Those cursed by the black ichor find themselves unable to avoid it – as if drawn to it. For those seeking to break this curse there are esoteric sages who will recommend remedies of drops of the sun’s ocean consumed on the warmest day of winter, or of travelling to the Empire of Locusts and consuming the head of their king and so on – but there are several who will finally point them to the mountain home of Onninhil Reconciler, an ancient hag who guards a passage to the underworld where the black river flows.
Somwhere behind her home, surrounded and guarded by the melancholic black ichor, is a small font of pure water that resists contamination and that when drunk from can finally break the curse of the Iron Obelisk.
Beyond Onninhil herself, there are a number of guardians within the caves. A cairn contains the remains of the warlord Arvuk Vuldag who died here rather than drink from the font and cure himself of the taint of the Obelisk and who will rise to slay any who dare to follow through where he failed. Small humanoids live in a secret cave near the entrance, hiding from their own shadows that have left them and now guard the caverns. One of the caves also holds the throne of Furykeeper Javzatu with her mighty axe “Reclaimer” – a queen of the old tribes, her skeleton is nearly twice as tall as a modern human and her axe is of the same scale.
Finally there is the font – a small trickle of fresh water down fungus-covered rocks to a fountain pool that is fouled with scum, bubbles, and slimy growths. Drinking from this font is extremely unhealthy, but is indeed one of the few ways to break the curse of the Iron Obelisk.
(With apologies to Zzarchov Kowolski, who ran a great Neoclassical Geek Revival game recently from which several elements of this map were drawn.)
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