In the waning days of Luminara's religious and political power, fewer and fewer pilgrims traveled to the Broken Obelisk. But the council was trillions of dollars in debt before it even considered shutting off the monument's levitation beam. Concept art by Jorge Jacinto.
When "shut off" day finally arrived, we were prepared to sadly farewell the monument as is smashed to the ground.
Boy, were we wrong.
The unit beneath the obelisk was not ours; it was here with the monument when we arrived, nearly out of power. We only figured out how to keep it powered, not what it was doing. As it turned out, the part we maintained was only one of a bunch of systems.
As it was shut off, another system (that we hadn't understood) fired up. Instead of crashing down, the obelisk shot up, nearly knocking everyone down as it blasted through the sound barrier and out of the atmosphere.
The next step completely amazed us. The 4 "fingers" around the outside started to glow and hum. Rocks, dirt and stuff lying in the area of the fingers rose up, forming a new obelisk, in the place of the old one. As it formed, some-one had the idea to switch "our" system back on. The new obelisk (much more refined than the old one) hovered in place again. They flipped the switch, and the new obelisk shot away from the base again. The reality quickly became obvious:
This was a weapon. For destroying orbiting attackers. Who-ever lived on this planet before us had fought a major war, a very long time ago.