The lands of Estalon have thrived in the wake of an ancient war; magic was scarce and hidden to nearly all who lived. The few who worked to tease out what little they could in their short lifetimes had eventually became powerful arch mages and the pillars of modern magical thought. Their pet projects litter the landscape even to this day, though few understand what they are or even where they came from. Fewer still, realize the danger of testing ancient magic that has begun to deteriorate with time.
The Pyrus Patch, commonly called for its difficulty to place on a map properly, has recently come under the jurisdiction of the City of Efeterthrop. Having spent nearly ten years studying the strange phenomena causing countless trade caravans to become disoriented and lost between their city and that of Nizul-tibi, they have tamed its dangers and made it a boon. So dangerous the area once was that it had gained a haunted stereotype; a flat patch of desert marked of as no man’s land. The main danger being its invisible nature no modern magic or scrying techniques work to discern the phenomena’s properties. Efeterthrop sent countless groups of scholars and volunteers to test the edges of the phenomena, discovering it was of a spherical shape dropping its victims a rather exact 100miles on the opposite side of the phenomena. Many of the volunteers were able to return safely, but nearly 20% were lost never to be heard from again. Areas where they were lost were marked and soon the entire outer edge was tested. A main gate, optimal for travel through the phenomena, was erected on a route between Efeterthrop and Nizul-tibi. The toll placed there was incidental, and while drawing in some decent coin; it is merely an operational cost of guarding their new trade route. By paying, one had the ability to cut nearly seven days off the journey through the desert, leaving only a single day in the desert and an additional day in a more temperate climate.
Loss of Volunteers:
Some were lost during the testing phase. Many speculate they somehow went inside, if that’s even possible. Others believed they disintegrated, and a few thought they went to the astral plane. What ever happened, it remains clear that skirting the toll is a dangerous prospect. Few will try to stop you for fear of hitting the invisible threshold. Since the toll roads were built, many have paid adventurers to try to “get inside” and return with any information, none have returned to this date.
The Pyrus Patches are ancient remnants of old magic in the region, inside each lies one of the few intact mage towers of study, now abandoned. The cataclysmic event of the last war damaged the original spell weakening the ability to hide 100 miles of land in 100 ft., harmlessly dropping unwanted visitors away from their studies. So damaged is the spell that huge invisible cracks and fissures line the base of the sphere, granting access to the center. However, remnants of experiments run wild have made leaving a more difficult task than entering, especially when the magic keeping things inside the Patch are still intact or merely broken in different places.
- The PCs are charged with exploring the Pyrus patch, and bringing back its secrets.
- An explosion while traveling through the patch has causes a new fissure to open up in the toll area, as the PCs and hundreds of civilians spill into the insides. They see before them luch forests and hear strange creatures. How do you get out; the fissures only work one way?