Dragon Peak

Far in the northwestern mountains stands a steep and sheer peak next to a glacier flowing off a cliff into a valley. Here the silver dragon Shaxalar made her lair, and here the dragons departed this world five centuries ago. A huge gate filled with shimmering liquid magic stands open within the lair, leading to the plane of dragons, guarded by an elderly dragonborn ranger names Sheridan and his pseudodragon companions.

Dragonborn started dying out after the dragons left. The bloodlines grew thin once the draconic influence left Beneterra. Ionian scientists identified the draconic marker in blood samples and noticed its remarkable absence around 200 years ago.

The mountain earned the name Dragon Peak from the residents of Drakammer, the nearby dwarven village known for raising goats and mining. Whitecliff Road leads from Drakammer to Dragon Peak. Halfway between the two lies the village of Whitecliff, an encampment of albino kobolds who call themselves the Pale Children. The glacier grew around Whitecliff over the past 150 years or so, buried under a twisted spire of ice rising from the glacier, which also wiped out the road from the village to the mountain, leaving the trek to crazed adventure seekers.

Shaxalar's lair starts with a large (and very trapped) landing cave sheltered from the elements and intended for flying creatures like dragons. An audience chamber lies beyond, hiding entrances to a multi-level underground complex designed for a garrison of several hundred troops. A room containing a teleport circle opens onto the audience chamber, and hidden guard posts overlook all of these spaces.

The huge gate occupies one wall of the audience chamber, built up by artisans with non-functional decoration, as the gate doesn't need any support to remain open. If the mountain ever falls, the gate would remain open, floating above the rubble. The area around Dragon Peak has been remarkably stable over the centuries, except for the sporadic crash of the glacier calving into the valley below.

Shaxalar spent most of her riches to support artists and performers. A 200-seat theater with stage and dressing rooms exists in the complex, right next to an artist's studio, an art and sculpture gallery, and a research library dedicated to tomes of art history. Most of the artifacts and books found other homes after Shaxalar's death, either intentionally or through unrepentant permanent borrowing.

Rumors abound of a series of trials accessible through a door at the base of the mountain, now covered by the glacier. Anyone who wanted an audience with Shaxalar would undertake these trials to test character before being allowed to see the Silver Drake. A few say that the trials were modified after Shaxalar's death to be more deadly, both to protect the gate and to test the dragonborn called to be guardians of the gate. Rumors warn that any potential guardians would need two sponsors to unlock the trials, one with elven blood and one with dwarven blood. The Dragontouched, a cult of mystic-minded winged kobolds, maintain a prophecy (The Breath of the Recurring Scale) which contains hints to help potential guardians through the trials.

Note: I just ran my group through the Trials of Dragon Peak yesterday. I'll post the maps, handouts, and guidelines I used for it here at some point soon. I built it for five specific 6th level PCs, but it's puzzle-heavy and easily scalable to higher levels. It could work as low as 3rd level as long as the party has access to abilities or items that solve the trials, but I wouldn't want to scale the incidental damage rolls down much more than that. Surprisingly, they made it through the five trials and the puzzle to unlock the door in a single 4-hour session, and it felt like the best and tightest game I've run in a while, so I'm happy.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

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