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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sky Mountain

This relic of a distant past hangs in the air like a black stain. Sky Mountain is a massive slab of native rock, ripped from the ground and hung in the heavens like an ornamental jewel. The Mountain is about a half-mile across, it's relatively flat top gives way to sheer cliffs that are riddled with caverns and tunnels leading to the rock's maze-like interior. Seven massive, mile-long tentacles made from gray, rubbery flesh laced with slabs and spines of black stone hang from the Mountain's belly, giving it the appearance of a monstrous, bloated jellyfish hanging in the sky. In the midst of these tentacles a huge, spherical blue crystal protrudes from Sky Mountain's underside, pulsing with potent magical energies.

The interior of Sky Mountain is honey-combed with tunnels, rooms and passages. There are three main sections to this interior maze:
  • Outer Maze - A twisting collection of smaller caves and tunnels connecting the many cave openings that line Sky Mountain's outer rim of cliffs. The Maze circles the entire slab and serves as home to hundreds of flying, gargoyle-like creatures constantly circle and wheel about the Mountain's cliff-like sides. The Maze is mostly self-contained, with only a few passages linking it to The Wards.
  • The Wards - These broad, open caverns connect the seven wall-connected towers that rise from the back of Sky Mountain, forming a quarter-mile wide defensive ring. The Wards provide access to each tower and link together the many hidden barracks, armories, storage chambers and living quarters that lie beneath the Sky Mountain's central plain. Each of the Ward's seven towers is guarded by forty-nine golem-like creatures armed with sword-clawed limbs and electrically charged spines. The Wards connect to the Outer Maze via a few narrow passages and to the Inner Sanctum via a single gate-guarded tunnel.
  • Inner Sanctum - Positioned over the Sky Mountain's central crystal power source, the Sanctum is both central fortress and command center. The Sanctum features a single seven-sided chamber. Its floor is formed by the Mountain's crystal heart, and a single massive throne, formed from the crystal itself, rises from the center of room.
Sky Mountain is a Legendary artifact, its magical energies defying description or categorization. Mastery of its secrets is the work of a dozen years careful study and experimentation, requiring diligent research and access to many sources of magical lore. It's known properties include:
  • Sky Mountain flies at Fair speed (though with Poor maneuverability), traveling 15 miles per day as directed by its master.
  • The artifact has Legendary toughness. Most forms of attack are simply ineffective against its massive form. Siege weapons might cause minor harm, but Sky Mountain can, via its huge tentacles, consume raw stone and earth to repair itself.
  • Swarms of Gargoyle-like creatures inhabit the Outer Maze, defending the artifact against all invaders. Each of the seven hundred gargoyles flies with Superb speed and skill, and fights with Good strength claws and teeth. Gargoyles have Good toughness and Great magical resistance. Destroyed gargoyles disintegrate and fall to the earth beneath the Sky Mountain, leaving a trail of tainted, polluted soil where no living thing grows. Destroyed gargoyles regenerate within the caves of the Outer Maze by some unknown mechanism. 1d10 new Gargoyles rise each day to replace any that have fallen in battle.
  • Guardian golems protect the Wards. Each golem has Superb toughness and strength, inflicting terrible wounds with their sword-like claws. Any creature approaching within ten feet is subject to electrical discharges from the many spines protruding from each golem, inflicting Good damage each discharge. Like the Gargoyles, golems regenerate while within the confines of the Wards, repairing damage and replenishing numbers to maintain a constant force of forty-nine creatures per tower.
  • The Tentacles hanging beneath the Mountain are terrible weapons, capable of leveling fortifications and structures with ease. Each Tentacle strikes with the force of a battering ram, leveling a ten by ten by ten foot cubic area of stone construction with each blow. The Tentacles can also burrow into the ground and form a sort of natural bridge, allowing troops to travel down their length from the barracks beneath the Wards. Each Tentacle has Legendary strength and toughness.
  • Anyone attempting to master the Sky Mountain's powers becomes symbiotically tied to the artifact, unable to leave the confines of the Inner Sanctum, the Wards, and the Outer Maze.
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