Helping the gate is SO easy. Just kill all the goblins, convince enough people that the talk of decay etc. is not true, and move them inside, to re-create the city.
Or move the absurdly heavy gate to another city and install it there. It might be even theirs mission, why should they else approach the cursed city? There is also the moral thing about moving an intelligent creature somewhere it does not necessarily want to. Yeah, you took the gold, but you didn't know it talks...
What about its powers? Does it feel the truth, or just hostile intents of some visitors? Or can it be fooled in some way? Perhaps it does regenerate, for every battering ram eaten. :-) Go to Comment
Maybe there's more than one of these gates, only others haven't been woken up. Maybe the cities they protected never faced a dangerous enough threat, the citizens don't know how to wake them up, they don't believe in the legends, or they simply have no idea what they have. Maybe after encountering the Gate of Calast, the PCs recognize similar structures in other cities. Go to Comment
Wow! This is truly a creature of high fantasy! I love it.
Perhaps the gate is merely the way the city communicates with mortals. The whole city could be a living entity and it's health dependant on the condition of the lands inside it's walls. With out city gaurds to prevent the goblins from scaling the walls, the goblins would soon see that trying to breech the wall would lead to their doom, but a grappling hook or makeshift ladder could provide access easily.
To restore the gate to a healthy life, they would need to clean the city of the filth, unclog the aquaducts, and maybe shore up some buildings. Convincing the goblins to do it would be an interesting solution, but it's more likely that the pc's will throw the squatters out. Go to Comment
Legends of "Living Cities" could date back to ancient times, and the Gate of Calast is but one of them. As living creatures, they can make mistakes, be misled, and if they have enough intelligence and free will, even decide to be evil.
Imagine a Gate being told to destroy all red carriages because a neighboring country that betrayed the city only has access to redwood for it's construction. Centuries pass, the neighboring country fall to ruin and it's works lost to revolution and destruction. The border moves back from the city with the Gate and again has peace and prosperity. The new prince comes to visit and his favorite color is red. Chomp, Chomp, Chrunchy, Shreek.
A Gate with free will may want to become more powerful and threaten and blackmail merchants and nobility for passage. "Bring more commerce to this city or you will not enter." Or worse yet, not let them out. If the Gate is aware of their political connections, it may tell them to send messengers to accomplish it's needs, and untill they are done, the person(s) are it's hostages. Could be quite awkward if an assembly of nobles was in town for a celebration. Go to Comment
One of the first things I read on Strolen and still one of my favourites: this was posted up here a year or two before most of us (inc. me) currently posting arrived and deserves to be remembered! Go to Comment
I could imagine that there would be a bit of flavor by changing some elements as well.
Perhaps the city is once again inhabited by populous, but due to the years of neglect and the lack of prayers, the gate has lost its ability to talk, and lost its anthropomorphic features. Perhaps it has a feebler mind now. But it still functions, and thinks. The town does not know it is intelligent.
The gate kills someone or attempts to due to rules given to it from a earlier age, and the unaware city now is on a witch hunt for the 'culprit' who closed the gate on an important figure. After several of these events happening within a short time, it becomes more apparent there is no individual at the controls.
Kind of a mystery. Although I don't know how players would go about finding the correct conclusion, or even proving it to the town, since many prayers may be necessary to restore the gate to its previous appearance and intelligence. Go to Comment