Saturday, September 13, 2014

[Urbis] Locations of the Cold Frontier - Azoth Refinery, Treaty Stone, Ghost Boat, and Star Tower

In the heart of this volcano, the First City colonists built a refinery which used the heat of the magma to create azoth - pure, distilled magic in liquid form, which serves as "universal ingredient" for most magical rituals and whose production in nexus towers serves as the cornerstone of the economy of the Flannish Cities. The refinery is heavily damaged, and will only produce one drop of azoth every 36 hours. If fully repaired - which would be quite expensive and require importing a number of experts on magical engineering from the homeland - the refinery could produce as much as 1 drop per hour. Possibly more important, in the process said engineers could learn how to apply these principles for building future refineries, turning volcanoes into a new power source. Unfortunately, the structure and its environs are swarming with thoqqua and similar creatures of fire coming from the depths of the planet below - they would have to be kept away during both the repairs and the refinery's operation.

Near where the rivers meet, a (now fallen) monolith has been enchanted against the ravages of time, which makes its inscriptions still readable. The top side shows the script of the Old Native people, which has largely vanished from modern-day usage. The down side, now buried in the Earth, displays the same text but in the language of the now-vanished Naxal Empire of the Far Coast. If translated magically, the text says:

"We affirm the eternal brotherhood between the Naxal Empire and the Tribes of the North, pledging to stand firm against the monstrous brood of the Chasm of Filth and any other enemies of our people."

This refers to the war against the would-be god who attempted to reactivate the God Chamber at the center of the continent and who released hordes of alien creatures in order to fight the Old Native civilization.

Downriver of the Canyon of Faces there is a ruined cliffside settlement. One of the few recognizable remnants is an old, crumbling stone pier. During the day, sensitive people approaching it might sense an otherworldly presence. During the night, while the moon is shining, a large ghostly boat (capable of housing up to six passengers) with an equally ghostly navigator will appear. The navigator will be clad in native garb and will not speak, for while he has eyes, he has neither mouth nor nose. If spoken to, he will carry passengers to other parts of the river system, at a speed of 10 miles per hour - but he is unstable, and there is a cumulative 1:6 chance per hex that he will suddenly disappear, dumping his passengers and their cargo into the river.

South of the Bird Lakes, a half-ruined stone tower is covered with grass and shrubs. The tower is approximately 10 yards high and constructed in a conical shape, with a spiral ramp leading to the top. If examined closely, various star constellations can be seen chiseled in the wall, and somehow protected against the decay of the rest of the tower. Interacting with them via magic or other mystical means threatens to summon abominable creatures from beyond the stars. However, if the tower were to be restored, the proper rites could also create powerful wards against such creatures or help with banishing them.

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