Saturday, May 7, 2011

Monstrous Locales: Skull Mountain

"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair."

Millenia have past since the demon giant Korthos strode the land. The legends of his prodigious power and malefic deeds have become myth, and myth in turn has degenerated into an amusing folk tale that recounts how a clever fox turned one of the evil sorcerer's spells against him, such that the giant's bones turned to stone and his weight sank him into the ground, disappearing forevermore. Whom the fox might have been in truth remains a mystery, but erosion these past hundred years have seen the emergence of Korthos' stone skull, giving truth at least to part of the folktales.

What's more, a strange boulder pulled itself free from the soil and began to circle Skull Mountain as it came to be known, its orbit erratic and limping. It was this circling boulder that drew the attention of Anyalla, a conniving Dark Naga who recognized it for a massive, depleted Ioun Stone. After studying it from a distance, the naga found an entry into the mountain, insinuating herself through an ocular cavity and into the great cavern within. There she was transfixed by the living will of Korthos, the ghost of his mind, and so began her slow communion with his vast but dispersed intellect.

This stirring of negative energies drew the attention of a lantern archon, however, and it in turn brought a small tribe of pseudodragons to its aid. Thus far they have done little more than roost on the circling Ioun Stone, launching the occasional raid down into the skull to distract Anyalla, but these raids ceased when the Dark Naga, infuriated by the distractions, enlisted the aid of five harpies. This filthy squadron of monstrous humanoids will occasionally issue forth to scatter the pseudodragrons and lantern archon, but have thus far failed to destroy their more agile opponents.

Time passes, and Anyalla grows ever more attuned to the evil energies of Korthos, slowly manifesting his mannerisms and personality traits as they grow more aligned. Her power grows, and the lantern archon has begun to spend long evenings combing the moors searching for others whom might help end this union before it produces horrific fruit.

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