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    Postfest II: The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay
    Posted on Tue, April 06, 2004 by Farcluun
    cwslyclgh writes "The vanishing obelisk of grendep bay appears for one month every seven years, and those that enter into it are lucky to be seen again, as they enter into a bizarre series of demiplanes.

    The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay
    By: cwslyclgh
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay
    By C. Wesley Clough

    Seven leagues north of Marner stands the stark granite cliffs of Sorcerer’s Isle. This tiny islet is less then a mile round, and its rocky cliffs rise in craggy ledges some thirty feet from the icy waters of the bay before terminating at a flat, plateau-like top, unmarked by vegetation or creature habitation. Even the seagulls avoid the forbidding isle, and the Fruztii and Schnia both consider the tiny island cursed, thus their longships give it wide berth on the voyage south. Ships from Ratik and the north province sometimes use it as a navigational aid when they sail these waters, but nobody stops there. Nobody except the occasional adventurer that is.

    Every seven years, for the entire month of Flocktime, a strange and wondrous thing happens on Sorcerer’s Isle, a mighty obelisk, more then eight hundred feet tall appears as if out of thin air, only to fade away again with the final day of the month. Where the obelisk comes from, and where it goes are a mystery, but records and legends indicate that the obelisk has been on this same cycle, one month every seven years since the ancestors of the Frost barbarians first arrived at Grendep bay.

    The obelisk, when present, is covered with glyphs and runes of unknown origin that can only be deciphered magically. There is also a door in the base of the obelisk, a single, stone door of unassuming proportions, that looks almost like it was added as an after thought. The few adventurers to enter the door and emerge again tell strange tales, that the obelisk is larger on the inside then the out, of portals leading to strange dungeons and stranger lands, and of foul magic, insanity and death. Those few that do return seldom have any desire to ever see the obelisk, or Sorcerer’s Isle again. Far more often, adventurers who enter the obelisk simply fail to ever come out. Such was the case of Dornal the just, a well known paladin of Heironeous, who lead his adventuring party into the obelisk more then three decades ago, never to be seen again.

    For the DM

    The writing on the obelisk is entirely alien to Oerth, and can only be deciphered magically, if read it speaks of strange lands unlike any found near the flanaess, and the glories of a great sorcerer-king who ruled them. The door on the outside of the obelisk is in reality a portal to the first of a series of demiplanes. Once adventurers have passed through the portal they find themselves in a tunnel that appears to be crafted of the same stone as the obelisk, however the tunnel soon branches into a labyrinth of corridors and chambers covering far more area then the base of the obelisk would allow. Characters can return from the obelisk at any time by returning through the portal at the end of the entrance hall… however if they do not do so when the obelisk is present on sorcerers isle they will find them self in some strange and exotic location (the obelisk moves every month, going back to given location every seventh year, other locations the obelisk appears are: a layer of the abyss that is a desert of ash and soot, the paraelemental plane of ice, on an island in the shallow sea that makes up the third layer of Elysium, and many, many, a strange land ruled by shaven headed mages in red robes, and many more alternate material planes). The labyrinth, as explorers call this demiplane, holds many constructs and guardian demons, as well as more then a few undead creatures. If four keys are assembled and properly used a portal to a second demiplane will open in the central room of the labyrinth.

    The second portal leads to another series of tunnels that appear to be cut from solid stone (in this case bluish-black basalt) this demiplane is divided roughly into two parts, as series of rooms that appear to the long abandoned laboratories of some powerful and demented mage, and a vast series of catacombs and underground crypts. The laboratories have been taken over by Xill from the surrounding ethereal plane, and a large number of them dwell here. They are not fond of intruders. The catacombs are filled wioth ghouls, ghasts, and wights, all of whom pay homage to a being known as the “Wight-lord”. This being holds the key that opens the portal to the next demiplane.

    Creatures exiting the catacombs find themselves emerging from a mausoleum in a vast cemetery. In reality this cemetery is but another demiplane, roughly circular and about five miles across. Head stones and mausoleums bear markings of writing in thousands of languages from even more planes and dimensions, some of readable by Oerthly characters. The cemetery is filled with undead of all sorts, but incorporeal types, especially wraiths and crimson deaths seem most prevalent. Keys can be gathered that will open a portal in the largest mausoleum (in the very center of the cemetery), but nobody who has ever passed through the portal has ever successfully returned to Oerth, so what lies beyond is a mystery. Scholars who have studied the subject believe that the pattern continues, leading to demiplane after demiplane until the palace, or perhaps the crypt, of the sorcerer-king mentioned on the obelisk is reached. (The Dm is encouraged to make up demiplanes as he sees fit, but each should follow a sort of theme, such as volcanic caverns, a valley filled with snow and ice, a glass or crystal palace, etc.)

    "
     
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    Re: The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay (Score: 1)
    by Abysslin (abyss@canonfire.com) on Wed, April 07, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.canonfire.com
    Wes, I truly envy your talent to create such grand content within very few words. This article (and the quality of your mini-mods) attests to that fact.

    I thought the submission was great and did I detect a reference to Lankhmar in there? (shaven headed mages in red robes)



    Re: The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay (Score: 1)
    by mortellan on Thu, April 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    This is just the kind of crazy planar hopping stuff I like! Good work wes.



    Re: The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay (Score: 1)
    by Valkaun_Dain on Thu, April 08, 2004
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    Brilliant madness! The kind of adventure that takes a character from creation all the way to retirement or death. If you can survive seven years of it you might even make it home.



    Re: The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay (Score: 1)
    by WightNight on Sat, April 10, 2004
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    Great article, Wes. I particularly liked the part about the Wight-lord. Ahem....not that I'm biased or anything , I just found it very appropriate.
    I think more articles should have Wight-lords in them. In fact, I'll go and write one right now....;)
    -wn



    Re: The Vanishing Obelisk of Grendep Bay (Score: 1)
    by donimator on Mon, April 19, 2004
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    I can only agree with most of the posted comments. This opens up limitless possibilites for a DM to incorporate every crazy idea they ever had that didn't fit well into a Greyhawk campaign. And I love any excuse to send characters into the Barbarian lands!




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