Discovery and Conception
Built in the latter years of the Three Kingdoms War, Telportia (Tel-Poor-Sha) served as both a last resort fortress and a weapon of unfathomable power. Built on top of a mesa it has the advantage of superior position for a siege and also has caverns sunk deep down for the storage of supplies and living areas for the powerful leaders in time of need.
Though this is only a small part of what makes Telportia a unique fortification in the world, it was discovered early on in the construction that the mesa was in fact resting upon the intersections of energy lines and these energies could be harnessed in a particular fashion. It was discovered by the royal mages that these energies could be put to use building a network of portals to various locations of importance all around the land. But more important was that these portals could not be blocked by any know means. Turning this fortification into something of a weapon, once these route could be plotted there would be no kingdom willing to send its armies away from home.
Though, these strange energies had side effects of their own, the portals were only one way, even with the greatest minds on the problem there was never a solution discovered to let something pass back to Telportia. Though, this news was not unwelcome, it meant that Telportia was even more of a prize, not only could they run to any of a multitude of areas if it ever came to it, they would never be in danger of being invaded themselves.
The war did not last long enough for Telportia to actually be used in any way for military use and soon after the war ended the need for an impenetrable bunker also ended, peace broke out among the kingdoms and the idea of such a place being held by military hands was frowned upon. In a gesture of goodwill Lord Reidwald gave over the unfinished fortress to the royal mage guild.
the royal mages took over the project and have housed their university there ever since. When they arrived at the fort the northern and western walls and towers were the only thing standing, the military had built the walls, towers and started carving out the Mesa for shelters. They quickly set to work cleaning up the mess left by the royal engineers, they restarted the work on the walls as well as building the first permanent structures on top of the mesa.
It would be still years before the walls would be finished, but in time the fortress would be completed to it's original designs plus a few extras. In addition to the completed walls the work on the portals was moving along quite smoothly. Each energy line was harnessed and connected to an anchor gateway, but the mystery of the exit was only discovered the old fashioned way. A person would be hired to travel through and make a journey back to Telportia, Needless to say there are quite a few portals have been sealed as the hired individuals have never returned.
Even though Telportia has not been used in anger, its effect on the world can still be seen. Where ever there is a portal exit some kind of settlement has sprung up, the mages regularly preform experiments and it has been quite profitable to receive a reward for returning the experiments no matter how far you have to walk to bring it back.
Telportia from the planes looks like any walled fortress, like any fortress that a god reached down and tried to stretch from the earth. It stands atop the lone mesa on the planes and looks out in all directions for all to see. From a bird's eye view the fortress is no less impressive, high walls on top of an already impressive cliff make any kind of ground assault nigh impossible, in addition the towers were built in the case of aerial assaults, though only the remnants of the massive war machines remains.
Within the walls however is a less imposing picture, buildings scatter the mesa surface in a haphazard fashion, obviously built by non military minds. Their construction has the foundations of utilitarian outpost construction but as they go out towards the walls they grow larger and more extravagant.
About three or four staircases lead into the mesa to the tunnels below and outside the walls a solitary gate stands at the base of the mesa, rigged to collapse at a moment's notice. Even in the time of peace such as this by the order of Lord Reidwald there is always at least one man in the gate tower above near the runes to activate the main tunnel collapse.
The active defenses of the fortress are minimal at best, the massive military siege engines that once occupied the northern and western sections of the walls are in ruins though it could be said that an entire fortress full of mages could make a formidable force to be reckoned with.
Though passively it is well designed, the mesa top has been cultivated to produce small crops and there is an ever flowing water source that provides quite the siege resistance if it ever needed it.
The water source flows from the great fountain and in of itself is a closely guarded secret, it uses a pair of matched items, a goblet and pitcher which were relics of a civilization long past. When filled with water the goblet overflows until the pitcher empties. Realizing the unique properties of these items the goblet was installed in the fountain and the pitcher was cast into a body of water of a secret location. Hence Telportia has an ever flowing water source which could be coming from a sieging enemies own wells for all they know.
The portals are anchored on the Telportia end and can be opened with a minor ritual. Some of the well known portals include:
Lake Morocco, This portal discovered recently actually brings you to the northern end of the lake, about 25' under water! while this is a large stumbling block it does bypass most of the mountain ranges to the north so it is still a valuable link to the northern lands.
Septera, This portal brings you near the southern end of the continent into the city of Septera. This was actually discovered to end in the Temple of -Insert Major Deity- much to the dismay of the clerics within, though after some negotiation and generous donations to the temple a route was established and made ready for travel.
Three Roads, This portal ended in a little known area of the great plains but with its discovery a small village sprung up and roads to the three kingdoms capitals converged.
Example Usage and Hooks
I use Telportia currently in one of my games as the starting point for my zombie apocalypse game. The Ever flowing water source is starting to run dry and the initial hook is to travel to the nearest portal to the secret location and find the problems with the water supply.
Other great ideas from the comments below could include:
The PCs must flee Teleportia and only have time to jump through a random portal
The PCs are chosen as an elite exploration team, sent through some of the previously sealed portals to see if they will be able to return
Rumors abound of a newly discovered portal which allows just the opposite. entry into Telportia, and entry only! The most bizarre beings one could imagine (insert whichever wierd creatures your world calls for) begin to filter through....
Thanks Dossta and Murometz for the great hooks!
to add an idea. It only takes a moment.