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The Granite Mount by L Bermejo

The Granite Mount by L Bermejo

Weathertop is such a canonical element of everyone’s memories of the Lord of the Rings that I of course had to tap into it for something similar in my own games. So I took Weathertop and turned it up to 11 with the Granite Mount. This massive pillar of nearly unassailable granite was thrown up from the badlands ages ago when the whole region was part of a massive city. As the city of Fruen was assaulted by forces of another world and burned around her, a powerful kale sorceress created this jutting pillar of stone, drawing it up from the bedrock below the city and hurtling it several hundred feet into the air, above the flames. The height of the Mount did not save the now-nameless sorceress, but the mount is one of the only remaining signs that these badlands were once the city of Fruen.

There are two narrow stairways that lead up to the top of the mount, both easily watched and attacked from above. One passes directly through the massive stone parapet of the upper expanse, and can be sealed by pushing a magically-enhanced stone into place, blocking the passage with fifty tons of solid rock. From below it becomes impassable except to the inhumanly strong, but from above the stone can be moved with but average effort and ten minutes of work. The second stairway cannot be blocked, but is easily defended from above for the entire distance of the climb.

Climbing the mount without using the stairs is actually not that difficult for a skilled mountaineer or climber, although the final stage at the upper parapet involves a ten foot overhang that must be navigated effectively upside-down.

While the top of the Mount appears to have the ruins of a structure upon it, these smaller pillars are actually “natural” stone formations thrown up during the cataclysmic growth of the Mount centuries ago. The formations form a fairly solid defensive wall, especially heavy on the Southern side of the top, with a 40 foot wide smooth clearing on the North-East side, still bounded by smaller wall-like formations, and overlooking the main stair.

The Granite Mount is often used by magic users seeking astrological guidance, as well as by travellers heading through the badlands between Khalis and the fallen dwarven stronghold on the Ironflow.