Above the paths winding below, only those with the keenest of eyes can discern the aerie of Qilau'nn. The tumble of rocks
provides no easy path, and the cascade that spills down the north facing cliff is a further impediment to entrance, yet Qilau'nn
flies above it all. For she is beloved of Phaulkon though his brother Phyton too spirits her devotions....
Author: Marc Tizoc Gonzalez
Aerie of Qilau'nn
by Marc Tizoc Gonzalez (email@example.com)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission
from the author.)
Above the paths winding below, only those with the keenest of eyes can
discern the aerie of Qilau'nn. The tumble of rocks provides no easy
path, and the cascade that spills down the north facing cliff is a further
impediment to entrance, yet Qilau'nn flies above it all. For she
is beloved of Phaulkon though his brother Phyton too spirits her devotions.
Having climbed or flown the more than fifty feet to the entrance of
the aerie, a hero sees a landing of strangely smooth rock with lichen growing
abundantly. A small yet old coniferous tree bends over the entrance
to the cave, and at the threshold lays a clump of moss. The landing
is not much larger than a thirteen-foot diameter circle. The cascade
mostly parts around the cave's mouth and only splashes the edges of the
land space. Over the aeons, however, water has bored its way through
the stone, and thus flowing water is available but two steps from the shadows
of the cave.
Crossing the moss threshold, a hero bearing light sees an impossibly
smooth corridor, like a horizontal and elliptical cylinder, that rises
slightly and extends just beyond the illuminating radius of a torch.
On the concave walls of the corridor, a hero beholds frescoes of startling
topic and bold color.
The frescoes show scenes from an unfamiliar history or perhaps a mythology.
Only a master of the Flan or Suel lore might know a few of the names of
the characters or the meanings of the scenes. A disciple of the Old
Faith will feel a nagging familiarity yet be unable to articulate the meaning
of the dancing forms of faerie people. A novitae of the Fae Mysteries
will comprehend the haunting beauty of the frescoes as a high history of
the dawn-time when Pesh was a pristine and verdant place, as yet untouched
by war. (During nights when Celene is waxing, the pigments of the
frescoes alight and flicker softly in many hues.)
At the end of a corridor there is a room shaped roughly like the space
within an elliptical dome. When she is home from her travels, here
lives Qilau'nn. Immediately striking to a hero is the diffuse and
shifting light that suffuses the room. Looking up, a hero sees that
there is a hole in the ceiling and that rushing water flows over it!
The light comes from the sky and filters through the water, but it is unclear
what force restrains the water from pouring into the chamber and out the
In the middle of the room stands a stool, and upon it sits a dulcimer.
The stool is made of roanwood; its grain is pleasing and smooth, and its
fittings are strong. (On the bottom of the seat itself can be found
the mark of a craftsman from Courwood.) The dulcimer is plainly made
and of a light-toned wood, yet its plectrum is ornate. Silver caps the
wide end of the ivory pick, and slices of pearl are therein embedded; they
cover the join. If played by a bard, then the instrument immediately
illuminates in a spray of sparkling white light, which falling to the ground,
extinguishes as it lands. (After the initial effect, the dulcimer
only alights upon musical command.)
Beyond the stool and directly opposite the entrance, water (constrained
by a cylindrical, deeper, and steeply sloped concavity in the wall) flows
down the wall and beneath the floor though some splashes onto the floor.
Beside the hole in the floor (which has an odd almost sculpted-looking
lip around it), sits a large porcelain bowl with a prayer to Geshtai scribed
in blue ink and using the complicated calligraphy of the Bakluni. (The
hole in the floor, and the corresponding one in the ceiling are both
less than two feet in diameter.)
Upon the walls of the chamber are more of the strange frescoes though
their color has faded somewhat. Against the western wall and upon
the floor, a bed of moss grows thickly. Furs from diverse animals
pile upon the moss. They are of varying age, yet all were prepared
with utmost skill. Beneath the furs is a pillow of silk, which is
stuffed with down. It is mauve and embroidered with dragons in silver-colored
thread. Upon the silken pillow is a singular pearl, softly grey yet
iridescent. Beside the mossy bed is a bureau of teak. Hung within it are
shifts of strange design. Made of white linen, they are like robes
but with extremely large sleeves – practically open at the sides.
Opposite the mossy bed are a low table and short chair, the former of
oak and the latter of cherry wood. While the table is of rude appearance,
it is clean and heavy. The chair is so finely styled that it might
have been made in Rel Astra. Atop the table are an earthenware pitcher
and a goblet of beaten gold. The pitcher is filled with a clear liquid,
which if drunk effects the consumer as a potion of sweet water. (The
goblet is empty.)
Detailed above is the three-room lair of a sylph. I’ve tried to
articulate the description of the place with a minimum of rules referenced.
Though I realize that useful DMDs often present rules, I desired to be
rules neutral, given the multiple systems that are currently used.