Talon Isle is an island off the mainland of the continent that is the eye of a perpetual "hurricane" of fog, which is strongly reminiscent of clouding effects typical of powerful flows of essence such as the peak of Melgorehn's Reach. It is a small island with an extremely steep spire reaching into the sky, which is very difficult to climb to the top. It was first accessed by adventurers in 5116 Modern Era from the wooden obelisk in Danjirland, described as part of an ancient network of the Chronomages from before the time of their current name. It was a week after the Red Forest permanently reappeared. It was discovered two weeks later that Li'aerion, the former home of Eorgina, will sometimes teleport to the isle as well.
Orrisian of The Firebird reported that when it was first traveling, it stranded stow-aways on the isle who discovered its ancient stone obelisk. The rumor is that they were able to transport themselves to the forest outside Wehnimer's Landing using it. This would have been around the time Alusius was using the airship to travel around in his scheme to anchor the Elemental Confluence to Elanthia, causing downstream interplanar complications including the collapsed warding on the Red Forest. This story was told shortly after the Dawn Rose airship of the Chronomages was stolen from the Vaalor.
Talon Isle was described by Orrisian as the home port of The Firebird. The part that is accessible from the obelisk was obviously worked on by people long ago. It has exotic fish in a tidepool.
This shows the functioning of the obelisks when they are actually working. Most of the time, the wooden obelisk is dormant. It will shimmer when it is an active portal, and only transfers to Talon Isle. Rather than providing a short-cut through space or time like a normal gateway, it causes the user to dematerialize, similar to The Broken Lands portal and subtextually alluded to in Shadow Valley.
[Upper Trollfang] Huge trees huddle close together here and little light filters through the dense crown of lush foliage. Nearly hidden in the deep shadows, and well off the trail, is a tall wooden obelisk. Obvious paths: south, west >touch obelisk You lay a hand on the wooden obelisk. With a sudden lurching sensation, the world dissolves in a flash of colored light. A sense of incredible scope tugs at your being, as if you are being spread over a vast distance, but abruptly, you materialize, hale and whole. [Talon Isle, Obelisk] A grey stone obelisk lies on its side, the etchings on its face corroded by the ungentle touch of saltwater. Swirls of prismatic light crawl over the tenebrous surface of the stone. A sheer cliff face, blood-red and shot through with forking bits of blue stone like veins, hangs over the ruined carving, brooding and silent. Obvious paths: southeast >touch obelisk You lay a hand on a grey stone obelisk. With a sudden lurching sensation, the world dissolves in a flash of colored light. [Upper Trollfang] Huge trees huddle close together here and little light filters through the dense crown of lush foliage. Nearly hidden in the deep shadows, and well off the trail, is a tall wooden obelisk. Obvious paths: south, west >touch obelisk You lay a hand against the wooden obelisk, but it remains implacable and inert.
The "talon" refers to the very steep spire of the island, which is made of volcanic glass in spite of not being a volcano. The implication is that it was formed in some mysterious, unspecified collision, or else was formed artificially by some powerful magic. The top of the talon has a great deal of sea glass which by its nature is the product of natural weathering of man-made glass in the ocean.
[Talon Isle, Rock Wall] A precarious ledge juts out from the middle of the rock wall, lending access to deep niches carved out of the stone. Winks of gold and other metallic hues flash from the darkness of several of the holds. A single such recess might be the work of nature, but the even procession of them suggests that they must be the work of skilled beings. Above, the rock wall is smoother and lends little purchase for climbing. In some places it appears smooth as blown glass. You also see a number of slick handholds leading down the rock face. Obvious paths: none
R>climb wall Confidently, you climb up the wall, reaching the top without much trouble. [Altar of the Sea's Bargain] Winds scream about the peak of the talon that gives the island its name, tossing the sparse grass scattered across the tiny plateau at the summit. Sprouting from the grass as if it grew there, an ornate seaglass altar dominates the space. Held aloft by a twist of seaglass is a clear glass orb. Veils of swirling mist spin about the island as if it is the eye at the center of a hurricane. They conceal all but the vaguest view of the storm-swept ocean and the mainland beyond. Obvious paths: none Roundtime: 7 sec. R>look talon You see nothing unusual. >look altar Wrought from impure seaglass and seemingly worn into its peculiar geometric shape by the tireless work of the elements, the altar's center is home to swirls of color that crash together in unbridled chaos. One graceful spire of crystal holds a clear glass orb aloft. >look orb You see nothing unusual. >touch orb You place a hand on the chill surface of the orb. Blue-green phosphorescence flickers in its depths, but otherwise, nothing seems to happen.
Behind the Scenes
Talon Isle is strikingly similar to the Pillar of the Gods from the Shadow World history. In the I.C.E. Age lore there is a very tall spire of black crystal and metal from the world being impacted by a tiny black hole when the Lords of Orhan (Liabo) first arrived in this universe, making the pillar related to the source of magic and the magical metals of the world. The pillar is surrounded by powerful essence disturbances and emits waves of space and time distortions. It was located somewhat near to the Wall of Darkness, and so may have been related the isles of transfer phenomenon. This was relevant to Shadow Valley and The Broken Lands, where the latter was released with an Iruaric glossary, which was omitting the words for "pillar of the gods." They share subtle motifs with the Red Forest.
In the I.C.E. Age lore the precursors of the Chronomages were called The Navigators, who had a network of dark stone obelisks all over the western hemisphere. They were based on the isle of Nexus, which was a major essence node surrounded by moving islands and powerful essence flows. The wooden obelisk in Danjirland is placed where a Navigator obelisk is in the map from the Jaiman source book. It was located near the Shards part of the Blue Forest, which were essentially demonic "tree golems", in some ways the archaic predecessor of the Ilvari and Red Forest in the modern history.