Prisoners of High Tor

Prisoners of High Tor

Postby MothballMilkshake » June 5th, 2017, 3:54:15 am

For eons, the significance of High Tor has gone unnoticed. Magi mounted expeditions to the area, though these were mainly focused on the city depicted in the ancient cave painting discovered in the Keep’s library.
One student noticed that the High Tor depicted in the painting looked exactly the same as it does now, despite everything around it being eroded by weather and time.
They put out a call to any inhabitants of the area, people whose grandparents may have passed on legends or folk tales, and finally, somebody responded.

Thousands of years ago, a prosperous village lay in the area now dominated by the imposing ice tower. The people were primarily hunters by trade, living off the land and what wealth they could trade from the furs they collected or the meat they stored. They hunted wherever the game was most prosperous, sometimes travelling days from their village, until one day they came upon an old cave entrance they’d never seen before.
Feeling certain that some manner of beast must dwell within, they excitedly shouldered their spears and prepared to make an attack, thinking of the riches the pelt of some giant animal would bring.
As they laid their plans, an old man wandered among them, unnoticed until he stopped in front of their leader, and spoke thus;

“No soul must trespass in this cave, for the being living within is older than the concept of time itself. It takes refuge now, being ancient as it is, and will not accept being disturbed.”

He awaited the response, expecting the villagers to leave, but instead they excitedly started to discuss what kind of ancient creature they’d found – perhaps something only heard of in legends, that would bring them wealth untold when they showed the world evidence.

Dismissing the old man as a fool, or worse, somebody who wanted to keep the profit for himself, they set off into the cave. The old man watched their torchlight flicker and reflect off the walls as they ventured deeper, a regretful look in his eyes.

Their excitement soon started to fade, as they realized this cave had more twists and turns than seemed possible from outside. The walls were reflective, at first from ice, and then from gems encrusted into the stone. Their torches cast light back at them, disorienting them as they tried to figure out which way they came in, and which way to proceed.

After what seemed like hours to the villagers, who had no concept of time in the odd cave, they came upon what seemed to be a central room. They gaped, amazed, as the walls shone with perfectly smooth ice, glistening like a mirror. Thinking this must be where their quarry lay, they once again prepared their weapons, looking around for some kind of creature to attack.
All they saw was a mound of snow in the middle of the cave, clearly some kind of natural formation.
Exhausted, one of the men sat on the mound, thrusting his spear into the snow next to him.

What happens next was heard all over the North Country, as a sickening wail pierced the night. The cave rumbled, stalactites smashing to the floor and breaking into thousands of tiny pieces. The hunters panicked, running for the entrance to the central room, though they had no idea how they were to get out.

A shadow rose over their backs, and fearing to look behind them, they ran faster, pushing one another down in hopes that it would secure their own survival.

It did not.

As punishment for ignoring the warnings, and disturbing the beasts’ long rest, it created a spire of ice that rose above their village as a warning. It thrust from the ground, causing minor earthquakes and disturbing those who remained behind. Patterns could be seen in the ice, and though now they appear to be little more than whorls and patterns, the villagers swore they saw their loved ones faces, frozen in fear within the ice.

They left the village, leaving it to ruin in the harsh landscape, not wanting to live near such a monument. They told their tale through cave paintings as they travelled, trying to find a safe haven.

Nobody ever visited that old cave again, though it’s rumored that if you do pass by on a clear night, you may run into an old man who will ask to share your fire and food. It’s recommended that you accommodate him.

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Re: Prisoners of High Tor

Postby Mystcdra » June 11th, 2017, 11:30:58 am

Wow! Really good! Hope this gets picked! <3
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