The Rock of KI
Marcus had finally found his prize, the Rock of Ki, a talisman of ancient Sumeria. After years of research and a lifetime scouring Mesopotamia he found the smooth black diamond in a strange garden full of statues andhidden away in a steep and winding valley. A valley that he felt descended to the very core of the earth until it opened into the great garden of men, seemingly carved from the rock.
Aside from its intrinsic value, he came across one reference after another of the jewel's value as a weapon. Many scrolls and ancient texts said it had the power to decimate mighty armies, to crumble enemy forces and bring their cities to ruin. He read these accounts so often that he believed them to betrue. Only one text warned of the jewel's effects on the unworthy, and he paid this little heed.
With greed, glory and greatness in his mind, He clutched the talisman tightly in his right hand, turned and stepped off the dais. As he walked, a heavy feeling grew in his right hand. He looked down to see his fist draining of color and transforming into unyielding rock. A heavy numbness crept up his arm as the stone replaced flesh. He screamed in panic and tried to fling the stone, but his fist remained closed. The stone spread to his shoulder, across his chest and up his neck. With his last vision he beheld the hundreds of statues. Their faces came in all shapes and sizes, but they all shared the same look of panic and the same frozen scream.