Major Adventure Sites in Pool of Radiance II
While the main course of action in Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor takes place in the "once-great" city of Myth Drannor, players will have the ability to traverse many different and interesting sites within the walls of the lost metropolis. From shattered shrines lingering in haunted gardens, to underground catacombs where the dead restlessly walk the dank corridors in search of their next victim, to the towering heights of the majestic Castle Cormanthor, players will spend a good deal of time becoming integrated with the history of the city in which they adventure.
Some of those areas might very well be considered mini-states within their own right under the providence of Myth Drannor. Among them, four sites come to mind as the most historic and intriguing places to visit.
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of these is none other that the structure that stands in the heart of
the ruined city, Castle Cormanthor. Once a beautiful bastion made by elves,
the castle has seen better days - sadly, it has fallen into of a state
of ruin and despair. Broken glass attests to once-proud stained glass
windows. Crumbling buttresses and shattered flagstones hint at the remarkable
architecture that adorned the halls and courtyards. Rooms lie littered
with refuse and bones from animals and adventurers alike, as whispers
carry a story on the winds of Myth Drannor that the castle has become
home to gargoyles and dragon-kin in large numbers.
Indeed, these creatures circle the spires and towers of this fortified building day and night. Located just off the central platform (a raised sidewalk structure that runs the length of part of the city), Castle Cormanthor also sees its share of walking denizens, from Cult patrols to monsters wandering in from the elaborate gardens to the east.
The damage suffered by the castle, however, is minimal compared to other areas of the city. Its strong protective magics have enabled Castle Cormanthor to remain mostly intact, although rumors infest its underground passageways with multitudes of evil creatures. Players will have the chance to explore some of the fabled castle, as well as descend into the Cult of the Dragon's secret lair underneath its foundation.
House of Gems
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Far across the expanse of the central platform to the east stands the Dwarven House of Gems. This area once served as the meeting place for dwarven figures of nobility and a storehouse for treasures both fantastic and mundane. A large pump house adjacent to the building fed clean water throughout the many waterway systems in the city. Now only sewage and dust line the wells and fountains in the lower reaches of the city. Spawn pools, smaller incarnations of the Pool of Radiance, have begun to appear in parts of Myth Drannor, and the House of Gems is no exception; in fact, the gigantic mechanical pump hosts one of these abhorrent abnormalities. And what dwarven structure would be complete without a riddle of underground tunnels?
The dwarven dungeons, which sprawl beneath Myth Drannor's soil, connect to the House via a tower and other secret entrances that may have been lost to time. Players visiting the House of Gems will notice the pronounced difference in architecture from the elven gardens and Castle Cormanthor, as walls are thicker, traps are stronger, and the mazelike underdark passageways can lead characters to ruin if they are not careful.
Not all areas of Myth Drannor have fared as well as the castle and House of Gems. To the south of the House of Gems and its raised plateau, the dwarven ruins are lined with crumbling statues and brilliant walkways now choked with weeds. Great monoliths and crypts also dot this land, summoning powerful ethereal undead such as specters and wraiths into the night from their chilling deathbeds. Farther south, crossing some natural waterways and small bridges, lie the marshes, home to far more deadly inhabitants but also the resting place of another entrance into the underworld of the game.
Players can reach the dwarven dungeons from here and explore to deepest reaches of the homes of the dwarves from old. Both the dwarven ruins and the southeast marshes have become infested with large rashes of overgrowth, wandering monsters, and - in the marshes' case - stagnant pools of water that have attracted insects and other unsavory types. Rumors say that the ormyrr, a race of massive slug-like creatures with fang-filled maws, live in these marshes, along with lizardfolk war parties, undead, and the occasional orog raiding patrols.
Hall of Wizards
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Lastly, the Speculum - or Hall of Wizards, as it was also called - lies in the south central portion of the city's ruins. Here, wizards and armathors of the realms would meet and research new magic. Protected by powerful spells and the Mythal, the Speculum stands mostly as it did back in its early days, although the surrounding amphitheater is a wreck and nests of gargoyles lie in wait for unwary travelers. A secret entrance to elven burial grounds also exists in this area. Perhaps the most impressive sight is that of the Speculum exterior, which resembles a large dragon curled around a shattered egg. Inside, players will meet the ghost of Caalenfaire, a powerful, long-dead diviner, and his skull companion, Volun. Perhaps there they can learn more about the corruption of the Mythal and the Cult's activities.
four areas of the city wait underground caverns, ruined shrines, and orc
encampments. A northern ruins area used to house beautiful gardens and
peaceful temples; they now lie devastated by the several wars that rocked
the city long ago. The fallen city may not be a nation unto itself, or
even a state recognized as a political authority across the Realms, but
Myth Drannor holds no shortage of areas to explore or unique terrain to