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The Reflecting Pools

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The central pool

The reflecting pools are a product of the Valterrian, though no one is really sure how they came into existence. All the local inhabitants of Falyndar are sure of is that the clearing where these pools are located was never there before Mizahar was torn up by the world-changing event. Regardless, it is a place those knowledgeable of its properties tend to avoid if they can help it.


Located two days (relatively speaking) southwest of the Kandukta Basin is a small clearing with five small pools that converge into a larger, central pool. Each satellite pool is slightly elevated from the ground by the rock formation that frames it, with a narrow canal that allows small amounts of the water within it to trickle down to the large central pool. They are shallow, their deepest part reach only up to a man's elbow if he tried to touch each of the pool's bottom. The central pool is much deeper, reaching up to the waist of the average Myrian. The diameters of the satellite pools vary, with the largest one about the length of an adults wingspan at its widest point while the smallest one is just half that. The central pool, at its widest point, is about as long as three Myrians standing on each other's shoulder is tall.

The satellite pools are often still and smooth as glass, serving perfectly as mirrors if one wished to use it as such. Their waters can still be disturbed by outside stimuli however, such as strong gusts of wind, raindrops and disruptions caused by an animal's or a sentient being's limb breaking its surface. Crystal clear, the water from all the pools are safe enough for drinking. Strangely, no animal has ever been observed drinking from the satellite pools, though various creatures have been noted to do so from the central one. Similarly, no plant or animal life can be found within the smaller pools: no fishes or insects live beneath or just above their surfaces, nor are there any plants or weeds living beneath or floating above their surfaces. Conversely, the central pool is teeming with life, from the small fishes that feed on the insects that glide over its surface, to the lily pads and other aquatic plant life ground beneath its surface. As such, the central pool's surface is almost always never still.

Because of the frequent rains in Falyndar, these both the central pool and its satellite pools are never dried out.



When a sentient being stares too long at their reflection within one of the satellite pools, if the pool's surface is still and smooth as glass, a sort of hallucination overcomes the victim. It starts with hearing a voice, their own, even though they themselves did not speak. Their voice would always question them, asking and speaking to them of their deepest, darkest secrets, their most burdensome doubts, raising questions that would bring guilt, regret, disappointment and shame surfacing within the victim's mind. The victim would find himself unable to look away from his own reflection, and would even argue with it in increasing agitation and even rage.

At this point, a simulacrum of the victim will rise out of the pool, their own reflection made flesh. Anyone observing the victim will not see this mirror-image, as it only exists in the victim's mind. For the victim however, it is as real as everything else around them. Their clone would continue to speak and question them, and this would almost always lead to a fight between the two. The hallucination being will have all the skills and abilities of the victim, possessing all the knowledge and tricks they know, and as such, the fight between them would likely end in a stalemate - if not for the victim's drive to kill his mirror image, which he will come to consider as a representation of all the negative things about himself. Those who fail to triumph over their clones - and there have only been a select few who have - would likely die from exposure and exhaustion from the continued fighting.

During the fight, the victim's attention will solely be focused on his mirror image, wanting nothing more than to rid the world of it. Anyone and anything that tries to prevent him from fighting his clone will be met with utmost violence, assuring one or the other's death. Such focus on the mirror image leaves the victim vulnerable to flanking and backstab attacks however, as the victim seem to lose all sense of his surroundings in his drive to kill his clone. Because of this, lone victims become vulnerable to any jungle predator that may be prowling nearby.

While injuries inflicted upon the victim by his mirror image are only truly in his mind, they are still very real to him and suffers from them as he would if they are actual physical injuries. Sustaining grievous enough wounds will have the victim succumbing to them and he will believe himself dying from them. True enough, the victim will pass on, the body behaving in such a way as if the victim truly died, though it is more accurate to say that his mind is the one that died. At this point, the clone will take over the victim's body, corrupting his soul with its own. The victim remains the same person yet... different. Family and close friends of survivors of such occurrences have noted that the victim is still the same person yet the things they used to hate about themselves, the things they considered negative about their personalities and behaviors, seemed to become more prominent, even rampant. Left on their own, these people will turn to the exact opposite of what they once had been before their encounter with their own reflections within the pools.

These effects occur much faster when one drinks from the waters of the satellite pools. However, no such effects are triggered when one stares within the central pool or drinks its waters.

For some reason, practitioners of magic, especially personal magic, are more likely to be entranced by these pools than a person who has no experience with the arcane arts. They seem to sense the magical aura of the pools and will be compelled to investigate it.


Satellite Pool

The pools were discovered the first time Taloba opened its gates after the Valterrian, when search parties were sent out to look for survivors. A group of Myrians stumbled across it on the way to check on one of their settlements that had once stood nearby. One among their numbers had spent too long admiring the strange mirror-like quality of one of the satellite pools, marveling at how it was almost always still. Within moments, the pool's magical effects had overtaken him, fighting his phantom self within his own mind. His companions had thought he had been struck mad by one of the gods, and the first who tried to restrain him was slain by his hands. Further attempts to subdue him were met with more violence. It was at this point that the rest of his companions were forced to slay him lest he become a danger to them and their mission. Their leader called the party to retreat from the strange place, taking note of its location for later investigation.

Another group was sent out eventually from Taloba upon their return. A trio of scouts were tasked to discover the true nature of the pools, and to determine if was somehow responsible for the affliction that befell the unfortunate Myrian of the first group. They were led by one of those who had seen the place first hand. The newcomers met the same fate, seemingly falling mad as they investigated the pools. One among them managed to overcome his phantom self and was able to flee from the place with his mind intact, though not before being injured by the others as they physically struggled against their inner demons. The survivor reported his experience with the copy of himself - the term he called it was "soul mirror". He was found dead in his home the next day, murdered by two of those who were part of his party, who had sneaked into the city the night before. These two were caught and executed before the day's end, their souls immediately sent to Myri for judging.

The place has been marked as dangerous in Myrian maps and all patrols were advised never to venture too near the clearing where the pools were situated. This did not stop from the occasional curious soul, or those pulled by its magical attraction, from wandering in and falling victim to its effects.