Daal Ilos (3.5e Location)
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- 1 Daal Ilos (Knowledge DC 30)
- 1.1 History (Knowledge DC 35)
- 1.2 Current Day Daal Ilos
- 1.3 Planar Traits
- 1.4 Planar Connections
- 1.5 The Dark Sun
- 1.6 Inhabitants
- 1.7 Movement and Combat
- 1.8 Features of
- 1.9 Encounters
- 1.10 Using
Literally meaning 'Earthly Heaven' or 'Heaven on Earth' in the ancient Ilian language, Daal Ilos is a land of tragic stories, where the hubris and corruption of one man condemned his entire kingdom to eternal ruin within the frozen Polelands of the material world. Few scholars alive today know of the fate of this land, though most agree it is assuredly terrible.
Once a resplendent land blessed with hearty soil and a warm sun, in the age before this one Daal Ilos prospered. The Ilian people were creative and artistic with a strong sense of community, and enjoyed humble lives of agriculture and artisanry. Daal Ilos brought many great philosophers and thinkers into the world, and brokered peace and trade treaties with many great nations of its time. Proverbs still allude to the hospitality of the people of Ilos, and told that an Ilian's hearth would never go cold. However, there are always stirrings. There is always ambition, and the kingly advisor and high priest of the sun god Heilos, Salare Askarian, was the most ambitious of all.
Salare overstepped his station by trying to harness the power of the sun itself to the kingdom's benefit, desiring to share the prosperity of Daal Ilos with everyone. Salare sought to influence the king and control the kingdom from the shadows to expand its sphere of influence, hoping to annex the surrounding lands and increase the kingdom's territories. Perhaps spurred on by ancient grudges that predated the kingdom's formation, he theatened to deny the surrounding lands the blessings of the sun should they not let themselves be conquered willingly, to darken all skies so that the sun would cast its light upon Daal Ilos alone. Heilos did not suffer his priest's blasphemies for long, and Salare was swiftly cast down and bled of magic. The vengeance of the old Gods for attempting to impinge upon their portfolio was swift and cruel, as it was all of Daal Ilos that was cast in shadow as punishment. Covered in an overcast of rainless clouds, the fertile soil of Daal Ilos dried and hardened and its climate and people grew cold, harsh and bitter. The surrounding lands shored up and chiseled a vast wall out of mountain stone to surround the kingdom and leave it to die, and little was heard of Daal Ilos after the Great Isolation.
Held accountable for the fall of Daal Ilos, its then king, Gavion VIII, sentenced Salare Askarian to death by hanging. It was said that the entire kingdom watched Salare as he was pelted by rotted produce, stoned, marched to the platform and hung, and some accounts include details of him being stabbed by spears until long after his death by the noose. His remains were consigned to the Betrayer's Vault, a space deep within a vast underground mausoleum where the worst criminals and oathbreakers of early Daal Ilos were left to rot. But this was hardly the end of Salare's abominable tale.
Having sought alternatives for his faded divine magic, Askarian dabbled extensively in the dark arts of binders and warlocks in the time leading up to his execution. Anticipating his death, he and his cultists - the newly coined Order of the Dark Sun - set in motion the ritual by which he would return to life, and he resurfaced a near-tenday after his purported death by hanging. With their mastery over ice-based magic, they took gargoyles, the warlock's favourite pets and servants, and subverted and magically altered them in secret to create the kapoacinth. Breeding them by wicked spell and invocation, they amassed an army of gelid beasts to overthrow the kingdom. Once Daal Ilos was secured under Askarian's rule, he set about creating a new sun of his own - a Dark Sun - to once again bathe the land in its warmth and light. High above the peak of the former Sun Cathedral it shone, but the ghostly light of this dark sun was neither warm nor merciful. The Dark Sun absorbed hundreds of thousands of living souls and used it as fuel to keep burning, bathing Daal Ilos in its deathly cast. Before long, the kingdom was a mass grave of millions, with only a few settlements near the borders and in the shadows of mountains remaining. That, and an aeon of regrets.
Fearing the spread of the Dark Sun's influence, the Gods once again intervened. They cut Daal Ilos from the world, like it was a gangrenous limb to be amputated. Nearly all the land beyond the Wall was broken off from the continent and relocated Northward, leaving behind a massive crescent bay over 300 miles wide. Where exactly Daal Ilos exists now is unsure, but to this day, on the night of the summer solstice those standing upon the Wall can see ominous northern lights that carry a strange, deathly chill.
Today, the land of Daal Ilos cannot normally be reached by conventional means, as it exists 'between planes'. Setting out with a ship from the gigantic bay left by the kingdom's removal will simply lead one through empty ocean until one reaches the north pole. The only exception to this is during the night of the summer solstice, when an unusual cold takes hold of the bay area. A haphazard path of icy shoals appears in the water that, when traversed, leads one to the shores of Daal Ilos in roughly three days. Knowledge of this path requires a DC 45 Knowledge (history) check.
Knowledge and Written Works
Today, all knowledge of Daal Ilos is ancient, basic knowledge about the Kingdom's history requiring a DC 30 Knowledge (history) check. Further knowledge, including the particulars of its downfall, notable peoples, royal genealogy and other subjects that verge into detail require a DC 35, DC 40 or even higher. The reason for these high DCs is that due to Daal Ilos' removal of the world and the Great Isolation that preceded it left precious little documentation about the fate of this mysterious kingdom. However, certain very rare and ancient written works from neighboring nations or remaining survivors from Daal Ilos itself document small portions of the kingdom's history in some measure of detail.
- The Doynich Manuscript: Believed to be a collection of writings in the ancient Ilian language that is only partially translated. One of the only remaining pieces of writing that references Salare Askarian by name. Translatable parts require a DC 30 Decipher Script check to interpret.
- The Gentle Darkness: A Berezian folklore tale that references a 'light of destruction' that pierces flesh and bleeds all life from it, and a 'gentle darkness' that opposes it. As the lands that later became Berezia used to border Daal Ilos, some believe this fictional story contains a hint as to the nature of the Dark Sun.
- The Watchers on the Wall: A thousand-page treatise on the Great Isolation that cut off the darkening Daal Ilos from the rest of the continent, and details regarding the construction of the Wall surrounding its shadowed borders. Contains references to a pale summer light that sapped one's strength with a strange, unnatural biting cold.
Current Day Daal Ilos
The Daal Ilos of today is a bittercold expanse and a shadow of its former self. Its once fertile land is now clad in ice and frost, and what little life remains within Daal Ilos hides itself from the sun.
Daal Ilos has 5 major cities, and a great multitude of small towns and villages, most of which lie in ruins.
Cursed Daal Ilos may be a death trap filled with undead and frost dangers, but there are many buried relics to unearth, and many sights to see. Some beautiful, and others terrible.
Heilarchos, the City of the Dead
Its previous name forgotten by all who yet live, Heilarchos is the central city of Daal Ilos that once housed over half a million souls. Once the greatest centre of commerce within the northern hemisphere of the world, it now stands devoid of life and completely in ruins. The walls of the city have been largely subsumed within the encroaching ice, the buildings dilapidated and destroyed, and the only presences remaining the many rimebound fallen animated by the foul light of the Dark Sun. At the very centre of Heilarchos lays a massive expanse in which stands a great cathedral encased in discoloured ice and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of unmarked graves. The Dark Sun shines, suspended high in the air right above this structure, casting its ghostly white light across the expanse of Daal Ilos and all its major cities as it has for over a millennium. It is from here that the ancient traitor, Salare Askarion, directs his efforts, and seeks to bring his warped desires to fruition.
Gavion, the King's Seat
Situated roughly 180 miles northwest of Heilarchos, Gavion is the smallest of Daal Ilos' five major cities, but by no means the least important. Named after the lineage of its last king before the rise of the Dark Sun, the ruins of the royal palace still stand atop the tall cliff overlooking the sea. Due to being the most well defended of the five cities, its thick, impenetrable walls are still largely intact, and some are said to yet live within Gavion. Once a port city, a bay is carved within the outer cliffs that bisects Gavion into two halves, playing host to many broken bridges and shipyards that lay long dormant. Some survivors from settlements untouched by the Dark Sun rumour that their last king Gavion VIII still lives as an undead, waiting for the day he can cast down his traitorous advisor and save his kingdom from the deathly cold.
Dragon mountain in old Ilian, Drakenberg is a large semi-active volcano near the south-south-western coast of Daal Ilos. Drakenberg's summit is close to 3 miles high, and it stands as a lone peak on the mostly flat southern regions. It is in the shadow of Drakenberg where most living survivors on Daal Ilos have congregated, as the mountain provides a constant protection against the rays of the Dark Sun. In the shadow of Drakenberg lies the largest remaining town of Daal Ilos, and its people live largely unharassed by Askarion's forces. What's more, the shadow of Drakenberg creates to many natural springs, and the thermal energy within the volcanic soil allows for some plants, crops, and even trees to grow.
The largest town in the long shadow cast by Drakenberg, Sanctuary is home to several hundred people. In a land full of undead monstrosities they are cautiously accepting of living strangers. They take care of each other and use the fertile volcanic soil near their town to grow crops. The people of sanctuary have taken to fishing for food and train sledding dogs to quickly pass from settlement to settlement within the dangers of the Ilian expanse, keeping exposure to the Dark Sun to a minimum.
Daal Ilos is a cold expanse with very little life left on its surface.
- Gravity: Normal.
- Time: Normal.
- Size: Finite. The land of Daal Ilos and the surrounding seas span an area of roughly 300-mile radius. Those that attempt to leave by ship find themselves back to the same shore eventually.
- Morphic: Divinely morphic with regards to the Dark Sun.
Elemental, Energy, Alignment and Magic Traits
- Elemental Dominance: None.
- Magic Traits: Enhanced necromancy. All spells of the necromancy school are cast as heightened by 2 spell levels and at +4 to effective caster level. This effect only happens when bathed in the light of the Dark Sun.
Daal Ilos is coterminous with the Material Plane, though a traversable connection only exists once per year during the night after the summer solstice. This path runs through the interstice between the two planes and exists outside the normal passage of time. Those that traverse the precarious icy path find that it takes roughly 3 days on foot. Any plane that is coexistent with the material plane, such as the ethereal plane, is also coexistent with Daal Ilos.
The Dark Sun
Created by the fallen high priest Salare Askarian to replace the sun that had been denied to his beloved county, the Dark Sun shows how deep Askarian's corruption runs. Suspended high in the air above the center of the dead city of Heilarchos, it is a ball of condensed anima drawn from the souls of the living it has absorbed. In essense, the Dark Sun is a quasideity capable of bestowing spells upon its 'worshipers', and upon Askarian especially, who retains control over the Dark Sun.
The Dark Sun is stationary, suspended roughly 20 miles above Heilarchos, and casts a constant light over most of Daal Ilos that is only broken by cloud cover and shadows. The Dark Sun creates a desecrate effect wherever it shines, and any creature that loses its life within an area illuminated by the Dark Sun returns within 2d4 hours of time as an undead with the rimebound fallen template. The souls of any creatures so slain are absorbed within the Dark Sun, maintaining its power. The light cast by the Dark Sun is a ghostly white, and is distinct from ordinary daylight. Undead that are vulnerable to light (such as wraiths) and undead that are mortally baned by daylight (such as vampires) can walk under the Dark Sun without any impediment or discomfort, and enjoy the benefits the desecrate effect offers any unliving creature.
Any creature that remains exposed to the light of the Dark Sun for 1 hour incurs 1 point of Dark Sun exposure. A creature whose total exposure exceeds the threshold of 3 + its Constitution bonus must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or take one negative level, until its exposure is reduced below that threshold. When not exposed to the Dark Sun's light, the creature loses exposure at a rate of 1 point per 2 hours. Any subsequent saving throw against the Dark Sun's effect is taken with a cumulative -1 penalty.
Movement and Combat