11 · Castles and strongholds
Castles of the Court of Ardor
The Citadel of Ardor
The Citadel is located on the small island within the crescent-shaped outer isle of Ardinaak. In fact it is the top of an now extinct volcano that was last active during the time when the Valar struggled with Melkor for the supremacy of Middle-earth and the renegade Vala retreated for a while. The climate of the island is warm and a great variety of plants and animals flourish here.
The Citadel complex is dominated by the central spire which rises to a height of 600 feet (180m). Here is the Council and all the central locations of the Court located. Scattered in a perimeter of c. 3 miles (5km) are eight smaller towers placed. Each of this buildings rises 150 feet (45m) high. Each “Suit” of the Court possesses two of these towers, one for each individual lord. These towers serve as “embassies” for their respective lords and house accomodations when its lord resides at the Citadel. The towers are styled differently to reflect the peculiarities of its lord and “Suit” and consequently they blend harmonically with the landscape. The whole area of the nine towers is perfectly managed with extensive parks, lush gardens, etc. Also a number of recreational facilities like sports grounds, theatres, etc. are present to make life for the inhabitants of the citadel as comfortable as possible. Some of the Courts lower ranking members prefer to live like they always have done and consequently one can often see elves living among the trees, more close to nature.
On the southern shore of the central isle lies a cunningly hidden small port which houses accomodations for the Court’s ships when they visit Ardinaak.
The secret entry to the Citadel is twofold: first one must land on the outer island of Ardinaak. Here lies a secret tunnel entrance which leads to the central island. The exit of the tunnel lies cunningly hidden in the parks of the area. From here any potential intruder can mingle with the residents and penetrate the hold further.
Attempting to land on the central isle directly is strongly discouraged: firstly the treacherous reefs form a dangerous obstacle to any ship and secondly the Court has a small but formidable navy stationed here which would quickly dispatch any unwanted intruder.
All walls in the central tower, interior and exterior, are of a smooth black stone resembling polished black marble, but unveined and much harder. All doors, whether iron, steel or laen. slide into the adjactent wall pocket an cunningly designed tracks. Doors open magically when a person touches a glowing red glass square, 4” (10cm) across, placed in the wall next to the door at chest height (both in the hall and in the room).
- Main Gate. 40’ (12m) wide; 40’ (12m) high. Huge black iron doors 4” (10cm) thick roll on tracks into the flanking walls. They magically lock and only open via controls in #2 or use of the “Citadel” card in an Ardan deck.
- Guardroom. Three shifts; four citadel troops on duty.
- Outer reception room. For holding guests of questionable intent. Spartanly furnished.
- Guard staging area.
- Reception room. Plushly furnished.
- Guard lounge/recreation area.
- Central shaft. Running the height of the tower and deep into the rocky isle below. It is through this that the destructive power of the Channeling will be funneled. In the mcantime, it is vacant or serves as an access tunnel for those who can levitate.
- Hall of the Citadel. Grand hall, with a throne for the Lady of Ardor. This is where audiences are granted to minions of the Court, and minor dignitaries. Small feasts are also held here.
- Guardroom. As #2.
- Stairways. To level 2; and (ten flights down) the lowcr halls.
- Guard Quarters. Housing 18 each.
- Cook’s quarters.
- Quarters for citadel pages.
- Page’s office. General records storage.
- Guard Quarters. As #12.
- Pit trap. In dead-end corridors: last 20’ of floor gives, way after someone steps within 10 feet of black wall. Chutcs send luckless intruders into cells far below (see lower halls). Fall is onto a heap of confetti-like material, so injury is minimized.
- Bath for guards.
- Guardroom. As #2.
- Guard lounge.
- The shaft (#7) continues up, surrounded by an open spiral stair between levels two and three (as well as levels six to eight), opening into a circular hall. All doors on this level are dull finish non-coroding steel.
- Guardrooms. As #2.
- Stairs, to level one.
- Waiting room.
- Page’s lounge. There are six pages of the Citadel (see garrison chart), two on duty at all times, at Valmorgûl’s disposal. They either escort visitors to the waiting room (#27), or perform clerical tasks.
- Valmorgû1’s study. Dark and somberly furnished.
- Valmorgû1’s office. Stark, grey carpet, black leather furniture, black marble desk. Lighting is by the translucent ceiling which gives off a cold blue glow.
- Servant’s quarters. Subdivided.
- Servant’s bath.
- Guest room. Lavishly furnished.
- Valmorgûl’s bedroom. Richly. furnished in red and black.
- Guest room.
- Page’s quarters. Divided into three rooms, 2 beds each.
- Page’s office/work area. Six writing desks: paper and calligraphic supplies.
- Hall for leel three. All doors are of stainless steel.
- Guest sitting room. Well furnished.
- Guest bedroom.
- Morthaur’s office. Lavishly furnished.
- Morthaur’s bedroom.
- Morthaur’s lab. Contains man vials and beakers of various chemicals, but nothing an unskilled PC could make use of. A high-level Alchemist might be able to analyze them as components of partially synthetic poisons and healing drugs (but he won’t be able to necessarily make them, either).
- Morthaur’s study. Access To level four and above is onh via the central tube, which has sheer sides rising 20’ (6m) between levels. Also, huge steel panels between levels three and four can be made to slide horizontally across and seal off levels four and above. Controls are on the wall just outside of room #46.
- Main library of the Citadel. All walls are covered with wood bookshelves. Texts, most in Sindarin (although some of the histories of Morgoth and the Court are in the High Black Speech: Archaric) cover a full range of topics.
- Magical library. Books (tomes with black wood covers, 2’ high, 1.5’ wide, each weighing 20 pounds, and containing one “list” of spells, as per Spell Law ) of all of the lists of spells generally known, including Evil. Spells can be used once and “burned off” as runes, but pages cannot be removed from thec books or they become useless. There is one large iron book stand facing the window (which has laen casement glass). The door to this library is clear laen, and will open only to a member of the Ardan Council (see “70” for membership).
- Staging Area.
- Guard lounge/dining area.
- Guard Bath.
- Guard Quarters. Housing 36 (Room is subdivided. There are 24 garrison guards; 12 elite.)
- Quarters for servants.
- Office/quarters of the guard captain.
- Stairway resumes, connecting levels 6 – 8. All doors on this level are clear glass, framed in steel.
- “Informal” Audience Chambers of Ardana. Walls are hung with red velvet drapes. In front of the large stained glass window is a low, backless black marble throne. The floor is carpeted in black.
- Guardroom. Two elite on duty at all times.
- Servant’s quarters. Ardana and Morelen’s personal maids: 6 total.
- Morelen’s chambers.
- Ardana’s chambers. Furnished in midnight blue and silver-grey.
- Entry foyer. All doors on this level are clear laen.
- Upper vault. Containing several portable, yet very intricate and powerful astronomical telescopes; a large (30 pounds) text on Astrology; several dozen charts depicting the constellations; and other astrological devices. There is also, on an iron pedestal, a sculpture of solid smoky glass in the form and size of a large human skull. When Morgoth lived, this skull had immense powers which only Ardana could tap. Now however, it ‘merely’ acts as a x8 power point multiplier, and multiplies all Astrologer information spell ranges x10. The skull is not portable outside of the Tower. The door to the vault is magically locked (+100), and trapped with a waiting “Absolution” (60th level) for anyone who enters the room. It should he noted that this is not a true ‘trap’, being purely magical in nature (it comes from the skull); however a Detect Hate or Detect Death, or Detect Evil may discover vaguely the nature of the trap.
- Cuardroom. Two on duty.
- Sculpture gallery.
- Painting galery.
- Small lounge.
- The stairway ends again on this floor: the Council lounge. Carpeted in blue, the room is furnished in the most elegant, expensive furnishings imaginable. from all over the known world. Fine cabinets with glass doors house exquisite art objects and rare volumes (nonmagical). All locked (very hard to unlock). Glass could be broken, however. Estimated total value of objects in cases: 10.000 g.p. There is a small secret control panel hidden behind the dark oak panelling which lowers an elevator platform from level nine.
- High Council Chambers of the Court. Access only by the central elevator. After all have arrived, Valmorgûl manipulates a panel on one wall which causes the eight pillars around the tube to slide down, also lowering the council table, which is kept flush with the ceiling. Simultaneously, 12 panels in the floor open, and the 12 thrones of the Council rise out of the floor around the table. The table is unmarred obsidian, octagonal, twenty feet across. A circular section in the middle will dissolve at the time of the Ritual. The thrones are solid and blocky in design, each sized to seat comfortably a specific council member. They are all of black marble, with maroon upholstery. Inlaid in the table before each Council member is a 12’x18’ sheet of glass tinted the color conforming to their alignment within the Court. The hole in the ceiling is open to allow starlight to shine in (meetings are held monthly, midnight, during a new moon). Seating arrangement of the Council is as follows:
All laen panels glow dimly, giving the faces of the Assembled Council an aerie appearance, lit from below.
Lower Halls (The Cavern of the Ritual)
GM Note The detailed description of the interior spaces of this, the Citadel of Ardor, may be useful when providing the players with visions and other such “god-given“information, so as to paint a detailed and more interesting picture of the Court. A vision of the Ardan Council in session, discussing a topic of interest to the PCs, for instance, may be of value.
A huge cavern, the floor of which is water, entering via a tunnel to the sea. All about the cave are platforms and walkways, connecting to the central platform where there lies a round altar of obsidian, Here is where the sacrifice is to take place. Note the eight stations for the gems of Unlight (‘1’), and the stair up to the Citadel proper (‘2’). The center of the roof of the cavern is open to the tower above.
There are two Guard captains stationed in the Citadel at all times, and the remaining six are deployed usually at perimeter garrisons on the island of Ardinaak proper. See sect. 9.1.1 for their equipment.
(S: “Silver Mine”)
Note lighting throughout most of the complex is provided by brass lamps affixed to the walls at regular intervals of ten feet. The lamps burn brightly with little smoke. and are refilled once daily (all that is needed).
- Entry. Cut into the side of a rocks bluff; a winding path leads to the sheltered entrance. Through cleverly concealed holes with mirrors, the guards at “2” can see anyone standing in the entranceways. A lever at “2A” controls the raising and lowering of the counterbalanced 1’ thick stone door. A similar lever at “2B’ controls the iron portcullis just past the doors, only raised after the identity of the visitors is confirmed. There is also a hidden knob at both “2“s which locks door “3” down the hall.
- Guardposts. Niches cut into either side of the entry corridor. A garrison guard stands at each at all times. turning over in four hour shifts, but the shifts are staggered. so that one guard changes every two hours.
- Doors. All are the same, clear laen with the staff emblem of the Realm etched into the glasslike surface and faintly tinted. They magically part in the middle and slide into wall pockets whenever anyone approaches within ten feet of them from either side. Note: Ladders stand in the secret passages to the left of entry “3”. Ladder “a” goes up into the ceiling to a crawlspace, and connects back down to ladders “b” and “c”. Note also of course. the secret passages themselves, all cunningly designed, incorporating a –50 difficulty modifier to locate.
- Foyer. At each of the eight corners is a bronze, life-size sculpture of each Lord of Ardor: Ardana, Morthaur, Morfuin (in human form), Valmorgûl, Gorthaur, Fëatur, Rilia, and Valkrist. All are well made, perfectly normal statues, exept that if a spell to detect magic or power is cast, each gives off an aura of Essence. In the center of the room, set into a huge elaborate wrought silver pedestal is a crystal orb, three feet in diameter, which fills the room with a highly variable multi-colored fight The orb is also semi-intelligent, and acts as a guard. If anyone enters the room and attempts to leave without saving, “Hello, orb” (in any language) the orb will lock all doors, sound alarms in the guards rooms, and fill the room with sleep gas (resist versus 20th level poison or fall into a deep sleep). If each person says “Hello, orb”, it will answer him/her/it in that same language.
- Central guardpost. Manned by three guards at all times, in shifts every four hours. Control levers for doors, to the prison and large hall area are behind the stone counter.
- Guard and forge-worker quarters. Ten men in each room.
- Bath. For guard and workers.
- Guard station. Manned by two garrison guards. Hidden lever opens laen door to cells. Guards have keys to individual cell doors.
- False doors, locked. If opened, those standing before them are greeted by a Death Rune (resist versus 25th level Essence or die).
- Interrogation room. Fully equipped.
- Copper-sheathed doors slide open when he who stands before them says “I come to forge” in Dursindarin.
- Central forge. The four corner work areas are raised three steps and the two hot-forges (12B and F) are raised two more, and also have air shafts in their ceilings. There are magical permanent Airwalls along each of the stairs to reduce noise and heat (or cold) in the corridor areas. The airwalls arc nearly invisible except for a slight wavering distortion. Of course, as with the spell Airwall, movement is cut by 50 during the round passing through the airwall. Various forging tools hang on the walls about the area.
12A. A fine metalworking area (including for mithril).
12B. Hotforge for precious metals.
12C. Forging area for Laen.
12D. Work area. Tools and tables for construction of locks and traps, etc., and leather and woodwork.
12E. Work area. For general metals (nonmagical). Hotforge. For general metals.
- Steel doors. Slide magically open at the touch ofa palm, to a storage area for forging supplies (coal, distilled water, mercury, fine sand, spare tools, protective clothing, molds, etc.) Also two “carts” actually 2’x3’ metal rectangles with handles, which can be made to levitate horizontally three feet; above the ground (but only within Ithilkir) on command, always level, for carrying heavy supplies. Each will carry up to 500 pounds.
- Doors. As in “13” open to basic refined metals and alloy storage: iron, steel, aluminum, copper, tin, brass, bronze, etc., in ingots, packed in small crates.
- Steel door. Locked (very hard, –50 modifier, Airatano and his assistants carry keys) into jewel vault, filled with many cabinets and cases, holding approximately 10.000 gp worth of and semi-precious gems, most already cut and faceted. There are also many fine woods and leathers (for handles, trim, scabbards etc.) Total value, approximate 1.500 gp.
- Bronze doors. To “16” open at 10’ proximity, unless locked via a lever on wall in “12D” This is a staging area and foyer. Two larger (5’x8’) magic carts sit here. There are two garrison guards on duty at all times.
- Vault. Behind a heavy steel door which is locked (2 locks, each very hard –70) and trapped; failure to disarm sounds alarm in guardroom “5”. Airatano has the only keys. Inside are Laens: blue, clear, smokey grey, and yellow; fine glass and some black eog ingots, all packed and crated. Total value: 800 lbs. laen at 200 gp/lb. ingot: 160.000 gp.; 125 lbs. glass at 2gp/lb. ingot: 250 gp.; 20 lbs. eog at 1.200 gp/lb. ingot: 24.000 gp.
- Elevator. Sophisticated, magically-aided counterbalance to mines feet below.
- Precious metals vault. Behind a door identical to #17 except the locks are different, and these have a –90 modifier. Inside: 100 lbs. of gold, 200lbs. of silver, 300 lbs. of superior teel (+15 if worked correctly), five pounds of platinum. All are in quarter pound ingots, carefully packed and crated (50-pound crates).
- Secret door, then steel door with two locks (-50 modifiers, Airatano has keys), which slide into the ceiling: then a mithril-plated, kregora-laced (to foil all spells) door with two locks (-90 modifier; Airatano holds the key) and trapped (-40 modifier). Failure do disarm the trap yields an array of long spikes from both flanking walls, as far back as the other steel door, (treat as 2 – 8 rapier attack rolls per person, +80 versus static target). Then, the spikes retract and the floor opens onto a 100’ deep pit (roll on the Fall/Crush Attack Table +100). Behind the door is a mithril vault, containing 5.000.000 gp worth of half pound mithril ingots (50% of the Court treasury). Also in a bookcase of fine wood with a framed glass door, inset in the far wall of the vault, are complete books of alchemy spells. Five leather bound books (each weighing five pounds), one for each list.
- Foyer. The four columns are of a glowing opalescent material. Walls, floor ancd ceiling are of black polished marble. Doors to rooms #4 and #26 are steel with silver on the inner surfaces facing #21, and polished to mirror smoothness, so that they reflect perfectly. These doors slide magically open to anyone coming within ten feet, and immediately close afterward. The other two doors are of black marble, and slide magically up when a hand is laid on the column to the left of the door. The other two columns are electrically enchanted and deliver a pointblank lightning bolt x4 hits to anyone who touches them. The marble doors slide back down five seconds after opening or after the hand stops touching the column.
- Quarters of the Lord of Staves, who is captain of the garrison. Richly furnished, the room also serves as his office.
- The Lord of Staves’ ”Long-Door“ room. Unfurnished, it is a “safe” place for him to arrive in.
- Airatano’s quarters. The short walls, like the doors, are of dull-finish stainless steel. The doors open and close only by the commands “Open, by Airatano”, and “Close, by Airatano”. The long walls are of black marble, the floor is covered by a fine, white carpet. All of the furniture is stark, yet beautiful: white upholstery, stainless steel, marble. In the far wall is a huge window, which overlooks the valley Imlad Ithil (“silver vale”). By pulling a lever to the left of the window, huge steel-reinforced steel panels slide together to protect the glass from damage due to attack or severe weather. As a note, there is a sheer drop of 200 feet (60m) directly below the window, and an additional 100 foot (30m) rise from the window to the top of the bluff.
- Airatano’s work-study area, a wooden door opens onto a large room, the long walls covered with bookshelves, the volume held within being nonmagical texts on minerals, gases, jewels etc., as well as books on weapon and armor design, and drawings of famous artifacts and weapons. There is an ink sketch and brief description of virtually every famous item of power here. Some of these scripts were taken from the ruins of Ost-in-Edhil when Airatano made a brief stop there (see timeline). The other walls are covered by racks of rolled full-size diagrams of items and machines. There are several tables and a few lounge chairs set about the room, as well as a massive desk, but all are draped with drawings, stacks of books and diagrams.
- Gallery. Dark panelled walls set off the rich tapestries and paintings here, all depicting members of the Court at various innocuous activities. The columns are of pink-veined black marble, the floor is of white marble, and the doors to the hall beyond are of smokey grey glass, sliding magically open at the touch from either side, but can be securely locked via a lever just inside the inner wall.
- Quarters of the four assistant forgers. All between 5th and 15th level alchemists, two per room, all noncombatants. All quarters in this section have private baths. Doors are silver-bound polished wood.
- Quarters of the four Dwarven forgers. All share the same rooms; doors are of silver-bound wood. See garrison chart for their stats.
- Quarters of the chief assistant forger, Laris. His door is silver-bound wood with an inlaid silver “L” on it. His room is richly furnshed, and if he is not at the forge his magical forging tools are here in a beautiful wood chest: magical forging hammer and tongs set, allowing user to work at twice the normal speed and long gauntlets which are immune to all heat and cold (made of silvery dragonskin).
- Quarters of the Lady of Staves. Gold doors swing open when unlocked (very hard –50). They are richly and tastefully furnished, although she is rarely here.
- Drawing room.
- Guest quarters. Handsomely furnished.
- Servant’s quarters. For six cooks and six maintenance servants.
- Dining room. All staff and garrison eat together.
- General Library.
- Practice area; guard lounge
- (Lower Level) Elevator to upper level (18).
- Guardrooms. Two on duty in each.
- Sleeping and bath area for the guards. Subdivided into six double bedrooms, dining area and lounge.
- Laen doors slide into walls. Controlled at “43”.
- Central control for she lower level. Manned at all times by two guards. It is elevated five feet above the floor level (the ceiling is 20’), with a desk running the perimeter, and a clear laen wall running the circumference above the desk broken only bs a laen door facing “42”, controlled from within. There are levers here which control all of the doors in and out of the room, all of which are clear laen double doors, which slide apart into the flanking walls. All magically lock. Also a poison gas (Thurviik) can he released to flood the room and quell uprisings, or stop intruders. All door, are airtight, and the gas can be vented out.
- Mannish miner caves. Approximately 30 men live in each cave.
- Mannish miner caves. Approximately 30 men live in each cave.
- 1000’ (300m) corridor down to aluminium, laen, platinum, silver, ruby, iron (of course) sources and several other veins. All through twisting, confusing passages.
- Corridor. To smelter where ores are broken down and ingots of refined metal and glass are formed.
- Inner guardrooms. With control of the steel portcullis beyond. Two guards on duty at all times.
- Two mile corridor to silver mines.
- Three mile long tunnel to Guild of Elements Access to Ithilkir.
(S: Hill of Firey Pools’)
The chief holding of fire, and the citadel of Rilia, Naurlindol is delved out of solid rock and modified natural caves formed by lava flowing long ago. Violent volcanic activity is minimal, but there is a constant flow about the great central chamber in the lower hall.
The upper halls of Naurlindol are delved out of a cleft in the hillside, with one side still open to the outdoors. There are two floors surrounding a central two-story hall. A balcony runs along three walls allowing access to second floor rooms. Light is provided by golden hanging lamps hung from wall brackets spaced about the area. Walls, floor, ceiling and columns are all of various types of beautiful polished marble. Doors are of black iron, with the fire emblem etched into the metal and leafed in gold and silver. Single-width doors slide up into the ceiling on a counterbalance when a small metal lever adjacent to the door is pulled (can be locked on the inside, “very hard” to unlock from the outside). Double width doors have a similar opening mechanism but slide apart into adjacent walls.
- Veranda. A platform rising 50’ above a steep slope, it provides a panoramic view of the valley beyond. Note that there is a lever just inside which controls the lowering of reinforced iron panels, which slide on tracks set in the columns. the panels are only lowered in times of questionable security however, and are usually open, with guards posted at the columns.
- Throne room/Reception Hall. A grand room where Rilia holds audiences and banquets. Her throne is on a three step dais opposite the stair (10).
- Guardroom/Quarters. (Also access to lower halls). Housing six human and elven guards.
- Kitchen/Servant Quarters. Housing ten.
- Quarters of Valglin ‘The Thief’. Comfortable, if plain.
- Access corridor.
- Valglin’s workshop. Several tables, covered with charts, diagrams and partially assembled locks and trap devices. Racks on walls hold rolled diagrams and standard tools and parts.
- Drawing Room, Richly appointed with tapestries; comfortably upholstered furnishings.
- Library/music room. Also well furnished. Books cover a full range of topics (none magical). There are several musical instruments in the room, including a harpsichord. Linsul is adept at them all.
- Stairway connecting the floors.
- Lady of Staves’ Quarters.
- Sitting room.
- Rilia’s office/meeting room. Walls are purple marble. Carpet and upholstery is red. Her desktop is frosted red laen.
- Rilia’s Private Quarters. Plushly furnished, with every imaginable luxury.
- Access corridor.
- Linsul’s Music room. Walls are adorned with almost every musical instrument imaginable. The room has perfect acoustic.
- Linsul’s Quarters. Richly appointed, with many mirrors, and closets packed with clothes of every type.
- Access corridor.
- Guard Ouaricrs/Station. Housing six.
- Entrance. There is a large tunnel at the base of the low volcanic mountain (now overgrown with rich vegetation). The entry is framed by a hexagonal portal of black marble, and can be sealed with large sliding double doors of black iron which have jagged interlocking edges. The doors are usually open, and two guards are posted outside.
- Sentry post. Two men with heavy crossbows inside have full cover.
- Guard stations. Four men on duty at all times, one of them elite.
- Guard quarters. Lodging for 16 men: eight here, eight on duty. Two elite warriors in each group.
- Pool of babbling lava. If someone is unfortunate enough to fall in, they receive a point-blank Fireball strike +50, x5 hits; and an automatic ‘E’ heat critical every round while in the lava.
- Platform. Ringed by eight black stone columns, accessible by four bridges. In the center is a dais, on which is a high-backed throne of black marble. Three levers flank the throne on the left side; the first lever can be moved forward, back and from side to side, and has a button on the handle. By holding the button down and moving the lever, the person on the throne may extend or retract the bridges one at a time. The bridges’ usual position is retracted. The span is twenty feet (6m). The second lever is a trap, and if tampered with, will cause a spike to pop out of the throne back, impaling the seated person (use lance table, +100, no bonuses for target except armor). The spike also has dose of Jitsu poison on it. Third lever sounds alarm in all guard rooms, and will cause all bridges to extend or retract simultaneously, depending on whether the lever is pulled forward or back.
- Combat practice room.
- Tunnel to the high cave where Durclax the Falcon lives. He is trained to bear Rilia or the Lord of Staves upon his back, and he will obey only them. He is usually asleep in his cave. Of course, he cannot come down the narrow tunnel into the complex, and has another exit from his cave tip on the mountainside.
- Lower Kitchens. Feeding area for the men.
- Torture room and prison cells.
- General storage and armory.
- Vault. Steel door is double thick (4”), and will only open to the keys held by Rilia, Linsûl, Valglin and the Lord of Staves. Otherwise, treat as extremely hard (-60) to unlock. Then a portcullis which delivers an “E” Electricity critical when touched (and not just the first time), and will only open to the command Edro (“open” in Sindarin). Inside is 50.000 g.p. in gold pieces, gems and jewelry, all in several locked chests and boxes. Also, the Staff of Eldarion (see sect. 9.3.9 for powers); spare robes and staves for Court members. There is a box, in which are eight red glass objects: four glass spheres, 2” (5cm) in diameter which, when tossed on the floor (within ten feet; 3m) break and create a 10’x10’x1’ (3x3x0,3m) wall of fire lasting 20 rounds. There is also a ring in a small box which, while worn, gives immunity to all heat and fire, but double cold criticals an damage. Wearer is also cold all the time. Ring is gold, with a ruby setting.
Dûrclax is a Great Falcon, a gift for Rilia.
The Guild of Elements entry to Naurlindol is on the opposite side of the mountain, and entry to the complex is gained via a secret door in the rough hewn corridor access to Dûrclax’s cave, although entry is far down the tunnel from Dûrclax.
(S: “Deepwater Darkness”)
The castle of Aurax-Dûr itself is not of particular note, except perhaps by its unusual architectural design. The location. however, is indeed an environment unearthly. The holding rests on a rocky outcrop within a huge cave whose floor is almost entirely deep water. A grotto with a tunnel access to the sea, the cavern Morlin (S: “Darkpool”) is in the cliffs which form the southern coast of the Mûmakan. Mosses which grow abundantly across the inside of the cave give off a green-blue phospheresence, illuminating, the citadel in an eerie light. In addition to the sea entrance to Aurax-Dûr (the tunnel is large enough for ships to pass through), there is a causeway leading to the far end of the cave, and a tunnel to the surface. The Guild of Elements entry accesses onto this tunnel, bypassing an array of gates and guards near the surface.
This is Gorthaur’s private realm, and although he is a Noldor Lord, he surrounds himself only with the Moriquendi — Elves, who have never seen Valinor. He acts as a priest of Darkness to terrify and incite the men of Mûmakan to acts against Jí Indûr the Wraithking of Mûmakan. In the darkness he appears, calling storms and lightning, then returning to the eternal quiet of Aurax-Dûr.
The castle itself consists of a wall 60’ high built of blocks of dark stone joining five towers. The walls are only 10’ (3m) thick, and the parapets flare outward at the top. This slender design was accomplished by utilizing iron bars to lock the stone blocks together. Of the towers there are three smaller, each 90’ (27m) tall and also flared at the top to support a conical roof. Each is 30’ (9m) in diameter and has six levels, connected by a central spiral stair:
- Garrison lounge area.
- Kitchen/dining area.
- Garrison sleeping area.
- Guardpost. (Connecting to the adjacent walls).
- Depending on tower A, B, or C:
A. Chapel of Taurion, Lord of Helms.
B. Office of Camring the Healer.
C. Sitting room and maid quarters for Isil, Gorthaur’s (mannish) mistress.
A. Taurion’s chambers.
B. Camring’s chambers: warm and comfortable by, comparison to the rest of the castle.
C. Isil’s chambers.
The rooms on the sixth level are larger, with wide windows which look out into the dim cavern. The stair in each tower does continue up to a small attic-room with two or three dormer windows. Towers D and E are but spiral stairwells with small landings at window-slits. The gate to Aurax-Dûr (which they flank) is a long drawbridge connecting the castle to the causeway, and a portcullis of blue steel. Both are controlled by counterbalances within the towers. Three guards are always posted at each: at the ground level, door controls, and on the open roof. The drawbridge is usually down, the portcullis closed. Torches set in the entryways illuminate the rare visitor.
The central complex is the most unique point of the castle: three towers actually, which are narrow at the top of their 100’ (30m) height, but flare out at the bottom to eventually merge. There are but four levels within, the first, the audience Hall being itself fifty feet in height. The Audience Hall is three circular rooms overlapping: in the center of the nearer two are fire pits, and in the third lies a multi-step dais/platform, on which rests a huge throne of blue stone. The throne’s back fans out like a giant shell, and it glows dimly. With a swirling of blue mist Gorthaur appears here to hold Court. The only access to the upper levels is via his invitation (unless one dares to climb the slick wet walls of the tower). The upper three levels are all Gorthaur’s private quarters and office, furnished in dark colors, and unwarmed by even a candle. The roof of the tower is his recluse.
GM Note: lsil hates Gorthaur because he often treats her brutally, and she would probably harbor or aid intruders if they would help her escape. By similar token, Camring would not turn in intruders. but may not help them either. He may just try to ignore them, or urge them to depart.
The garrison of Aurax-Dûr is all Khelnôr, who, in addition to being castle guards, are excellent seamen and are able to man the three single-mast sailing ships usually moored next to the castle. Twelve guards are lodged in each tower, although between six and twelve members of the garrison are often out in one of the sailing ships. Vallin, the Knight of Helms, (who normally resides, in tower B) commands these missions. One third of the garrison is female.
(S: “Tree of Iron”)
Key to Taurang: Upper Levels
Note all interior doors in the upper citadel of Taurang are of 2” (5cm) thick wood, and with simple, but strong latches.
- Main Gate. 3” (7,5cm) thick steel doors which slide into place, operated by guards inside the walls. The walls are hollow and allow access to the six towers, from which the guards can fire on attackers. Also at the main gate is an iron portcullis, controlled from within the walls.
- Main keep.
- Outer walls garrison quarters. 39 men and women in all, 13 of which are on duty at one time: 12 troops and a shift seargent. Also the quarters of the 12 horsemen.
- Stables. Hold sixteen horses and four windsteeds.
- Doors of the keep. 3” (7,5cm) thick steel doors which slide into the walls, operated by a lever in the viewing room above.
- Foyer/combat hall. All doors from this room can be controlled from the viewing room above.
- Guardrooms. Each staffed by three keep guards at all times.
- Access hall. Pit trap which can be triggered by levers in guard rooms: entire floor opens, causing all in hall to fall 30’ (9m), resulting in 10 – 100 hits, plus a “C” impact critical.
- Guard quarters. House 24 men in all, in three shifts (six in rooms #8 and 2 in room #16 per shift).
- Dining hall/lounge.
- Throne room.
- Elevator platform. Controlled by buttons on a small column in the center of the platform: five in a vertical row, the bottom one separated from the rest (takes you to the lower halls).
- Armory. Lots of + 5 short swords, and normal leather armor.
- Viewing room. Controls for room below. Manned by two keep guards.
- Access hall.
- Taurclax’s upper office. Elegantly, furnished, but nothing magical or especially interesting in it, except a copy of the Book of Andraax.
- Khelekar’s study and office. More stark than Taurclax’s, and nothing of interest (only paper is blank stationery, with the tree emblem of Taurang).
- Taurclax’s lounge. Windows are sealed with extremely hard glass (but not laen).
- Taurang Council Chambers. The elevator control column, upon reaching this level, sinks in to the floor, and a large hexagonal table lowers from the ceiling. Six throne-like chairs await the Council. The floor is covered in a deep green carpet, and the windows (and two doors to the balcony) are of very hard, breakproof glass; and all have complex locks: very hard — 50 to open from the outside.
Key to Taurang: Lower Halls
The lower halls of Taurang are clustered about a huge natural cave formed long ago by an underground river. The river remains, but its flow has greatly diminished. Thus, the complex is connected mainly by bridges and platforms extending across the slowly flowing waters. Light is provided by lamps placed around the elevator, the bridge support columns, and flanking the many rooms which open upon the river. The air is damp and cool, and the quiet rumbling of the water is lulling and everpresent.
Note all doors in the lower halls arc of 2” thick black iron, hung on counterbalances so as to rise into the ceiling on tracks. They are operated by a lever set in the wall nearby which alters the balance.
- Elevator (14 of the upper levels) to round room. Door opens when the elevator reaches the bottom. Counterbalance system.
- Guard post. Note defensive wall to provide cover. Three guards on duty. Note: Lower level guards are the same as ‘Keep Guards’ above.
- Throne room and dining hall. A fire pit runs the length of the hall.
- Small dining room.
- Taurclax’s library. Expensively furnished, and including magical texts on Animism, Open and Closed Clerical Lists: three books, one for each. Each book is three feet high and two feet wide, weighing forty pounds, and rests on a huge wrought iron stand fashioned to look like a tree. The books are either useful to (a) aid one learning lists or (b) the runes (one per spell) can he “burned off” by someone of the Channeling realm who makes the necessary roll, and wishes to use up the spell.
- Communications room. Here is kept an orb of seeing which allows Taurclax to speak with Sauron. If someone else attempts to use the orb, or even looks into it, he/she must resist in a Will vs. Will contest (Will of 200 on the other side) or be ensnared by Sauron’s will. The orb is three feet in diameter and sits on a round, black marble table.
- Khelekar’s chambers. Elegantly furnished in an austere way: the carpet is flawless white, as is the ceiling. The walls are chill blue, as is the upholstry, of the furnishings. There is a white marble desk with a secret compartment: the top swings up. Inside is a glass rod two feet long which, if touched to bare skin, delivers a point-blank lightning bolt, 4x damage (The rod is unbreakable, for use in combat, it is suggested that a “mace” attack be used, and, if a hit is made, then roll an additional attack on the lightning bolt table, point blank).
- Taurclax’s sitting room and lower office. Plush, decorated in greens and browns. There are four living trees growing out of holes in the floor, with blue-green glass panels above them providing necessary light.
- Taurclax’s chambers. Behind a secret panel in the wall above the bed is a spare deck of Ardan cards, and a twig. If the twig is broken, it will teleport the holder safely to a secluded part of the forest 50 miles away (Taurclax’s last resort escape method).
- Guard posts. Two guards in each at all times.
- Interrogation room.
- Torture room. Fully equipped.
- Prison block. Sealed off by two double laen doors, which can only be opened by keys held by the guards (inserted in the wall next to the doors, they cause the laen panels to slide magically open). Between the doors is a steel portcullis, which is opened via a lever at the outer guard post of the two.
- Guard quarters. For the lower garrison: three per room; 24 in all, 8 of which are on duty at one time. All are humans, with the same stats as “keep guards”.
- Vault foyer. Floor is trapped; as soon as anyone steps within five feet of either of the inner doors (not the secret one) the outer door slams and locks, the counterbalance disengaged. The room (now sealed) fills completely with water, and after twenty minutes, drains. The counterbalance can be re-engaged, but only from the outside, through a secret panel. The door weighs about 600 pounds.
- Fake vault door. Behind secret door; as soon as the inner door is tampered with the floor opens and drops the unwitting burglar(s) into a thirty foot deep pit: 10 – 100 hits, and a “C” Impact critical. The floor then closes over the intruder. The trap is hard (-50) to detect.
- Main vault of Taurclax. If a trap on the outer door is not disarmed before it is unlocked (the lock is very hard, –60), then everyone who treads on the access corridor beyond is sprayed with deadly darts, tipped with Karfar (see sect. 8.6). The inner two ddors are locked (very hard, –80) and the inner one is trapped with an alarm which rings in the central guard station (2). The treasure:
- 2 mithril Noldor longswords; glow blue when Orcs are within 1000’.
- 2 mithril Noldor daggers; glow blue when Orcs are within 1000’.
- Clear laen wand (1’ length); may fire up to 9 Shock Bolts +30 per day.
- 2 Noldor longbows +15.
- Tuktan Composite Bow +25;
- Staff of Uclax (6’ long, black wood); Plantform once per day; Great Merging Organic once per day; Limbrunning at will.
- Mithril ring with hexagonal emerald; wearer may use the Herbmastery list (SL, p. ) up to 20th lvl, but must use his own PP’s and be a Channeling user (at least partially).
All items in the vault are packed in fine wood boxes.
- Cash vault.
- Guest study room.
- Guest bedroom.
- Lady of Helms’ office.
- Lady of Helms’ bedroom.
- Herald of Helms’ quarters.
- Corridor to the “Cave of the Winds”. Down the winding tunnel is a large, natural cave, and in the center is a hexagonal platform of red glassy rock, glowing constantly. It is in this room that the “Winds” are summoned. Demonic in nature, yet unlike the average demon, they are ancient servants of Morgoth which only Taurclax may still summon. They are six, and he is able to call whichever one he chooses depending on his needs, but the personal power drain can be enormous. Beyond the cave is a passage out to the forest.
All six Winds have the ability, gixen six unstunned rounds, to transform into completely ethereal, invisible form, and move as a chill wind at the rate listed (number given is feet per second). In this state they cannot physically interact with anyone — including engaging in combat — while ethereal or in progress either way. Add 10 to defensive bonus for every round towards the wind-state, until unhittable in final form. Only airtight chambers or powerful anti-magic or anti-evil spells can deter them while ‘winds’. And only a chill, whistling breeze heralds their approach. When visible, they are cloaked all in black; nearly silent in movement. Their weapon is a large black iron dagger-like blade; the kynac. Each carries six kynacs, 3 suitable for throwing, three to melee. Use a ‘rapier’ attack; the modifiers have already been incorporated into their bonus. All six weapons are coated with Acaana, a deadly poison, which takes effect if the weapon delivers a critical strike. See the MERP rulesbook for details on the poison (the only antidote is the leaf of the rare Shen plant).
If one of the winds should be driven over maximum hits or delivered a killing critical. it reverts to its wind form and flees to Taurang, incapable of reforming for 66 days. Also, Taurclax is incapacitated for the number of days equal to the level of the summoned but defeated wind. After he recovers, he may summon another, of course.
- Guild of Elements access to Taurang. The entrance is five miles away in the side of a ravine. For a detailed description of the doors, corridor etc. see sect.11.2.2.
(S: “Iron Mine”)
Angkirya was originally constructed by the Dwarves long ago, by a group of Stiffbeards who explored the mining prospects of the region. That may never be known however, since Angkirya was a crumbling ruin when Fëatur discovered it in F.A. 197. Subsequently, much of it was sealed off (note, for example, dead end corridors #26 and #28) and extensive modifications were made — some by Fëatur’s Dwarven smiths, others by Elven stone and metalworkers. Thus, the Angkirya which exists today is a mixture of ancient Dwarven construction and new (within 4200 years) Dwarven and Elven work. The mix is very balanced and harmonic however. The ancient work is the most solid and painstakingly precise, while the new, Elven construction is lighter and more flamboyant. All in all Angkirya reminds a bit of the splendor of Felagund’s underground fortress of Nargothrond.The main doors and Great Hall doors for example, are all Dwarven work. All laen work is Elven (as is of course, the Ardan Council chamber).
- Main entrance. Two large iron doors (30’ across, 40’ high, 6” thick; 9x12x1,8m). They open to the command “Open, by Furin” in Elvish or Dwarvish (Furin is believed to be the founder of Angkirya). They will also open to a powerful Opening spell.
- Guardrooms. Each manned at all times by 2 garrison guards, in three shifts of eight hours each, staggered so that one room changes every four hours. One of the two stands guard in the doorway.
- Great hall foyer. 30’ high, 20’ wide (9x6m). 3” (7,5cm) thick doors similar to the main entrance doors flank the stair up. These doors however, have silver inlaid disk set in each, 2’ (0,6m) from the center, and at eye level (for a Dwarf about 4’; 1,2m). To open the doors one must lay one’s palms on the disks and say “Open” in Khuzdul. Note that during normal operation, these doors stand open, slide into their wall pockets, and are only closed during times of questionable security. To open the doors from the inside requires the same process, while to close them one only needs to touch the edge of either door. The two alcoves are manned by doorwards (garrison guards) who pull the large silver hall doors open when commanded to do so. The doors themselves are 30’ (9m) high, 40’ (12m) wide and 4” (10cm) thick and inlaid with a scene of a mountain. If the doorwards believe here to be a threat, each has an alarm lever in his alcove which also locks the hall doors so that they can only be opened from within.
- Pit trap. Not armed unless someone steps on the third step on their way from foyer #3. If they do so, the next weight of 50 lbs. (22kg) or more will trigger the pit trap, dumping the luckless victim(s) down a chute and into a cell below (see lower level).
- Yavëkambas office, sparsely furnished: mostly records books and medical texts. Behind a secret panel in the desk (trapped; failure injects the intruder with poison: Klytun) is a book with every spell on the Base Lay Healer lists to 20th level. Any Mentalism spell user can use these as one-shot ‘Runes’, provided they make their roll.
- Yavëkamba’s bedroom. Comfortable though not elaborate.
- Sitting room. Well furnished, including a keyboard instrument like a harpsichord. Bookshelves on the far wall contain light reading, and a selection of Fine liquors sits on a side table.
- Guest room. Opulently furnished.
- Guest room. Opulently furnished.
- Guest room. Opulently furnished.
- Magical armory. Ten + 25 longswords, ninety + 15 arrows, five + 15 maces, eight + 15 daggers, three suits + 20 chain armor, one suit + 15 full plate (check sizes, all armor), one + 20 hammer, two + 15 shields, two + 25 short swords, one + 30 composite bow. All behind a secret door and a steel door, locked (hard, — 50 to open).
- Guard post. Manned by 2 garrison guards. Levers behind the protective 3’ (0,9m) high wall drop portculli at locations 12A and 12B. Also, there is a small ballista at the ready to fire down the hall (Heavy crossbow + 20; 3x damage) and one guard is trained to use it each shift.
- Librarian’s office. Bookmaking supplies and materials, and 2 scribe/librarians (noncombatants).
- Library. Full of science, history, geography, geology, etc.
- Library. This is the one with art and fiction.
- Secret door. Trapped and locked steel door (point blank lightning bolt to whoever fails to disarm). Rare Book room, including a few books with runes in them. Also, a complete Book of Andraax, named “Holds of the Court of Ardor” on a stand, bound in black dragonskin. There are also a couple of “darklore” scrolls.
- Guardpost. As #12, but no levers.
- Fëatur’s office. Sumptuously furnished: grass green carpet, elaborate tapestries, rich wood furnishings, deep brown velvet upholstery. The “X” outside the door denotes the location of elite guard positions at all times — in eight hour shifts.
- Viewing Room. Behind a secret door and double locked laen door which swings in, two huge chairs face a small round black marble table. On the table, held in a large gold, talon-shaped fitting, is a seeing stone of clear crystal, 2 feet (60cm) in diameter. The crystal cannot be broken, nor removed from its fixture, but allows anyone seated before it who has any alliance with the Mentalist realm, the power of “Free” use of the Seer “True Sight” list to 30th level, with all ranges x1000, and able to combine spells (for example, Stonesight and Long Eye, so that one may delve into a castle far away, seeing through its walls. It is not actually free, however, as a point of the character’s temporary constitution is drained for every power point of the spell(s) used. Points are regained at the rate of one per every five minutes total rest, but if all points are drained (the user overextends himself) he lapses into a coma for three days. He will begin to feel very tired before this point, however. The walls of the room are covered with black velvet drapes, behind one of which is a secret door, and a passage to a secret exit out of the complex 2 miles (3,2km) away. There is a lever 200’ (60m) down the passage which triggers a 20’ (6m) long deadfall about 10’ (3m) behind the operator, sealing off pursuers.
- Fëatur’s bedroom. Richly furnished in royal blue and burgunds.
- Passage(secret doors at each end). Connects Fëatur’s room to the Council chambers. Door on the Chambers end has a peephole. In the wall of the passage is a secret panel (triple trapped with 3 poison (Kly) darts. Inside is a complete duplicate set of Fëatur’s personal equipment, and a spare Darin Tesarath robe.
- Guardpost. Identical to #17.
- Ardan Council Chambers. Rich, dark wood panelled walls, and dark red carpet. Table is black marble with inlays of tinted laen (see Citadel of Ardor Council room for table details). All chairs are of heavy wood and velvet design, but Fëatur’s is the most elaborate (far left). Doors to the chamber are also black marble, 20’ (6m) wide. 15’ (4,6m) high. 1” (2,5cm) thick, and slide into the adjacent walls with the utterance of “Open, by the word of Ardana” in Quenya. The doors can be locked by a switch within so that they cannot be opened from outside. These doors. and the walls, floor, and ceiling of the room are laced with a fine net of Kregora wire, which is sufficient to prevent any information or detection spells from functioning on people within the room, as well as any teleports to and from the room and any use of spells within. The doors themselves are also immune to magical attack, including Undoor.
- Council lounge.
- Infirmary. With partitions, 10 beds.
- Pit trap. Floor opens to 100’ (30m) drop.
- Yavëkamba’s main surgical area. Equipped with very sophisticated equipment, including that for the manufacture and fitting of prosthetic devices.
- Twin steel doors. Locked and engraved with The vaults of Morang. All within ten feet (3m) of the doors are sprayed with poison darts (roll 2 – 8 rapier + 60 attacks on each kictim; treat unwary targets as static for dart impact. Critical yields poison: Jegga.
- Quarters of Yavëkamba’s 3 assistant Lay Healers.
- Guardpost. As #12, with 2 portculli.
- Access way to vault. First, a huge black iron door, inlaid with glowing red letters reading in Quenya: “The Hall of Dark Fire” (Tengwar letters). The door has twin locks, set in metal plates on the walls at either side of the door (keys are held by Fëatur and the Lord of Orbs only). The keys are usually turned by two elite guards trained in simultaneous key turns, because if the two locks are not undone at virtually the same time, a delay trap mechanism is triggered (there is no way of knowing this until it actually goes of).
After the five-ton door rises on its counterbalance, sliding up a deep stone track, ten seconds later the cables release, dropping the door and sealing the would-be thieves within. Then the hall fills with a gaseous form of Vurnanna poison (a pinkish color) for five minutes; the gas is then vented out. The cables can only be reattached through an accessway off of guardpost at #30.
Beyond the door is a portcullis of clear laen, each bar having a tiny filament of Kregora in it, thus preventing any spell from operating on it (not to mention stopping anyone from teleporting or long-doring through it). The portcullis is raised by grasping the 4th and 7th vertical bars (from the left, there are ten bars) and twisting both counterclockwise 90 degrees, then 180 degrees clockwise. Treat as a “Very Hard” (-70) to anyone just attempting to unlock blindly. Give additions to PC’s who examine the bars closely and observe the turnability of the two. Attempting to twist any of the other bars, or not immediately twisting the two clockwise as described, will cause the outer door to deadfall (as above), and release the gas.
The next door is easily operated by a lever on the wall next to it. This door, reinforced 2” (5cm) thick iron, slides into the wall. The next (smaller) door is of mithril, 2” (5cm) thick with a lock of “Hard” (-40) complexity.
The portcullis ahead is not really there at all, but a permanent visual illusion of a red laen portcullis. Only the four horizontal bars are real, spaced at 2, 4, 6 and 8’ in height (2,5; 10; 12,5 and 20cm). If anyone attempts to pass an object through any of the vertical bars above the 2’ (60cm) high horizontal (the space between the floor and the lowest bar is safe to slip through) the hall for 10’ (3m) up and down the corridor from the portcullis becomes a “Room Afire”, as all suffer point blank fireballs at 5x damage.
The inner door is identical to the mithril door, except that it is bronze and the lock is different, if of same complexity. Within the Vault of Angkirya are the following items:
- Replacement items and weapon for all Court members.
- 30.000 gp in mithril.
- 20.000 gp in gems.
- Staff x4 PP multiplier (Essence).
- 3 Tuktan Teak longbows (+25).
- 2 sets of mithril chain armor (AT 16).
- 3 wands in a box (of Firebolts, Icebolts and Lightning Bolts respectively).
- A ring (???).
- A case with four glass figurines of Trolls (when dropped and broken, they fight for the owner for a maximum of 66 rounds and then are gone). One use for each only (they are: Forest, Stone, Cave and Mountain Trolls).
- 4 +40 swords.
- +30 shield with a constant Spell Shield True.
- Guardpost. Manned by two guards, each has a secret access corridor to firing rooms, equipped with pivotable baillistae as in post #12.
- see #3.
- Access to the lower level. Outer doors are of smokey transparent laen, embedded in which is a one-foot diameter steel disk split down the middle, which serves as a lock. The doors can be opened by pressing palms to the steel disk-halves. They slide open, and remain so for ten seconds, then automatically close unless a lever (which will also open the doors remotely) in firing room 34A is locked in the farthest down position. Further in is a portcullis, operated via a lever inside the firing room 33A. Further are steel doors controlled by a lever in 33A.
- Walk-in freezer (magically maintained temp.)
- Guardrooms. Manned by two garrison guards at all times able to enter the main access corridor or the Creat Hall (through #38) as needed.
- Formal guardrooms. Manned by elite guards in formal dress, but only when the Great Hall is in use for an audience or feast etc.
- Main pantry.
- Main kitchen.
- The Great Hall. For the most part original Dwarven construction: dark green marble floor, huge columns of veined black marble shaped like trees arching up so their upper ‘branches’ interlace to form the vaulting. On the walls are beautiful mosaics of mithril, gold and precious gems depicting scenes of Dwarven mining, forging and party activities, as well as meetings of Dwarves and Elves. At the head of the hall is a two-step dais of lighter green marble, and a massive throne of faintly glowing glowing laen. Seat and back are upholstered in green velvet, and arms are of oak. The arm tops flip open to reveal controls which manipulate the hall’s environment:
A. To raise sections of lhe marble floor to create benches and cables for feasting.
B. To light the gilded lanterns uhich hang from the ‘tree’ branches to varying brightness (all magical).
C. To contact the kitchen.
D. To contact pages.
E. To open or close and lock the Hall doors.
F. To sound alarms in guardrooms #37, #38 and #42.
G. To pivot the throne and occupant to face the secret door, open the door and propel the throne through the door and seal it behind them (for emergencies).
- Guardrooms. As #38, except access to hall is secret, and only, used in emergencies.
- Secret corridor for Fëatur.
- Quarters for twelve household servants (three per room).
- Guards’ and servants’ dining hall and recreation room.
- Quarters for the cooks and food servers, of which there are twelve.
- Baths for the servants.
- Quarters for the garrison guards (each 20’ by 30’ (6x9m) room partitioned for ten guards) 60 in all.
- Rooms for the elite guards. Their duties are more flexible than those of the garrison. One each is assigned to each Fëatur (these guards are highly trusted Khelnôrin Elves who are privilege to the secret of the two Fëaturs. They also have willingly submitted themselves to mind blocks so that they can never tell anyone else their secret) as bodyguards, as well as one to Yavëkamba. Three are stationed outside of Fëatur’s and Yavëkamba’s quarters while the latter are inside, and have supervisory duties over the other guards, so they may turn up in halls or guardposts at random. They also have access to the main libraries for use during their leisure hours. (8 in each room subdivided inio four doubles; sixteen in all).
- Training/combat practice room. Equipped wich weights, and combat areas for all guards to work out in.
- Guard baths.
- Office/quarters. For ihe captain of the guard (the Lord of Orbs).
- “Spare bedroom”. Actually quarters for (the male) Fëatur. The door is two inch (5cm) thick steel and will only open to his mental command (very sophisticated). The room is protected from detections by a Kregora net similar to that which surrounds the Council Chambcrs.
- Fëatur’s lab. Including many chemicals and unusual mechanical devices. There are a few doses of various poisons and healing herbs.
- Guards and servants lounge and game room.
- Office/quarters of the chief of domestic operations.
- Baths for she servants.
- Quarters for the scribes.
- Stairs (connect from #35) to lower level. The bridge across the water is one big trap, and never used. Anyone who steps beyond the halfway point causes the entire bridge to collapse into the water 70’ (20m) below. The walls of the room are sheer, and there is no other way out of the water. A secret door to the right just outside of the water room provides access to the main room.
- Double steel doors. Slide open on approach (from thir side) into she access room. In the center is an octagonal desk from which all lower level activities are monitored. There are three guards and one elite at all times.
- Access the quarters for 35 Dwarf miners/forgers.
- Foyer to prison/holding area. All cell doors, made of steel with barred windows, are locked, hard (-30) complexity. The elite guard on duty outside holds keys. Two guards are on duty here, and pace about the foyer. Large doors to #63, #64, and #65 are actually steel grates with barred doors inset in them. Keys are also held by the elite guard on duty. The doors back to room #60 are large, sliding airtight laen doors which are usually open but can be automatically closed from a control on the desk. The entire prison area can then be flooded with a green sleep gas (Thurviik).
- Main prison room.
- Torture/questioning area.
- Elite cells. Larger and more comfortable than the others.
- Rough hewn corridor. 2500’ (750m) long, leading to the mines.
- An immensely complex, labyrinthine mine and smelting complex. Yielding black laen, emerald, amethyst, rubies, gold, and black eog — that dull, ultrahard metal which inhibits essence which is not evil (extremely rare).
- Lower entrance to Angkirya. Several miles from the front one; used as a mine exit from which ingots are removed (there are carts on tracks in the floor of the tunnel from the mines to this entry). It is well hidden and very near the coast, and a convenient mooring point for Ardan ships. The doors are 3” (7,5cm) thick steel.
- Guard rooms. One Dwarf on duty in each at all time.
- Guild door to Angkirya. Lies along the rocky coast, five miles west of the mine entrance. Set deep in a cleft in the rocks, it is invisible to all except those with a Guild signet.
(Q: “Fang of the Heavens”)
The Menelcarca is the holding of Ardûval, “The Astrologer”, and is his private domain. In design it is basically, a single tower, constructed upon the summit of a high peak in the center a particularly high cluster of mountains in the Yellow Mountains. The only way to the tower is via a long twisted stair; but the secret entry of the Guild of Elements is this way: there is a secret path opposite the official way running over the mountains to the “backdoor” of Menelcarca. This path is so cunningly hidden that only one wearing a Guild of Elements signet can see the regular waypoints that mark the correct way. The secret pathway ends up in the lower levels of Menelcarca, in a remote corridor.
Note all doors are sliding, airtight metal, with controls at the wall next to them. Only the doors to Ardûval’s quarters and the vault are locked. Treat each of those as very hard to –20 unlock.
- Entry. Via teleport gate in a vale far below.
- Guard. Three warrior monks on duty.
- Guard quarters. Nine 5th level warrior-monks; 3 on duty, 6 off.
- Stair room.
- Dining room.
- Guest sitting room.
- Guest room.
- Foyer/guardpost. 2 on duty.
- Guard lounge.
- Lesser vault. 30.000 gp in gems, gold and jewelry. Very, hard (-20) to open.
- Guard quarters. Housing Six 10th level warrior-monks.
- Exercise/practice room.
- Guard Captain’s office.
- Library. General fiction and history texts, as well as books on fighting techniques of warrior-monks.
- Guard Captain’s quarters.
- Herald of Orb’s office.
- Herald’s study.
- Herald’s quarters.
- Guest quarters.
- Inner vault. Very hard — 20 to open. Contains duplicate basic equipment for the Court members of Earth, as well as:
- Orb of farsight, a 12” (30cm) diameter orb which allows anyone of the realm of Mentalism to use any one spell of the Seer “Past Visions” list per day up to 30th level.
- A ring which, when worn, blinds the wearer but allows him to detect presences of all within 100’ (30m) and know their race, level, profession, and general alignment, as well as their intentions for action during the next battle round. The blindness persists for an hour after the ring is removed, even though the powers do not.
- Ardûval’s library.
- Ardûal’s quarters. Lavishly furnished with every luxury imaginable. Bath facilities are highly sophisticated, and the hangings and furniture are plush. There are three large closets paced with Ardûval’s vast wardrobe.
- Dome Room. Telescope in the center is for viewing astronomical bodies. It and the dome room orientation are controlled at the console, so that the entire top of the tower can pivot 360 degrees. The dome can be opened, up to 90 degrees of its circumference.
(S: Watch of Terror)
Tirgoroth, although a small holding by comparison to the others of Ardor, makes up for its size in its awe-inspiring location: atop a half-mile high sheer spire of hardest stone, jutting from the waters of the Ûsakan Bay. Most of the rocky pillar is rarer seen, however, as it is almost constantly enveloped in a dense cloud — except for the very tip, upon which sits the castle itself. The illusion is thus created that the palace is actually floating atop the cloud. Constructed entirely of pure white marble, its towers roofed with gold-leafed shingles, the castle can be seen for many miles by day — and night, for its very walls give off a faint reflective glow. The inhabitants and purpose are of course unknown to almost everyone, but rumors abound.
The visible castle itself consists of three square towers and a fourth, hexagonal tower, all conneeted by sheer walls, and each roofed. The square towers are three stories tall (80’ (25m) in height, including roof), levels connected by a stair along one wall. The first two levels serve as living quarters for eight guards, while the top levels (just beneath the toof)are lookouts. There is a room within the roof with viewing windows, and a door out onto a walkway which runs the perimeter of the roof. Access from tower to tower is through the second level, across the tops of the walls, or at the first level, via passages within the walls. All entries are closed by 2” (5cm) thick panelled doors of pale grey-while wood, with gold-leafed hinges and fastenings. The doors are very light but extremely hard, and can be locked (all guards have keys) but normally are not. The hexagonal tower is eight levels high (160’ (50m), including the roof), and access from floor to floor is via a spiral stair in one corner: the topmost portion of the“Ten thousand steps”.
- Level one
Guardpost and reception area.
- Level two
Formal audience chamber for Valkrist.
- Level three
Office/administration/records area for Sûlherok, ‘The Messenger’ of the Court.
- Level four
Quarters of the Lord and Lady of Swords. They are Captains of the Windlords.
- Level five
- Level six
Vairesûl’s (the Herald of Swords) quarters.
- Level Seven
Valkrist’s office/study, comfortable but not flamboyant.
- Level Eight
Valkrist’s quarters. This level is larger than the rest, and huge windows on each side permit panoramic views of the lands and sea around. The roof of the room is domed and painted midnight blue, with the constellations set in it in sparkling gems. There is a railed walkway running the perimeter of this level. Held within the courtyard ofthe castle are two structures. Along one wall is eyrie for the mounts of the Windlords, housing the thirty huge grey, falcons, able to fly at great speed across the upper stairs. 22 are each tied to a specific Windlord, while the remaining eight are the mounts of the Lords and Ladies of Swords (including Sûlherok’s “Sûlroch”, and Valkrist’s two birds “Elros” and “Gilsûl”).
The other, freestanding building is a three story, structure of marble, roofed with thatch of a bright golden color. The first level is given completely to a huge banquet hall, and to one side, kitchen facilities and servant quarters. The second level, accessed through a stair at one side of the hall, has comfortable guest rooms. The third level, accessed only by an exterior staircase, are the quarters of the 22 Windlords. (When in a hurry, they just jump off the third floor balcony, able to ‘Land’ safely from any height). The only exit from the courtyard is via a drawbridge which opens onto empty air. This serves as the end of the runway for the falcons. The mechanism for the drawbridge, and aportcullis just within, is magical and controlled by mental command by the Windlords through their falcon rings.
Beneath all of this, some 1000’ (300m) feet down the “Ten thousand steps” is, carved our of the adamantine rock of the pillar, a prison area capable of housing up to twenty residents. From there, the steps start down (there is a steel portcullis blocking the path just below the prison area, locked, hard — 10, and only the Lords of Swords have keys) winding unbroken within the core of the stone spire, to a point far below the ocean floor, a tunnel to the mainland, and a concealed entrance, never used. The Guild of Elements secret entrance is but a few hundred Yards from the Court one. Its door identical to the others; it opens to a tunnel which intercepts the original Tirgoroth passage via a secret door, just before it begins a long descent under the coastal beach.
All of the Windlords possess composite bows which magically reload every round and have a +20 bonus. All can fire from“falconback” without penalties. All also possess, as do the Court riders, a belt of LandingTrue, allowing them to land safely from a fall of up to 2500 feet (750m). In addition to this, they carry usual Suit of Swords equipment, including the falcon rings.
The falcons are highly intelligent and loyal to their masters. If he/she should fall in battle, the bird will viciously attack his opponents until either: 1. it dies 2. its enemies all die; or 3. its master is clearly beyond hope. In the last case, it will flee to Tirgoroth. The falcons are each about fifteen feet (4,5m) long with a thirty foot (9m) wingspan, and all area light grey in color. ln general they need a freestanding starting point with sufficient (c. 50 feet; 15m) room to the ground to take off when bearing a rider, and they need twenty feet (6m) to land. When not bearing a rider, they can almost instantly come to a halt and take off, just like normal falcons do.
(S: ‘Mine of Jewels’)
A vast mining complex, Mirisgroth is basically a natural formation, a volcano which collapsed in upon itself not once, but twice in the distant past. Now dormant, it is two concentric rings of steep, jagged volcanic stone in the center of which, built upon a rocky spur, is a small hexagonal hold. Radiating out from the castle are six iron bridges which connect to the inner ring, and resume to join the inner ring to the outer. The rings of slag proper are laced with interconnecting tunnels and chambers, and deep mine shafts. For details of this area, see the plan diagram. The outer circle holds a garrison of 1000 mannish miner/guards. In the inner circle resides a mixed population of 500 Human and Dwarven miner/guards. The entire facility is administered and supervised by Cambragol, ‘The Monk’, or Persuvious in his absence.
The Central Hold
Iron bridges. Converge, meeting the sheer sides of the outcrop. The walls of the castle are of (non-rusting) iron as well, rising 40’to narrow walled parapets. Access to the walkways is via ladders on the insides of the walls, and from the six towers. The entrances are 15’ square portals with reinforced steel doors which slide down into place on tracks.
Towers. Also of riveted iron plates, enclosing four levels and a rooftop lookout. All interior floors are open steel grates, and access from floor to floor is by a ladder bolted to the outer wall. First floor is the guardroom for the courtyard; second is the dining area/lounge; third is open to the adjoining walls; another guard post, the fourth is sleeping quarters housing 12 men of each tower. On each roof are two small, pivoting ballistae ( + 30; fire 1x every three rounds; 2x range and damage on the heavy crossbow table).
Twin entrances. To the central tower, which is constructed of fused blocks of volcanic black stone and rises to 90’ (27m). The doors are similar to those on the outer walls, being of reinforced iron, and sliding up into the wall above to open. These are 20’ (6m) wide and high.
Foyer. In the center is an iron spiral stair rising to level 2.
Spiral stair leads to upper levels.
Guardrooms. Two men on duty in each.
Stairs to the lower halls.
Guard Captain’s office.
Guard lounge/dining hall.
Second floor foyer.
Persuvious’rooms. Simply furnished. The door has four traps on it, each very hard (-20) in complexity to disarm. Failure will yield:
- A poison dart (Acanna).
- A ballista bolt from the adjoining wall (+ 30; 2x damage heavy crossbow; static target).
- A panel in the door popping open at eye level to reveal a Rune of Unminding (victim’s mind is completely blank: he cannot walk, talk, speak or comprehend. Lasts 6 days. Resist versus 20th level essence),
- Finally the door will open, but five rapier-like rods of steel will flash across the entry (“extremely hard” [-30] to avoid. For each 20% below 100%, the victim takes one of the five ‘rapier attacks’. All rods have a +80 bonus and are tipped with poison: Kaktu). Persuvious does like traps.
Valsûl’s (The Knight of Swords) quarters.
Cambragol’s reception hall. (20’ (6m) ceilings on this level).
Elite guard quarters. Housing nine.
Cambragol’s office. Starkly furnished, very severe.
Cambragol’s quarters. Very expensively furnished: elegant and expensive hangings, red carpeting. A cunningly designed central iron fireplace provides heat when necessary.
Servant’s quarters. Housing 12.
Guardroom. Two on duty.
Secret door. Opens into guardroom. Narrow, almost invisible slits face up the stairs, with mounted ballisia ready to fire at intruders (+80; 2x damage heavy crossbow). The guards are alerted by a three-step section in the middle of each stairway (just visible through the slit) which, when tread upon, causes a muted gong to strike in the guardroom. It cannot be heard from the stair, except maybe by an Elf (25% chance). Of course, even ifthis trap is discovered, the guards will be alerted by the ensuing shuffling and discussion necessary before the trap could be disarmed. Four men are on duty here.
Guard quarters, housing eighteen.
Quarters. Of Cambragol’s elite guard: six warrior-monks.
Persuvious’ workshop. Filled with half-completed trap devices of all kinds: many fine tools, strange pieces ofmetal and wood scraps, and several large notebooks with diagrams, written by Persuvious. These contain the layouts for a myriad of traps and locks — eighty percent of those used in the Ardor citadels (except Ithilkir; Airatano made his own). Thus, if one had the book, there is an eighty percent chance that he has the plans to a lock or trap in Ardor. However, the locations of the traps are not given. So, they can be very useful (+ 60 to disarming/unlocking), but one has to successfully locate the right notes first.
Monk Practice room. Padding on walls and floor.
Shrine. There is a 8’ (2,5m) long slab of granite set on a pedestal on a small altar at the far end ofthe room, flanked by ever-burning fire-pits. The granite slab has a shallow trough running along the perimeter. and a slot at the foot of it for runoff to flow into a golden cup which sits just below. There are many dark stains on the slab. There are also four iron manacles, set into the stone to hold wrists and ankles. On a narrow pedestal to one side lies a long dagger made of red laen. It, too, has stains on it, although laen does not usually stain. This is Cambragol’s shrine, the place for the Blood Ritual and he comes here secretly at times, bearing a sacrifice: usually a young man or woman. Here he enacts a grisly ritual, and as a result is able to gain scrying powers for the night. He can do this but once per month.
The Guild of Elements entry to Mirisgroth is perhaps the most bizarre in nature of them all. There is a small, barren and rocky isle about 20 miles from Mirisgroth, with a Guild door set in a rocky knoll on that isle (Guild entry location devices have a much longer range for finding this door: about 25 miles). Once inside, the hardy Guild-following soul will discover a stair down to a small grotto, wherein is moored a sloop (about 30’ (9m) long) of Elven design. An inscription (in Sindarin) on a plaque near the entry to the grotto reads “Behold the Way to the cursed isle of Mirisgroth, domain of Cambargol/Camcarneyar (the second name means ‘Bloody Hand’). This ship will bear up to ten to the outer ring, and an entry therein. Thenceforth it is up to you to avoid discovery. If the ship is not reboarded by one bearing an item of the Guild within five days, it shall return here, to await other passengers.” As the last person boards the ship, one with a Guild item can trigger the ship (he’ll get a gut feeling how), and its small sail will raise. On a wind none can perceive, the sloop will flawlessly maneuver out of the grotto and onto the sea. It cannot be maneuvercd off course. No sea storm will affect it, as there are powerful calming spells placed about it. The whole transport uses a natural feature for this sea region: mists and fogs are a very common occurence, and so the Guild transport device will not be too prominent. It is strongly encouraged to use this device only when there is natural mist or fog present to cover the boat. The ship will sail, wreathed in mists which will obscure it from being seen by those about, including the garrison of Mirisgroth; but won’t quite obscure the view of the travellers within the boat. There is a small, secluded grotto in the side of the outer ring of Mirisgroth, into which it will maneuver, and dock. From there, a narrow stair leads up to a secret door into a little-used storeroom. Beyond that, as the plaque states, it is up to the PC’s. Also, the ship will return to the other isle after five days, unless someone at least returns to it (with a Guild Item) and bids it stay, which it will, for another five days, etc. Those wishing to return from Mirisgroth before the five days are up can do so, of course, provided at least one of them has a Guild item to key to the ship.
Strongholds of the Guild of Elements
A single vast complex, most of Ty-Ar-Rana is underground, and the four above-ground structures serve mainly as entry points.
The inhabitants are now only but a complex array of illusionary “waiting images”, triggered by intruders; as well as Taran. Taran is a masterpiece of Alchemical and prosthetic skill, for he is an artifact, a golem of superior construction and design, and absolutely realistic, indistinguishable from a living being except by spells of detection. He is also very intelligent and strong; maintaining a pleasent demeanor but enforcing the orders given to him to the best of his ability: no unauthorized persons are allowed in Ty-Ar-Rana. Authorized people are: the Six of the Guild of Elements, Lyerin, and Moran. Illusions do not fool Taran, for he is linked to the Mind-typing walls (see #9), and can detect imposters. Taran will also admit anyone who is not evil, carrying one of the missing laen rune inlays(see #15) and brings no hatred of Ty-Ar-Rana with them. He obeys Moran’s verbal commands so that he will not hinder him (or his companions, if so ordered); but he will not say why he obeys Moran, nor will he leave Ty-Ar-Rana for any reason. While Moran is in Ty-Ar-Rana Taran will remain with and protect him.
The complex itself is austere, albeit very sleek, clean, and brightly lit (by glowing ceilings). It conists mostly of meditation and practice rooms and living quarters. The living areas of the Three, however, are quite comfortable. There is a random 5% chance (per month) that Lyerin is here (most likely in his quarters) as he returns periodically to clear his mind.
The three outer pyramids stand approximately 60’ (18m) high (including the 20’ (6m) high solid granite platorm). The fourth, central pyramid is identical in design, except it is 120’ (36m) tall.
Triangular stone platform with three identical stairways. When anyone begins to climb one of the stairs, the image of one of the Three (whomever’s temple this one is, or, if the central temple, all three appear) in front of the corresponding door #2, and speaks mentally to all those on the stair: “Turn back: you are not welcome at Ty-Ar-Rana”; UNLESS the group encompasses Moran, or one of the others mentioned above, OR someone who had previously been there and mind-typed (see #9 below) in which case they see an image beckoning them in, saying “Welcome”. If the unwanted intruders persist to the doorway, the image vanishes, and the instant he/she/they enter the portico, all receive 1 – 10 + 50 lightning strikes, as bolts shoot out of the surrounding metal walls (This also happens in the case of someone using, say, Moran, to get them into Ty-Ar-Rana: Moran would be O.K., but any and all whowere not there by Moran’s leave would get zapped. To Moran and Co. the doors open, three sections sliding smoothly out from the center into the walls, floor and ceiling.
The upper structure of the “Temple” is a three-sided pyramid, elevated on inward-slanting walls, into which are inset the three portals. The entire upper structure is fashioned of a noncorroding metal resembling brushed stainless steel. All faces seem to be single sheets of thick alloy and corner seams are very slightly rounded and perfect. There are no rivets or other outwardly visible connecting hardware. Inside is a triangular room with inwardly sloping walls, meeting at a point some 30’ (9m) high. All three walls are translucent and glow, in swirling, muted blue/green patterns.
The only object in the room is a triangular platform 6” (15cm) high and ten feet across. Its sides, like the floor, are dull metal; while the top is a translucent glowing blue. This is a transfer device, which, if stood upon for 5 seconds, will descend with the person to a corresponding platform below. Once on the platform, the person cannot move and be moved. A non-transparent paenl closes the opening so that observers cannot see what’s happening below. Transferee is paralysed and untouchable/unhittable during transferrence. Others may step on the platform, but will also slowly transfer after the first transport is complete.
Note This diagram depicts only one third of the total complex. Note cutaway corridors #12. These continue on to groupings nearly identical to #1 – 11 described below. Also, cutaways leading from the other two secret corner doors #14 are virtually the same as group #15 – 22 deseribed, except they are the quarters of Lyaan and Lysa, and decorated differently, as detailed.
Transfer platform from pyramid above. The door to the corridor is of 2’ (5cm) thick steel, and slide down flush with the floor as soon as someone steps off of the platform, unless locked via a press panel in the hall. The portal is triangular, as are all in the complex, except the double width ones, which are truncated at the top. All doorways are ten feet high; all ceilings twelve feet (3,6m). All walls are of absolutely smooth, seamless granite, slightly sloping inward. Ceilings are of a translucent material, giving off light when someone steps in the room.
Double doors of 2’ (5cm) thick polished steel: open when approached within ten feet (3m); they close when last person ten feet (3m) beyond.
Cells of initiates. Carpeted in steel blue: comfortably, yet not lavishly furnished. Doors (all 1” (2,5cm) steel) open when a warm hand is laid on them; close 3 seconds later. Rooms are kept neat and dust free (there is a ventilation system) and no sign of deterioration.
300’ (90m) passage.
Doors, of bronze. They open on approach within ten feet (3m).
Hall of reception. Depending on which one, the presiding member of the Three will appear in the center ofthe room and speak, if someone granted leave to enter is there, the image will say in an archaic form of Quenya: “Welcome to Ty-Ar-Rana, may your stay be peaceful”, bow and vanish. If somehow the visitors are unauthorized intruders who got past the lightning, the image will appear angry; doors #5 will slam shut, and all intruders within will be subjected to a 20th level Sensory Overload mental attack. If they resist the first time, another attack will go off every round until all are unconcious (or they can get out of the room). Taran will then come and carry the bodies outside and deposit them on the ground at the foot of the steps where the swamp monsters can get them, or they wake up (if they’re lucky).
These rooms differ for each of the Three. All have silver doors.
Lysa’s: the inscription on the doors reads “The Hall of Truths True” in archaic Quenya. Once inside, if anyone should speak a lie, the room’s purpose will be revealed, for, as the lie is spoken an image of Lysa will appear on the throne, point accusingly, at the offender, and say in an eerily echoing voice: “Liar!”. In addition, people feel reluctant to sit in in this throne(as opposed to the other thrones in the rooms marked #7), and even worse if they do sit in the throne.
Lyaan’s: “Hall of Knowing True”. Whoever sits on the throne suddenly looks like Lyaan to everyone else in the room. and can read the surface thoughts and memories of any person in the room (one person per minute). Providing they fail to resist a 30th level mind probe. They will also be unaware that their mind is being probed.
Lyerin’s: “Hall of Health True”. Whoever sits on the throne is healed of all wounds up to and including broken bones and damaged organs. Brain damage is repaired, but ‘experience’ is not regained. Lifegiving is also not possible; however, stats lowered by damage or spells can be recovered up to 5 points per stat. This can only be done once per stat in the character’s lifetime. The healing process can take hours, depending on the severity, during which the patient looks like Lyerin and becomes ethereal, and so cannot he removed. He is also in a trance, if not already unconcious. Mental diseases of all types are also cured, including spell-induced diseases. Curses, however, are not cured.
Copper doors. Inscription reads: “Hall of the Friend”, open to reveal sumptuous guest quarters, subdivided for up to six, with beds, baths, etc.
Gold doors with the inscription “Home of the Three and those who know them. Speak of Your Leader and Pass Freely”. This requires that somebody know the name of one of the Three. If Taran is there, he will list the names of the Three if asked by Moran. Klaen knows them, but naught else of this complex. If a name is spoken, the doors open to The Hall of Intentions True. The narrow walls on either side are of clear laen ten feet wide and six inches thick, with strange cryptic runes inscribed on the inner faces. Note the trapped areas on both sides between the laen and the walls. Those who walk there must resist versus a 30th level mental attack or be telekinetically slammed against the unmarked face of the nearest laen wall, subjected to a Major Pain spell, and is Long Doored to a point 100’ down the corridor outside of doors ‘5’, three feet above the floor — so he falls on his face. If, for some reason, the person resists the first round, he must resist each round in the “T” area. The safe way to go through the room is between the laen walls. However, you are Mind-Typed by the magical walls. Even if you try to Leave or Long Door through, you are caught for an instant at the walls and typed. This is for later reference by Taran and the complex, so you are recognized.
Rooms, of inner guards. Empty, but kept up (like #3 above).
Cells of inner adherents. More nicely furnished, but otherwise like #10 above.
200’ (60m) long corridor to stainless steel doors. Will only open to previously mind-typed persons. Anyone who somehow bypassed the laen walls sets off twin lightning bolts from the portal walls.
Central room and master platform. Once inside, the doors to the corridors open upon approach. Taran usually stands on this platform if he has nothing else to do.
Sophisticated, illusion-aided secret doors (all three very hard, –100, to locate). Slide back and up. The wearer of one of the three sets of artifacts, the bearer of the missing inlay piece, or Lyerin can open these on command, others can only try to defeat its absurd –100 locking mechanism. Beyond is one of the Three’s living quarters/training area.
Foyers (three). In the center of each is a 10’ by 20’ (3x6m) block of granite, with an inscription on it describing the tenets of the Tyar religion on the outer face. The inward face has a single huge rune in glowing blue laen inlay. One piece of the inlays is missing from each rune in each of the three places (different runes, so each of the three missing pieces is different. Lyerin has his own). If found and inserted in its place, the piece will cause the entire inlay to glow, and the whole granite block will sink into the floor, until three feet still stick up. Thus revealed is the shrine of the appropriate member of the Three, with a perfect illusionary personage, including to the touch though it is cold and smooth like marble. It is either of Lyan or Lysa (Lyerin’s is empty), arms crossed on chest, Thaen stones on. The Tiara or rings can only be removed by a nonevil person who is of the Mentalism realm, who wishes to use the item himself, and for good purposes. Nonmentalists or those with the ‘wrong’ motives don’t see the items at all, and directed to where they should be, cannot feel them. Evil people get 3 “E” electricity criticals (Trying to get those ruby slippers, wicked Witch of the West?). Once the item is removed, the image vanishes, the slab rises back up, and the laen inlay pops out. If, for some reason, someone wants to return the artifacts and the inlay is replaced, the slab lowers, and if the items are held in approximately the right places, the image will reappear.
Informal meeting room.
Clear laen doors lead to
Lysa: Seer training room, carpeted floor is scattered with cushions. The one wall unbroken by a door is glass, with a swirling fog behind it. Any Seer can project his mental images from a spell onto this “screen” of mist.
Lyaan: Mentalist training room: a very comfortable lounge, where student mentalists practiced spells on each other. This room is lightly shielded from the outside to prevent accidental attacks on noncombatants.
Lyerin: Practice hall, floor and walls lightly padded, for martial arts combat practice.
Lysa’s: Very well organized. Two walls (sides) have gray wood shelves with books neatly arranged. Desk, of dark wood, is clear, except for a 1’ (30cm) diameter orb, which glows dimly. It has no other powers, except the color changes by mental command.
Lyaan’s: Walls are of very dark wood; one wall is covered by bookshelves, most volumes are histories, except for one set of mentalism books in a separate section. These books are not magical as such, but can serve as research material for the learning Mentalism spell user. There are nine volumes: four to cover the general lists; and one for each of the sets of base lists. Each book is 2’x1,5’ (60x45cm) and weighs ten pounds (4,5kg). The rest of the office is furnished comfortably, mostly in dark tones, and kept neat.
Lyerin’s: Doors, padded on the outside, wood panelled on the inside, open to a cluttered room, all walls covered with wood bookshelves, filled haphazardly with old books, stacks of papers (mostly poetry, by Lyerin, but some items of interest may be here). A copy of the book of Andraax, bound in black leather is somewhere. Also on the shelves are a variety of strange art objects and trinkets. A huge (4’x8’; 1,2x2,4m) desk is also covered with papers, mostly on martial arts theory, written either in archaic Quenya or a cryptioc shorthand incomprehensible to all but an expert linguist. Light in the room is provided by wall lamps, with glowing yellow gems rather than fire, and a similar lamp on the desk. The ceiling is dark, and the floor is carpeted in a gold-brown. In short, the room is a dramatic contrast to the cold sleekness of the rest of the complex.
Bedrooms. All comfortably and warmly furnished.
Baths. All huge (20’x20’; 6x6m) luxurious bath/lounge areas, with a magical source of hot running water, etc.
Spacious, elegant guest quarters.
Final Note It should be mentioned that, in the unlikely event the company (with Klaen) runs into Lyerin in Ty-Ar-Rana, neither will act like he knows the other. Lyerin will appear to try to be helpful, and may even give hints to the players about places of the Guild of Elements entrances/artifacts, but he will also seem very “spacey”, and not listen very carefully. he will also not leave the complex with the company, except under extenuating circumstances.
Place of the Watchers
Castles of Tantûrak
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