The Obelisk of Surveying is a towering black stone found in the vast grasslands of Gantinor’s Gap. Covered with elemental runes, that some say were carved by the hands of giants in the dawn of the Realm of Strife, the stone obelisk stands in what scholars believe would have been the geographical center of the landmass of the continent of Gant in ancient times.
The concept for the Obelisk of Surveying was created in part by Norman Chan (Calgary, Alberta) as part of his ‘Foot Knight package’ backer reward from the 2014 Realm of Strife Kickstarter Campaign.
While the rolling grasslands of Gantinor’s Gap are largely uninhabited by civilized peoples, they are home to roaming ogre clans and tribes of trolls, and as such few venture into these dangerous lands. As such, expeditions to study this magnificent Obelisk are rare and costly. What little information exists regarding the Obelisk of Surveying suggests that it is a place of spiritual significance and elemental power. In fact, elemental beings have been known to be drawn to its mysterious stone surface, carved with runes that seem to resist the weathering and decay of time.
Who or what placed this stone and carved the runes into its smooth stone face is a matter of much conjecture. However most seem to agree that the original craftsman would have been most spectacular, for in order to erect a stone of this size, devoid of joint or crack, and made of a rare black stone not native to the region would have either required immense strength and size or an ingenuity rivaling even the most prominent modern engineers. This has led some to believe that the stone and its runic carvings were the work of a race of giants that once inhabited the region now known as Gantinor’s Gap. Proponents of this theory say that once a great city and a massive temple would likely have surrounded the site, built around the obelisk as a center point of worship for this ancient civilization of giants. However, no evidence or ruins have been discovered to back up this theory, leading to many other equally speculative theories.
For those trained to sense the Spiritual forces at work in the Realm of Strife, there is a unanimous acceptance that the Obelisk exudes elemental power, but this too has lead to varying theories on the obelisk’s significance. Among Shamans, the Obelisk is a popular site to their rites and commune with the elements, leading to a popular theory among their ranks that the stone obelisk was constructed by a rare alliance of Elemental Lords when world was young. They say that these Elemental Lords saw that the battles they waged upon one another would tear this infant world apart and so joined their powers together to ensure that no one faction could dominate the others. Certainly something about proximity to the Obelisk seems to soothe the normally wild elementals found in the region.
Many of the more academic practitioners of the Spiritual arts,simply recognize the Obelisk as a focal point of spiritual force, one of many that may exist throughout the Realm of Strife. Among the Colleges of Mages and Wizards, many expeditions have been commissioned to study the Obelisk. A common claim from those who have spent time trying to decipher the runes is that the Obelisk may possess the power to observe distant places from afar, perhaps even piercing the barrier of time. This does perhaps align with the belief that the stone is strategically situated at the center of the ancient landmass of Gant, before the ocean levels receded and the salt marshes dried up to become what is now known as the Barren Plains. If the Obelisk truly possessed the power to see the far corners of Gant from this central location it would have been a strategic asset to any ancient civilization that controlled it.
However there are none alive today who can claim to have truly unraveled it secrets; and so it remains a remote haunt for eccentric scholars, mysterious Shamans, rampaging ogres, and wild elementals; rather than the center piece of an empire. For those scholars who have made the trek to study it, most come back with some tale of having observed distant places in their minds while studying the stone’s smooth, almost polished surface. Fact or fiction, these stories have lead in recent history to the strange relic being coined, the Obelisk of Surveying.