Mysterious Places03/23/2004

Fading Lands

At several locations scattered throughout the Flanaess, small demiplanes intersect the Material Plane. Named Fading Lands by learned scholars, it is believed that deities or mortal wizards of great power created these pockets of elsewhere. Certainly they are rare in the extreme and usually of great age.

Many Fading Lands may appear almost normal, but they should not be entered lightly for almost without exception they are dangerous and deadly places, where the accepted laws of reality do not always apply.

These little known and little understood phenomena are extremely difficult to locate. Magical means of travel such as plane shift,ethereal jaunt and astral projection rarely grant access to such locations. Instead the persistent explorer must discover the specific method, either magical or mundane, of ingress and egress to such a place. Adventurers also report that the known Fading Lands are becoming increasingly difficult to find, suggesting that the magic that undoubtedly sustains them is failing. The reasons for this are unknown.

Reliable information regarding Fading Lands is notoriously difficult to uncover and usually found in the possession of puissant mages or extremely knowledgeable sages. The thick granite walls of the Great Library of Greyhawk contain a small collection of rare and highly magical tomes purporting to contain knowledge of such places. A few of these texts were penned by the eccentric, but surpassingly powerful wizard Zagig Yragerne making them valuable but of dubious veracity. Hidden away beneath the library these writings are not available for casual perusal by the curious, guarded as they are by the library’s chief researcher the reclusive sage, Iquander (LN male human Wiz11). Similar texts were once held in Rauxes, although their fate after the catastrophic events of early 586 CY is unknown.

Known Fading Lands include the Faerie Court of Rings hidden deep within the Welkwood, the Mines of Dumathoin in the Stark Mounds, and the Crypts of the Iron Souls in the Gloriole Mountains. The Blood Obelisk of Aerdy, a powerful artefact hidden in the Gull Cliffs, also stands within its own Fading Land.

DM’s Notes: Fading Lands each possess their own unique set of traits, which breakdown into several different categories include physical traits, elemental and energy traits, alignment traits and magic traits. For more information regarding the characteristic of these traits refer to the Manual of the Planes: Chapter 1. In addition strange and deadly monsters inhabit many Fading Lands.

Crypts of Iron Souls
The Crypts of Iron Souls are hidden deep beneath the mist-wreathed, densely wooded slopes of the Glorioles. Allegedly accessed through a now lost natural cavern of great depth, beauty and complexity, the crypts have long lain hidden, but not forgotten. The crypts are a vast labyrinth of tombs, catacombs and sepulchers sacred to the warrior-priests of Glorvardum, a dwur nation claiming the twin central peaks of the Glorioles. An ancient people, they have long warred with hill giants and ogres that lurk on the range’s lower slopes. The warriors of Glorvardum practice a funerary ritual peculiar to dwur, where fallen warriors were entombed with their slain enemies so that they may pay their due to the Father of Battle in the afterlife. Now war rages throughout the crypts as the restless dwur dead eternally battle their slain enemies. Sages theories that the energies of so many dead have been harnessed by some unknown agency to breath “life” into this subterranean battleground.

Within this dismal tomb complex, magical weapons and armor of dwur construct abound and sounds take physical form, possessing enough might to shatter iron and steel. As if this was not enough, the battle hardened dwur of Glorvardum patrol their borders with zeal, making attempts to locate these tombs difficult.

The symbol of Glorvardum, depicting a battleaxe crossed with a warhammer, can be found on way markers, fortifications and mine entrances throughout the Glorioles and is still borne by the remaining warriors of this ancient kingdom.

In late 593 CY, two unnamed Ahlissan adventurers staggered into Kalstrand with a small trove of weapons of archaic design bearing the stamp of Glorvardum’s smiths. Both individuals have now vanished after attempting to sell one of the weapons to finance their carousing.

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