Tuesday, December 31, 2013

[Urbis] Locations of the Cold Frontier - The Black Crystal Tree

Upon entering this area, especially sensitive people (in this campaign, the PC with the Weirdness Magnet disadvantage, but anyone with an inborn magical talent will do - and failing that, people with intense magical training) - will see strings of strange symbols in their dreams. By those knowledgeable in such matters, the symbols can be identified as Aklo - though when translated, they seem to be nothing more than strings of numbers, with occasional nonsensical letters interspersed with them.The symbols will get more numerous and more intense if the receiving dreamer sleeps closer to a certain mountaintop - possibly the highest mountain in the coastal range.

The emitter is a long, dark crystalline structure embedded within the very top of the mountain - a long rod from which smaller branches spread out in a fractal pattern, like a tree denuded of leaves but far more regular. This is, essentially, a Mothman "sensory station" which measures the weather, flow of magical energies, and a host of other signal information, all of which will be initially meaningless to the PCs. To detect any patterns within the noise it will be necessary to write down possibly hundreds of pages of data - and how to achieve that when the characters will only perceive the symbols in their dreams is left to their ingenuity. Eventually, they will be able to recognize a time/date stamp (based on the alien time system of the ancient Mothmen, of course), and with this basic marker further segments can be isolated and identified. With very careful study they will be able to detect powerful magical events elsewhere on Nardhome (and less powerful ones closer to the station) - for instance, the opening and closing of the various portals to different planets at the crater to the north will leave faint but detectable signals. However, this is best left to a dedicated group of clerks, cryptographers, and grad students once they have founded the colony.
rceive the data within their

Of course, they are not the only ones who have studied this station - the First City colonists established their own research outpost slightly below the mountaintop, which now serves as a shelter for a yeti who considers the mountain his home and protects it against any intruders.