Difference between revisions of "High Plateau"

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The High Plateau was a region of bad lands that would have been found north of [[Danjirland]] and south of the [[Lysierian Hills|Seolfar Strake]] ''([[Seoltang]]: "Journey To Strike Silver")'' in the [[Kelfour's Landing]] region. It was the source of the high quality granite used to construct [[The Graveyard]] of the [[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion|Etrevion family]], and was the location of the ruined city of Quellburn ''([[Seoltang]]: "Freezing Creek")'' in the [[ICE age|I.C.E. Age]] history. (The citadel was straight north from the volcano [[Glatoph|Blototh]] ''([[Seoltang]]: "Blown/Windy Mountain")''.) It marked the windward edge of the so-called "West Country", the "land of the dead" that had been the fiefdom of [[Kestrel Etrevion]]. In principle the region was controlled by Lorgalis the White up until his defeat by Jaysek ([[Jastev]]) at the end of the Wars of Dominion.
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{{ICE}}
  
===Quellburn===
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The High Plateau is a region of badlands in the [[Quellbourne]] region of [[Jaiman]] in [[Shadow World]]. It is a point of ill-definition as it is still referenced in the game itself, and may even be physically present, but is not represented on the existing maps. In the [[ICE age|I.C.E. Age]] it would have been located north of [[Kaldsfang|Blototh]] (Modern: [[Glatoph]]), and south of the Seolfar Strake (Modern: [[Lysierian Hills]]). In the source book material the Seolfar Strake extends into the northern rim around the Bay and it is unclear how far north the implemented part was relative to Blototh. This in itself is inconsistent with maps developed in the late 1990s.
In the middle of the [[Wars of Dominion]] or perhaps near the end, most likely after the [[Kharuugh|conquest]] of Saralis and the absorption of [[The Dark Path]] into the dominion of [[Lorgalis]], there was a group of refugees fleeing the [[The Iron Wind|Cult of the Desert Dog]] from [[Vesknot|Zor]] which was west of the [[Granto'k|Grey Mountains]]. The kingdom of Zor had long since been annihilated by this cult of the [[Unlife]], where these refugees would have been fleeing from what we call [[dark assassin|dark assassins]]. When they stumbled upon the cliffs of the [[Locksmehr River|Colewaether River]] ''([[Seoltang]]: "Freezing Water")'', they followed it until reaching its dead end at [[Darkstone Bay|Claedesbrim Bay]] ''([[Seoltang]]: "Foggy Edge of Sea")''.
 
  
They were essentially trapped in the open by the cliffs, so they made it appear they had committed mass suicide while hiding in a cavern. Since they had been saved by clerics finding the concealed opening and sacrificing themselves to make the illusion convincing, and the other powerful spell-casters buying them time, they declared the various mages to be their rulers in gratitude for their survival. These people hid out the remainder of the Wars of Dominion, rising presumably in the aftermath of Lorgalis' defeat, thus founding the city of Quellburn to be ruled by one member from each of the twelve Spellguilds of Zor. There was a central Citadel around which a walled city grew over the centuries.
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The High Plateau is where the high quality granite was imported from for the crypt in [[The Graveyard]]. It is also the location of the ruined city of Quellburn, whose refugees included the founders of the [[Spider Temple]]. These details are no longer treated as official history. Quellburn was not an ordinarily accessible area in the I.C.E. Age, though its evil sorcerer [[Zenon]] was a known and established villain.
  
The land of [[Quellbourne]] ''([[Seoltang]]: "Freezing Lands")'' was prosperous with mining and coastal villages for thousands of years. In the year 5840 [[Third Era]] this ended with the betrayal of [[Zenon]], the Lord Sorcerer of the ruling Council of Mages, who had been corrupted to the [[Unlife]] by the [[Dagothra|high priest]] of the [[The Iron Wind|Cult of the Snow Lion]]. Zenon orchestrated a massive invasion by organizing an alliance with [[Krolvin|Ice Kral]] to the far north and hordes of trolls, as well as [[thrak|monsters]] of his own devising, combined with demonic pacts he had made with the [[Pales]]. Unfortunately, he lost his mind in the battle with the reigning [[A curious mystic|Mystic]], and now suffers from amnesia in the ruined city.  
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==Geographical Ambiguity==
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The High Plateau was the eastern and northern boundary of [[Kestrel Etrevion]] in "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990), and the term "High Plateau" still exists in [[The Graveyard]]. The graveyard was built at this boundary in the story, as the burial mound was constructed near the battle field on "the northern marches." The Graveyard itself is consistent with this interpretation, depicting the burial mound as being on a vast "plateau." Thus, the High Plateau arguably exists in the game, but is not on any of the maps. The term would be copyrighted as an I.C.E. placename, but the terrain itself is not depicted.
 +
;The Legend
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
"Kestrel came to be rewarded for his service after a particularly hard fought campaign (actually pulled from the jaws of certain defeat by Bandur's sorcerous intervention) with a small territory carved out along the west coast of Jaiman, along the craggy shores of Claedesbrim Bay. This is part of the land that forms '''the windward edge of the High Plateau''' in the region now called Quellbourne."
  
Refugees who hid in a spider's lair gave sacrifices to a giant spider, coming to worship the spider goddess and founding the [[Spider Temple]]. With the immediate south of Quellburn being the [[Shards|Black Forest of Dir]], we know that "[[Danjirland]]" is where [[The Iron Wind]] rules. When the [[black reaver]] was released from a box at the tower there, it contained a note that was written by Zenon. Quellburn was the next logical target of those specific orders of the cult after their destruction of Ugus Fost and much of the mannish and [[Erlini|Elven]] population of the Blue Forest. The [[Cavernhold|Gnolls]] of [[Zeltoph|Hetoth]] ''([[Seoltang]]: "Tall Mountain")'' went largely into hiding after the collapse of civilization.
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"Before the dispute was resolved, an outbreak of hostilities along the land's '''northern marches''' called Kestrel and his still-loyal armies away to defend '''the borders.''' Demoralized and brokenhearted, Kestrel failed to vanquish the foes, and was beaten back to retreat with the few surviving weary and mutinous troops. ... As the new day dawned, he appeared before the remaining troops and announced that Lord Kestrel had died during the night of his battle wounds. He dismissed the pitiful remnants of Kestrel's army, who gladly scattered and returned to their homes without question. There, in a remote corner of the land, Bandur created several golems to '''build a burial mound''' to hold the remains of his brother along with some of his few cherished possessions."
  
==Behind the Scenes==
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- Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)
The ruined city of Quellburn was a quest area in the I.C.E. Age where the sorcerer [[Zenon]] wandered with amnesia. It was why there was an "Old Mine Road" near a town that had only existed for two decades. The term was changed to "Elanith", as was the term Quellbourne. When [[Quin Telaren|old NPCs]] refer to "Elanith", such as the phrase "First Elanith Bank", they are actually referring to the [[Darkstone Bay]] region and not the continent of [[Elanith]]. The "[[Kingdom of Elanith]]" and its Citadel was moved south, serving as the backstory for [[River's Rest]]. They were both ruled by a council of mages that was destroyed from within, collapsing alongside an invasion of [[trolls]] and [[krolvin]]. Unlike the I.C.E. Age version, there is no known link with the [[Council of Light]], or servants of the Unlife such as Zenon. The story of the Zor refugees hiding from their military pursuers in that spot is clearly the source of the [[Aramur Forean|Wolves Den]] story in the modern history. The Colossus is found in the badlands north of Danjirland in what would have been the High Plateau in the archaic lore. While it was part of the [[Vvrael]] saga which was nominally modern, it may have been an allusion to the Ugus Fost backstory with the [[Shards]].
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</pre>
 +
;The Graveyard
 +
 
 +
The Graveyard would have to be much further to the east of [[Kelfour's Landing]] than would be naively expected. There is no plateau anywhere near it in the source book. However, the burial mound can be seen from the Grandmaster's office in the Order of Voln monastery, which was added years later. This would seem to be another geographical ambiguity unless the path to the Voln Monastery is magical.
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
[Graveyard]
 +
You pause inside the gates to survey the eerie scene.  A magnificently crafted granite crypt to the north inspires wonder and loathing.  The carvings on the facade are horrific, detailing the onslaughts of the Unlife throughout the chaotic history of Elanthia.  A gravel path wraps around the structure, while thorny brambles growing among the tombstones deter you from leaving the paved route.
 +
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest
 +
 
 +
>look crypt
 +
The crypt is built of the finest gray granite from the '''High Plateau.'''  Great magic and determination must have been expended to bring the ponderous blocks to this location.  The demonic aspect of the decorations on the face of the tomb make you uneasy.  Above the entry to the crypt, is an inscription.
 +
 
 +
[Graveyard]
 +
The path girds the northern perimeter of the mound far enough away from it to grant a full view of the slopes. The closecropped surface vegetation might offer handholds for scaling to the top to the adventurer who travels light.  '''To the north, the plateau continues off beyond the horizon, a trackless, windswept mesa''' of tall grass and thick sod that presents a hostile and formidable obstacle.
 +
Obvious paths: east, southwest
 +
 
 +
[Graveyard, Top of Mound]
 +
From the lofty perch atop the burial mound, you look out over the lowlands and marshes to the south and west and '''the desolate plateau to the north.'''  Facing southeast are the ominous graveyard, unquiet crypt, and the gates and cemetary walls beyond.  The ridge is narrow and uneven, with little room to maneuver. Startled by the cawing of a nesting gorcrow, you realize that any distraction from keeping your balance would be courting to disaster.  You also see a pool of stinking mud and a narrow gully.
 +
Obvious paths: down
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Following the I.C.E. Age there was terrain reminiscent of the High Plateau and potentially consistent with it introduced near [[Danjirland]] surrounding the Colossus. In the maps that were made after this, however, this is only a small patch of land situated south of Glatoph instead of north of it. The oldest part of the glacier is written to sound artificial, and does not exist in the source material for Blototh.
 +
 
 +
;Colossus
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
[Badlands, Hillock]
 +
The hilltop, frequently blasted by cold winds and chill rain, is barren of all but the toughest shrubs.  A warren of canyons twists between the forlorn hills in every direction.  On the next hillock to the southeast, you spy a huge humanoid figure which blots out the stars.  It slumps motionless, perhaps a fearsome giant contemplating the wastelands.  You also see the sheer ravine wall.
 +
Obvious paths: east
 +
</pre>
 +
The glacier on what is now called Glatoph was expanded into a vast arctic ice sheet when [[Icemule Trace]] was created. This largely replaces where the High Plateau would have been on the map.
 +
 
 +
==Quellburn==
 +
Quellburn was founded by refugees of Zor in the [[Wars of Dominion]] who were fleeing from forces of the Unlife. These were implicitly the messengers of the Order of Dansart, one of the six branches of [[The Iron Wind]]. Quellbourne ruled the region around Claedesbrim Bay for six thousand years. Quellburn was destroyed two hundred years ago by Zenon under the corruption of the Order of Athimurl.
  
 
[[Category:ICE Age]]
 
[[Category:ICE Age]]

Revision as of 22:56, 4 March 2020

Warning: This page concerns archaic world setting information from the I.C.E. Age of GemStone III. It is not canon in contemporary GemStone IV, nor is it canonical for Shadow World as the details may be specific to GemStone III. It is only historical context for certain very old parts of the game and these things should not be mixed.

The High Plateau is a region of badlands in the Quellbourne region of Jaiman in Shadow World. It is a point of ill-definition as it is still referenced in the game itself, and may even be physically present, but is not represented on the existing maps. In the I.C.E. Age it would have been located north of Blototh (Modern: Glatoph), and south of the Seolfar Strake (Modern: Lysierian Hills). In the source book material the Seolfar Strake extends into the northern rim around the Bay and it is unclear how far north the implemented part was relative to Blototh. This in itself is inconsistent with maps developed in the late 1990s.

The High Plateau is where the high quality granite was imported from for the crypt in The Graveyard. It is also the location of the ruined city of Quellburn, whose refugees included the founders of the Spider Temple. These details are no longer treated as official history. Quellburn was not an ordinarily accessible area in the I.C.E. Age, though its evil sorcerer Zenon was a known and established villain.

Geographical Ambiguity

The High Plateau was the eastern and northern boundary of Kestrel Etrevion in "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990), and the term "High Plateau" still exists in The Graveyard. The graveyard was built at this boundary in the story, as the burial mound was constructed near the battle field on "the northern marches." The Graveyard itself is consistent with this interpretation, depicting the burial mound as being on a vast "plateau." Thus, the High Plateau arguably exists in the game, but is not on any of the maps. The term would be copyrighted as an I.C.E. placename, but the terrain itself is not depicted.

The Legend
"Kestrel came to be rewarded for his service after a particularly hard fought campaign (actually pulled from the jaws of certain defeat by Bandur's sorcerous intervention) with a small territory carved out along the west coast of Jaiman, along the craggy shores of Claedesbrim Bay. This is part of the land that forms the windward edge of the High Plateau in the region now called Quellbourne."

"Before the dispute was resolved, an outbreak of hostilities along the land's northern marches called Kestrel and his still-loyal armies away to defend the borders. Demoralized and brokenhearted, Kestrel failed to vanquish the foes, and was beaten back to retreat with the few surviving weary and mutinous troops. ... As the new day dawned, he appeared before the remaining troops and announced that Lord Kestrel had died during the night of his battle wounds. He dismissed the pitiful remnants of Kestrel's army, who gladly scattered and returned to their homes without question. There, in a remote corner of the land, Bandur created several golems to build a burial mound to hold the remains of his brother along with some of his few cherished possessions." 

- Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)
The Graveyard

The Graveyard would have to be much further to the east of Kelfour's Landing than would be naively expected. There is no plateau anywhere near it in the source book. However, the burial mound can be seen from the Grandmaster's office in the Order of Voln monastery, which was added years later. This would seem to be another geographical ambiguity unless the path to the Voln Monastery is magical.

[Graveyard]
You pause inside the gates to survey the eerie scene.  A magnificently crafted granite crypt to the north inspires wonder and loathing.  The carvings on the facade are horrific, detailing the onslaughts of the Unlife throughout the chaotic history of Elanthia.  A gravel path wraps around the structure, while thorny brambles growing among the tombstones deter you from leaving the paved route.
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest

>look crypt
The crypt is built of the finest gray granite from the High Plateau.  Great magic and determination must have been expended to bring the ponderous blocks to this location.  The demonic aspect of the decorations on the face of the tomb make you uneasy.  Above the entry to the crypt, is an inscription.

[Graveyard]
The path girds the northern perimeter of the mound far enough away from it to grant a full view of the slopes.  The closecropped surface vegetation might offer handholds for scaling to the top to the adventurer who travels light.  To the north, the plateau continues off beyond the horizon, a trackless, windswept mesa of tall grass and thick sod that presents a hostile and formidable obstacle.
Obvious paths: east, southwest

[Graveyard, Top of Mound]
From the lofty perch atop the burial mound, you look out over the lowlands and marshes to the south and west and the desolate plateau to the north.  Facing southeast are the ominous graveyard, unquiet crypt, and the gates and cemetary walls beyond.  The ridge is narrow and uneven, with little room to maneuver.  Startled by the cawing of a nesting gorcrow, you realize that any distraction from keeping your balance would be courting to disaster.  You also see a pool of stinking mud and a narrow gully.
Obvious paths: down

Following the I.C.E. Age there was terrain reminiscent of the High Plateau and potentially consistent with it introduced near Danjirland surrounding the Colossus. In the maps that were made after this, however, this is only a small patch of land situated south of Glatoph instead of north of it. The oldest part of the glacier is written to sound artificial, and does not exist in the source material for Blototh.

Colossus
[Badlands, Hillock]
The hilltop, frequently blasted by cold winds and chill rain, is barren of all but the toughest shrubs.  A warren of canyons twists between the forlorn hills in every direction.  On the next hillock to the southeast, you spy a huge humanoid figure which blots out the stars.  It slumps motionless, perhaps a fearsome giant contemplating the wastelands.   You also see the sheer ravine wall.
Obvious paths: east

The glacier on what is now called Glatoph was expanded into a vast arctic ice sheet when Icemule Trace was created. This largely replaces where the High Plateau would have been on the map.

Quellburn

Quellburn was founded by refugees of Zor in the Wars of Dominion who were fleeing from forces of the Unlife. These were implicitly the messengers of the Order of Dansart, one of the six branches of The Iron Wind. Quellbourne ruled the region around Claedesbrim Bay for six thousand years. Quellburn was destroyed two hundred years ago by Zenon under the corruption of the Order of Athimurl.