A powerfully enchanted home to the great arch-mage Xonthal, master of space and dimensions, who vanished some 100 years ago. It has since been the home of Dragon Cultists, and now the band of adventurers Chimera’s Bane, primarily under the oversight of Arch-mage Aur, with tolerated guest of the Zhentarim thieves’ guild.
The tower itself is warded by magics unfathomable, with many layered Wish spells to construct the pocket dimension that the true tower resides, the defensive infinite maze, and the many impossible layers on the interior of the tower. Attempts to circumvent the maze leads to a false and empty tower that, cruelly, is also protected by impenetrable walls of force to mislead those who succeed.
The maze itself is impossible to map. The dimensional magics constantly fold the paths upon themselves, and attempts to fly above the maze reveal an overgrown mess of the groomed Prime Material maze. Likewise, brute force through the hedge walls does nothing to advance those lost within the labyrinth. The only boon is that those who give up and want nothing more than to leave will inevitably succeed within moments, the maze merrily presenting the entrance to them. From the city, the maze looks like a small, waist high hedge garden with beautiful flowers. Upon reaching the border, the hedges grow to 20 feet tall, perfectly rectangular maze walls.
Note: All the defenses of the Maze cannot be circumvented if they are triggered. Once encountered, the wanderer(s) must complete the challenge, or be trapped indefinitely. Many instances of the same challenge can exist at the same time, although parties typically are reunited over separating them (the maze is fair, as the hope is that they all tire and leave together). All challenges reset themselves after completion. Any unfortunate wanderers who die within the maze are magically deposited (with all of their gear) within the iron cages within the Tower of Xonathal. See more about the iron cages below.
The image below explains the solutions. Failures lead to defensive locations within the maze (locations 2-7). Gems gathered within the maze vanish from those who leave the maze.
2. Chuul Pool
A 50ft deep pool of murky water contains a collection of magical items, and many Chuuls. Collection of a garnet, at the bottom of the pool, is required to leave.
3. Cyclopes’ Pasture
A pair of cyclopes stand here with their herd of cattle, frozen in time until an unlucky maze solver stumbles in. Doing so brings the world back into this time, and triggering a challenge. Tossing (any movement will succeed) the boulder farther than the cyclops yield the required topaz to leave. Nothing else will yield the stone.
4. Carnivorous Garden
A narrow path leads to a bubbling fountain. Large bright flowers with pearls growing on them guard the path. Touching a pearl animates the garden, attacking as if it were an otyugh. A pearl is required to leave.
A large pagoda is inhabited by a Dao, who will try to imprison wanderers within the pagoda while a poisonous gas fills the area, emanating from a teapot. Inside the teapot is a jade stone, required to leave. The Dao will only attack those within its pagoda, after tricking them with a disguise of a kindly elderly individual.
6. Statue Gallery
A garden filled with statues and set of armor animate to attack. There is a chance that any of the armor might contain a bloodstone, required to leave the area.
7. Gorgon Maze
The maze suddenly grows misty, obscuring sight. Unknown to the wanderers, a gorgon patrols the area, charging any it comes across, turning to stone any that attempt to fight it. The gorgon’s breath occasionally condenses into a diamond, required to leave the area.
Ceilings are 10 foot high.
Light is provided by magical braziers. The keeper of the Tower has full control of these.
Sound is muffled between layers, making anything short of a marching army imperceptible.
Teleport circles are keyed for the tower. Please see the chart below:
8. Audience Chamber
Walls of this chamber bear exotic geometric designs representing feathers, eagles, and snakes in a style never seen before. The balconies in the room are 8ft off the floor.
9. Closed Chambers / Prisons
These rooms all possess iron doors that only open from the outside, secured with a simple iron latch. The rooms, upon inspection, all possess arcane warding, petrifying the Weave within them, preventing any magic from working within them.
This large area has the front, skeletal legs of an adult black dragon, and an altar. The walls depict dracoliches.
Living room/ office/ den/ study, etc. Xonthal was efficient. The cultists seemed to have left some lore and arcane tools for creating dracoliches – not enough to recreate the ritual, but to provide quite a bit of insight.
A large telescope of brass, crystal, and polished mahogany rests on an intricate stand in the middle of the camber. A ladder rests against one wall, and an immense crystal lens is embedded in the veiling. The chamber is clearly the workplace of a wizard. A pair of voluminous tomes on astronomy and astrology lie open on a table.
This is a bedroom.
14. Dungeon Teleport
Access point to the rest of the Tower.
15. Elemental Checkpoint
Outer point for workshop. Books, papers, table, chairs, and a lockable wooden chest are here.
Once home to a whirlwind of elemental gems, this room contains alchemical flasks, beakers, braziers, arcane apparatus galore. This is a complete and expansive laboratory with all equipment imaginable, and equipment of unique and likely one-of-a-kind nature specifically for Xonthal’s studies.
17. Cosmic Hallway
The keeper of the Tower is safe from this hallway. Open to what appears to be the Astral Sea, a cosmic expanse of stars and meteors, Atmosphere here is thin, but not uncomfortable. What befalls those who fall is unknown.
A real wizard’s library. Protective air elementals animate papers to defend the study from intruders. There is information here to satisfy nearly any need, especially when it comes to dimensional travel and what lies beyond them. Two secret doors in the bookcases lead to the Spellbook Study and Observation Rooms, respectively.
19. Observation Room
This room is taller than most, as a circular pane of crystal stands ten feet tall in the middle of the room, anchored to the ceiling, walls, and floor by chains. A scene of roiling fire can be glimpsed within the crystal. In front of the crystal, an ornate rod is set into the floor to control the pane.
20. Spellbook Study
A small, intimate chamber with a large, simple desk with several quills, ink wells (14 valid wells remaining), and vellum parchment.
21. Reagent Storage Closet
An area with shelves holding hundreds of mundane and exotic reagents and components. Most are far past their expiration date, and will need replaced.
22. Chessboard Room
This room, once home to Taraz the Fair, is now an empty room with a chessboard carved in it.
23. Time Chamber
This large room seems to be proof that Xonthal was exploring new areas of magic and study. Two large, broken hourglasses occupy this room. Each is suspended by chains, pulleys, and gears so to allow them to flip. Each is 15ft diameter, 30ft tall.