Dragon Mount

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The Dragon Mount, a strange mountain that rises from the centre of all, where the mightiest dragons of all make their home. It rises from foothills lost in an abyss of mist and darkness were secrets from time are shrouded from view to lofty peaks mantled with snow to the highest point of all were only stars shine upon the ancient twelve pillars, throne room of Bahamut the dragon king dwells.

The mountain is a place of testing, a place of danger and hardship but it is the home of hope and the secret hidden wisdom of the dragons, oldest children of Bahamut from the times when they ruled the lands of Terra and the whispered pathways between worlds echoed with the roars of the mighty. There are more legends and tales of the mountain laced through the world then any other. Each has its own moral, its own heroes and villains but all speak of the danger and hardship that will be faced by anyone trying to climb the mountain in search of knowledge.

Temples

Twealth Peak Temple - Kudik Peaks
  • There is only one known place on Terra that leads to Dragon Mount, the mighty Twealth Peak Temple high amongst the stark and foreboding peaks that form the Kudik range. To reach this temple is a feat in and of itself, no airship will fly through the jagd littered plateaus and valleys of the mountains. In all history only one airship captain was able to plot a route to the mountain around the jagd and he and his crew fell burning into the abyss as warning that the dragons will not tolerate those who seek to bypass the challenges of the road to the temple.
    • The road to the temple is a narrow winding treacherous path. It is reached via a cliff side staircase in the town of Ruilitz, this last bastion of civilisation is the only chance pilgrims have to buy supplies for the rest of their journey. The path then winds through a forest of black pines, crosses ridge beyond the tree line and climbs into the peaks. Sometimes it passes across razor-backed ridges or drops down into a dark valley of cold black rocks pitted with ages. Twice it passes through ancient cave systems spiraling through galleries of quartz and semi-precious stones until it emerges at the snow line. The final stretch of path weaves over barren land of snow, ice and rock, climbing ancient narrow stairs to a rocky plateau at the top of the world were the giant gothic temple dedicated to the mighty dragons looks down upon the world spread out below in unending splendour.
      • The temple that greets a pilgrim who has braved the treacherous paths of the Kudik peaks will find no warm welcome or respite. The air is crisp and cold and breathing can be a problem if you do too much strenuous activity. The temple has been carved from the basalt of the mountain top and mighty dragons guard the gateway and loom atop the roof. Inside there is shelter from the wind but no one lives here. There are no priests to Bahamut or the dragons in this place the temples stands as the only testimony of faith the dragons see fit to have. That is not to say there are not priests of the dragons elsewhere in the world, attending other shrines but here at the greatest temple no one resides. Inside it is surprisingly light and airy and the trappings of glory and ages past hang from the walls or stand atop plinths for none have ever tried to steal from this ancient place. Mighty statues of the dragons line the great temple halls with eyes of gemstone that watch the silent halls of their children with a melancholy air. It is said in eons long forgotten the dragons of Terra lived here and acted as priests and custodians but when they withdrew or were killed depending on which legend you believe the temple was left empty and will not be home to any until the children of Bahamut are restored to the world.
        • To leave the mortal world and embark upon a journey up Dragon Mount tends to be the intention of the majority of those who seek the temple. How one passes trough the skein of the world however is not recorded in any place. It is a mystery that must be solved by the individual the only clue is an inscription above the door.
          • The path within leads through

The Regions

There are many regions to Dragon Mount each as dangerous as the other, to scale the mountain is to invite danger, destruction and to quest for wisdom, truth and integrity. It is never wise to set foot upon the path of Dragons unless you are sure in your convictions, your strengths, weakness and most importantly have a clear goal in mind.

Misted Foothills
  • Upon leaving the mortal realms through the schism hidden within the temple atop the Kudik peaks travellers will find themselves lost upon a plain of grass, rock and flowing mist. Cold and damp it blows eternally over the land, pouring over hills and filling valleys almost to the brim. Somewere above that fog the cold mountainside of the Dragon Mount rises toward the snow and stars but down here upon the foothills all is silent and the view of what lies above is blocked from sight.
    • These silent, fog shrouded hills are the domain of the Mist Dragon and the first challenge of the mountain. Even if you do not wish to hunt for the dragon of Mists you must pass these hills and find your way to the start of the Path of Virtue.
Path of Virtue
  • The Path is the road way from the Misted Foothills to all the nests upon the mountain. It starts out as a single path that wends its way up the side of the stark black basalt mountain. It is a tracherous path, crossing steep slopes, cut across cliffs and winding through strange cave systems. The pathway also branches after the two thousand foot mark, seperating into different weaving roads that are quite impossible to apprehend and map from lower down the slopes due to the way they weave and twist and turn.
    • Some of these weaving pathways lead to deadends, others take you to the nests of the great dragons. Finding the correct path however is no simple matter of tracking and the mountain may appear solid but it is a realm of mystery and enchantment and they are want to shift and switch every time a summoner tries to go to a nest. Sometimes they can only be found by asking the varied and peculiar denizens who dwell in caverns and upon plateaus on the side of the mountains. Other times riddles and puzzles must be solved to open the path and show the way onto the correct road. Sometimes it can require facing an opponent in a ritual challenge of combat or solving a riddle and translating ancient texts to discover the direction you seek. Each test is unique, difficult and normally failure will result in death or worse.
    • Once you have found the correct path the trials are not over, each true path has its own quirks and dangers and though they have an underlying theme the challenges change each time a traveller ventures along them.

The four true paths to the nests are:

The Path of Balances
  • The Weyr, home of Taoryu is a place of balances, an example of how technology and nature can co-exist, how knowledge and wisdom can cross the boundaries so that one need not fear technology or abandon the ways of nature to progress. Passing along the slopes of the Dragon Mount in search of the Weyr is a challenge of balances that will if you are successful lead you to the entrance to the beautiful, techno-organic splendour of the great dragon's home.
    • There are normally no less then four challenges to be passed to cross the path of Balances and win through to the Weyr and these challenges can vary in form or style but the theme is always clear. Balance is what is sought be it balancing across a slender rock spire across an endless cavern to solving an equation enscribed in the wall of a cavern to unlock the way forward. Another example spoken of in legend is of a summoner having to balance plantlife within a room of technological splendour and a room were the balance of echoes had to be found to cause crystals to resonate in time. Balance is the key in all things not just technologcal and natural. But balance of the self, of the body, of faith and science, man and woman. In all things there are balances and the path seeks to teach those who walk it that only when that balance is maintained can true harmony be found.
Gateway Path
  • One of the great philosophers once said The glimpse of a reflection on a knife, a puddle of water, a picture, tapestry, window or portrait is a portal, to another world. The Gateway Path is living proof of this as one who finds the way from Virtue to the Gateway is in for a long and fascinating walk through caverns that cannot be seen in the mortal realm. Each cavern on this path has its walls decorated with a mural of Terra, different ages, different lands and people. Countryside scenes, city scenes, mighty dragons rising into the sky, fighting, reading or just looking back with eyes of gemstone. Flying islands, towering spires, endless libraries. Each cavern shows a different mural, every mural shows another age but there are no words to accompany them, no explanations for what they show beyond what a viewer can determine from the murals that show familiar scenes of the world but those are few and far between, mixed in with the older murals of places long lost to history. There is one clue only recorded in the annals of the lore-masters, written over the entrance to the Gateway Path words in the ancient dragonic script. The Breath of Bahamut's Children will Illuminate the Past This has caused many discussions in the centres of learning but most agree that only the breath of a true Dragon can reveal the hidden words that accompany the murals.
    • The murals play another part beyond telling history, they are integral to navigating the Gateway Path, each cavern has no doors, no windows just the mural. The key is being discerning enough to find the reflection, the picture, the tapestry that will lead you to the next chamber. The path meanders deep beneath the Dragon Mount and only by navigating the murals can you hope to find your way be it deeper down or to leave and return to the world outside. Reports vary on there being anything from ten to fifty caverns that need to be navigated to find the Portal of the World were one might approach the head of the mighty world dragon in his slumber.
Waters Route
  • When people think of mountains it is very rare to hear them talk of the water that flows down the slopes and Dragon Mount is no difference. Waters Route is the collective name for the streams and falls that dot the mountain side and it is these waterways that must be traversed if one wishes to find the home of Valigarmanda. Picking a trickling stream and clambering up it is no good however. One must first pass Virtue and find the correct path to tred, a series of trails, bridges and sloping paths that follow the trickling course of the pure streams of water that flow toward the mist shrouded foothills below. If you reach the snow fields you have gone too far but if you are true of heart and follow the path without wavering in your belief you will find the gently sloping route of steep paths beside swiftly flowing water-ways, the wooden bridges across babbling brooks and meandering stairs beside that climb beside abrupt falls that lead to the Plateau of Memory.
    • High up the slopes of Dragon Mount, within sight of the brilliant white of the snowy peaks is a plateau bathed in beautiful sunlight. It shines from above and the sky is clear and blue. It appears this part of the mountain follows a normal day/night cycle but it is not the only marvel that is hallowed place protects. Around three sides tall white marble walls fence in a huge tract of fresh green grass, neatly clipped with beds of flowers bordering flagstone paths. It is a cemetary dedicated to the memory of those who died when the race of dragons was driven to extinction. Some people claim some few remnants still exist on Terra today but those legends have never been proven but here, in the Cemetary they rest in eternal peace. Gravestones, Monuments, Mausoleums and Sephulcre mark the resting place for hundreds of dragons. Marble tombs of all styles bare the inscriptions and ephitaphs of the fallen gathered to this final resting place so that their bones cannot be abused by those mortals who would disturb their eternal slumber for their own selfish ends.
    • For those who seek Valigarmanda it is always advisable to pay your respects at the memorial and disturb not the peace of this sacred place. The Falls of Hope can be seen from the edge of the graveyard, the fourth wall as it were, a line of turf and flowers that ends at the abrupt fall of the cliffs. The view back down the mountainside is spectacular and said to be able to drive mortal minds to heights of madness or creativity. Pouring out of the mountain a mighty rush of white and blue water plummets toward a mighty lake below, an eternal mist of spray soaks all who stand upon the edge and keeps the gardens of the cemetary of the lost well watered. Rainbows sparkle in the air both day and night and those seen under starlight are just as breath-taking as those formed by the light of day. As for finding the dragon that is the truest test of any mortal's mind. The ability to stand upon this ledge, to watch those thundering falls and take the utmost leap of faith, belief in hope firmly at the centre of your mind. If you are true Valigarmanda will see you safe, if you are judged unworthy or your mind wavers all that remains is the walk to Hades' throne as the waters of the falls claim you.
Cliff Ascent
  • The highest path of the Dragon Mount is the Cliff Ascent, the most difficult pathway to find, high beyond all the others it begins were the snowline starts. The path cannot be seen from below but if you get up on the snow-clad slopes and are on the wrong path you will easily be able to see that you have gone wrong. Dead ends switch back across the snowy slopes whilst the Cliff Stair rises above the snow in a snaking line toward the summit. It is inaccessible from the snows but fully visible some say as a taunt, others say as a lesson that even if you fail the goal is still attainable you just have to go back down and find another way up. If you are brave enough and true in your convictions and allow your feet to step correctly upon the stairs you will find yourself climbing ever upwards to a high ledge above the snowline were black basalt cliffs rise into the star-bright sky. On this ledge there is a spectacular view, down the length of the dragon mount, you can walk around the circular ledge in about four days times and the view will be breath-taking. Other then the view there is nothing but bare ebon rock ascending into the sky above you, the only way to reach Bahamut's nest from here is to continue climbing.
    • The task of climbing is no easy thing, the rock is rough and jagged and inviting to a climber of any skill level with plenty of hand-holds and nooks and crannys to rest and catch your breath. Falling is not an option, to fall from this cliff is to plummet until you hit the snow and your spirit answers the sirens of fate and Hades' judgement. The problem with the ascent is that is is unending, the rock wall stretches upwards for eternity, there is no end, there is no summit, the peak of Dragon Mount will not welcome you in unless you meet the criteria.
      • Strength of Will
      • The blessings of 2 other Dragon Spirits
      • Support from 3 other Spirits
  • If you have the support required to enter the Twelve Pillars and the strength of will to master the Cliffs you will find yourself before the entrance. There are no guards, no sentinals just a mighty archway and beyond a gently sloping path that opens out into the great shaped crater that is the Twelve Pillars of Bahamut, centre of all that is.

There are some very important rules to remember on Dragon Mount or you risk loosing your life to the treacherous path of Virtue.

  • Will is all, to falter on the path is to invite damnation and destruction to find you as you become lost upon the slopes of the mountain.
  • Do not attempt to fly. Flying is the province of the dragons upon their own mountain. Attempting to bypass the challenges of the path by flying will see you exiled from Dragon Mount for life. Cast into the void of Diabolos were he shall judge you and seal your fate.
  • Expect to be changed, the trials and power of the dragons always leave a person changed, be it in mind, body or belief. No one leaves the mountain without some touch of their journey remaining with them throughout their days.

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