The Ryūsei was more than a bauble fought over by kings and kingdoms. It was more than a symbol of wealth, more than a shooting star that had fallen amidst a superstitious people. Whether from its own unknown inner nature or the way that the world’s chi flowed through it, the Ryūsei had the power to reshape the world around it.

Those first warring and petty kings who had possessed it used it selfishly, foolishly. The Ryūsei could turn stone into gold, but greed and inflation would eat away at any gains quickly. Wiser rulers used it the Ryūsei to raise and equip armies for conquest, but even then there was no guarantee that those troops would not seek to place the artifact into hands more of their liking. By the end of the great wars between the petty states that the Ryūsei engendered, it was being used to lay waste to enemy countryside: a weapon of such destructive power that it would not be equaled for a thousand centuries.

In the end, a wise man who time has forgotten found himself in possession of the Ryūsei. Besieged on all sides and yet blessed with the clarity to see that the item was a curse to all who possessed it, he had the idea to turn the Ryūsei’s power in on itself to render it unrecognizable. He reshaped the reshaper.

Many years hence, people still bicker over the location of the Ryūsei and what form it might currently possess. But one key insight still eludes them: it is not a what, but a who.

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