Axe Glacier

Overview

Axe-Glacier is one of the coldest spots in the known lands. Just climbing the mountainside is an adventure. There are many creatures that have adapted well to the cold climate and can only be found near the glacier. If you decide to adventure in Axe, make sure to come prepared with some protection from the elements. Without any cold or ice protection, just walking on the Glacier will damage you every round, until you freeze to death.

A caution to thieves at this point. Do no put your faith in your hide spell. The chill in the air is such that you will lose your hide, and the ghods of Murphy have decreed that you will always lose it when you most need it. you should also be aware that when a thief changes facet in Axe Glacier, he or she will enter the game in the Thieves' Guild, high up in the glacier. The trip back from there to the safety of a town may prove beyond the strength and endurance of lesser members of the thieving class, so think before you facet!

History

Castle

Many years ago, the great demon Asmodeus built a huge castle in Axe-Glacier and the entrance to this castle can be found on the 60 foot level. The immense beauty and magical flying buttresses give an unearthly quality to the castle, and even having been built by the great demon lord, it still has something of a graceful beauty. Years after the castle was built, and Asmodeus was banished from the realm, Poraph, the father of giants, claimed the castle as his own. His descendants still rule the land from within the castle.

Skull Caves

Formed many years ago by pools that ran off of the river (when it wasn't frozen), the denizens of the Skull Caverns have spent many years carving the walls straighter, and adding the finishing touches for their evil abodes. Many years ago, a group of fighters discovered the original caves and used them as a base to launch a series of attacks against the Yasnaki Brotherhood in Axe-Glacier. Unfortunately, most of the fighters were killed, and when the brotherhood discovered their hiding place. They came in and, with powerful magic, changed all of the inhabitants into orcs, hobgoblins, and ogres. A few of the brotherhood's fighters stayed to take charge of this new force, and descendants from that disaster still inhabit the caves. Of course, one of the inhabitants did manage to escape, but not before he was turned into an orc himself. Hiding out for many years, Rocky has finally come out of hiding and is trying to setup a shop on Kesmai Island, where he hopes to put the memory of that disaster behind him.

Lockpick Town

Thieves first set up Lockpick town in order that they could train and do business without local law enforcement officials constantly trying to end their meagre existence. During the reign of the brotherhood, the thieves of Axe-Glacier were ignored, and the thieves likewise ignored the brotherhood, so the town flourished. When the brotherhood was finally eradicated and others finally moved back to Axe-Glacier, they tried to establish law and order in all of the towns. Of course, the residents of Lockpick did not like this, and they showed their displeasure in many ways, until those of law finally took the message and left Lockpick to its own devices (but not before at least establishing a temple there). There is a tree stump in the centre of town. charred and scorched, but still standing, as a reminder to all of what happens to sheriffs in this town. the last person to try and be sheriff was taken and tied to the tree, and then Okerneal himself cast a firestorm on the tree and the surrounding area, When the maelstrom had cleared, nothing was left but the charred remains of the tree.

Frozen River

The source of the frozen river can be found up high in the mountains. Whatever force that froze it must have been very powerful indeed for the fish and everything are there in the waterfalls, suspended for all time. Soon after the river was frozen, four of the nastiest, meanest, and most powerful of evil forces took control of the caves that used to serve as the source of the river. They have killed many a valiant warrior, and the treasure that is to be found in their lair is not to be matched by any creature in the known lands.

Geography

Surface Level

Axe Glacier Town

When you first enter the Glacier, You find yourself in Axe-Glacier Town. Thieves will immediately like the town as there is no Sheriff to keep law and order, so doing business is much easier. The Trainers in Axe-Glacier Town can train to much higher levels than those of Kesmai town. Silvermoon, the Blacksmith, keeps his secret forge just north of the Wizards hut, and entry is barred by a gate that requires nighttime and a moonstone ring to enter. Silvermoon will forge a silver great axe for you from ore and ytrill.

Of course, if you are not lawful, exercise extreme caution in Axe-Glacier Town. Mother Phyliss, the priest that watches the portal area, is very highly skilled in the ways of martial arts and there are several statues positioned around town that can pass out instant death to those of non-lawful nature who come onto their squares. Thieves, due to their disguise, can safely pass the guardian statues with no fear, and of course, since there is no law enforcement, sometimes the forces of chaos get bold and walk right into town.

Sun Lake & Southwest Caverns

Just west of town is Sun Lake, formed when some of the waters from an ancient waterfall were mysteriously frozen in place. The waters are icy cold. The water flows from the lake south into another river that leads beyond the glacier into completely unexplored territory. Across the lake to the south-west is a small expanse of caverns, inhabited by orcs, kobolds, goblins, wights, wraiths, and an occasional wyvern. It is not much tougher than what you would expect to find on the second level of the Kesmai dungeon. To the north is the frozen waterfall. Several places have handholds carved to make climbing easier (though they all require that both hands be used in the climb). Most of the climbs lead to the lower glacier area, 60 foot above the base of the waterfall. One climb, the farthest to the west, leads to the griffin's nest, 80 foot above the base of the waterfall.

60 Feet above Axe Town

Castle

Around the castle are many of the giant's minions, who are skilled with axe, dagger, and hand. Some are even well versed in the magical arts. Within the castle are more of his minions. The entrance to the castle is a one way portal and the person desiring entry must hold an axe in his hand.

The 2nd floor of the giant's castle is also located 80 foot above the base of the waterfall. Here, the giant keeps his throne room. On the altar outside the throne room, the forces of law, in an attempt to provide some balance, cause a special returning hammer to appear here. Within the giant's throne room is the goose that laid the golden egg. The egg has no particular use beyond its visual appeal, but is valuable in monetary terms.

Asmodeus Temple

From the giant's throne room, across the bridge, is a special temple shrine to Asmodeus that is well maintained in the event of the demon's return. Thaumaturges keep the sacrificial flames burning bright and warriors work hard to keep the riffraff from desecrating the temple.

Lightning Mesa

Across the gorge from the Asmodeus Temple is the lightning mesa. Here is a simple altar and a few chaotic beings that follow the ways of lightning. Be careful if you enter here, for they hit like lightning (hard and fast).

Caverns Surrounding Castle

To the south of the castle is another cavern structure. Many wolves wander the caverns, along with hobgoblins, wraiths, spectres, ogres, and rockwyrms. Some of the lesser creatures also wander the caverns as well. Deep within the caverns is a stairway that leads to the 80 foot level. the entire east side of the area is an immense glacier, leftover from when the river that flowed from the top of the mountain down was instantly frozen by whatever power chose to punish this land. Few creatures live on the ice itself, though you might find an occasional lizard wandering the area.

80 Feet above Axe Town

Porphyry's Pub & Rose Pass

Eighty feet foot above the bottom of the waterfall one can find the griffin's nest in the south-east corner, near the climb up from the 0 foot level. There a lawful griffin resides, and keeps watch over the pass on the east side. Around to the north side of the pass is a climb up to Porphyry's Pub, then the path continues along the west side, where it becomes Rose Pass, named in honour of a group that was responsible for many of the adventures a long time ago. As you follow Rose Pass to the north, You can look and see the upper levels of the giant's castle. Rose Pass terminates to the north with a climb up to the 120 foot level. To the south of the pass is a smaller set of caves that contain more chaotic cavern dwellers. It is rumoured that a king among wolves likes to wander near the entrance to the caverns and that this king wolf carries the much sought obsidian egg.

120 Feet above Axe Town

Above the 80 foot Level is an immense Cavern system, with the frozen river running in a valley between the caverns. Lizards roam the frozen river area. At the north end of the frozen river is another very high cliff where the river forms another great frozen waterfall. Climbs have been made that lead up to the highest level of the glacier. For those that have trouble with the climb, there is a stairway up to a sloping passage to the east of the river.

Ogre Caverns

Ogre Caverns, west of the frozen river, contain many more hobgoblins, spectres, wraiths, gargoyles, ogres, wolves and rockwyrms. There is also a climb up to the Harper Woods in the western caves and stairs that lead up to a chaotic temple that resides within those same woods.

Skull Caverns

Thieves Guild

On the 120 foot level is the entrance to the Axe-Glacier branch of the thieves' guild. Buried in the north-east corner of the Skull Caverns (so named after a notorious group of thieves), the entrance (a portal) is well hidden so that only a thief may trigger it. The outside of the guild entrance is usually in the middle of a large zoo, so it is prudent to use extreme caution when leaving the guild.

Lockpick Town

Above the Skull Caves, Lockpick Town was established.
In the eastern caves is a climb up to Lockpick Town, so named for its one unique item that is unavailable from any other source, and their primary means of trade.

Caverns of Doom

Just south of the climb up to the town, there is another stairway that leads to the Caverns of Doom.

180 Feet above Axe Town

Harper Woods

Many years ago, there were other lands that could be accessed, but sadly those lands can no longer be reached (at least at this time). All that is left of those lands is a portal on the 18O foot level that is no longer active. Perhaps the ghods will one day allow the portal to function again, taking adventurers to new and exciting lands. The portal lies in the north-west corner of the Harper Woods.

Old Yasnaki Settlement

The old Yasnaki settlement and temple inhabit most of the rest of the area. The town itself is overgrown, but still a few remnants of the old order may be found wandering around, those who managed to hide deep within the woods when the Muian Thaumaturges came through and eradicated the brotherhood.

Abandoned Temple

Deep in the temple to the west is a portal to Kesmai, where the order performed many of their greatest experiments.

Mountain Top

As an act of compassion, the ghods have placed a confessor ghost on the glacier top not far from the climb up to Sparky's lair. This gives any hero that wishes to confess their karmic burden the opportunity before they go and face death with the Trio (as they are commonly known).

Vulcan, a blacksmith of great renown, moved up to this level with his daughter, Alia, to get away from the crowds of the city. If you can find the obsidian egg and take it to him, he will craft for you an axe of great quality, which will return to the hand that threw it. Beware of Alia, though, for she, too, covets the Egg, and would steal it if she could. The entrance to Vulcan's forge is hidden behind a rock wall, and the teleport mechanism requires the use of a moonstone ring, and can only be activated at night.

Trio Lairs

In the lowest section, easily reached from the waterfall lives Sparky, a powerful drake. His skin is silvery, and toughened by the cold so that only magical edged weapons that have can penetrate it. The charge of his breath is such that it can kill all but the most powerful in one breath, and those that do survive are stunned by the charge. Usually found with the drake (although it does tend to float around) is a presence of ice, that has developed immunity to any non-magical or blue-glowing weapon.

Above the drake in a more secluded area, is an ice dragon, Mama, perhaps the most feared beast ever to exist in the known lands. Her skin is so tough from the cold that only the silver great-axe or a powerful magic spell can penetrate it, and the ice of her breath is so cold that even with the best protection the damage is serious. Her teeth are razor sharp, and her claws can rend flesh effortlessly. Her favourite meal is human flesh, and she makes a regular diet of it when she can get it. Above the ice dragon, in the most remote accesses of the cave, is Yoric the Yeti. Yoric's breath is as bad as Mama's, and his damage with tooth and nail are nothing to trifle with. He also can only be touched with magical edged weapons. With the yeti is a giant bear that can cause serious damage with tooth and claw. A few goblins can be found with Yoric, but its just because he hasn't got around to eating them for a snack. Of course, he prefers human meat when he can get it. But with Sparky and Mama around, not very much gets near him. Roaming around on the same level, are two of Yoric's pet lizards. If Mama is around, she enjoys the occasional 'flying' visit with Yoric. It is the Yeti, of course, who carries the misery dagger, which forms part of the second knight's quest.

See Also

Known Lands

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