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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Voyage of the Discovery.

Between Episodes.
This episode a lesson earlier this year 1014 AC followed By Gaston vander Klil, where he met Salechaam the Dwarf. Gaston relates this into this diary as completing the information he later explains.

Geomorfological History of the Broken Lands

As told by Mergrath the Dwarf Druid (actually Earth-Elementalist). Penned down by Professor vander Klil who was present at this interesting lecture.

Mergrath, twisted his beard, rubbed his bare feet and thus removed some caked earth from his feet hair. He looked down upon his scholars, and without hesitation began.

In my lectures about the Megalith, the living planet Urt, the history of the Broken Lands region will explain many things happening with the cells of the Megalith.
As some of you might have learned in accessing other worlds, is that most planets with active geological processes have, what we call, tectonic plates; A crust actually floating very slowly on the internal magma and molten more metals that actually compose most of the planet.
Mystara, as being a living planet has no tectonic plates, it has cells instead. Where tectonic plates slowly move on the molten mass and fold against, over-under and alongside each other, thus creating mountains, depths, volcanoes, earthquakes and similar processes, Mystara functions differently. Although same said effects are produced, Mystara’s cells only sink, raise, twist, or rotate, expand, shrink, or most rarely implode. Some other effects like temperature increase or decrease can happen too.
The different rotation effects do cause earthquakes, but rarely as destructive as on tectonic worlds. Oh yes, it may be destructive to the creatures living on the surface, but to the planet itself, it is a mere shedding of skin, a blemish, a zitt growing or expanding, an itch.
But as we have almost no effect on tectonic worlds, we do have effect on the cells of Mystara, especially Immortals, or our magic. We all know of the Plateaux of Atruaghin being raised by the Immortals, or the impact of the meteor in the Great Crater south Glantri. But even here we can see the difference of the tectonic versus the real living world.
I do say living, even if there are many sages who say our Urt is dead or extremely slowly dying, but other sages say the opposite. Either way, the processes are part of living processes, and as such I call it Living World (even though there seems to be proof of these processes changing. More about this later.)
Back to the Meteor; Mystara has a powerful Skyshield, a biological magical process that functions similar as the spell protection from missiles. The speed of the incoming object is instantly decreased or reflected and only sources with internal magic can penetrate that shield. As the nearby fifth planet did explode some time ago, many debris of this magical world floats around in space, some of it reaches Mystara, and as thus penetrates, though greatly reduced in speed, the Skyshield, hitting the ground below with greatly reduced impact.
A meteor of the same size would normally have destroyed ALL life on a tectonic planet, as the meteor would have slammed deep into the tectonic plate, surfaced explosion magma, spreading an impenetrable dust cloud, and bombard the rest of the world with returning meteor and planet debris. Survival would be nigh impossible.
Mystara on the other hand has the Skyshield, AND its cells. Not only is here the speed of the incoming object greatly reduced, the surface (or skin) cells are the secondary defence. With the impact of the Glantrian Meteor, we see that only a few cells exploded, a powerful wave of energy caused an earthquake several cells further away, and expulsed matter was spread within the general same region, even the dust cloud was less intense than it would have been on a tectonic world. And you should be happy about this, for if Mystara was no Megalith, we would now be dead, or dying, buried, burned or choking dust, and then die slowly because of heat, or food deprivation. This impact clearly learned us much more about the composition of our world.
And as such we can explain many other things, among so…The Creation of the Broken Lands.

Some dwarves twisted in their seats, and between the snoring of the sleeping ones, some muttered foul words of Shadow Elves or Humanoid scum.

We must go back in time, back to the age before the Great Rain of Fire, back to 3000 Before Crowing.
Several sages have discovered that the dominant nation of Blackmoor had a great colony here on the continent of Brun, in a temperate region not very far from the edge of the polar cap of that era. The Azcan and Oltec Empires to the East, and a Draconic empire to the Northeast. And South East, the ancestors of the dwarven race, before Kagyar moulded us into his image. A lot of minerals important to their technomantic energy could be located in this region, and as thus were of great import of the growth of both the Empire and the region itself. The region was accessible over the Grasslands we now know as Ethengar, or by using their technology to fly. Some even say they had tunnels in the air where tubes could fly, in which you sat. Nobody knows for certain, but the Ruined city in Fenhold seems to be connected to this.
As you see in this map…I drew a square over the region we discuss…which is the region we will learn to now as the Broken Lands.
Yes, it was a fertile region with forested hills, some mountains, and a large lake. No culture of any race would disdain itself from here by choice.

Mergrath scraped his throat, paused a moment and then continued. Still many dwarves were attending…consciously.
Geo fase 0     3200 BC - 3000 BC

Then we had the Great Rain of Fire. Some unknown technological magical devices exploded in such a fore that it tilted the planet., and changed its polar axis. The region of Blackmoor was depressed by the power and cells imploded, the ocean swept in and doused the flames, which otherwise would have caused greater harm. The dust and debris covered most of the world, and caused darkness, greatly diminished harvests, and the rotting plague we all know in our history. It also caused a great temperature change, the amount of snow (with ash from the explosion) covered great areas of the world.
Of the map here the grey areas are the limits of the thickest snow layers.
Geofase 1     3000 BC - 2700 BC

Of the information gathered by these sages there was created this large scale map of the region. Yes it looks differently than our world, but do not forget that the world was tilted. As points of reference, Redfen was on the location of current Glantri city and the mountain spur in the lower corner are the Dwargate Mountains.

Beastmen, the ancestors of the current humanoids, unhalted by the fallen Blackmoor Empire, quickly took over the region, changing rapidly by the Rotting disease in a multitude of forms, we now know as the different humanoid races.
The human race, were it survived returned to a much more primitive state. Their former cities ruined, slowly crumbled down, and within the upcoming centuries, most of the completely disappeared (either by nature, erosion or plunder). Some Fairies tried to withstand this hard era and had a region they claimed as theirs. The Beastmen slowly filling in the niche of disappeared humans, elves and other races, were afraid of their magic and stayed away moving north into future Glantri and  south into the Hills of the Streel Plain.

Here a more detailed map depicting the region. Clearly can be seen the huge area covered with hundreds of feet of snow.
The northern part of the Known World was probably covered by snow and ice all year long, making food scarce and life quite difficult.  All this snow has weight, and this weight depressed the cells. Etthengar and Northern Darokin were lower in that era as currently. When the snow later melted the ground slowly rebound, as the cells expanded again.
Geofase 2     2300 BC
Back to the Broken Lands, the next thousand or so years, the world calmed down, the dust clouds dispersed, and temperatures rose, snow and ice melted, new rivers sprung and lakes filled. The following map is the region in the year 2000 Before Crowning.
.

To explain the difference and the coming changes of this region we overlap both maps and create a new one. Now it becomes clear where what was and is. The dots within the hexes denote the state of the region 2000BC being different from that currently. White were glaciers, of which only a few, much decreased in size and volume may exist.
Brown dots were mountains, very familiar to us.

The words “…were mountains…” caused a stir under the suddenly active dwarves. Mountains disappearing, that’s a horror. “Silence please” Mergrath continued. “I will explain later”.

Beige dots were hills in that era, as light yellow dots were fields, acres, or flatland. There were no forms of broken land. Green dots were forests. As you study this map you can see great differences between today and then, but this did not happen all in once.
The great lake, almost an inner sea, formerly known as Anur Lake was now part of the Grondheim region, and as thus we name it now Lake Grondheim, although the real name of that era is lost.

Then came the year 1700 Before Crowning. We all know how inquisitive, strange, curious yet dumbfounded elves can be in reflection or use with machinery. The may know a lot about plants, nature or even magic, yet they are often so alien to this world, that they seem to be no part of its real understanding.

The dwarves cheered, and applauded. Some even brought forth flask, and poured it in their gullets as a way to enlighten the joy.
“Please, please, keep your attention” Mergrath said smilingly, trying to prevent the lesson turning into a dwarven bar feast.

As I said it was the year 1700 BC, but to explain, we actually have to go back way to the Era of Blackmoor. It was in this time the scientists (as mages were called then) discovered the cellular structure of the world. And it was in this age, druids and elves surmised that the world could well be a iving creature. Yet no signs were known to link to lifesigns, so further investigation was needed. 
As technology and magic fused, powered by the knowledge the Ancients brought forth when their vessel crashed on Mystara, the world soon suffered from pollution by this technology, and the nature minded people and elves desired other sources of energy, better for the world but without pollution. This was difficult, as the world was often in war, The humans versus the Beastmen, nations against nations, all to acquire the technological might Blackmoor possessed. 
Then some scientists discovered that on some locations in the world the ground possessed great power generated by itself. As if this living planet had something like muscles, able to generate power to do things. This power could maybe harnessed and used. There was only one location that was easily accessible…The region West of Anur Lake…the current Blackmoor colony of Brun..
The humans, dwarves and yes, even elves worked together to create an immense machinery called the RCC (Regressive Colliding Collector), around the few underground cells that provided the energy they craved for. 


At several locations they erected huge factories of machinery, connected to each other in a large circle around these.cells. The huge rock cells above holding the energy within, and nearby volcanoes enabling the energy being channelled outside to be harvested.  Further details of this machinery is lost in time, and that may well be a good thing too.

3000 BC - 1700 BC

The machinery was still in its try-out fase, when the Great Rain of Fire disaster struck. All over Mystara machines exploded that were connected to the Technomantic reactor, many people perished in an instant, cities, and villages were blown away in mushroom clouds. Why mushrooms? We really do not know, maybe the technomagic worked like a fungus, a disease, at least it brought a great disease.
At the RCC machine, only the outside controlling towers suffered from the explosions, the machinery below survived, intact, and active. Yes, active, the machines continued working, unchecked, uncontrolled. Some say that special golems called S-bots and U-bots kept all things as they were, but none of these were ever recovered, or recognized as such.  For 1300 years the machines hummed, slowly storing energy, continuously created by the biological effects of the cells themselves, normally used by the organism, intended to be used by the Blackmoor culture and  stored in huge special vats, called accumulators.
Geofase 4    2300 BC
Before 1700 BC, the Great Horde conquerred the steppes. King Loark settled in the region west of Lake Grondheim. Some say he was influenced by the Mighty Troll Quen there, others say differently. There seems no real proof of either case, however. The elves were enslaved by the humanoids as were the Ethengarians.


The Elven King Atziann, who maybe was in hiding with some loyal followers, discovered the ancient RCC machinery. As being technologically inept Elves, they wrongly surmised it was a weapon of some sort, and tried to use the Blackmoorian device to destroy the humanoids. Pushing several unknown buttons, and altering several levers, they activated the machinery. 
The plan backfired, the last we know is that U and S Golems tried to save what they could, and Atziann and his followers were forced to escape underground. It was too late; What did actually happen?
The cells surrounded by the RCC device released all stored energy back into the cells were the derived energy from. This sudden instant backlash of energy caused the cells to chemically overload and explode.
A local cataclysm rakes the region, and buries the Great Horde.
The Great Cataclysm of 1700 BC as seen from Ethengar, 200 miles away.

Geofase 5     1700 BC

1700 BC – 1550 BC

The explosion caused the central cells to collapse.  The main cell complex, which was located right underneath today’s Trolhattan, was lierally destroyed. (red circle with red dots).
The blast created a force directed outward of the region, pushing the bordering cells outward, rupturing their connection, but also lifting the area upwards. This power was greatest upwards in the North, west and Southern Region. (green lined area with Green dots).
The mountains existing in the North East and East could not endure this and two large sections collapsed into itself. Where there were only hills or flat land before, the force pushed the area up, and this pushing continued as the heavier Rock cells on the surface start sinking, as they lost their support, pushing the lower and other cells next to them away.  
The two complete mountains collapsed and disappeared. All this being hidden from direct view in an enormous cloud of dust and sound. (red lined area with red dots.
This whole breaking up caused further side-effects lifting and pushing territory, that it became Broken Lands (orange dots)
At the same time magma comes from below in an attempt to heal the wound thus creating more upward power.
The alteration of the region caused the Isoile River from the region of today Glantri to become blocked, slowly creating an ever expanding lake. This lake pressed itself against the new broken lands in the south of future Ererwan and Belcadiz.

The Red and orange dots on the last maps became Broken Lands. The Green dots became Mountains. Some minor areas had lesser effect and became hills or barren plains.
Geofase 06 1700-1691 BC

Slowly more pressure build up by the magma coming in from below, loosened the remaining upper cells. The body of the Megalith worked clearly to heal this wound.
We now know that dust of fresh magma used in potions of healing, brought the power up (from 1d6 to 1d6+1).
The devastation seemed complete, but actually the change was just beginning.
The region of the collapsed cells was terrible. Through the broken Lands, deep within this crater, noxious gasses, killed all that was still living. and even petrified them, similar as fossils. 
Meanwhile, the magma started slowly to solidify.
The Great Glacier on the Southern end of the Collossus Mountains, north of the Broken Lands, starts to melt, and two new rivers empty in Lake Grondheim. On the Western side the same glacier helps filling the new lake in Future Erewan. In 1691 BC the lake already covers an area of more than 200 square miles, and there does not seem to come an end to this.
In this same year the pressure from below becomes thus strong it slowly, but inexoribly lifts up a whole region of mountains, creating a whole new Plateaux. This area will later be named South Gnollistan. And holds three active volcanoes.
The old fortress of the Troll Queen (current Akkrass) is slowly pushed up also, but further sustains minor damages.
Otherwise the old Blackmoor town at the rim of the rising Gnollistan Plateaux suffers severe damages.
Water Being blocked from leaving the mountains come together south west of fort Akkrass, and create another lake in the region later to be named Red Orcland.
Geofase 7     1691 BC - 1550 BC
The Streel River is now only fed by a single source (and some minor sorces elsewhere) in the new mountain pass East of the crater of implosion.
Specific locations in Ethengar seemed to become attuned to Magic, by the amount of dust caused by the Region.
Further away, the destruction caused a breach between the spirit realm and the Prime Plane on the only mountain of Ethengar. The new magic attracted the falling dust towards it, and as thus saved Ethengar from eternal deprivation of a fertile ground.  The region became known as the Black Sands, and the various other magic locations seemed to become sources for magic users or Hakomon.
The region of the today Yak's Spur/Orgemoor, starts and continues up to today, a slow but steadily rise. This not only breaks of the old Vesubian river, but with the uplift of the area, creating a sort of Plateaux, it locked water here into small lake.

1550 BC - 1420 BC

As the Isoile River (Future Vesubian River) did no more connect the Streel River, it became of much less influence to the nation of Darokin, much less water passed through and often he river fell dry in summer. Side rivers went even north on the Glantrian side and further filling up the Erewan Lake, effectively enlarging it to a surface area of no less than 850 square miles. The water slowly gained such a level, it found a way into the new broken lands.

The new mountains have reached such height new glaciers are formed on several tips. Between three of them a new valley, comes to be. This valley is the Later Valley of Khyr. 

The erosion caused by the dissapearance of the glaciers of the Collossus Mountains caused the britle rocks of the broken lands between Ethengar and Glantri to become hills. The broken lands created on the former mountains betwee Darokin and Ethengar, had no glaciers and as thus suffered less erosion. 

The volcano Kalazyrd (north of the Zyrd Plateaux) becomes active and up to our current date never stopped.  This was caused by the geological activity below. Kalazyrd is an ash volcano, and its poisonous ash is blown to the by a wind that is almost always southbound due to the collossus Mountains. Even the Twin volcanoes were still active, spuwing fort supplies of lava, that hardened and increased their height. 
Geofase 8     1550 BC - 1420 BC
However, the volcano on the Plateaux of Gnollistan ceased its activity, and seemingly died. The large "cork"that closed the crater falls down in the now empty magma chamber, and will later become the "Rock of Oenkmar" resting on the floor of the small upper magma chamber of the dead volcano. 
Within this underground chamber refugees from the Hollow World Azcans created a new town Mictlan on the rock as this is the only flat and sturdy surface to build upon. A small temple and several structures are erected..
The plateaux itself continued to rise, and the water that became blocked, still enabled enough moisture to let trees survive...for now.

Lake Grondheim also enlarged, by the several new streams from the melting ice caps and glaciers of the Collossus Mountains.

Water from Lake Grondheim seeped in through the ground, creating enormous pressure as it became steam. Not only created this the further heightening of the Gnollistan Plateaux, but around it a new feature became prominent, making the region difficult to traverse to; Hot Steam Vents. 

The  region of today's Ogremoor has been uplifted that much, that small lake flows down north through its old riverbed where it earlier flowed south. The humanoids call it "The Returning River". It flows back into Lake Erewan, fed by the small creeks in the mountains. Lake Erewan slowly pushes itself, into the Broken Lands.

1420 BC - 1290 BC

In this era the Shadow Elves discovered Mictlan, conquered it, erected a much larger pyramid temple over the older Mictlan Temple, and radically enlarged the city in a period of fifty years. They used the name of their former nation, Aengmor. It was 1352 BC. The Elves could not rebuild their nation however, as the region was not fully settled from the earlier happenings, and ravaged by many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The elves could not enjoy their city for long, as already in 1290 BC, a mere 62 years later, the inflow of water from lake Mictlan renewed the inflow of magma caused by the build up of pressure from below. Clogs in the flow directed most pressure to the  larger magma chambers in the North East. With this, magma surrounded the Rock of Oenkmar, lifting it high up, back into the crater of the volcano. The only thing the elves could do was fleeing. Several sources claim that an Immortal named Artzanteotl, caused this to happen, to further increase the power and input of humanoids on the world. With the Elves gone, the input of the humanoids on the region greatly enhanced. 

Within the area of future Ogremoor (actually named after Aengmor, but the Ogres wanted an Oenkmar by themselves), the area slowly stabilized. In the underground chambers the magma retreated, and never returned as the inlet was blocked by a basalt plug.

The Erewan and Red Orcland lakes continued to fill and expand, As did Lake Grondheim, by the increased wet weather in this era. This was probably caused as a final stir of the destabilization caused by the tilt of the planet, and the few disaster following, before it stabilized in normal weather patterns.  Most dust now settled, and the world prepared itself for a clearer sky. 

Lake Erewan, pierced itself through fissures into the mountains North East of the Trollheim crater, plunged down into Lake Red Orcland, further filling it up. With this waterflow, through a small channel, erosion was imminent, and the fissure opened by the Erewan Lake, widened, and covered the bottom of the Red Orcland Lake with a thick coating of sticky mud. 

This also caused Lake Erewan to decrease, and leaving behind a very fertile light clay. Soon nature will take over and covers the edges of the lake with grasslands. The humans of the region greedily made it into farmlands, and  former fishing settlements, slowly become farming centres. This can still be seen, as upturned  wooden ships, have been used to make housing and temples.


Geofase 9     1420 BC - 1290 BC
The small poisonous lake created earlier north of the Twin Volcanoes breaks over its edge and starts to cause effect in Lake Grondheim. As the flow in the Lake seems to be East bound, the poisonous acidic water starts to affect that region. Many plants and animal life seem to perish, or adept.

1290 BC - 1269 BC. 

The always active volcano Kalazyrd, increases its activity and yield of ash, greatly altering the region, as the mostly southbound wind draws all the ash falling down in the same area. A plain of Ash is created, and continues to grow up to this date. When not blown South East, it tumbles down the hills, packed up in layers of dust, ash and debris of several feet thickness in the areas of High Gobliny and Bugburbia. 

Another Volcano becomes active, further up north the Collossus mountains, south of Mount Skullhorn. This volano, later named Thanos Breath, exhumed great amounts of noxious gasses, and acidic downfall. this greatly affected the region of Ethengar West, Glantr, and Lake Grondheim, which took the brunt of the damage. The forests around the lake died. and the region was abandoned by most animals, humans and even humanoids. This may be the reason for the attacks by orcs into Darokin, as their own territory became less usable. 

This massive eruption  took away a lot of pressure below the Broken Lands, and the higher magma chambers began flowing back down. In this proces the magma underneath Oenkmars Rock started to solidify and crystalize into a fine sand-like substance. The Rock of Oenkmar was still stuck in the shaft of the volcano it was originally the "cork" of.  The small upper magma chamber was fully filled with this crystalized sand. This "sand " was later traded and was the prime source for the dwarves who invented glass. This process later became simpler, and open to use by all races, but the source lay within Dwarven hands and this region. Many glass artifacts will proof this. This trade and the hidden Elven knowledge ignited the growth of the influence of Oenkmar.

Geofase 10    1290 BC - 1269 BC
1269 BC; Ogres settle in the Broken Lands after suffering great drought in Sind.

Mergrath viewed the room, several hours had passed, yet stil most dwarves were awake. he was content, but decided he no longer could keep their attention.
"This was all for today. If you want to learn more return tomorrow. For those hungry, we have drinks and food prepared in the halls in outside. A curtisy of my own".
The dwarves cheered, and readily, a bit stiiff, left the large room.
Most would return tomorrow, maybe a safe spot to sleep, or an interesting lecture, who knows.


Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Interlude;
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5

Sources; 3050-3000 BC, 2300 BC maps By John Calvin and Sturm
Art; machinery_factory__underground__by_yoyojun-d6hne5l
Picture; Hadron Collider Cern http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/photo/2012/07/the-fantastic-machine-that-found-the-higgs-boson/l04_31052663/main_900.jpg?1420515747
Picture; Nuclear underground explosion http://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/sedan.jpg

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Wonderful World of Mystara

A Manuscript about the Natural Magical World of Mystara

Chapter 4

Into the Hills of Inlashar

As penned down by Salechaam.
Darokin Province of Calair 1014 AC, 28th  Flaurmont
The discovery loaded and prepped, our research group embarked on the next part of the trip. The horses and crew no more tired after their earlier ordeal, pulled forth the Discovery through the city gate of Fort Nell. The guards returned our weapons and wished us well.
Gaston was still digging deep in the bundled parchment book, so Salechaam drove the horses, with Straddle next to him.
The sky was clear, although a strong wind blew from the Black Hills South East into Inlashar. The first trail led north over a well kept trail along Preston creek towards the mining-farming community of Preston. We arrived at dusk due our late departure. The locals were already informed about us, and although there was only an Inn to drink or eat, a large shed gave enough opportunity to sleep safely …and that for only 4 Ducats.

Darokin Province of Calair 1014 AC, 1st Yarthmont  
The next morning we awoke as expected, a bit stiff, but well-rested. Separrim refused to wash in our company, so we decided she will be on the driver’s seat for today. I agreed to work with Gaston this day, a decision I still regret.
From Preston we went east, into the hills over a trail towards a copper-mine. About four and a half mile from Preston, the Urudkhai road became visible again. Badly damaged, but sill useable, it went up a slope and reached one of the flat-topped hills of which Inlashar is known about. These Amon Sûl as they are called, have steep sides with slopes in between. At a height of 2350 feet above sea-level measured with the magical altimeter, we reached the Amon Sûl and the first of the old ruins became visible. Some unknown part of a larger structure, it sank several feet into the ground, and weather, war and wind, and probably plunder has beaten it to this unrecognizable state. Now it is only a landmark of an almost forgotten era. After a few hours of investigation without success we continued. A small enwalled hamlet of 3 farms enabled us our next resting point. The farmers were friendly, and for a few silver they allowed us to set up camp on the grass between the structures. They were particularly interested in me; probably they’ve never seen a dwarf for ages here. This also means that or there are no valuables to find here…or they are forgotten. My advise for dwarves is as thus be careful, polite, inquisitive, and with an open eye, but also a ready axe and shovel.
I wished I had been more careful.  Wiggling the children’s fingers from my beard, I questioned Gaston if we couldn’t do some research here, while we were waiting …or travel further and sleep in the open (I hoped for the last option, but work could save my beard from sticky fingers).
Gaston, arose from his seat, “Yes indeed, we need to do that. Thewe is no map of this wegion. You know how to make maps. Take youw wowk boawd and utensils. And come hewe”. Grumblingly I agreed. In the wagon I released the board from the wall, grbbed a tube of pencils, a gum, some mapping paper and returned. “Ok…I’m ready”. ”Nice be seated on that stuwdy chaiw” I did interrogatively. Separim tied all my stuff to the board, and the board to the chair,, as if it was a drawing set. Then Gaston mumbled some words of magic and wiggled some fingers and with that I suddenly arose up. “I’ve given the contwol of this levitate spell to you, so you could go down when evew you desiwe” And with that I moved up at a rate of 20 feet each round. I wanted to scream, but my pride was in the way, so I just closed my eyes. When the movement stopped I opened them up again I was half a mile or so up. I couldn’t resist screaming here, nobody would hear me, so no shame.
Separim’s bindings worked against the strong wind here, and I commenced the mapping. The sun was already low, so I made haste with the main features of the region. When the light no longer fell on my paper, the sky was already darkening. I decided to go down. I had the control said Gaston…but how? I
The Ruined and cursed city of Tolann, former capital of Inlashar (North Darokin)

The well as seen through the archway to the road
Tried to push, hop, bounce, scream, the damned thing down…nothing worked in my opinion. The problem was I could not notice the difference at this height. The screaming (or wording “down”), had worked and I sank at a rate of 20 feet per round. I noticed this only after a few minutes. But then I noticed something else. I had drifted. A Levitate spell moves only up and down, not sideways, you have to do this by forcing yourselves away from surfaces in the direction sideways you desire…but there was no surface here, just air. The damned wind must have blown me away. I had drifted several miles east, to south east. Down below me, the Urudkhai road led into a city, a ruined city.  I decided to continue mapping while I was slowly sinking.

The city was build up along a few roads next to each other with buildings in between. When I was down, it was at the end of twilight. I felt uneasy, as if something was here, some influence, or someone. Luckily I now had a map, so I knew which direction I had to go. 

Next to me was some structure that seemed to be a stone well, roofed to prevent spoilage by rain as in many places. The typical thing was, the structure seemed undamaged by time, unlike the other buildings. I looked down, and saw steps carved into the sides, no rope, nor bucket, but water glistening deep below, some hundred feet or so.  

Tolann's Tomblike structure
Then I heard some unindentifiable noise, and being alone I decided to move away here, back to the Discovery as fast as possible. Through a small arch I reached the street. 

Consulting the map, and the last shimmer of sunlight on the horizon I could decide which way to go, but first strolled a bit around. Most structures were indeed ruined walls, but together with the well I noticed three intact structures; The well (or whatever it actually was), a tomblike structure with a clear entrance, and in the distance some other building which I did not investigate.

Then I heard an unearthly scream that almost stilled my blood. I grabbed my axe an ran, as fast as I could along the street home. It was at this moment the last sun rays had left. No twilight, but true night. Whatever made that noise, I did not want to meet it. I noticed the last ruined structures in front of me, so soon this immortal forgotten location would be behind me, yet then some fleeting images appeared on either side. 
Spectres, I shouted an old dwarven curse “Spirits and Bones” and increased my speed as fast as I could. 
Tolann armed Orc Spectres
The spectres however were a bit faster, as being flying creatures. The arrived in front of me. Clearly armed Orcs, but then translucent vile undead, there’s not much worse. 

At first they used only their weapons, which did not affect me with their undead chill, but the arrows and sword blows weakened me enough to enable them to make their draining strikes. The first struck me to the head, dizzying me, the second passed through my armor and grabbed my heart. And again the next round. Which each stroke the made I became weaker and more dizzy. I fell to the ground, and with my last moment within the conscious world I heard a powerful word; a name of an Immortal in an old and obscure tongue. Drifting in and out of consciousness, a few moments later I thought I was touched by someone soft, and being fed the ethereal goo that normally remained when slaying Spectres. The bile liquid gushed through my throat, I fainted, but slowly I regained strength. The last thing I remembered were two huge yellow eyes with a large black iris in a haze of brown and grey.
I awoke a few miles west of Tolann, still weak and bruised, but all of my possessions and weapon were with me. It was a small brook that gave me water, so I could continue west. I recognized this brook as the one between the Amon Sûl east next to Tolann, and the hills west holding the farmstead enclave where the Discovery would be. The brook water refreshed me somewhat, and my survival skill enabled me to find some herbs that lessened the pain. At about dawn I stumbled towards the enclave, and beckoned in. They all helped me. Gaston immediately recognized I had been drained and poured two potions of Heroism down my throat, to restore the damage done.

Later Gaston told me the city is, or was called Tolann, and it was founded along with other separate villages in the area in 780BC by several Ethengar tribes merging with local Neathar tribes. Of these villages, Tolann was the largest. Here, in the hills of Inlashar, the early Inlashar prospered due to their uncanny ability to grow amazing crops in the almost dead ground. These villages flourished here for hundreds of years… until one day, in 25 BC, they simply vanished.

The story goes that there was an evil half Orc Wokani who had a lot of power in the government of the humanoid forces which defeated the Inlashar holdings one by one, and he had his eye on the human daughter of the chief of Tolann. Dewan was his name, and he came to the chief and asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The chief told him that it was against their local customs to marry outside of their own clan. Dewan grew very angry and gave the chief a deadline on accepting his offer. If the chief failed to accept Dewan’s offer by the deadline, Dewan would take the chief’s daughter forcibly, and slaughter the rest of the town's population.
The chief didn’t know what to do. Finally, he convened with the heads of the larger families, and they reached a decision together. To preserve the pride and honour of their people, they were going to leave. Here’s where it gets a little weird. All inhabitants – this means thousands of people – left overnight. Nobody even saw them leave either, which is pretty unbelievable, considering the terrain and the sheer number of people that were fleeing, but it gets weirder. Nobody even knows where they went! They vanished into thin air! We do know one thing though: before they left, they cursed this village to bring death to anybody that tried to live there in the future. The Orcs who later invaded the area became affected and were turned into Spectres. Their skills and weapons still available, they became a force to be reckoned with. Unable to move further from the city than a few miles, they cause Tolann to become almost forgotten.
There are rumours that Mithrass Attleson who appeared in 3 BC was the offspring of the Tolann’s daughter and Attel Eastwind; others say there was Orc blood within his veins, but the mother was indeed this daughter of Tolann.. But if he was a half-Orc, Dewan must have succeeded in capturing the Tolann female, and he must have been born before the spectre curse came into effect, or born later by the mother who succeeded to flee before the curse took effect. Nobody now could tell the truth, as time hid all. They settled along the Canolbarth fringes, and most descendants can be found in the Nutt-bearing hills




Magical Altimeter; created 671 AC by Arturo Devonsmith of Thyatis. 
Rumored to have existed by the ancient Nithians. A bronze stick with several thickened knobs around it, each with a different thickness. On top belonged a copper encrusted magical crystal. This crystal is placed somewhere at sea-level (in this case the port of Thyatis secretly embedded in a stone at sea level (mid tide). The copper tip is placed on the ground and a magical connection is created between the crystal and the stick. Five soft electrical current rise one after the other along the stick until the stops and stays at that location until the tip is removed from the ground. At several intervals are placed the thickened knobs. These stand for the different numbers (2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0 and 15.0). The first current displays the single feet, the 2nd current the tens of feet, the 3rd the hundreds of feet, and the 4th the thousands of feet. The last current always reached the top when the calculation transfer is ended. 
When the holder feels along the stick he/she can thus roughly estimate the height of the ground point of the stick as seen from the level of the crystal. Exact measuring is very difficult, as the display is rough, and the crystal at sea suffers mistakes due the different tides, which can vary up to 5-25 normal, 15-45 feet at full moon, or even up to 25-60 feet at springtides. This is the reason the crystal is placed at mid tide, to lower the ratio of flaws. When the crystal falls dry for longer than a single day, both stick and crystal  lose all magic. They need to be reconnected for 1 full moon cycle to be recharged, and then placed anew. The stick measures only the difference between crystal and its metal point, if the crystal is thrown in the see at say 34 feet it will measure from that location. Likewise if the crystal is placed at a mountain-lake of 1500 feet above sea-level it will calculate any higher altitudes from this number. The stick does reveal lower altitudes by ending the last charge at the tip instead at the top. The maximum height to be measured is 15.000 +1500+150+15=16.665 feet difference.
A person under influence of protection/immunity to electricity can’t use this item.
Size; 65 inches (with crystal +5).Cost; 350 GP, 24 cn rarity uncommon although often known to exist. Spells needed to create; Levitate, transport through water, caster level 9+.
Warning; do not use in thunderstorms; the chance of being hit by natural lightning doubles. The saving throw vs lightning attacks is worsened by 4 if holding this item while being hit..


A level draining in action

A note about Level Draining; As according Canon matter about level draining (also found in my Monster manual compilation about Undead).
When an immaterial undead capable of level draining is slain in whatever manner it falls apart in quickly evaporating ethereal goo. When this goo is devoured it will restore some of the power this undead had drained from any victim. Check for initiative for the moment the goo comes into existence (the same moment the undead was slain). Then add one initiative segment for each Level/HD the specific undead drained to the half of the undead’s own strength (round up).
Each initiative segment one Level/HD is evaporated from the goo. A character gobbling up the disgusting black or ethereal goo (depending on the undead), will be able to restore as many HD/Levels drained as it can consume before it evaporates, but never more than its own body lost, and never faster than 2 + PC’s constitution adjustment (never less than 1) in 1 round = 6 segments.

Only thus will HD or levels drained from a spell or item be able to restore a living creature, and not restore the spell or item in question. The goo cannot be stored in any way, but temporal stasis, or setting it outside of time, will prevent it from evaporating. It will further always evaporate unless consumed. 

The goo of a stronger undead like spectres that has drained levels/HD will not be as reactive to the environment and will be existent for an additional 1d3 initiative segments more, and may be stored in a pure clear crystal bottle that may never be exposed to light other than a small candle or soft magic light  (any other will instantly destroy the goo, in an explosive way—literally blasting the crystal bottle in all directions 10' for 1d8 dm (sv DR for ½) Some assassins thus use this goo as a trap..

The blood of material undead that has drained levels/HD will be able to function similar, even when it does not evaporate, but this will always cause a poisonous reaction, even when it restores the drained levels. This poison will cause 1d6 points of damage  for each HD the Undead had, at the rate of 1 point of damage for each HD the undead had. The victim must make a single saving throw of poison to half the damage done each round and in total. A Neutralize poison spell cast beforehand on the blood will negates this, but also the restoring capability, however if cast on the victim when poisoned after the first poison effects become clear, the restoring will continue without further poison effects. A Slow Poison spell will function as normal. A protection from poison effect will not poison he victim but does allow the regenerating HD/Levels effect. As rotting takes place very rapidly when an undead is  slain, blood can only be extracted on a succesful healing or alchemy skil with a cumulative penalty for each Turn one hour after the Undead is slain as per table and can be stored in a Dark Ceramic jar, for up to 3 full moons that passed (3 month max)-When blood or Goo are expired or from an undead that did NOT drain levels, all negative effects still take place, but no restoration takes place.;  
Time passed Skill Penalty
0-1 Hour  1
1 Hour 2
1 Hour 1 Turn 4
1 Hour 2 Turns 7
1.5 Hour 11
1 Hour 4 Turns 16
1 Hour 5 Turns 21

Another thing that could restore drained levels are Potions of Heroism and Super Heroism
Normally they give a temporally boost in Level and HD, but if the imbiber is drained, it restores drained HD or levels at once. No more HD or levels are given then the imbiber originally had in this case. Heroism restores 1d4 drained levels, Super Heroism restores 1d6. These potions are somewhat stronger than the goo, and function fully till 24 hours after the draining took place.
Then there is the Restore spell which temporarily gives power from the Cleric as healing to the patient. The cleric naturally restores these lost HD/Levels
An unconscious person (due the draining) could be saved by pouring either goo, or potions down his/her throat, but to prevent drowning in this a successful healing check must be made (or survival at -5). 
A person fully drained can’t be restored this way, not with goo, not with blood, not wit potions, there must still be somewhat of life within the body, to enable restoration.

Then there is the magic way of Restoration.

Restore                               

Range:                                 Touch
Duration;                              Permanent
Casting Time ;                    3 r.
Effect:                                  Restores 1 level lost to Energy Drain  
Save:                                   None
Cleric 7, Healer 6, Exorcist 6, Humanoid Shaman 7, Druid 7, Dervish 7, Master 7, Shaman 7 spell.

This spell restores one full level of Energy (experience) to any victim who has lost a level because of Energy drain (for instance, from a vampire’s attack). It doesn’t restore more than one level, not does it add a level if no level has been lost. Furthermore, the Cleric casting this spell loses one level of experience, as if struck by a Wight when the spell is cast; however, the Cleric’s loss is not permanent, and the Cleric need only rest for 40 minus his or her level in days to regain the lost experience. This loss will not be regained as long as the caster doesn’t rest continuously. It is clearly that the caster can’t use this spell on him or herself, since the level added by use of this spell will be the same as the one that  is drained by it.

Additional information; Living creatures that use draining magic or weapons (always an Evil act!!) are killed DO NOT have the stolen Levels/HD stored somewhere that can be retrieved, (unless specially noted differently).
In this case only the Goo/blood of an Undead that has drained levels/HD, A potion or a Restore spell will work.

Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Interlude;
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5

Tolann map source; google maps same area
Draining art from D&D Mystara Rules Encyclopedia.