the machine mind of the stone can decide to reveal its nature to the character and guide him or her through the process if it furthers the purposes of the stone.
The Witch Stones where created by the Primordials aeons ago and have suffered uncounted millennia of wear which is why they have become more and more unreliable. The stone may malfunction, often with disastrous results, if it is strained by too frequent use or too complex tasks. However an experienced operator can calibrate its settings with greater precision in order to make the device work without breaking down.
A character equipped with a Witch Stone can cast the same number and levels of spells as a Magic-user of the same level as the character. The spells need to be prepared at the start of each day just as per the rules. However, the user can choose to use an unprepared spell, or a spell exceeding the character’s level or more spells than allowed. In each such case the referee must roll on the table below.
Witch Stone malfunction table
Roll d100 and add the level of the spell to the result.
01-09 The effect of the spell (damage, duration, etc) is doubled.
10-19 The spell fizzles.
20-29 The spell works perfectly but opposite to how it was intended. For example, the target may be the character instead of a hostile NPC – or vice versa.
30-39 The character becomes unconscious for d10 rounds.
40-49 The character takes d6 HP damage.
50-59 The character takes 2d6 HP damage.
60-69 The character takes 3d6 HP damage.
70-79 The character takes 4d6 HP damage.
80-89 The character takes 5d6 HP damage.
90-95 The character must make a saving throw or roll on the mutations table.
96-99 The character and any one closer than ten meters must make a saving throw or roll d4 times on the mutations table.
100 The character is instantly annihilated in a flash of light, only the witch stone remains.