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ID: 5023


May 20, 2008, 8:55 pm

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Clock Tower of Elmwood


Clock Tower of Elmwood - It appears ready to topple, but it has always appeared that way as far back as any living could remember.

The clocktower is a bazaar structure.  It stands nearly 200’ in height, seemingly a precarious arrangement of mismatched stone and brickwork. It appears ready to topple, but it has always appeared that way as far back as any living could remember.

At the top of the structure is a large clock, with three hands.  Each hand is of unique appearance - one a bright brass free of tarnish, the second a wide hand of black wrought iron, and the third a brilliant gold inset with a massive sky-blue stone.  The first two hands turn to mark the hour and minute, while the third rotates counterclockwise erratically.  The face of the clock is adorned with a number of symbols of alchemical nature.

  The tower’s reputation for strangeness and sorcery was cemented by it being the lone structure that survived the Magefire that turned much of the north end of Elmwood to dust. 

Now the tower is the home to Meyurk and is guarded inside by a number of dangerous constructs, all of which he lovingly constructed.

The tower has but one door at the ground level, though several small windows can also be reached.  The door is heavy and metal banded, and the windows are closely barred.  Though appearing rusted, this corrosion is very thin and does nothing to weaken the metal.

The brickwork of the tower appears to be in very poor condition, and any who attempt to climb the exterior will find that bricks fall away with distressing frequency.  However, the tower is sufficiently enchanted that nothing short of a dragon’s tail swipe would cause the structure to topple.

Within the structure, it is little more then a shaft up until the clockworks. The shaft is not empty - there is a boggling array of ropes, pulleys, catwalks and the occasional planetary gear arrangement.  At about 150’ from the bottom is finally a real floor, enclosing the main clockworks and containing Meyurk’s shop and living area.

Uninvited guests will be set upon by Meyurk’s pets as they attempt to ascend the interior of the shaft - a difficult and dangerous climb even without opposition.


The clock tower was built in ages past to mark the location, and display the status, of the triple ley-line nexus in the center of Elmwood.  The ley-lines experience strong variations of power and type in a seemingly random pattern. The third hand of the clock indicates which magical effect is dominate, allowing mages to draw upon the power of the ley lines.

The clock is not perfect, and gives no reading as to the magnitude of the surge, and it was a surge of unrecorded power that triggered the Magefire.

Up to that point, Elmwood was a Guildtown, where the mage guild built its facilities near the powerful and somewhat predictable nexus.  The surge destroyed all of the guilds buildings, and virtually all of the guildmembers.  Fear of the nexus exceeded the desire for power among the survivors and Elmwood was abandoned by the mages, and then forgot.  The townspeople have never rebuilt near the tower.

Plot Ideas and Campaign Use

The tower can serve simply as the abode of Meyurk, where it may also become a battleground, the shaft proving to be a dangerous tactical challenge (see also the effects on magic - these can be quite significant!).

It may also be used for its original purpose by mages.  At seemingly random intervals, the realm will shift and the magnitude will reset randomly.


A fluctuation of epic proportion flares up, causing a simple spell to balloon over many miles.  If the spell was of a somewhat dangerous nature, the effect may resemble a nuclear strike in its affect.  And again the clocktower remains…

Effects of the Nexus

Some form of magic (school, element, realm, whathaveyou) will be enhanced at all times, with the specific realm shifting in an apparently random manner.  The level of enhancement is normally strong but controllable, but it can spike up greatly with potentially disastrous effects.  The nexus is centered under the tower, but its effects can extend to a known radius of 1000’ feet (the extent of the Magefire).  It is unknown if greater radii are possible from this nexus.

Spells of the correct type will be enhanced in some form, though usually not in duration.  Those intimately familiar with ley lines and nexii will be able to make much better use of the clock and the nexus then those unschooled in their use.

To randomly select a power level, roll D6. Reroll 6’s. Each time a 6 is rolled, the effect doubles.  No matter the result on the first roll, the effect at least doubles.
x2    100%
x4    1/36
x8    1/216

While the school might eventually be predicted through careful study, the intensity never is.

The effects of spell power suddenly increasing should not be underestimating.  Spells were generally designed and developed within the frame reasonably predictable power levels.  For example, an invisibility spell pumped up to super-high levels may make the target immaterial, perhaps forever.  Intentionally dangerous spells might be disastrous if their effects - generally area of effect, is unexpectedly enhanced.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
May 16, 2008, 12:39
Now this is something really orginal. 4/5.
May 17, 2008, 15:06
Okay, this guy is going back in work.. It needs a bit more...
May 20, 2008, 20:55
Updated: Added a few more details to the effects on magic.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
August 18, 2008, 8:32
Easy to use, that is a plus in my book. I have a clock tower in work myself, maybe we should strive for 30 of them;) Solid idea.
Voted Aramax
February 22, 2015, 7:48
Short, practical with a little flair, my kind of sub 4/5

Commenting Challennge

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Frozen in Time

       By: Spark

In a long-lost age, a party of adventurers are frozen into stone by the stare of some gorgon-like creature. An unscrupulous rogue, coming across the frozen party several centuries later, decides to haul off two of the statues to decorate his den. Upon his death, an artisan friend of his claims a statue and sells it to a rich merchant, passing it off as his own work. Years later, the merchant gilds the statue in bronze and re-sells it at a much higher price. After passing through the art markets for many decades, the statue ends up in the hallways of a mage academy. Imagine the chaos and confusion when a young mage's spell happens to break the curse of stone, returning the adventurer to life several centuries after his petrification! Is he interrogated by historians? Driven mad by the change of times? Or does he set off on a quest to find and liberate his other frozen party-members?

Ideas  ( Plots ) | January 12, 2008 | View | UpVote 4xp

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