Volume 67: Psion Orbs & Psi News
From some of our earliest readings we have heard about Psion Orbs. Toward the end of the Second Crush they became far more accessible and widespread in use. As such let’s talk a little about them before we move forward.
Psion Orbs were originally developed by the Destiny Elves, but lesser versions have also been created by the Centaurs and the Humans. However both the Centaur and Human models fell out of use due to the Destiny Elves vastly superior model. This model was improved upon during the last half of the Second Crush through a collaboration of Destiny Elf, Human, Centaur, and Graze ingenuity. The current model being used during the Panic is by far the best working yet.
Psion Orb’s primary function is to allow communication between universes. Another way to say it is that they allow communication throughout the multiverse. Psion Orbs appear as large crystal spheres usually held up on a device called a “claw.” Psion Orbs are usually powered by Magi-Battery, or Psi-Battery, or a combination of the two. These batteries are normally housed in the claw portion of the device. The claw acts as a sort of pedestal holding the Psion Orb in place. Most are adjustable to a height of 4’ to 6’ or more. The current claw portions are designed to pull ambient magical and psionic energy from the environment, but this in truth usually provides very little power to the device. The Psion Orb will usually have to have its batteries charged directly by someone before use. The good, and quite amazing thing is, it actually takes very little energy to run. The other extraordinary thing about Psion Orbs is that they can be used by people with no magical or psionic energy if the batteries are charged. This allows almost anyone to use them with very little training.
As one may guess by the name, Psion Orbs work best when powered by psionic energy. They work fine with magical energy but the “picture quality” takes on a more dream like quality when powered this way. Their use is fairly straight forward. Each Psion Orb is designated with an “Imprint.” This Imprint is like a phone number for the Orb. If you know the Imprint of a Psion Orb you can “call it.” Most Psion Orbs are also designed with a “Full Cast” feature that allows them to pick up general broadcasts being sent from any Psion Orb which is also broadcasting in Full Cast mode. This feature was originally invented so the orbs could be used to pick up distress signals and emergency communications, but evolved over the Second Crush to be used for sharing news from across the multiverse.
From our earlier readings you may remember the first Psion Orbs were cumbersome and incredibly fragile. Even a bumpy spaceship ride could shatter one making it useless. As we enter the Panic they have become much more reliable and sturdy.
Using current designs, the size of the Psion Orb determines its range. Most Psion Orbs are about the size of a large crystal ball and have a fairly large range. A standard Psion Orb can cover a very large house easily. The Psion Orb that was used in the Elysium before its destruction was one of a kind, crafted expressly for it, and measured over 30’ in diameter! It alone was able to provide Psion Orb service to the entire Elysium, though several other standard Psion Orbs were also installed at various places throughout the Elysium to lessen the draw on the main one.
Using a Psion Orb correctly takes a bit of practice but is not hard to master. If you are in range of its power, you simply need to attune yourself to it and you can contact anyone else within range of a Psion Orb you know the Imprint of. Once you concentrate on the imprint of the Psion Orb you will then be able to sense anyone else near the orb that is “open to communication.” This part is also tricky for some people to learn. Just because you or someone else is near a Psion Orb does not mean you or they can be detected. To make yourself open to communication you must set the intention in your mind while you are within range of the Psion Orb that you are willing to “take calls.” As mentioned, this is a difficult skill for some people to learn but once you get the hang of it, it is literally like switching a switch on and off in your mind.
Once you are “open to communication” you will receive a gentle buzzing sensation in your mind if someone is trying to contact you or if there is breaking news coming thru. You can then fully attune your senses to the orb and “take the call”
Viewing this communication can be done in many ways. If you wish to have a private phone call you and the person you are speaking with will enter a semi dream like state where only the two of you can speak. The quality of the dream gets better with practice. Longtime users say they no longer have a dream fog at all while communicating. That they can see and speak to the person as if they were standing right next to them. Another option is to “open view” the call. This allows anyone near you to see the call with you as if you were watching it on a screen. This allows several people to communicate at once. Lastly there is a full broadcast mode. This is the mode most often used for the viewing the news. It allows everyone within range to view what is being communicated simultaneously.
The explanation of all of this may seem confusing. It is difficult to explain the function of something that takes place almost entirely within your mind yet is experienced in a group setting. But these days, even during the Panic, more and more people are growing up from a young age in proximity to Psion Orbs, so by time they are adults it is second nature to them. At a bare minimum almost every city dwelled in by multiverse fairing races have at least one large Psion Orb people can go to for communication to other universes or to get the daily news. In cities like this it is common to see huge throngs of people gathered round a towns center at sunrise and sunset to talk with others who live in different realities, or more often, to catch the latest news.
Before we talk about the Psi News a few other notes. By far psionic users have the easiest time, and clearest communication while using Psion Orbs. Several attempts have been made to make magical equivalents to the Psion Orb technology, but none have been able to come close to the scope of abilities, nor clarity of communication that the Psion Orbs provide. It should also be noted that currently Psion Orbs cannot function without their claw portion. Not only does the claw provide the power source for the orb, they are also integrated with security functions of many kinds. The Psion Orbs themselves are designed to not work without these safety protocols in place. That is not to say many many attempts haven’t been made by various nefarious forces to “hack” Psion Orbs for maleficent ends. Luckily the PsiWare installed by the Destiny Elves in every Psion Orb has proven nearly ironclad, with a 99.9% success rate in thwarting attacks. The point of all this being that if the claw portion is broken or destroyed the Psion Orb is rendered impotent.
About Psi News: Toward the beginning of the Second Crush it started becoming more and more apparent that multiverse fairing races needed news about what was going on across the whole of reality. Updates about the status of the Oblivion, Dark Dwarf activity, as well as activity about other dark forces, and so many other things, was becoming more and more essential. In those first days Psion Orbs were far rarer, and still quite cumbersome and not all that well-built. Nevertheless, the Destiny Elves picked up on this need and started laying the foundation for what would one day become the Psi News.
As a companion to the Psion Orbs they began crafting Psi Corders. These Psi Corders were also quite large in those first days, so large they usually required a dedicated person to handle and power them. These 3 ‘ to 4’ long crystals were quite heavy, and were placed into shoulder mounted harnesses for those that carried them. They could then be carried on the back and pulled up to the shoulder when news was happening.
In the beginning it was only the Destiny Elves. Their quiet heroism led them to the from lines of wars and battles of all kinds, and onto ships designated to both study and combat the Oblivion. Many lost their lives. But it was this undaunted bravery of the press that kept them pushing forward. By the middle of the second crush this Psi News was becoming more and more common and was being broadcast throughout the multiverse. The desire for Psion Orbs grew like wildfire. It was this outcry from the people that led the Humans, Centaurs, Graze, and other races to assist the Destiny Elves, and led to the incredible advancements in Psion Orb technology we enjoy as we move into the Panic. During this time it seemed that every Destiny Elf in existence worked in some fashion in relation to the Psion Orb or the Psi News. The Destiny Elves WERE the press, and the people loved them.
By the late in last half of the Second Crush the Psi News had taken an official form. Led by the Destiny Elves they began to take on psionic users from every race who wanted to learn the craft. Many magic users and regular people felt downtrodden or even discriminated against as they were not allowed to join the Psi News organization but there was no discrimination. The truth was the crafting of Psion Orbs, and PsiWare can only be done by someone who can manipulate psionic energies. Magical energy for whatever reason was completely incompatible. Likewise, the Psi Corder still required an enormous amount of psionic energy to both power and broadcast, so only teams of psionic users would be deployed to use them. These groups usually consisted of 3 to 4 psionic Users and they would be sent out to the most dangerous of locations to bring the important news of the multiverse to the people.
And their selfless actions bore fruit. More and more people were able to be rescued from the Oblivion as Psi News broadcast from more an more universes being consumed by its Crawl. Likewise, they reported from war torn worlds and universes, being attacked by would be conquers of every kind. The Psi News put themselves in harms way to show these atrocities and the people responded with aid and force, saving the lives of countless innocent worlds. The power of the press is the power of the people.
Currently as we enter the Panic, the Destiny Elves remain the main force behind Psi News, making up about 70% of its force. But they are now joined by an ever-growing number of other psionic using races, many Class U beings, and a huge amount of Humans. Additionally many other races have joined the effort to improve Psion Orb technology, making it faster, stronger, and more durable. Most realize that the freedom of the press provides freedom to the people.
Unfortunately, there are some who have started to belittle the press. The Dark Dwarves have called for all out war against the Psi News, calling it the enemy of the people. The Dark Dwarves grow furious every time the Psi News reports on their war atrocities. On worlds they have conquered talking to or harboring members of the Psi News press has become punishable by death. Yet amazingly most citizens still stand up when the challenge has been made to protect the press and have aided Psi News in their efforts to report what is happening even on these oppressed worlds.
As the Panic continues it will become more and more dangerous for the press. Psi News will be stretched to its limit. But most are confident that if they remain supported by the people, Psi News and the free press will continue to persevere, and bring the news, power, and freedom, to all the people of the multiverse.
About the Illustration: Today we have a picture of a VERY VIP Trementian we will be meeting much later in our story! On the same page upper right we have a Slider, a Trementian, and an Elf. In the next picture we have a Naga who is using magic to enlarge his body and turn it to metal so he can shield his Trementain friend from attack while he casts a spell! (2 bonus pics have been included, enjoy! :)
Thank you all SO MUCH for reading this installment of Traskoria! PLEASE support my Patreon so I can keep bringing this important story to you!
Hey, Adventurer! Eric the DM here, thanks so much for checking out this blog! I try to create a lot of unique content, but also love fan submitted work. Do you have any D&D content you’d like to share with the community? Send me your work on social media or by email and if it passes guild approval, I’ll get it on our social media channels & website! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram, @TheTabletopGameShop