Sevrinspire, the port city of Heartstone, Sevrin’s central and largest island, is a haven for artists who work in stone. Over the past ten years, dozens of commissioned statues have taken up residence near public buildings, along busy streets, and beside the harbors. All are carved from blocks of dull grey stone, provided by the adept Rhendish, who also pays the sculptors and provides the pedestals on which the statues stand.
One of Rhendish’s most closely guarded secrets is the nature of this stone, and the purpose of the clockwork hidden in the pedestals. The stone is a strong, selectively porous mineral that becomes highly magnetized when it absorbs a certain oily substance, one of Rhendish’s alchemical creations. Inside the pedestals are clockwork pumps that will force this oil up into the stone. This enables Rhendish to turn these statues to powerful lodestone guardians, capable of bringing clockwork devices to an abrupt standstill. It’s a secret line of defense, protecting Heartstone against possible attack by his fellow Adepts’ clockwork warriors and war machines.
This also explains why Adepts avoid protective armor and wear loose, simple garments without metals trim. This was not always the case. The Adepts led a successful war against the sorcerer Eldreath, and for years they wore clothing that mimicked ceremonial armor. Rhendish was wearing just such a garment when he discovered, quite by accident, the substance he later named Lodestone Oil.
One of the tables in his workroom was topped by a slab of stone mined on Skyorn, of the the small islands on the northeastern side of the Sevrin archipelego. While he was working at this table, a vial tipped over. As Rhendish moved to wipe up the spill, it seemed to him that an invisble hand reached out of the stone, seized him, and slammed him face-down onto the table. When he recovered consciousness, he found himself securely pinned to the table by his decorative breastplate and bracers. Wriggling free of these garments cost him an entire night’s sleep and more than a little skin. The only garment Rhendish that could comfortably wear over his scrapes and scratches was a loose saphire tunic. This new “fashion” immediately caught on and very quickly became the Adapts’ standard wear. To this day, Rhendish seldom dons his Adept garb without remembering the origin of this “tradition” with a small, wry smile.