THE CLENDOR TOWER

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - FUNCTION - MYTH/LORE

On a rocky, windswept promontory outside Marduran stands Clendor Tower: an empty, windowless colossus towering over cliffs wet with the spray of the Adanian Sea. Legend tells that a great mage built this place millennia ago with the help of the demon Gaurgoroth, who eventually returned to claim his life. Boundless riches are rumoured to lie within, but of those who enter, little is heard again.

Description. As you climb the slope toward the Tower the vegetation becomes more and more sparse, until finally you emerge on to a large promontory which is mostly bare earth, apart from the few scrubby bushes huddled in the wind shadow of the Tower. The Tower itself is a huge, brooding structure built with massive blocks of a dark muddy brown stone. A dizzying 90 peds tall, the tower curves inward, tapering from its 55-ped wide circular base until around half way up its height where it becomes approximately 20 peds wide all the rest of the way up. Five huge, thick, flat-topped projections, half spire, half merlon, reach out and up from the ramparts like grasping claws tearing at the sky.

On close inspection, no mortar is visible in the joins of the blocks – the huge bricks sit flush so that a fingernail cannot fit between any two of the huge one-and a-half by two-ped sized blocks which are the fabric of the tower. It is estimated from its size that the Tower has at least eighteen storeys, though the complete lack of windows visible in the Tower's sides makes this impossible to confirm. There is only one entrance to the building; how the plain, heavy metal doors have remained unrusted is as much a mystery as how the masonry has survived the millennia since the Tower is supposed to have been built.

The interior of the Tower is known only through the stories of the brave few who have been inside; perhaps unsurprisingly these stories vary greatly. Most tell of a large semi-circular shaped entrance room which is completely pitch-dark after the door closes behind you – which it does on its own. Many think this is magic but it is more likely to be from the fact that the doors are set into the building on something of a slope and therefore close on their own. Most accounts also agree that the entrance hall has a wide passage in the middle of the far wall which leads further in to the building; others also mention doors on other walls although few agree on their number, or whence any of the apertures lead. Some stories tell of subterranean levels which housed dangerous beasts, magical and non-magical, upon which Clendor and his apprentices worked spells, although again, the truth of this is unknown. Return to the top


Location. Clendor Tower is located above the cliffs of Clendor Point on the north-east coast of the province of Manthria in Santharia. It is in the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Huiscen, in the Capstan Coast Fief. The Tower is reached by following the road east from Marduran, past the last of the farms. The quickest route is found by then turning off the road and proceeding uphill through thick brush until the vegetation begins to thin. As it does, you will have your first sight for the Tower. The cliff path, running east from the end of the east road is more circuitous but, due to the wind and salt from the sea there is very little vegetation here so those with horses or large amounts of gear are encouraged to use this route. A warning though: beware of the cliff edge! It is narrow in places and can crumble away. Return to the top

Function. The Tower is said to have been built by a mage, Clendor, to be his home. In it he housed his apprentices and servants, his magical experiments and his research. The platform at the top he used for casting spells, and to address the people of the small village he had gathered below him. In the present age the Tower is not inhabited by anything which pays taxes, but adventurers’ stories aver that there is certainly something within those walls. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The true history of the Tower is unknown, but its story is common knowledge in Marduran and very well known throughout most of the rest of the land east of the Mithral Mountains. The details differ from version to version, but for such an old tale it is surprisingly cohesive across its forms. An agglomeration of these tales in to an approximate general form is set down here.

The Rise and Fall of the Wizard Clendor. Clendor was a great and powerful mage who lived some time earlier in the Age of Sorcery, before Karthmor was built and before the War of the Chosen. Clendor was a proud man and so when he decided to build a tower for himself, he chose to summon a demon to build it for him. He planned to bargain with the beast, have it build a magnificent stronghold for him, and then dispel it without payment. The demon who answered his summons was named Gaurgoroth. Stories do not agree on what degree of demon he was – Lord, high, or lesser. Some have speculated that it might have been the Demon Lord Ghelgath misnamed, although this is not likely as it is written in the Compendium that no wizard has ever controlled him.

Gaurgoroth fought his enslavement viciously but eventually was forced to acquiesce; perhaps it helped that the mage offered the demon a bargain, but perhaps not. What that bargain was is now lost, although each version of the story seems to have at least one, if not many different ideas on the topic. So, Gaurgoroth laid the stones of the building with his own huge, clawed hands, according to Clendor’s plan. When it was finished he demanded his price. Clendor stood atop his tower, looking Gaurgoroth in the eye. Unable to control a wide grin of triumph he replied “No”, and laughing, sent the demon back to his place in the Netherworlds.

Years passed, and Clendor’s reputation grew. He attracted a small village of people who built homes at the base of his Tower, hoping to become apprenticed to him or to work for him in some other way, thereby gaining his protection and a share of his wealth. It was one such, an apprentice of the mage, who made the fatal mistake. The apprentice, whose name is lost to history, called up a demon. This in itself would not have been a problem but for the fact that when a demon is summoned, that which holds back the denizens of the Netherworld is weakened. So it was that Gaurgoroth returned to exact his price from Clendor, in blood.

The village was destroyed almost immediately as Gaurgoroth stomped upon it, becoming huge in his anger – taller than the highest of the spires of the tower he had built. Clendor and his pupils emerged on to the roof to do battle with the demon; it was mere moments before the mage was obliterated in bloody fashion, along with half of his students. One of the remaining apprentices, far advanced in the arts and cool-headed, summoned another demon whose name is now forgotten. Together the remaining students bound it to fight Gaurgoroth. This demon was half the size of Gaurgoroth but was still huge – heavily muscled and hairy, with six poisoned fangs which stuck out from the front of its mouth like curved ivory daggers.

The demonic battle raged for hours, their huge steps taking them for strals in each direction. Both sustained grievous wounds. Finally, Gaurgoroth prevailed, pushing the weaker demon down into the earth toward the Netherworlds while draining its strength. The other demon died, but its physical form never completely reached the Netherworlds – Gaurgoroth’s might was too sorely diminished. Part of its skull stayed on this plane, its teeth protruding from the earth in the circular pattern of its final scream of defeat, leaving the formation now known as Fanghenge. Gaurgoroth was sorely wounded, so that even the remaining apprentices could have been a threat to him. He turned and fled out across the sea to the east. As he ran, his clawed hind leg gouged the seabed up, forming the islands of Gaurgoroth’s Claw and the other off-shore mountains. Gaurgoroth was never seen again in the lands which are now Santharia – at least, not by that name.

The few remaining apprentices returned into the Tower only to find that the dark beasts they had been experimenting on, and new ones from the Netherworlds, had taken over the Tower. Two of the strongest managed to fight their way through the monsters to the ground level where, with their remaining strength, they sealed the Tower so that people and animals could get in, but nothing evil could get out. They chose to do it in this way because there were vast riches within which they wished to recover. Legends vary as to whether the survivors ever returned to the Tower to try to regain their wealth; some even say that they died with the effort of that final spell.

These days there is no sign of a village on Clendor point; only the Tower stands. The heroes who have gone in tell tales of horror and riches… that is, those who will speak of it at all. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 2nd Molten Ice 1667 a.S.

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