Saturday, April 3, 2021

[Ravaged Ruins of the Roglaras] Ruined Elvish Observatory and Dreadful Foundations

0728 ELVEN OBSERVATORY: Atop a small mountain overlooking the spring that births the River Elvenstar can be found the ruin of an ancient elven observatory. This 150’ tall wind- and rain-worn tower has a steep, winding 5’ wide stair winding all the way to the top around the outside. As the thin stone rail has long since fallen away, it is very dangerous to climb, but that has not stopped many in the past, as it is the best place to hide from the nearby cave bears when they are angered – the bears are too large and heavy to climb the tower. The tower is solid, and only from the heights of the tower can the outline of the ancient hamlet that once surrounded it be seen – the overgrown foundations of more than two dozen buildings. The top of the tower is 30’ across, and the railing, like that of the stair, has long since fallen away. At the center of the tower top is a 15’ diameter stone structure, with a slit in the green verdigrised bronze domed roof. The dome was set upon a system of wheels and gears, and once upon a time could be rotated, but the mechanism is long since broken. The dome once housed a huge telescope and various devices of eldritch arcane sort, but today there remains nothing more than large dented bronze tubes, shattered and worn glass, and bits of metal and wires. 

Save for the fact that the observation slit cannot be closed, as the door disappeared long ago, the building makes for a decent shelter, such that at some point someone pulled up several stones in the center to make a fire pit. The stones that line the edge of the pit serve well as seats. Three days’ worth of wood is stacked along the wall, and the gnawed and burned bones of several animals (and, perhaps, humanoids) are strewn amidst the shattered remnants of the telescope. The black soot of many fires cover the walls, hiding ancient astrological star-charts with notations in Elvish. The walls can be cleaned and restored through one month of very careful and time-consuming labor. If restored, the charts can be studied over a period of a month by anyone who can read Elvish, and will provide the character studying them a bonus of +2 bonus to any skill check involving astrologically-based spells and knowledge.

0820 SHADOWED RUINS: A series of low stone ruins are found here along the edge of the Darkling Wood, interspersed with many trees of great age. 42 stone foundations, ranging from small houses to a large castle of seven towers, can be found, covered by moss and shrub and withered trees. A dwarf or other expert in stonework or construction will note definite elvish styles in the remaining stonework, though of great antiquity, even for that long-lived race. After unknown eons, the stone still give off a hint of evil if such is detected for, and any who camp amidst the ruins will have somber nightmares of tragedy and loss.

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