The Roulae Family Towers

History

In the Elondel episode, Troll (aka √Čtella Roulae) found out that his family background is rather special. Many millennia ago, Troll's father and grandfather were involved in an experiment with unintended consequences. They fashioned a new 'species' of construct and lost control of it. The result was the matre, huge metallic spiders hell-bent upon the destruction of the elven race; and their smaller minions, the arachtria. They were spectacularly successful. The Roulae family suffered exile as a result - the harshest punishment in elven culture. In exile, Troll's grandfather's wide range of interests narrowed almost exclusively to one goal: exterminating these constructs. One of the results are the Roulae Family Towers, a network of fifty structures built across the known world more than 7,000 years ago.

The fact that Troll's father lived 40-50 elven generations ago has not yet been explained.

Common Properties

All towers have the following properties and abilities in common. Note that individual towers may be 'better' or 'worse' at specific functions - details below.

Although so named, 'towers' are not all constructed as physical towers. It is mooted that a 'tower' need not be a fixed construction at all.

All of a tower's powers consume imithrium as a power source (see below).

A tower has a 'Keeper', an elf of the Roulae family that is its master. The Keeper's primary roles are to maintain the tower's supply of imithrium, and to direct the tower's anti-arachtria capabilities within its region. The Keeper has complete control over the tower.

Privileges and rights over a tower's functions can be granted to others in a highly granular way. Towers have a "default deny" policy.

A tower can communicate with any other functioning tower, and relay that communication.

A tower can create 'backpacks': small, 10-pound devices that once deployed, create a 'wing' (a remote extension) of the host tower. It seems that there is no limit to the distance between a wing and its parent tower. Deployment takes two hours, during which the backpack emits a high-pitched whine and radiates a considerable amount of evocation magic. Once deployed, the wing is initially invisible. Instantaneous teleportation between the tower and the wing is possible (see below), provided the subject has been granted the right to do so. Elondel can support three simultaneous wings; it is unknown whether this limit is the same for all towers. The fashioning of a backpack takes six months. Over time, wings develop similar (but scaled-down) powers to the host tower.

An individual with the appropriate right can order the destruction of a wing. This takes two hours.

Some towers have an anthropomorphic representation that can be projected within, or up to 50 feet distant from, its structure (including a wing). The projection acts an artificially-intelligent interface to the tower's functions. The projection appears to the naked eye as a real, live being, albeit in somewhat antiquated garb.

A tower can instantaneously teleport without error a nominated group within its bounds (including a wing) to another of the the tower's wings, or to any other functioning tower (or its wings), regardless of distance. The subjects need not be willing.

A tower can instantaneously teleport without error a nominated group within its bounds (including a wing) to any location within 200 miles of the tower. The subjects need not be willing.

Teleportation that does not originate or does not terminate at a tower always passes through the parent tower(s), though this is not apparent.

It is impossible for an individual, even the tower's Keeper, to use translocational magic to enter a tower or a wing.

A tower can project an imithrium-powered anti-arachtria pulse out to a radius of three miles. Arachtria and matre caught within the pulse are instantaneously annihilated, reduced to metallic dust. They have learned to avoid approaching towers.

A tower can cure physical wounds, including Strength, Dexterity and Constitution ability damage. It cannot cure Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma ability damage. Any further curative or restorative ability is as yet unknown.

A tower can create items and equipment, including alchemical items, precious metals, gems and special materials. The amount of imithrium consumed is proportional to the GP cost of the item created. It cannot create magical items, except a 'backpack' (described above). Items a tower creates are considered standard quality. Masterwork items can be created at triple the normal imithrium cost. Additional imithrium can be alloyed to metal items; such items must always be masterwork quality. The length of time it takes to create an item is roughly proportional to its GP value.

Imithrium

Imithrium is an extraordinarily rare dull-grey metal. Its hardness falls somewhere between lead and iron.

Imithrium is mined from under a distant mountain range through a fully automated process. About every three months the system instantaneously transports raw ore from the mine to a processing plant near each tower. When fully operational a typical tower consumes around 5 cubic inches of imithrium per year; the mining process is configured to meet this demand. The system ordinarily maintains a stockpile of 20 cubic inches of imithrium in each tower.

Pure imithrium radiates a short-range (twenty foot?) field that is chronically toxic to organic life; anything more than momentary exposure will result in Constitution damage. Members of the Roulae family are strangely immune to its effects. Alloying imithrium with another metal renders the field safe to normal organic life.

[Craigo] Are the towers the only means of alloying imithrium, or can you simply give some imithrium to a craftsman and get them to make the alloy? My guess is that it can only be done by the towers, or at best only by the Roulae family, as no one else is immune to imithrium's toxic effects.

In either state, pure or alloyed, imithrium is especially toxic to arachtria and matre. The material projects a sixty foot field that causes hit point damage over time; prolonged exposure will destroy them. This damage is possible, but not easy, to spot - it manifests similar to aluminium oxidisation. Imithrium also bypasses the arachtria's and matre's natural (and learned) defences (i.e. they have Damage Reduction x / imithrium).

In addition to the toxic effect described, imithrium-alloyed steel equipment is keener, harder and more robust than typical counterparts. In game terms, it is treated as if it were slightly scaled-down adamantine. Any creature or substance susceptible to adamantine (e.g. for Damage Reduction purposes) is susceptible to imithrium.

The alloy has the following game effects:

  • Weapons and ammunition have a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls (by virtue of being of masterwork quality), and ignore hardness less than 15. Note that as per the standard rules, the enhancement bonus for weapon and ammunition does not stack.
  • Ammunition has a +1 enhancement bonus to damage rolls.
  • Armour has an armour check penalty lessened by 1 (by virtue of being of masterwork quality), and grants Damage Reduction (1/- for light armour, 2/- for medium armour, 3/- for heavy armour).
  • 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 15.

A single cubic inch of imithrium can be used to create more than enough steel alloy to armour and arm a party of five. Note that as with adamantine, only weapons, armor, and shields normally made of metal can benefit from the imithrium alloy.

As imithrium-alloyed metal equipment is of masterwork quality, it may be used to create magical equipment.

Individual Towers

Elondel

Elondel is the first tower rediscovered, and at the time was the only remaining functional tower. It is a graceful, sweeping 60 foot tall structure, located in a shallow, grassy, oval-shaped mile-wide depression roughly three days walk from Kharag Monastery. Elondel has a projection that appears as a polite, deferential male elven butler of indiscriminate age.

The tower is protected by a powerful illusion that makes intruders see what they expect to see. Its imithrium supply stopped 3,000 years ago and it had been without a Keeper for longer than that. Elondel mothballed the tower's functions to prolong its efficacy as long as possible.

Elondel is capable of producing localised earthquakes that are devastating to any arachtria within the bounds of the oval depression.

Elondel is described as being particularly gifted at healing and illusion.

To date, Elondel has two wings: one in the underground level of Kharag Monastery's temple, and one in the subterranean levels of Fort Rannick.

Abbey

Abbey is the second tower discovered. Its location is unknown, save that it is in cold, mountainous terrain. It appears as a small fortified building on the top of a steep hill surrounded by a natural lake. It has a personified projection, appearing as a homely, humble middle-aged elven woman.

Abbey's true size belies her physical dimensions; there are 27 interdimensional spaces in addition to her modest two levels.

Abbey's strengths are associated with interdimensional spaces, and item creation - especially metal and stone.

To date, Abbey has two wings: one within Trina's grounds, and one in a private room in the Mithral Mug in Ashhope. The former is inscrutable to Trina; she cannot enter Abbey's wing and Abbey cannot directly interact with Trina. In order for Abbey and Trina to interact, they must manifest in third party space. Saju later told Troll that his parents considered the placement of a wing within Trina's grove to be unwise; he has not explained the reason why.

Saju

Saju was built in a land called Baji, the land had almost no life, it was a vast desert populated by nomadic tribes. Baji was bordered by vast impassably salt flats along one border, a sea along a second border, and great mountains along a third border.

Baji is in a land where it is day there when it was night here, and vice-versa.

Saju was considered the most knowledgeable, however Saju has been out of contact for thousands of years.

Besides knowledge, Saju's specialty is the mind and mental powers. He can see, alter and impart memories in others. He can also protect against mental invasion, essentially the same as the Mind Blank spell. He can maintain the effect indefinitely on any number of targets in his presence at minimal cost, or "cast" the spell (at CL15) on an individual target that persists outside his presence. The latter costs a considerable amount of imithrium, however. Mind Blanking one person per day is sustainable, Mind Blanking 6 people per day is not. Saju can also create an item that triggers a personal Mind Blank, but it is even more expensive than an in-presence casting.

Saju is also a master of fire. He has in the past mown down thousands of besiegers with immense waves of flame.

To date, Saju has one wing: in the treeline beside Harkon, the Tree of the Planes in the Talia district of the continent of Eramor.

Other source data (to be edited into the sections above)

Excerpt from Elondel, Chapter 8 (source for 'History' and 'Elondel' sections)

Long ago the Matre created a barrier that restricts time travel beyond certain time-based thresholds, making it progressively more difficult to perform. It apparently was done to limit the ability of Troll's family to move in time, but also had the side-effect of stopping the Matre from projecting themselves forward in time. Troll's family have been "bred" for the duty of keeping the Arachtria under control - a duty that has not come without cost. Troll is the last living descendant of the family line.

Some 3,000 years ago the system failed to deliver any more ore to this tower. Elondel has pared back services to subsistence levels to prolong the tower's effectiveness as much as possible. Even so, the imithrium is running out. By Elondel's reckoning, the one remaining cubic inch of imithrium will not last much longer - a mere 500 years or so.

Wing Discussion 2010-08-01

Fergus: Elondel could sense anything within a 200' radius sphere, can materialise stuff… has much more powerful defences around tower e.g. earthquake - wings have scaled-down abilities. Can project an image through a wing to some short range (200'?) Against the spirit of the design if wings can easily be destroyed… would hate to see a wing deployed in a cavern, then destroyed or rendered useless by a cave-in. The towers are a bit "outside of the world", people haven't done this sort of magic for a long time. Primary purpose of the towers is to keep the arachtria / matre under control, perhaps the majority of their functions are keyed towards that aim. Ferg would like Elondel to be able to make alterations around a wing's area. Elondel cannot create another TOWER but might be able to create a building.

Initially, Elondel can hear and see what an ordinary elf can hear and see about a recently-deployed wing. He has illusory powers. Senses and illusions initially only via line of sight and with a range limitation…

Wing Discussion 2010-08-15

The wing at Kharag can still only do line-of-sight illusion but can create stuff in that area - it's still in building mode. full powers but still line-of-sight. cannot create illusory Troll above. Cannot transport Troll from monastery grounds back to tower, and never will. There is no tower built yet. Owner of tower has to define what form the wing takes, Troll has not yet done so. So far the party has only really figured out the transport thing.

Tower and Wing Discussion 2010-11-21

The reason for time travel: towers don't know everything about the arachtria… Troll was sent forward in time because that would keep him safe from the arachtria. It explains why Troll's father lived so long ago. What the towers don't know is why that would have been safer for Troll. For a long time, Elondel was not aware of any arachtria or matre and until recent events, Elondel had not had contact with the deadly 'species' for thousands of years. So something happened…

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