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Offline Monument

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Cube Mountain
« on: July 07, 2005, 01:02:04 PM »
I had this "out of left field" type thought.  What would PCs do if they found a mountain in the shape of a cube?

No, it didn't form in a cube, it was hacked out of a mountain as if it were a pyramid of cheese or something.  The top has been lopped off and lay on the side of a nearby mountain in the range.  The sides have likewise been cropped, and lay nearby, as obvious parts to a mountain sized puzzle.

The people nearby have no idea why someone would do such a thing, and the PCs are likewise stumped.  Therein lay the problem:  I can't think of a reason why anyone would go to the trouble of doing this to a mountain.

I was thinking it could be just some monument to chaos or something, a completely random act, with no rhyme or reason, there simply for the whim of some kooky guy who had a lot of time on his hands.  But that doesn't make for a very interesting tale.

Plus which, if one has a mountain deliberately shaped into a non-mountain shape, how does one use this "cube mountain", as a game master?

Your thoughts are appreciated.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Cube Mountain
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005, 05:18:25 PM »
How recently did all this happen?

Maybe nobody knows. It happened a few nights ago. People are thinking about moving away from the area.

Deities fought here?

A great gateway was created in an attempt to send people somewhere special. The resulting damage was what happened.

The mountain could be the receiving end of a badly formed gate from a world of giants.

Long ago an empire attempting to make a new capitol decided to make it on top of a mountain. They used some ubermagic to level the top. Unfortnately the empire fell before it could be completed.

Need a bit more info about the world to be more helpful.
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Offline Monument

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Cube Mountain
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005, 05:51:07 PM »
World info...

It was placed in an area mostly inhabited by humanoid races, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, etc, a "nation" (very much in quotes) held together mostly by fear and intimidation of some very strong individuals.

The original thought that brought it on was pretty simple, resulting from a discussion between the psuedoDM's(providing creative input on the world design) and myself(primary DM and world architect).  We were discussing the distinct lack of "just plain strange stuff" in our home-grown world, and began talking about things that might be considered "world-renowned" but not necessarily useful or anything.

We got to thinking about specific regions.  One region, Kedion, is a large expanse that just happens to be an area of mostly crappy land(swamps, deserts, steppe, mountains, not really hospitable land), that the "evil critters" can have because nobody else wants it, so they do their thing there and nobody really bugs em.

What would be in that region?  How about something that's just there, and nobody knows why...  what could an orc or goblin realistically accomplish, what would stand the test of time from the mayhem and still be standing after a long time?  A mountain?  Ok, what makes it different?  Maybe they carve it into something, like Mt Rushmore.  Nah, too complicated for orcs and such.  Well, maybe something simple but big and tough, thinking geometric shapes.  Pyramid?  Been there, done that.  Sphere?  A giant rolling mountain?  Yeeeeah, not so much(***see below).  Cylinder?  Again with the rolling thing, but at least it would be in one direction.  Square... hrm... ok, that might work...

We kinda got stuck at that point, thinking about why it would be done, how it would be done and so on, but then we got to thinking about how paleontologists(sp?) aren't sure how ancient peoples did a variety of things here on earth, and thought we didn't need a reason.

We were thinking, maybe it's just been there.  Maybe orcs use it as a rite of passage or something, they climb to the top and light a ceremonial fire, or something, the area around the base being littered with skeletons of creatures that had tried the test and failed.

But beyond that, we were like... hrm... so, not so much adventuring potential, huh?  And we left it like that.

*** About a rolling mountain... imagine a concept of stopping a rolling mountain before it crushes some thriving metropolis or something.  That would be a somewhat interesting adventure, but again, it needs a bit of fleshing out before it becomes viable.
Monument

Offline Kinslayer

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Cube Mountain
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2005, 09:48:24 PM »
Maybe the mountain wasn't carved, but constructed.  The apparent bits cut off are just coincidental. The mountain was created out of a stone-like concrete, and designed as a habitation by a long-forgotten and advanced civilisation.  Because this ancient people made great effort to reduce their environmental impact on the world, this cube is all that remains of their presence.

Another option is the sci-fi/spacefarers option.  The mountain could have been carved to be used as part of a gigantic construction project.  The builders--for whateve reason--had to abort before this block was completed.  Perhaps this was the first block to be taken, or other areas had already been carved and moved, but erosion over the following centuries destroyed evidence.  The other spacefarer scenario is that the block was a type of Clarkean monolith.  Once a civilisation has advanced to where it can receive and understand the radio messages the monolith broadcasts, then the monolith/cube will then signal to the advanced spacefaring race that the population has evolved to be a worthwhile partner.
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