Appearance:

Imagine the scene, four riders halt outside the massive wooden gate of the city of Calast. 'Open your gate! We come from the King!' shouts one of the riders. The gate opens its cyclopean yellow-golden eye and the mounted messengers stagger back dumbfounded. A sound like a grating mechanism growls and echoes around the walls: 'What is your business?'. The rider replies hesitantly: 'We have ridden all day from Undthar to reach here with grave news of the war.' The gate grunts and the eye closes lethargically. After a brief pause the gargantuan structure starts to creak back on its hinges, and gives the riders access to the city's streets...

Indeed the war has not been going well, and the enemy host approaches even now. Needless to say the poor fools bear battering rams...

As they smash the sharpened trunk headlong into the gate, its eye snaps angrily open, blinks a few times. A chthonic roar reverberates around the skulls of the attacking army as the gate opens its vast maw, chomping down on the ram, crushing it into splinters, taking a few arms and heads with it. The sound of crunching wood rings out amidst the screams of the retreating army...

Background:

The year is 452. The first siege of Calast is about to come to its conclusion. The King and his Paladins have given up all hope of saving the city. The sickening crunch of the battering ram resounds over the whole city and the despairing King has only the last resort of prayer to the Paladin gods. He dismounts and kneels, bows his head and his knights follow suit. The battering ram is not heard again. The next sound is the noise of the ram being eaten by the newly awakened gate. The King and his Knights arise and watch in wonderment from the battlements...

Two hundred years of service later the people of Calast are fleeing an entirely different kind of evil. Those who can, leave the city in the face of a horrendous plague. The Great Gate is left alone for more than a century to guard the infested skeleton of a city as the bodies decompose and the infection dies away. It is shunned as a place of evil and death...

The PCs arrive to find the Gate withered and dying from more than a century of neglect and loneliness. It is ashamed of not having guarded the city, for it is now overrun with goblins who have made the crumbling relic their home. Its eye is sad and filmy, its timbers warped and greying. There are gaps around the frame where the wood has deformed. How can the PCs help this venerable magical creature?

Roleplaying Notes:
See last paragraph.

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