The Places of Pyre: The Depths

Posted by on August 28, 2012

This is part of my “Pyre” world.

The Depths

One reaches The Depths through long, steep stairways (once escalators) called Descenders. These reveal a city-within-a-city of elegant, tall buildings, full of swooping arches and high buttresses.

At the center of the Depths lies two towers, as though competing for attention. The largest and slightly smaller held the Council of thirteen hand-picked nobles, while the tall, slender tower held the God-King. He had the body of a beautiful teenage boy, never changing, the most powerful runes glowing on his chest, stomach, and forehead. It was said he gave the people the power of the shamans centuries before Twilight.

The God-King still lives. The wizards who attacked Pyre were not merely getting revenge for past slights; they wanted the God-King’s power. They could not kill him, but they could lock him away. He now floats in the center of a glowing amber chamber beneath the Depths, unmoving, until someone comes and breaks the seal.

The Corridor of Warning

To enter the largest tower, one must pass through a long corridor. Along each wall stands three large statues, holding lariats. In the center of the corridor is a long pit of lava. Directly above the pit hang a dozen iron cages with open tops, suspended from the ceiling, twenty feet from the lava below. An appropriate perception check will reveal a slight magical aura in the corridor directly in front of each statue.

Anyone walking directly in front of a statue will cause the statue to come to life. The lariats will become leather. The statue will attack anyone directly in front of them or further into the corridor, using lariats to whip their enemies, and flip them up into the cages. Once a person is in the cage, the cage drops slowly into the lava.

The Outer Court

Once past the Corridor of Warning, the players find themselves in a huge circular room, with a large cylinder in the center. The huge inner wall is covered with a huge mural depicting battle and the subjugation of many people. However, this mural has been defaced with scorches and claw marks. The cylinder is covered with arcane symbols, though upon close inspection one can see that they cover a mural similar to the one on the surrounding wall.

The room contains three triangular altars spaced evenly around the chamber, and spaced between each altar is a large golden bowl on a pedestal. Each bowl is about four feet off the ground, and each has a different symbol carved on it:

  • A ring
  • A boot
  • A helmet

Oh, and the place is littered with skeletons, many of them still attired in battle gear.

If anyone tries to put anything into a bowl, green fire leaps out and deals significant damage. Unless they put the correct sacrifice in each bowl, in which case the bowl is filled with scarlet flame (though it does consume the sacrifice, the flame will remain for about 1 hour). The bowl with the ring symbol requires a hand, the bowl with the boot symbol requires a foot, and the bowl with the helmet symbol requires a head or skull. All can be scavenged from the skeletons.

When all three bowls have been filled, the room is filled with almost blinding red light, and the players can hear a boom. The cylinder at the center will rotate, revealing an entrance to the chamber within.

The Sanctum Sanctorum

The God-King floats, unconscious and his limbs outstretched in an “X” shape, in the center of this chamber. He wears torn pants, and the tatters of a cape. There is a hole in his chest, and runes cover his body, particularly a large triangle on his stomach.

This room is actually a large hollow column, the walls covered with various sized rods that still glow a strong but fading auburn. One spot on the walls are not covered with rods; a horizontal ring level with the floating God-King’s waist. Studded in this ring are three red orbs, though there are spaces for three more.

As soon as the players enter, he begins to awaken and drifts down to the floor. He is essentially free of his prison, though he’s still disoriented. The last he remembers is being sealed by the wizards during Twilight.

If the players do anything to anger him, he will unleash lightning attacks, which appear from all over the place; very tough foe. If he’s just too tough for the players, note that the players can attack the orbs, which are vulnerable to certain kinds of magical attacks.

Though, of course, the God-King can’t really die. If he’s defeated, he’ll simply crumple to the ground and the Depths will collapse around him, but he won’t actually die.

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