Wednesday, July 16, 2014

[Urbis] Locations of the Cold Frontier - Ancient Memorial, Elder Tree, Fog Canyon, and Spire City Ruins

This otherwise flat area is criss-crossed by numerous small ridges which rise one yard above the plains. Their width varies from 10 to 30 yards. While they are as overgrown with grass as anything else in the region, digging will eventually reveal strong, thick stone of a type inappropriate to the region, and closer analysis will confirm that the stone was magically created. When viewed from high, an 800 yards-wide side profile of an elven head can be seen, in an art style that can best be described as "classical". It is surrounded by an inscription in the letters of the First City which reads: "To the magelord-governeur Nyros, in the fifth year of his reign. May he lead us to limitless glories." Incidentally, after he successfully activated the God Chamber at the heart of the continent, Nyros became the God of disease, survival of the fittest, and self-elevation, so at least the "glory" part worked out...

A vast tree, a conifer of an unknown species more than 200 yards in height, grows on these plains close to the Tribal Meet. Its vast network of roots hides innumerable small hollows carved out of the earth, some of which have been decorated as kivas, as communing with spirits is easier here. Unfortunately, the Wendigo Cultists know this as well, and have hidden one of their altars here. When not in use, the entrance to the small cave is hidden by magically conjured earth, and only a careful search will reveal this.

Numerous rivulets from the Burning Hills to the east stream down the canyon walls here. As they fall, they transform into a near-permanent fog that somehow covers the entire canyon along an 8 mile stretch. Echoes distort here, and the explorers get the feeling that they are constantly being watched as long as they stay here. A very through search, possibly supported by vision-enhanced magic, will reveal a cave complex with another wendigo altar.

Where the two northern river canyons meet, the Old Native civilization built a city into the canyon walls. Wide roads - frequently carved into the canyon walls - wind down the northern, western, and eastern sides of the canyons. They meet via magically created stone bridges (still home to guardian spirits preventing their collapse) at a central rock spire which was transformed into a fortress. The lower levels of the fortress have been sealed off and still contain Old Native treasures, though also a number of ghouls left from the Great Darkness. The top of the old fortress currently houses a spire drake. The northern Elk Tribe occasionally passes through this fortress when they move their herds to different pastures.

Note: A list of all Urbis-related posts can be found here.