Lost Tower Lake

High up where the North Grove forest climbs into the northermost peaks of the Basin Wall mountains, there is a lake of deep, crystal clear water nestled in a bowl between the upper peaks. There are no paths to the lake; none are needed since only the daring or foolhardy venture there. The forest grows thick in the passes leading to the lake - a forest filled with creatures both benign and malignant.

Those that do brave the forest and the rocky climbs into the pass that provides best access to the lake usually come looking for something - or to see for themselves if the tales about a mysterious tower that occasionally seems to rise up out of the waters are true. Explorers and adventurers have been known to spend weeks waiting for this apparition to arise. Some have returned claiming to have gotten a glimpse of it. Most have returned claiming that the stories must be fairy tales. a few have not returned at all.


Tower Lake rests in a valley bowl between the westernmost two ridgelines of the northern Basin Wall mountains. Here, the trees of the North Grove Forest - one of the Great Forests - reaches the feet of the mountains, and its trees and shrubs continue climbs into the mountains at this point, through the few passes in the ridge, and into this valley and others like it.

The eastern and western shores around the lake are steep, rocky approaches as these are formed form the mountain ridges themselves. To the north, the appraoch to the shore is more gradual, and even has a narrow sandy strip separating wild grasses and shrubs from the lake. Fauna use this approach often when they come for water. The southern shore is even flatter, and a marshy area exists in the transition between shore and lake.


The lake lies in what could be called an alpine lake ecosystem. The forest across the pass and below the lake is far from any village, so the creatures that call the woodlands and mountainsides their home are not threatened by hunting. As a result, both large and small game are plentiful, and much of this wildlife uses the lake as a water source.

Fish are plentiful in the lake, and flocks of waterfall are common, especially as they migrate with the seasons. Waterplants (water lilies, reeds, etc.) line the steep, rocky banks of the lake.

Ecosystem Cycles

The climate around Tower Lake is cold temperate. The trees surrounding the lake are a mix of evergreen conifer and deciduous hardwood; many evergreen shrubs crowd the understory. In summer, the forest canopy and understory are both a lush green, and teem with wildlife of all sizes and varieties that one would expect in such a forest. In winter, while the oaks, birches, and other decidious trees are barren, there are enough pines and firs to still keep the forest somewhat green.

The lake typically freezes over for at least a month or two; the thickness of the ice can vary between barely an inch in milder winters to several inches when the weather is harsher.


The Elves of the nearby Northwood Forest have given this lake its name, Lost Tower Lake, because, according to their chronicles, a mage's tower once stood rising out of the center of the lake. This tower was supposedly erected by an Elven wizard during the Great Strife, but about a hundred years after that war among the gods ended, the tower simply disappeared. There is a legend among the Elves, though, that claims the tower reappears periodically.

The orcs who occasionally wander up from the south while hunting rarely cross the ridge to approach the lake because they, too, have tales relating to the lake. The orcs call it Haunted Tower Lake, and their tales tell of a mysterious tower that can mysteriously appear and disappear, but when it does, terrible magics lash out from the tower to strike any who have the misfortune of being there at the time.


Far from being a tourist destination, most of the Folk consider Lost Tower Lake a place to be avoided. The Orcs, in fact, consider it a forbidden place, and all but the bravest (or foolhardiest?) have avoided it for at hundreds of years. The Elves consider it a place of dark magic and while they do not have any cultural or religious strictures against venturing there, they simply do not see why they should.

On a few rare occasions, groups of adventurers, after hearing of the mysterious tower, have decided to investigate for themselves. Most of these groups return claiming never to have found any sign that a tower was ever there. A few groups have never returned; they are presumed to have fallen prey to some of the larger beasts that hunt in the forest around the lake.


Banner lake image by David Mark on Pixabay

Page background cathedral Image by 5163451 on Pixabay
Page background manor house image by Josef Pichler on Pixabay
Page background hut image by PamelaAndrey15 on Pixabay
Page background forest image by Waldkunst on Pixabay
Character portraits by RPGDinosaurBob on Hero Forge®


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