The following is an edited excerpt from a screed found in the Tower of the Stars archives. Intercalated responses in italics are courtesy of Sage Zephran, 211 AC.

The Eyes of Qa'desh: Fantasy, Myth, or Just Plain Lie?

The author's biases come through strongly even from the title.

Myths about twin artifacts known as the Eyes of Qa'desh are widespread[1-12]. Some claim that they are crystalline, faceted gemstones the size of a man's head, and that each contains a great golden eye with a slitted pupil. This is not implausible. Such large, magically-imbued chunks of magicite are well within the capabilities of most significant magical powers even today[14, 27], much less the savants of the 2nd age. No, what are outrageous are the claims about the powers[1,4, 11] attributed to them. In interests of fairness [hah!], I will examine these claims in more detail before setting the record straight.

Claim 1: The Origin and Purpose of the Left Eye

Zarkad of Erak claims[4] that the Left Eye (distinguished[17] by noting that the iris is red-orange instead of true gold) of Qa'desh is a piece of the One, the Dreamer who created[98] Quartus and the entire Crystal Sphere in which it swims. Setting aside the blatant impossibility of this claim, the One has never been determined to have any particular shape, let alone one with conveniently dragon-sized eyes. Not to mention all the numerous other relics[54] said to be pieces of this being--such a chimera would be most monstrous if it contained all those parts!

Further, Zarkad claims[5] that the Left Eye is imbued with the unmatched power to destroy matter. He claims that the Left Eye was used by the titans and wyrm, working together (what rubbish!) to separate what is now Oelfra from the bedrock, so that it could be floated west after the First Wish. If this were true (which it isn't), the amount of anima consumed would be colossal. To the point that magic as we know it would no longer function! And no magicite is so pure as to withstand those forces. My esteemed colleague Ke'lasha (to her everlasting discredit, a shame for such a fine researcher) concurs with the fool Zarkad, and even goes further to claim that it was used again by the aelvar survivors after Moon's Fall to split Soefra off. Titans and wyrm are one thing, but aelves are merely our ancestors. As powerful as they were, such a feat as moving a continent is surely beyond even their knowledge.

And if such claims had even the slightest amount of credence, surely such a powerful artifact would have been kept somewhere safe and more recent written records would remain of its use. Yet none do. In fact, the earliest legends[1, 2] claim that the Eyes, once used, vanish for centuries at a time, supposedly "awaiting the will of the Great Mechanism" (which is rubbish, as the Great Mechanism has no will!) for their return.

Some rumors state[15] that the Left Eye is located in the jungle at the southern tip of western Noefra, in a long-lost temple to a long-dead goddess of fate and luck. Balderdash. That jungle is intensely hostile to anything constructed. No temple could survive a month without upkeep (and who would be its priest? An ape?), let alone aeons. And even (perish the thought) if that were possible, it would have been found by some pesky adventurer (or detachment from the old Western Empire). The fact that it's still just a rumor, a legend, means that it can't be true.

Contrary to the author's claim in this last paragraph, the Left Eye was, in fact, located in that temple in what is now known as the Bloodthirst Wildlands. Nothing remains of it, as that was the epicenter of the event known now as the Cataclysm. Three fool-hardy adventurers were sent there chasing rainbows in the days immediately preceding the Battle of Acceptance, when the Nameless had returned to consume all creation. There they found the Left Eye (and reported back to headquarters, which is how we know that this occurred) and proceeded to invoke its power. No history records exactly what they thought they were trying to accomplish, but we all know the results of even (what seems to be) a partial activation. The immediate vicinity of the temple was completely exhausted of available anima; even the rocks were reduced to sand as their anima was drained. A substantial fraction of the world's anima was drained and backfed into the elemental conduits, which threatened to misalign the planes themselves. The Great Mechanism had to absorb the essence of the remaining gods to fix the problem, and thus the familiar consequences ensued--natural disasters from elemental misalignment (even for an instant) and the stoppage of all magic for 50 years until the anima levels could recover and new gods be appointed. What happened to the Eye after that is unknown.

Claim 2: The Origin and Purpose of the Right Eye

Having considered the so-called "Left Eye", now let's turn to the Right one. Much of the discussion is the same, although from different authors--Lai Scholar Po[2,6,9] is the main name on this absurdity. They agree[2] on the origins (no matter how impossible that claim), and claim that the Right Eye holds the power of creation. That while the Left Eye was used to cut the continents of Soefra and Oelfra free of the primal super-continent, the Right Eye was used to move them and affix them back in place once they reached their destinations. Poppycock. As my esteemed colleague Jana showed, the motion of the continents was the clear result of moving plates of stone floating on the lava at the core of Quartus, and the tribes merely migrated and were separated over the centuries. 

Unlike the Left Eye, there are no rumors of the Right Eye's location. Lai Po also claims that the Right Eye, even when inactive, alters the lives of those nearby (and so the Right Eye had to be kept from any kind of settled area, lest it irrevocably warp the people). A likely story to hide the fact that no one has ever reported such an object in existence.

The remainder of this screed has been removed from this publication, as it grows progressively more wild and fanciful. Plates of stone floating on lava? Tiny particles of matter that can't be divided and have intrinsic properties (rather than being condensed, aspected anima)? The causes of disease being tiny living things that invade (rather than emanations of befouled aether)? To quote the author--poppycock!