The Legends of Lost Tower Lake

Rumors have circulated since the Great Strife that, from time to time, a mysterious stone tower rises up from the center of Lost Tower Lake, a small, pristine lake nestled in a valley beyond the westernmost ridge of the northern Basin range where the North Grove Forest meets the mountains. After remaining visible (and presumably accessible) for some short period of time, it sinks below the waters once more.


There are two main variations of this legend or myth - one told by the Elves of the North Grove, and another told by the Orcs who range south of the region. Both have a few things in common: the tower appears, then disappears again.

According to the elven legend, the tower was erected during the Great Strife by an elven wizard who wished to research new magical abilities to use against the dark gods in the god-war. No great contribution ever came from this wizard, though. The tower remained until about one hundred years after the Great Strife ended, and then one day it simply vanished without a trace. Since then, some adventurous elves have claimed to have been present at the lake when they witnessed the tower miraculously reappear, only to disappear again some short time later. None of these reports have been recorded in the Elven Chronicles, which are supposed to record anything that the Elves may deem important.

The Orc version is a bit more embellished. While the orc telling does not explain the origin of the tower -- it simply begins with the tale of a mystical tower filled with dark energies that periodically appears and disappears from the center of a lake deep in the mountains. The Orc myth hints at the fact that something terrible - or at least something that really dislikes orcs - inhabits the tower. The myth speaks of bolts of dark energy lancing forth from the tower to strike at any who dare to be standing on the lakeshores when the tower manifests.

Historical Basis

According to the Elven Chronicles, there was indeed a tower erected in the center of this lake by a reclusive elven wizard during the Great Strife. It had long been common practice for the more powerful wizards of the world to build isolated places where they could research and experiment in peace and safety; so it is not strange that no written account explains the reason for a wizard to have chosen this particular spot. The name of the wizard is not recorded either.

The Chronicles do go on to say that at some point around one hundred years after the Great Strife ended, the tower disappeared without a trace. No further word of the tower or the wizard is recorded in the records of the Elves of the North Grove, While there are stories among the Elves about the tower mystically reappearing in the past, no mention of this is made in the Chronicles.

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There is indeed a tower that rises out of the lake. This occurs approximately once every 1909 days (5.2 years), coinciding with the appearance in the night sky of a phenomena called the Necromancer's Eye. This occurs when both the larger Ponderous Eye and smaller Darting Eye moons are both full, and the latter eclipses the former - forming what appears to be a dark red iris surrounded by sickly white staring out of the night sky.

The tower appears at midnight on the day before the Necromancer's Eye occurs, and remains until midnight on the day after the phenomena, thus it remains visible for three days. There is no land bridge, nor is there a boat. The tower quietly rises out of the depths in the middle of the lake, and later sinks back down just as silently. The tower itself is 100ft (30.5m) tall. The lake is 40ft (12m) deep at its center. When the tower sinks, it doesn't just sink into the lake, it sinks into the bedrock beneath the lake. It is impossible to discern any sign that the tower exists when it has receded -- even if the searchers are diving and exploring the lakebed.

The structure is the home of the lich Allatria Castruliara, a former half-elven wizard of great power who transitioned to lich-hood 153 years after the Great Strife ended. She enchanted the tower to appear and disappear as it does in order to avoid being bothered by undead hunters and other adventurers seeking to loot her belongings - she simply wished to be left alone with her magical studies. Having seen what the gods could do to the world, she decided that they should be barred from ever setting foot on it again; this is the focus of her magical studies.

The tower is filled with traps and guardians that stand between its lower door and upper rooms that the lich occupies, but the ultimate trap is the tower itself. When the tower begins to sink, the exit door and the trapdoor entrance to the lich's working floors are both magically replaced by sheer stone walls, and any living creature not in the upper floors will find themselves underwater and trapped. This is what happened to the prior two adventuring parties. Even if the party returns to the place where the door should be and breaks through the wall, they will find nothing but solid rock beyond. It should be noted that while the upper floors remain air-filled, that air is not refreshable. The lich doesn't breathe, so breathable air may seem to last forever. However, living, breathing creatures will consume the oxygen in a few days at most.
Over the years, only two groups of Adventurers arrived at the lake when it had actually risen above the waters. Both managed to reach the tower and get inside. Neither managed to escape the tower before it sank back down, and hence were never seen again. In both cases, later expeditions to find the lost folk found evidence of their campfires beside the lake, and nothing more.


Banner lake image by David Mark on Pixabay
Lake tower by Sang Dang 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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