Friday, August 6, 2021

Location: Tower of the Immovable

 This small dungeon-space is at-home almost everywhere. I put it on an abandoned island in Acmori. The inhabitants of the nearby island claim a wizard lives within the impressive stone tower against the mountain, but he has not been seen for years.

The tower is crudely fashioned of dark bluish stone, its plaster eaten more and more each year by moss. It is a near-unthinkable seven stories tall, leaning slightly forward. Its windows are but thin slits, save for a balcony on the front of the fourth floor. Each floor is about thirteen feet high, and the tower has a diameter of forty feet. Unless otherwise stated, assume the thin window provide dim light during the day.

Seven Stories

  1. Support beams along the walls are rotted and marred by graffiti. The floor has fallen away in places, revealing a loose and debased foundation. On the far side, the stairs run along the wall.
  2. The stairs continuing on the third floor are barricaded with boards, branches, and nails. This floor is mostly empty save for a straw mattress, broken desk, and a pair of dull knives. Two small chutes in the ceiling hang over small piles of ash.
    1. From the oxidation of the nails, it is clear the barricade was made over a year ago. It is easy enough to deconstruct from this side, though disturbing it causes vertigo as the room shakes slightly.
  3. The stairs continue on to the fourth floor. This room is a forge, but attention is drawn immediately to the large alabaster idol against the opposite wall. It is graven to represent a woman engulfed in flames painted many colors. In her left hand she holds out a lump of polished black stone.  The rest of the room is full of poorly-forged blades in various styles and states of completion.
    1. This idol is of a goddess obscure in this part of the world, one of fire, radiation, and the ephemeral. The lump of stone is ebony carved into the shape of a hand and polished, gives DR 3 against radiation, and is worth 35 gold coins even to those who don't even know its true significance. The idol itself is worth much more, but any attempt to move it will cause the tower to shake and possibly collapse.
    2. The swords are variously dented, impure, brittle, or poorly-balanced. One, a silver xiphos, is worth a couple gold coins due to its material value, but otherwise they are not valuable.
  4. The stairway terminates here with a wall screening someone ascending from the rest of the room. To the left is the balcony. To the right is a cage with a shining bird. To the far wall is a stairwell ascending. Anyone who reaches this floor notices (especially if they have no other light) a strange glow of shifting color coming from the room beyond. This comes from a creature I will here call an atomic phoenix in the cage.
    1. The light of the phoenix is harmful, dealing HP damage based on the amount of exposure. Peeking around the corner once hurts but doesn't take points off your total. Running across the room to the far staircase inflicts 1d6 (assuming the average character has like 8 hp.) Running towards the cage and unlatching it does like 3d6. Overturning a table and dragging it around as a shield does 1d4 or possibly no damage, depending. If the bird is unlatched it will immediately fly out of the balcony. It is intelligent, of equivalent rank to an angel, and speaks bird language as well as any legal speech.
    2. The room is full of various furnishings-- tables, desks, crates, and the like, all left here for storage. Searching them yields nothing but a dead family of mice. Moving one around without counterbalancing the weight causes the tower to shake. Moving more than a couple risks toppling the tower.
    3. On the balcony is a suit of straps and plates of lead. Acts as heavy medium armor, and makes someone mostly immune to radiation from sources they are facing.
    4. Anyone who steps fully onto the balcony will cause 1d4 sparrows to fly up to them. If they speak bird language, the sparrows will explain that the wizard used to give them errands, but they haven't seen him for a long time.
  5. The stairway continues to the sixth floor. This floor is a lounge. Comfortable stone couch. Out-of-tune harp. A cosmetics table with an impressively wide bronze mirror. The weight of more than one person here can cause the tower to shake if not carefully counterbalanced. Egregious distributions of weight cause the tower to collapse.
    1. Most of the cosmetics are dried out, but a couple still preserve. There is eye shadow that replaces your color vision with heat vision for as long as you wear it. Also fun weird wizard make-up as improvised.
  6. The stairway shakes as you climb up. It continues to the seventh floor. This room is filled with rows of scroll racks. Further within, a corpse in dark green robes decompose, staring in your direction with impeccably shadowed eyes.
    1. This is the corpse of the wizard. Lying open on his chest is his spellbook, containing the spells Form of the Dragon, Illusion, Sympathy, Forbidden Snakes, Magic Counter, Bite Augury, and Speak with the Dead.
    2. Searching the rest of the library reveals the following significant tomes (consult your secret library handout): Blood and Glory, Eternal, The Lies of Domesus, and Torture In The Land of Makhazin. The rest are travelogues, bestiaries, rumors of treasure, local histories, and commentaries in the following languages: Acmor, Nasjicu, Trepaniet, Bird.
  7. The stairs end here. It is clear the tower is swaying. The room is empty save for a mosaic of concentric circles in the floor and a golden orb set in the ceiling.
    1. This orb is about a yard [~1 meter] across, of intricate golden filigree. It has a wide button in the very bottom. The hemisphere it is built into is a little wider than it, and the edges seem to bump against the orb.
    2. If someone presses the button in the bottom of the orb, it will fall to the floor. Lacking its main support, the tower will pitch forward and fall. This kills the occupants. If someone presses the button again, it will hang immovably in space. If this is done to arrest the tower's fall, most of the top floor will hang off the orb, but the rest of the tower will fall to the ground.


  1. Another fine addition to my collection of wizard towers! Can the orb be modified to be movable, but staying at the same height? Or even rise? How did they get it up there in the first place??

    1. I imagine it follows all the normal laws of an immovable rod. Perhaps it was pulled up with balloons and sparrows pressed the button on the wizard’s request. Perhaps he built a scaffold on the mountain and lowered it into place. Perhaps he carried it in the form of a dragon.