Rising from a bleak shelf of ice a thousand miles wide, Sar Van Hilar can be seen nearly a hundred miles away, it's cold blue peak rising like a dagger thrust up through the bitter cold ice. It is one of the few features that disturbs the almost laser smooth face of the Malrak Xarzith, the Realm of Endlessm Ice. While the juggernaut that is the Jokulsmorder is certainly the greatest of the Saerithian volcanoes, and the trio of the Chath-Lu-Xzar-Zith are the most violently active, no other mount better embodies the dichotomy of Saerith, caught between fire and ice.
Fire and Ice
Sar Van Hilar sits on a rare confluence of elemental forces, a five way joining of ley lines of elemental air, water, and fire. The two fire lines rise from deep in the earth, while the two water and lone air line weave across the surface. This trinity of cold lines is the force that has carved the Malrak Xarzith into the mirror smooth sheet of ice that it is. But the force of the molten stone and fire from the heart of the earth could not be so easily glossed over by their mindless power.
Where the five meet, the Slush Cone rises, a great hulking mass of ice and ash in a frozen matrix. The fire below causes the water to erupt outwards like a geyser, but as soon as the direct heat of the ley lines is spaced out, the freezing cold of the other three quickly freezes the expanding water into slush and then quickly to ice. This force is steady, so the cone of the volcano is constantly changing shape, color, and texture. During periods of fierce elemental fire, the ice is marred by vast amounts of ash and particles of molten stone flash frozen by the cold. Once covered in snow, it looks like any other volcano in Saerith. During the dominance of the air line, the ash is minimized, and the cone rises as a megalith of pristine white and clear ice.
The Oracle of Ice
Once an Elfin princess of great beauty, the Oracle of Sar Van Hilar is now something almost entirely alien. Her time meditating at the mount, bathing in the elemental forces there have changed her flesh from blood and bone into something not quite alive, but not quite snow. Her eyes are piercing blue, but hide a terrible intensity. Her skin is as featureless as the Malrak Xarzith, and just as white, but unlike that harsh place it is still pliable to the touch and not yet frozen.
The tribes of humans who wander across the northlands following the herds of mammoth, moose, elk, and reindeer will often send their wise men to the Oracle to divine the fortunes of the tribe in the coming winter and to offer sacrifices to the spirits of Mount Sar Van Hilar. The Oracle will speak with the wise men, as well as with any elf who comes with proper respect. Non-wise folk, orc-kind and the like are at best openly ignored. Those who persist in bothering the Oracle often find themselves caught in avalanches from the Mount, or worse yet, washed away by a lahar of boiling ash and water studded with tooth like chunks of ice that shatter ribs and crack open skulls like ripe melons.
To the Guru on the Mountain - The PCs have come upon a quandry and need outside assistance. The local spirits are biased and cannot be trusted, the other sources of wisdom have been blinded by their temporal ambitions and secular concerns. To get their clear answer, the PCs must travel north past the domains of the ice giants, and find the ever changing volcano of fire and ice, and consult its semi-divine oracle.
An Offer She Cant Refuse - having been hired by one of the sides in the War for Elvindorm, the PCs have been sent to recruit the Oracle and Sar Van Hilar to the PCs side. If emissaries from Elvindorm, the PCs are likely to bring gifts and offerings to the Oracle and the volcano and engage in negotiations (which the Oracle will decline cryptically). If the PCs work for Praxingdrell, they are more likely to bring threats, weapons, and monsterous allies to cause the Oracle to join their side. Again, the Oracle will refuse and the PCs will have to face the fury of the mountain as it clears its throat and roars into the heavens.
? Hall of Honour (1 voters / 1 votes)
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? Responses (4)
It's a really interesting location, but something seems missing. Can't figure out what - shame on me - but still, it paints a good picture.
An interesting location with some nice details.
A node of great power. Others will covet this magical force, so how does the Oracle protect herself?
I love this. I remember when you first mentioned a volcano of slush, and I have been imagining it ever since. A wonderful concept. I would love to see one in real life. For me the details around it are nice, but the volcano itself, fantastic! A sick visual for PCs!
Oracle of Ice is a nice touch as well.