Thursday, April 21, 2016

BOOK OF STONE: Ring of He Xingu

For April, Stone is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries detailing the people, places and things of the Stone Soldiers universe.


Description:  Magical Talisman of the Eight Immortals

Current Location: In the custody of Detachment 1039

Appearance and Abilities: He Xingu, the Alchemist Immortal, fashioned her ring as a wide band of golden metal, inscribed with the symbol of the lotus. Like He, the ring possesses incredible, unearthly healing abilities. Wearers of the band are able to heal any wound almost instantly. Disease nor magical curses are able to affect the wearer, even if they had contracted them prior to donning the ring. For Stone Soldiers, possessing the ring (touching it when no one else is) nullifies their petrification, reverting them to mortal form and bestowing them with the same healing abilities as a normal wearer. Removing the ring, any such Stone Soldier will revert to their petrified form.

History:  In Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortals (transcendents) possessed power tools into which their divine power could be channeled. These magical artifacts are revered by Taoists and are popular in Chinese Culture.

In Stone Soldiers, the Eight Immortals were very much real, although possibly mischaracterized over time and many re-tellings. At some point in history, their magical talismans were gathered in the Forbidden City and held in a vault deep underground, deemed too dangerous for any mortal man to own or control.

In 2014, General Zuo Zheng Duan broke into this vault and stole all the Immortals' talismans for his own use. Leading a magical invasion of the United States, Zuo hoped to trigger World War III, believing he could use his artifacts to be the first Emperor of the post-apocalyptic world. Instead, Zuo was killed and his artifacts recovered by Detachment 1039.

In 2015, the Ring accompanied the Detachment to the Farside of the Moon. At one point, the ring was used to resurrect Josie Winters. Unfortunately, the ring also unlocked all her latent abilities and gave her Malakh-like abilities. The ring was confiscated and is back in custody on Earth.

Author's Notes: Yes, the Inferno would be a good place for the ring, but given it's ability to turn stone men to flesh, Colonel Kenslir just can't do that. Additionally, I'd like to come up with a way to make multiples of this ring, allowing all the stone soldiers to appear human at will. But, I'll have to find a way to make that fit into a story. Until then, He Xingu's ring will continue to make appearances here and there.

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