Menhirs are large stones, quarried into pillar-like or conical shapes, marking Sites of Significance (burials, territories, increments of distance, roadways, battles, treaties, or important mythical locations, among others), and raised upright on flat ground. They vary in size from 'larger than two elephants' to 'small enough to carry in the human hand'; but most are about twice human size, or less. They appear on plenty of worlds and are associated with pre-industrial Bronze-Age cultures, in almost any climate. Many, if not most, are part of the Waystone Network. Though they are mostly markers (as said before), rumors persist that some peoples used menhirs as weapons, thrown at opposing soldiers. Because most menhirs are too heavy for humans to lift, this rumor is associated only with the Elixirs of Power.
In the Mage Wars RPG, menhirs come in fixed sizes:
- Colossal: larger than two elephants. Serve as landmarks; can mark any site of importance; sometimes engraved with secret messages, which refer to the fictional 'history' of the site, and serve as clues to the fulfillment of a given quest.
- Outsized: one size smaller than Colossal, with all the same functions. Engravings on an Outsized menhir (or smaller) can magically change to suit the current quest.
- Large: one size smaller than Outsized, with all the same functions. Large menhirs are the maximum size available as weapons; and even these require magically-enhanced strength.
- Ordinary/Medium: the usual size; about human size, or only slightly larger. Subject to all the same rules as Large; but if a Medium menhir exists only to give advance warnings, or clues, of a particular quest (or obstacle), it disappears after the PCs pass it on the way back.
- Small: any menhir no bigger than the average stalagmite. Same rules as Medium; but PCs can change the engravings on a Small menhir, to signify 'Mission Accomplished' or leave a message for following parties.
- Miniature: vary from Small size, down to pocket-sized. These can be put to most uses: PCs can mark trails with them; hurl them; leave messages with them (for other characters); use them as Focus Items; magically turn them into weapons, tools, or money, and back (which is a clever way of cheating enemies who ask for a bribe); etc. Obscene messages and indecent uses are strictly forbidden.
If a PC wishes to create a quest for future PCs (including no more than two of its own future, or alternate selves), it has the right to acquire a Medium, Small, or Miniature menhir, and plant it on the quest's intended route. When the quest is set, the menhir expands to a Large or Outsized (depending on the complexity of the quest), and cannot be moved until the intended recipient comes along.