Town defense systems

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
Several towns have a variety of mechanical systems designed to facilitate defending the town from Invasions. They are geared toward helping lower level characters participate more safely during invasions. Using these systems and areas to attack and defeat invaders grants Experience, albeit at a lower rate. Some are usable all the time, while others must be manually activated by GMs.

System Types & Instructions


Ballistae are large siege weapons usually located in towers which are designed to fire sharpened logs in a similar manner to crossbows, but with considerably more destructive power. The ballistae can be used to fire normal sharpened logs, or blessed logs for use against undead invaders. The towers also often house cabinets for storing arrows/bolts for used with ranged attacks made through the windows.

Logs for use with ballistae can be gathered in certain forests by using any axe-type weapon and CUTting a TREE. There is considerable roundtime associated with this and it takes a number of CUTs to fell a log. For this reason, it's advantageous to work in groups. Once a log has been felled, CUT the log again to sharpen it into a sharpened log. At this point, it can be used in a ballista on living creatures. A cleric must bless the log and turn it into a white sharpened log to use it against the undead. Logs can be stockpiled in ballista towers for later use and will not be lost to the janitor.

Ballista Models

There are two types of ballistae, which are aimed slightly differently but load and fire the same. Permanent installations, such as at the North and West gates, are older models. Ballistae in the mobile towers and at the Town Barracks are newer models that can fire at multiple distances.

To determine which model a ballista is, just LOOK at it. If it can be TURNed in specific compass directions and PUSHed to aim at different distances, it is a new model.

Older models rotate through a set of fixed positions when TURNed, while new models can aim in any compass direction, although some directions don't face anything to fire at. LOOKing at the ballista will tell you exactly which directions allow you to FIRE.

Operational Instructions

LOOK BALLISTA to see the ballista's status. PEER BALLISTA to see what its aiming at (and to see if there's anything to fire it at). TURN BALLISTA to move it toward a different window (to PEER anew). If its not loaded, GET a log and LOAD BALLISTA, then PULL BALLISTA, then FIRE BALLISTA. There is considerable roundtime associated with GET and PULL; it is helpful to work in teams.

New model ballistae must be TURNed in a specific compass direction, and can also be PUSHed to aim at different distances. They load and fire the same way.

The ballista is not loaded with anything and appears to be untaut and not ready to fire.

XXXX hefts one of the logs up and loads it into the light ballista.

The ballista looks to be loaded with a large sharpened log and appears to be untaut and not ready to fire.

The ballista looks to be loaded with a large sharpened log and appears to be drawn taut and ready to fire.

XXXX fires the ballista and a huge arrow arcs off into the distance!

You watch as the huge arrow descends towards the ground far away and savagely impales a straw-stuffed dummy!

Oil Vats

The mobile ballista towers are equipped with hot oil vats that can be filled with oil, which is then spilled on enemies below. It is important to be cautious with this because the oil will injure friendly characters.

Operational instructions

Using the oil vats requires oil, which can be found in the Kobold Mines. One pour of the vat requires 20 flasks of oil. POUR the oil into the vat. Once it is full, TURN the vat to spill the oil below.

>pour oil in vat
You pour a bit from your flask of oil into the lion-embossed vat, where it begins to bubble and froth in a viscous, splurging dance.

The lion-embossed vat appears to be completely full.
That was the last drop.

>turn vat
You begin to tilt the vat over and the boiling oil within begins to churn and heave!
The large vat of bubbling oil begins to slowly creak on its massive hinges and tilt to the side.
You glance nervously at a silver lion-embossed vat.
The large vat of bubbling oil continues to turn sideways, the viscous liquid sloshing with a steaming bubbling sound.
The large vat of bubbling oil is just a few heartbeats away from delivering its fatal shower onto those below!
The vat spills out its vile bubbling broth below in a steaming torrent of blackness!

Mobile Towers

Mobile towers are player-movable ballista and oil vat towers. The mobile towers have four ballista rooms at the cardinal directions, which contain windows for firing ranged and bolt attacks through, and an oil vat room in the center. To move a tower to a new location, you must TURN it to point it in the right direction, and then PUSH it.

>l tower
The tower currently appears to be situated to move toward the west.

>turn tower north
You heave your weight against one of the large spokes on the circular border of the base of the tower, and with the creaking of many gears and ancient wood, the massive wheels begin to turn to the north.
Roundtime: 30 secs.

The wheels of the tower slowly complete their rotation and it appears to be stable enough to push forward.

>push tower
You push against the tower, heaving with all your might!
Roundtime: 25 secs.

>push tower
You push against the tower, heaving with all your might!

The tower's mighty wheels begin to turn and it slowly rumbles north!
Roundtime: 25 secs.

Aerial Attack Rooms

Certain rooms and areas contain windows or other portals through which characters can fire ranged weapons or bolt spells. These are usually safe areas from which lower level characters can participate in invasion defense. It's important to note that skill with ranged weapons is not required to use these, although skill may improve accuracy and deadliness.

Operational instructions

PEER through the window/portal to see if there are creatures below. If using a ranged weapon, FIRE WINDOW. If using a bolt spell, prep your spell and CAST WINDOW. Use caution, as it is possible to strike friendly characters.

>cast window
You gesture at a notched slitted window.
You send forth a blazing orb of fire that streaks off into the distance!

Your blazing orb of fire spirals through the air, then descends at a steep angle and strikes an Ithzir scout!
Nasty burns to chest make you wish you never heard of heartburn.
The scout is stunned!
Roundtime: 7 sec.


Pylons are magical cannons that are infused with mana and fire powerful bolts of energy over long distances. They can be used to attack airborne and waterborne targets. Pylons must be activated by a GM in order to be used by player characters.

Operational Instructions

The pylons must be charged with mana in order to fire. Working with a large group of people, INFUSE the pylon until it doesn't take any more charges. PULL the pylon to aim it. PUSH the pylon to fire it.

J>infuse pyl
You place your hands on the glowing blue-white pylon, close your eyes and concentrate...  The pylon seems to glow dimly.
Roundtime: 10 sec.

XXXX places her hands on the glowing blue-white pylon, and closes her eyes...  The pylon seems to glow dimly

XXXX places her hands on the glowing blue-white pylon, and closes her eyes...  Nothing happens.

XXXX places her hands on the levers of the blue-white pylon and pulls.  Straining, she manages to tilt the pylon up, and it clicks into place.

XXXX steadies the glowing blue-white pylon and fires!  The bolt of energy soars through the sky, slamming into the side of a huge incarnadine chimera!  A HIT!

Log Traps

Log traps are hidden traps that can be set in certain forests. They consist of spiked logs hoisted into the trees which are tripped by passing creatures. Low level creatures will not trigger the traps.

Operational instructions

Using a handaxe, CUT an appropriate log into a spiked and sharpened log. Holding an appropriate rope in your left hand, and the cut log in your right hand, and standing in an appropriate room, RAISE the log. Rangers have the ability to SENSE whether a room is capable of having a log trap set in it.

You tie your length of rope around a spiked and sharpened wooden log, then hoist it upwards, making sure to tie off the rope lightly and spread it across the ground so that any unwary creatures will trip over it and trigger your trap!
Roundtime: 60 sec.

(A minute later, a no good goblin wanders in…)

A spiked and sharpened wooden log suddenly whooshes from overhead in a deadly arc and a goblin is struck!
... 30 points of damage!
Deft strike to the back cracks vertebrae!
It is knocked to the ground!
The goblin is stunned!

The goblin is slammed northwest! The log shatters into a shower of splinters and is completely destroyed!

Crystal Defense System

Magical and mobile crystals that are remotely controlled from control towers in Ta'Illistim. Usable only by elves and citizens of Ta'Illistim, or those in groups led by citizens. Must be activated by a GM in order to be used by player characters. Training in specific elemental lores will improve your ability to use the crystal defense system when it is attuned to the same lores. The summoned crystal will be able to execute a certain number of attacks before the infused mana within it is expended; after that, further attacks will drain 30 mana per attack from the user. Once the user's mana is exhausted, the crystal will disappear.

Operational instructions

Prior to use, the crystals must be charged with mana. You may INFUSE <# of mana> either from the tower entry, or from the crystal summoning chamber. LOOKing at the orb at the top of the tower will reveal how much charge it has. RUB the orb to cycle through elemental attunements, (earth, fire, ice, air). TOUCH the orb to summon a crystal, which will spawn outside the Ta'Illistim gates. You can issue several commands to the crystal by using the TELL command: to attack <creature>, to look, to go <direction>, to leave (dismisses crystal). If you exit the summoning chamber, you will lose control of the crystal.

[Ta'Illistim, Tower of Shadows]
An ivory-hued pool ripples quietly within an upraised platform -- its edges swept with a runic pattern that intertwines in a thin circular border. The peaked ceiling is also inscribed with a series of sigils, their pale sapphire hue resonating with a faint light every few moments. Polished white marble walls gleam faintly with the pulsating light, and several elven guards stand at the threshold of a set of ivory spiral stairs leading further up.
Obvious exits: out
>infuse 100
You focus your power, and feel it being pulled upwards towards some unknown source.
Roundtime: 10 secs.

[Ta'Illistim, Tower of Shadows]
A faceted shadowy orb hovers in the middle of the room, suspended by a column of liquid shadow that ripples and wavers every few moments. A pattern of concentric silver rings radiates outwards from the orb, each inscribed with a variety of intertwined sigils. A deep hum reverberates throughout the chamber every few moments, accompanied by a wan light that washes over the surroundings like an ocean wave.
Obvious exits: down
>l orb
The orb glimmers with shards of shadow, a tiny spark held within the void wavering and pulsing with scarlet fire.
When fully charged:
>l orb
The orb's inner fire blazes with an almost blinding light.

>rub orb
You rub the shadowy orb and its surface becomes awash in shimmering earth-toned hues for a moment.
>rub orb
You rub the shadowy orb and its surface becomes awash in fiery scarlet-toned hues for a moment.
>rub orb
You rub the shadowy orb and its surface becomes awash in icy blue hues for a moment.
>rub orb
You rub the shadowy orb and its surface becomes awash in mellow airy white hues for a moment.

>touch orb
You send forth your power toward a faceted shadowy orb, and feel it begin to resonate with your own essence. After a moment, you feel a tenuous link with a manifestation of its power -- a crystal whose presence you can faintly feel... and more importantly, its will is yours to command.

>tell crystal to go sw
You exert your will through the bond connecting you to the pale ivory crystal, and feel it propel itself southwest.
>tell crystal to look
You concentrate and another vision superimposes itself over your own...

[Whistler's Pass, Road]
The hillside climbs steeply northward, as sheer cliffs tower overhead to a dizzying height. The well-worn cobblestoned road winds its way towards the cliffs from the valley floor. To one side of the road, a small guard tower houses two elven guards, each of whom is diligently observing the few travelling this road at night. A lone torch burns at the base of the tower, casting a dim glow across the features of those who pass. You also see a translucent pale ivory crystal and a big mean monster.
Obvious paths: northeast, west
Roundtime: 5 secs.

>tell crystal to attack monster
You feel the essence of the pale ivory crystal reach forth and savagely lash the monster with the power of air!

Others will see:

The pale ivory crystal suddenly whirls about in a vicious spiral, savagely pounding a big mean monster with furious gusts of air!
... 30 points of damage!
Blow ruptures the stomach!

>tell crystal to attack monster
The pale ivory crystal lashes out toward the monster, but misses!
The pale ivory crystal suddenly begins to feed off your own power!
Roundtime: 10 secs.

>tell crystal to attack monster
The pale ivory crystal lashes out toward the monster, but misses!
You feel the power of the pale ivory crystal slowly begin to dissolve into nothingness and soon after it slips away completely.

Militia Activation

Some towns allow players to activate local NPC forces during invasions. Use of these tools is strictly monitored for abuse.

Bucket Brigade

A bucket brigade firefighting system utilizes pre-filled water buckets provided by the town to extinguish fires by pouring the bucket on the fire. These buckets are refillable with water by dipping them in certain sources.

Town Systems & Locations

Wehnimer's Landing

Ballista Towers

  • Locations
    • At the North Gate:
      • East Tower (#6933) - go east tower, go steps, go steps
      • West Tower (#6931) - go west tower, up, up
    • At the West Gate:
      • Tower (#28238) - climb ladder
      • Outside Silvergate Inn (S of the West Gate) (#13245) - climb ladder
    • At the Town Barracks on North Ring Road (#28228)
      • go gate, west, go tower
      • this is a new-model ballista that operates like the ones in the mobile towers
    • Hendoran Outpost (Lower Dragonsclaw #445) Outpost Map
      Hendoran Outpost.jpg
      • Note: Most areas of the outpost are protected from incoming teleportation (Spirit Fog, gold rings, etc.), but outgoing teleportation is permitted. The few areas that allow incoming teleportation are marked on the map.
      • Rooftop (#25411) (cannot fog in)
      • South Ward (#25414) (foggable)
      • North Ward (#25415) (foggable)
    • Mobile Towers - There are four mobile towers located around Wehnimer's Landing and the environs. These towers were constructed using donations from several of the Co-operative Houses of Elanthia: Rone Academy, House of Paupers, House Sovyn and Silvergate Inn.
      • Current Locations as of 28 Ivastaen 5120:
        • Paupers Tower - Lower Dragonsclaw by the Outpost (#445)
        • Sovyn Tower - Outside the North Gate (#221)
        • Rone and Silvergate towers are currently out of service for safety maintenance

Logs for use with the ballistae in Landing can be felled in the Lower Dragonsclaw forest. Help is recommended; trying to cut down trees alone takes a lot of time.


Pylons must be activated by a GM before they are usable.

  • Current Locations as of 28 Ivastaen 5120:
    • Moot Hall Rooftop (#23839)
    • North Dock (#250)
  • Previous Locations:
    • [Wehnimer's, Middle Dock - 8889]
    • [Wehnimer's, North Dock - 250]
    • [Lower Dragonsclaw, Grasslands - 445]

Oil vats

  • Locations:
    • Mobile towers

Log traps

  • Locations:
    • Most rooms in Lower Dragonsclaw forest west of the town. Rangers can SENSE to determine specific room capability.
      Map LDI invasion map 1.png
      • Appropriate ropes can be purchased from the general store, and appropriate logs are in the backroom catalog.
    • Partial list of trappable locations: #216 #215 #214 #421 #422 #432 #433 #434
    • Log traps can be set off by larger creatures (e.g. trolls or bandits) who wander through the area, and should be checked frequently.

Aerial Attack Areas

  • Usage:
    • Attack areas will have a WINDOW, OPENING, or RAILING that you can PEER, FIRE, and CAST through at enemies below
    • You cannot target specific creatures
    • Many spells (especially area-effect spells) do not work
  • Locations:
    • All ballista towers (including mobile towers) have WINDOWs for aerial attacks
    • Rooftops in town accessed through various buildings
      • JUMP to move between rooftops. The route is circular, and will return you to the exit HATCH with repeated jumps.
      • RAILINGS on the rooftop are aerial attack locations and work like WINDOWs
      • Rooftop Locations:
        • Moot Hall - #23839
        • Raging Trak Inn - #18247
    • Treetops in Lower Dragsonsclaw, accessed through the West Tower roof.
      • PUSH ROPE it to swing out onto a tree branch, CLIMB BRANCH will make you move further south into the forest, from treetop to treetop, while SHUFFLE BRANCH will allow you to move back the way you came. JUMP BRANCH to return to the ground. There is also “a tall modwir tree” in Lower Dragonsclaw which you can CLIMB into the tree tops.
      • Use the OPENING to see and attack creatures below

Militia activation

  • Locations:
    • Ballista room of the West Gate Tower (TOUCH to activate)
[Land Tower West, Roof]
A small overhang on the south side of the tower provides the on-duty guards with some shelter from the elements.  From there, you can see the roofs of the town buildings to the south and southeast.  Directly south, you can see a large open square among the buildings.  Your view east is blocked by another guard tower.  To the north, you can see the road that leads to the main gate of Wehnimer's and beyond it, to the shoreline.  A large amber-tinted orb is set into a curved steel-bound glass shell.  You also see a notched slitted window, a notched slitted window, a notched slitted window, a pile of white ora-tipped sharpened logs, a large ballista, a wooden ladder, a maoral cabinet, a grey-striped violet sack embroidered with the Mist Harbor seal and a long sturdy rope.
Obvious paths: none

>l orb
The large orb's surface holds a light amber hue, while periodically a flash of reddish-orange light flickers from within.  The orb itself is set into the bend of a curved steel-bound glass shell that has been bolted into the floor and positioned safely away from the rooftop's overhang.  A small indentation is visible on the front of the steel bindings, next to a tiny plaque that reads, "Push only in Crisis."

XXXX leans forward and presses something near the steel-bound glass shell, and a flash of light flickers from within a ginger-tinted orb.  Suddenly a fiery orange light erupts harmlessly from the orb and soars into the sky high above the tower before exploding into a massive burst of searing light.  The radiant glow lingers in the air for a few moments before fading away.

High above Wehnimer's Landing a burst of fiery-orange light erupts in the sky, radiating outward and shining with intensity.  The searing glow lingers in the air for a few moments before fading away.  Suddenly militiamen take to the streets, rushing off in different directions as orders are shouted out amongst them.

Archery Towers

  • Locations:
    • Outside West Gate - (automated, not player-usable)

Bucket Brigade

  • Water Bucket Locations:
    • Moot Hall (near the entrance)
    • Raging Thrak Inn (near the entrance)
  • Water Source Locations:
    • Some wells
    • Some lakes




Crystal defense system

  • Locations - (restricted to elves, citizens of Ta'Illistim, or those in a citizen's group)
    • Tower of Chaos: [Ta'Illistim, Baeialin Court - 201] - go door, go stairs
    • Tower of Shadows: [Ta'Illistim, Glaendier Wey - 174] - go door, go stairs
    • Tower of Order: [Ta'Illistim, Weyr Var - 207] - Currently closed
    • Tower of Fate: [Ta'Illistim, Sylvar Wey - 700] - Currently closed
    • Tower of Light: [Ta'Illistim, Vaeshean Wey - 713] - Currently closed




Teras Isle

Archery Towers

  • Locations:
    • Beach - (automated, not player-usable)
  • Militia activation?

See Also