According to the old journals of the dreamer cult, “it can be found fifteen dream leagues to the north of the Golden City of Dreams”. Only those of true inner strength will be able to travel across the “Beast Plains” which surround the “Falling Mountains”. In these mountains the Gardens of Serenity can be found, from which the Tower of Ylkhuun rise. At the very topmost floor of the tower, the Secret Chamber of the Soul can be found.
The Beast Plains are nightmarish fields of mud and mire. Visibility is limited by torrential rain, reed and mists. Unimaginable nightmare horrors* crawl through these plains, their bodies black and scaly, sometimes with shadowy heads and appendages erupting from their torso.
The Falling Mountains are similarly nightmarish. Avalanches and rockslides occur here with alarming frequency and more than one dreamer has found himself free falling after stepping down the wrong path. The Mountains are the home of a race of unique dragons that only lair within dreams and here in particular. These are the majestic seven headed Phyraeon Hydras; great winged wyrms whose glittering golden scales herald their coming long before they actually land. The Phyraeon Hydras are potentially dangerous in that their icy cold breath might cause a heart attack in any dreamer they attack. Luckily these dragons aren’t aggressive, preferring to challenge trespassers with cryptic riddles and obscure bits of wisdom instead.
The Gardens of Serenity is the name of the huge valley that nests between the ring of mountains known as the Falling Mountains. These are lush lands, where wondrous beasts graze on green pastures, where the forests are filled with strange and colourful insects and where fruit grows on every tree. Anyone descending from the mountains will instantly notice the thin tower which soars above the valley, and even above the mountains, reaching into the skies above.
This is the Tower of Ylkhuun, a dreamer cultist of old. Some say Ylkhuun was the first worshipper of dreams and the first to ascend from mere mortal life. According to the chronicles of the first dreamer of the Golden City Temple, Ylkhuun still inhabits his tower, but he has changed; he is now an ancient ghost drifting about in the tower, dreaming of ages bygone, lost in the memories of the past. No one knows how many floors can be found within the tower, but according to the myths, the Secret Chambers of the Soul can be found on the very top. This is the temple of the Sextant of the Soul. This is a location the owner of the sextant can reach from anywhere at anytime. Even when awake.
The origin of the Sextant is unclear. According to the dreamer cult it might have been created by the comatose mages of the dream cult in their Golden City temple. Other sources say that it has always existed and that it is merely a dream representation of the soul and inner strength. A popular legend claims that Ylkhuun built his tower as a representation of the human soul and the power of the will. According to that legend he was visited by an avatar of the Dreamer** and that avatar gave a boon unto Ylkhuun: He would never die, and he would never fade from the world of dreams, even though his mortal coil would surely perish. Additionally his tower would become a monument of the triumphing will and the power of dreams. Thus he created the secret chambers of the soul, and placed within these chambers the Sextant of the Soul: A nondescript, even rusty, sextant, resting on an old wooden stool.
The Sextant of the Soul can only be found within dreams. It helps the owner make good decisions, giving a small boost to any wisdom and intelligence related attributes. The owner is simply more able to discern what is the right thing to do.
The sextant also helps ward against mental domination and spiritual imprisonment: If the owner becomes subject to magical control, he will find himself within the secret chambers of the soul, from which he can do a number of things.
1. The owner could perform magical rituals, if he has the know how, and trace the magic to the person responsible or even kill the opponent while he is controlling the waking body of the owner.
2. He can also conjure a spectral image of the dominator to the secret chambers, and then physically do battle with him. This is a power given by the sextant and all owners may do this. If the owner of the Sextant is killed in this way, the sextant has a new owner and the old owner is irredeemably killed, his soul forever lost and unable to find itâ€™s way to the Gods.
Unbeknownst to anyone, this is what happened to Ylkhuun and a number of other owners. They did indeed become immortal, but once defeated they became the spectral slaves of the tower, maintaining and guarding it from intruders and hostiles. This is the price to pay for the services of the tower and once you own the Sextant, there is no going back. If the owner dies in any other location, he does not become enslaved, for that specific power of the tower does not extend outside the chamber of the soul. Fortunately, the previous owners of the sextant makes good guardians and seldomly does anyone brave the plains and mountains and then survive the tower.
If anyone endures the dangers of the tower and is able to find the secret chambers with the intention to gain the sextant, the owner’s spiritual image is conjured and must fight for it’s ownership.
3. If the owner becomes spiritually imprisoned he could reconnect with his physical body by opening a spiritual back door. It is the way of things that there is always another way, and with the guidance of the sextant, the owner can stake out a path through the dreamscape that will eventually lead to the spectral representation of his comatose body. The mystical bond that connects the body and the dreamer will then be re-established and the dreamer will awaken from his coma.
The chambers can be reached from anywhere, even while awake, though the owner would then apparently faint and drop to the ground. While in the chamber the owner will be aware of every sound close to his sleeping body and may awaken at the blink of an eye.
* These are called Nightmare Fiends in Coldforged.
**A Dreaming God of the Coldforged setting.