At the Doors of Shattered Mountain
Ruins of Celestia
The Ruined City of Celestia
This once-mighty city carried all the hopes of the Empire at one time, for a great expansion over the Lyranees mountains and into the uncharted lands beyond. It was to become a seat of governance for an entire Grand Duchy, and a second-captial for the Empire. From here, the Emperor would oversee the new, vibrant half of his realm while enjoying the breathtaking sight of the towering mountain.
All that planning and effort was for naught. Caravans and expeditions went over the mountains and reported wonders, monsters, and strange peoples, but as the Empire stalled, so did the city’s construction. Celestia was never finished, the grand design called for the city to be twenty percent larger than the area the ruins now cover, and only a few of the key buildings were ever fully constructed and put to use. Thus, most of the great edifices of Celestia are not only falling into ruin, but were never finished in the first place, leaving them patchy and rough in character.
The city was heavily looted in the years after the exodus, but the population was vast enough at its height that it’s often possible to find some small trinket that the previous looters missed. It’s certainly gone wild, trees and bushes liberally dot the streets, and even the fully constructed buildings of stone are falling down. Traveling some parts of the ruin is more akin to walking through light woods with the occasional paving stone than an actual city. Wild animals moved into the city long ago, and now there are rumors that monsters lair here…
The Celestian Spire: The center of Celestia was to be a spire that would reach higher than any lone tower had before. Surrounded by pools and gardens, it was an extremely impressive sight, even if it only reached two thirds of the height it was supposed to achieve. It’s even shorter than that now, standing fifteen stories in height. That’s impressive by the standards of the Empire’s current architects, but the tower was supposed to bear the Emperor up to an impossible height of forty stories, or more.
Temple of the World: The largest completed building in Celestia, this temple claimed to have an altar to every god in the heavens, even the evil deities. Some claim that including those deities was the cause of the Empire’s fall, though the evil altars were more warded than they were tended. This building is also in better repair than any other in the city, either because the gods watch over it, or because it was simply better constructed than most. Though some of the outbuildings have sagged or fallen down, the mighty dome of the main structure still stands proud.
The Astral House: The only building besides the Temple that was both fully constructed and remains in decent repair, this multi-building complex housed the city’s school of magic. Such schools are rare now, with the decline in magic use and teaching, only the Imperial Capital and a few other large cities can boast one. This place is also much less looted than others, as the various wizards, warlocks, and sorcerers who studied here left wards behind that are quite dangerous to the casual thief.
The Imperial Baths: Once beautiful and luxurious, these pools are now choked with weeds and slime, their delicate and beautiful attendant buildings fallen into rubble. Some of the pools have had their marble decks removed for use in Four Hills or elsewhere, but many still boast beautiful stonework and precious metal inlays that were too heavy or too much trouble to remove.
Encounter 6: Not yet found.
Encounter 7: Not yet found.
Encounter 8: Not yet found.
Encounter 9: Not yet found.
Encounter 10: Not yet found.