So, this is my first attempt at a stronghold. I created a mountain of Obsidian for my Solar. It's located on Phlegethos in Baator. I wanted to create a caricature of Mount Celestia. I am thinking of playing him as a Duke of Hell under Belial.
Feedback is welcomed.
Thanks guys =)
Infractia is a malicious caricature of Mount Celestia, a mountain of black obsidian, rising from the flame-wracked wasteland of Phlegethos to stab at the layer's fiery heart high above the realm of Inana and the seat of Belial and Fierna. Whether through the intervention of the Gods of Celestia or the force of Tzadkiel's grim obsessions and reminiscences Infractia evokes the Solar's failures and hubris. Infractia's peak stabs at the fiery maelstrom above Phlegethos, like a sacrificial dagger. The fiery maelstrom wheeling above Phlegethos is constantly visible. The obsidian faces of Infractia are veined with black diamond, ruby, and other precious minerals. The frequency of precious mineral deposits increases as one draws closer to the Shattered Basilica. Climbers must contend with treacherous lava falls and flows, fire storms, and worse. Flying presents other problems, clouds of smoke, fire, and even ice, obfuscate higher layers.
The paths traversing the mountain are narrow, steep, and labyrinthine at many points during the ascent the only option is to fly or climb across the sheer surface of the mountain with the aid of jagged hand and toeholds.
There are several portals leading to Infractia from other layers of Baator, Outer Planes, Inner Planes, and Prime Material Planes. All of these portals, save a handful of portals in the Shattered Basilica, dump travelers into the Sea of Tears.
1-The Sea of Tears-The lowermost Level of Infractia is a vast sea of stagnant water, strangely at odds with the layer proper. Minstrels and bards sings songs of how the Gods of Celestia took the tears of widows and orphans wrought by Tzadkiel's pride and enwrapped his citadel with a palpable emblem of their grief and pain. Wrought by the Gods or no, the waters of the Sea of Tears are tepid to the touch and function as unholy water.
At the foot of a mountain, narrow strands and beaches of ash hug narrower trailheads, a few wider beaches contain the skeletal remains of scorched hamlets and villages torn from distant prime material planes.
2-The second level of Infractia is not as steep as many of the successive layers, although it is a place of deep rifts and wide streams of living flame, rushing like the great tributaries of the prime material plane. Many of the rifts contain the tombs and mausoleums of Paladins and Knights who died in service to Tzadkiel and his rebellions Solar and a mere handful of Blackguards who have died since. Great wealth and magic are housed within these tombs but the fallen Archons who reside on the second layer take a dim view of grave-robbers. Punishment is preceded by a trial, of course, convicted grave-robbers are summarily thrown into the lake of fire at the heart of the layer's deepest rift.
The Broken Sword: Rising from a deep rift, this caricature of Bahamat's palace, is the home of a Great Wyrm Rust Dragon subjugated by Lord of the Mount, shortly after his fall. The palace is made entirely from the Wyrm's hoard. Windows of clouded and chipped jewels in frames of tarnished brass. The walls are wrought from rusted copper and ivory darkened with age, the stone floors are covered with swords, spears, lances, and more, slowly oxidizing beneath the great Wyrm. The silent skulls of seven great Wyrms stare down at the massive rust Dragon from the walls of the palace.
3-The slopes of the third layer of Infractia are even more treacherous than the second. In defiance to the fires of Phlegethos a massive blizzard enwraps the third layer of Infractia covering the jagged obsidian with ice and snow. Some Elementalists speculate that there is a massive conduit to the Para-Elemental plain of ice at the heart of the blizzard. Many Priests and theologians believe it is merely a dark parody of Venya, the third heaven, wrought by the Gods of Celestia. Others believe that it is a manifestation of the Solar's grim reminiscences.
At certain points the storm relents to the flame. There is a chance that climbers may step out of a blizzard and into a funeral pyre. Another hazard unique to the plain are the breeding pits. Many of the 'pits' are located on terraces guarded by fallen archons, these can be easily avoided. Although, other smaller pits are unmarked save for rounded stones that gird them like wells, these are easily obfuscated by the deep snows.
The 'pits' provide the Solar's servitors with a meager income. Archons are not adept at raising Larvae but they raise enough within the pits to devour an unwary adventurer. The Archons have done better in the subterranean gardens of the third layer, raising poisonous fungi and worse in cave gardens warmed by lava carried by rock channels from the higher layers.
Break-banner lake This icy lake is the largest region of flat ground in the third layer of Infractia. it is littered with frost scoured armor, shattered lances, and battle standards, jumbled, soiled, broken, forgotten. Here are gathered the standards of usurpers, pretenders, and turncoats. At the very center of the lake is a hole, the lake is deep but through the cold waters one can see gold, gems, fine ivory and jade figurines, loving crafted magical weapons and more.
This is the home of Tzadkiel's bound Styx Dragon, who will attack any who presume to steal from his hoard. If a visitor throws an item of value into the lake the Wyrm will rise and impart his guess with a prophecy, involving the gift-giver. The prophecies are, invariably, dark and often allude to the death of the gift-giver.
4-The fourth layer of Infractia is colder than the third. Vast glaciers of black whore-frost hold dominion over steep, punishing slopes, long broad veins of gems, gold, and silver grout the stone beneath the whore frost but more oft than not they are at angles impossible to reach, flying is problematic. The howling winds continually buffet and toss any aerial creature, or adventurer, who does not possess a special spell-key, covetously guarded by the layer's Fallen Deva's. The ridges of the fourth layer are bedecked with temples, cathedrals, and monasteries. Splendid buildings that tantalize travelers like desert mirages. Although, at the crest foot of each of these, and only at the very foot, are the flaws perceptible.
A monastery that looked old and romantic is naught bur a drafty ruin, a temple that looked splendid and bright is gaudy and inlayed with pyrite and faux gems. Many and more are shattered by war and plague, torn from distant realms to adorn the Seraph's realm. Nearly all are vacant save a mere handful on the last ridge leading to a portal to the fifth layer of Infractia, here a handful of Fallen Deva's stand watch and exact tolls.
The Betrayer's Anvil
The names of this delving has been lost to time, one of Tzadkiel's former compatriot's took to calling it the Betrayer's Anvil. The stone work is beautiful, enough to make even the most jaded of Dwarves weep; a delving wrought by a long dead clan of dwarves smiths worms its way through the vast ridges of the fourth level of Infractia. The scale of the delving is awe-inspiring, vast armories of armor and blades rust beneath ancient dust and cobwebs. With forges, smelters, barracks, and drilling-grounds sufficient for an tens-of-thousands, the Betrayer's Anvil has the infrastructure necessary to wage a war that would rack the planes. Alas, only a few forge fires burn, a few Archon smiths produce a small trickle of green-steel swords and spearheads. The remainder of the delving is black and desolate.
5- The fifth layer of Infractia is surrounded by a cloud of poisonous lung-searing gas. Any who are not protected from, or immune to poison take damage every round while traversing the fifth layer of Infractia. The trails are so narrow than only one humanoid may traverse the paths, often-times they must hug the jagged walls of the mount. Serpents, flesh-eating scarab beetles and worse, dwell in many of the clefts, waiting for unwary adventurers or fallen celestials, the wild life is tough and inured against the poisonous vapors. Like the fourth layer it is dominated by high ridges. The citadels, temples, and keeps atop the nearly shear ridges of the fifth level all have garrisons, however small. None of the keeps boasts more than a twentieth of its full garrison.
One of the only cities in Infractia, Venia is a splendid place wrought from age-darkened bone and ivory. It sits on the shores of a fetid poisonous lake, the fountains of Venia produce poisons of every variety. Many Assassins have endeavored to journey to the vitriolic City, yet few survive the snake and scarab laden ascent. The Solar demands payment, in Larvae, favors, or temporal wealth, for any drought taken from the city's founts. The sheer number of fountains makes guarding them impractical, although Venia is also known for its torturers. The scream of tormented souls are often heard over the babble of poisonous founts.
6- The slopes of the sixth layer of Infractia are littered with rubies, black diamonds, night-blue rubies, emeralds, and more. Glittering with an inky black life-sucking fog. Any character or creature that does not possess some form of negative energy protection takes damage every round when traversing the sixth layer of Infractia. Fallen archons wander the fields guarding their Lord's wealth, once champions of law and good, now they are little more than extensions of his covetousness.
The City of Tenebria is located centrally in the sixth level of Infractia. A smaller seven-tiered Obsidian dagger, wide at the base, narrowing to a wicked point that disappears into the inky abyss of Darkness above. Tenebria. Tenebria possesses treacherous slopes and hazards in miniature; it is a microcosm of Infractia. Each tier of Tenebria is grouted with precious gemstones of a different variety, amethyst, bloodstone, sapphire,, ruby, emerald, black diamond. On the lowermost level sits an empty mint, a beautiful structure inlaid with precious metals, with sweeping ramparts and rounded domes. The presses like so much of Infractia are covered with dust, a few thin silver and copper coins bearing the image of Tzadkiel on one side and a flaming great sword on the other litter the dusty floors; the coin of an usurper.
On the fourth level, Planetars guard the Betrayer's Arsenal, as it stands. The building is broad and long, with a convoluted network of egg-shaped cellars that calls to mind the caverns of Agathion in Pandemonium. Here in a few dark armories glitter the radiant but tarnished arsenal of Tzadkiel's minions. Deep within the caves are doors with words and glyphs of power wrought upon them. Wards so strong that not even the Seraph dare breach them. Some who serve them say that the Arsenal was torn from a demi-plane or another Solar's keep. Many more believe it is yet another punishment inflicted by the gods and hosts of Celestia. Just as Tenebria is nearly the highest tower in the outer planes, the Betrayer's Arsenal's power is just out of reach.
The uppermost floor, beneath the black maelstrom is guarded by a Solar, Arikel, or a pair of Planetars in his absence. A bridge of darkness leads out to a portal of living, writhing darkness adorned with ravens and weeping angels it rises to a height of twelve feet and leads to the upper most reaches of Infractia.
7- The Uppermost spire of Infractia is a sea of darkness alight, albeit occasionally by islands of fire. It is a cancerous growth of darkness spreading its tendrils into the fiery heart of Phlegethos. Any creature or adventurer who is not protected from negative energy takes damage every round.
The Shattered Basilica
Before his fall from grace Tzadkiel was venerated as a champion of his God, the vanquisher of Infernal beasts, and the savior of nations. In those days his God's followers venerated him in the Basilica of ivory and spun silver.
Some say his rebellion was prompted by lust, some say love, other that it was merely pride. Now, he holds domain over Infractia in a basilica with shattered domes or tarnished silver surrounded by defaced and defiled statuary. He sits brooding more and scheming from a chair of jade and gold, with the broken jade and gold aspect of his old God at his feet.
The shattered Basilica possesses four doors that connect to vaults, large pocket dimensions reminiscent of bags of holding. There is also at least three portals in the Basilica. One leads to the Prime Material Plane, another to Avernus on Baator, the last to Agathion in Pandemonium.
Time: 1-6 Normal Time, 7 Timeless.
Size: Infinite, Each layer of Infractia is infinite, though each layer is but one portion of the greater mountain, each higher than the previous layer.
Strongly Evil-Aligned and Strongly Law-Aligned Creatures that are not Lawful and Evil suffer a -2 penalty on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma-based checks. Creatures who are neither Chaotic nor Evil suffer a -4 penalty on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma-based checks.
Elemental Traits: Varies by Layer.
1-Water: Visitors who canít breathe water or reach a pocket of air will likely drown. Creatures of the fire subtype are extremely uncomfortable on water-dominant planes. Those made of fire take 1d10 points of damage each round.
Additionally the Sea or Tears functions as unholy water dealing 2d4 points of damage to Good Outsiders per round.
2-Fire: Those without resistance or immunity to fire are soon immolated
3-Ice 1d6 points of cold damage per round to any creature not protected from or immune to cold.
4-Ice 1d6 points of cold damage per round to any creature not protected from or immune to cold.
5-Poison 1d6 points of poison damage per round to any creature not protected from or immune to poison.
6- Negative Dominant (Minor): Living creatures take 1d6 points of damage per round. At 0 hit points or lower, they crumble into ash.
6- Negative Dominant (Minor): Each round, those within must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or gain a negative level. A creature whose negative levels equal its current levels or Hit Dice is slain, becoming a wraith. The death ward spell protects a traveler from the damage and energy drain of a negative-dominant plane.
Enhanced Magic: All spells from the Evil Domain and all reverse-Healing spells function as though they are Maximized as per the feat. So too are all spells that drain life energy, on the 6th and 7th layers of Infractia.
Impeded Magic: Fly, Teleport, Dimension Door, and PlaneShift Spells are all impeded unless the caster possesses the correct spell key. So too are all spells from the Good and Healing Domains, Tzadkiel's spells are excluded from this condition.