The realm of Kailasa is a land of ice, snow, arctic winds and ever-lasting cold no matter the season. It is the elemental-plain of ice where the spirits of cold reside. Not just frozen water in ice and snow but the very essence of cold itself live here spirits whose mere presence can reduce the temperature of whatever they come into contact with. It is a harsh realm and those who come here unprepared will suffer or perish from prolonged exposure to the icy temperatures, biting wind and harsh climate. It is here that Shiva the queen of Snow makes her home in the brilliant castle of ice and snow, winter is her domain and so her home reflects the ice that is such a part of her very being. Though outside may seem harsh and cold it is laced with a type of beauty and brilliance that can only be preserved eternally by the arctic conditions.
Kailasa, realm of ice, realm of snow and cold and winter. It touches the world most strongly during the months when Ivalice is blanketed in winter's cold. But even during the height of summer it has its place amongst snowy mountain tops and slowly creeping Glaciers. Winter's perfection forever captured in a single cube of ice used to chill a beverage or the shard of frost launched from a mages open palm to strike down a mist born monster. Legend says that those who can walk their minds eye through the ever shifting fractured light within ice can find the path to Kailasa, for everyone else the temples dedicated to the spirits of ice can lead to Kailasa.
Cathedral of Frost - Starese Glacier
- Standing tall atop the Starese Glacier is the Cathedral of Frost, a brilliant, hauntingly beautiful structure built from the living ice in dedication to Shiva, the Queen of Kailasa and Greater Spirit of Ice. It is reached via a treacherous path carved through the glacier that slowly wends its way through hidden slowly shifting caverns to the great plateau high amongst the mountain peaks where the cathedral rises seamlessly from the very fabric of the ancient Glacier that gave it life. It is never day at the top of the Glacier, strange magics keep it eternally night so all can see the splendour of the cathedral of ice by starlight. The plaza outside the cathedral is a brilliant garden of ice and snow sculpture. Formal gardens, topiary and frozen pools all illuminated by the dancing light of the ever present Aurora that crowns the cathedral roofs and adds its illumination to the stars!
- To enter the realm of Kailasa one needs to first survive the ardous journey through the snow and ice of the great Starese Glacier to reach the cathedral. Once there a suitable offering to Shiva needs to be made and the Seneschal of Frost, High Priest of Shiva in the mortal world needs to be petitioned for access to the Auroral Spire. If granted travellers may ascend the central spire of the cathedral and amidsts the ever shifting, never still lights of the grand aurora that crowns the rooftop of the cathedral pass over into Kailasa and Shiva's realm.
Ziggurat of the Silent Ice
- The Ziggurat stands in the icy shadows of Mt Bur-Omisace upon the sloping winding pathway of the Paramina Rift. It is off the main path pilgrims being forced to journey over a rugged mountainous slope to reach the plateau were the Ziggurat overlooks a sloping meadow of untouched snow, famous for being inaccessible and therefore untouched by man or animal. The Ziggrurat is made from large blocks of deep blue ice, stacked one atop the other in a stepped, sloping design, standing at least forty feet high. Entrance is via a wide staircase up to the top-most level were travellers can enter the altar room.
- To pass through the Ziggurat to the realm of Kailasa someone need only petition the priestess of Frost who resides her and if she is favourable to the summoner will grant access to the lower levels of the Ziggurat and passage through the frost to the realm of ice and snow. The only snag is that it is tradition for those who wish to petition Frost to be wearing their best clothing and cold weather clothes are rarely synomous with style and fashion so summoners can expect to be a bit chilly.
- Located in the ruins of the ancient city of Rabanastre is a nexus of spiritual energy beneath what was once the royal castle. It is here that the imps have laid claim to their portal to the spiritual guardian of their race. Co-Operating in the spirit of the mandate laid down by their lord the Elemental Servants of the spirits live and work here in Harmoy, time spent maintaining the temple to their lord does not count against the 60 years they are granted to live among the mortals of Terra. Most of the ancient hallways leading to the Hall of Dedication have been collapsed leaving just one passage inside. The ancient domed roof is intact and fanciful displays of the various imp powers are on display, surrounding and protecting the portal.
- The Imps are jealously protective of their portal but will trade with mortals who wish access for the portal can lead to many places but generally Kailasa or Infernus though it has been known to be opened to the Great Skies, Pangaea or the Deep Blue from time to time when the alignment is correct and if an imp of that domain is availiable to open it. What they demand from mortal summoners who want to use their portal varies however from person to person.
The first place one reaches upon entering Kailasa is the endless plains of snow and ice. Undulating hills and valleys bounded by tall cruel mountains to the north and east and a seemingly endless sea of pack ice to the south and west. This plain must be crossed by anyone seeking the homes of Shiva, Frost or Imp though the journey is never easy. Unlike on Terra one cannot bring chocobo or sledges so must rely on snow-shoes and their skills of navigation to reach the safety of their intended destination. Tents, warm clothing and fuel are all recomended there are no trees to cut down and burn and the only animals that walk this icy waste are Shiva's, killing them for food or sport will bring her out to curse the offenders. They will never attack unless provoked for in this realm they are safe.
The sky of Kailasa is either clear and dark studded with shining stars or occluded with heavy grey clouds that bring the snow and ice to lash travellers with frost and cold and bury them beneath ever shifting dunes of snow. It has been called the desert of ice before and it is not far from one. Instead of shifting sands it has swirling snow storms and drifts that hide many dangers for the unwary traveller beneath the surface.
To reach the Ice Castle a summoner needs to head toward the centre of the realm navigating toward the point where the Unmoving Star illuminates the caslte. The vault of stars above Kailasa move as they do on Terra, turning across the wheel of the heavens, constellations shifting and moving as the natural order demands. These stars are not the twinkling pin-pricks that appear on Terra however they are large brilliant spheres of light that bathe the land of snow in an eternal twilight. Brillaint aurora's illuminate the sky above the northern mountains twice a day but one star remains fixed, never moving from its place above Shiva's home.
To navigate toward the castle you need to make a roll of: Astronomy Roll to follow with a TN of 12.
The pack ice is easier to reach, one doesn't need to navigate by a specific start just work out what way is south or west and head that way until they reach the shore. The true dangers come when someone leaves the snowplains and begins to traverse the pack ice in search of Frost's home.
The final location that can be reached by traversing the Snowplains is the Impossibility Palace, to get there one has to travel north and locate the Icicle Pass through the mountains that border Shiva's range.
All journeys normally take about a day with one night spent outside but it could take longer depending on the weather which is up to the person running the scene.
The Ice Castle of Shiva is a strange place, sat atop tall mountainous cliffs at the heart of the snowplains. At first glance the palace of the Queen is a confection of lacy white ice. Soaring towers, majestic domes and large halls shining out across the land. This castle however is just a part of the whole. The great expanse of the castle is a towering megalithic monument of black ice. A great fortress from were Shiva, Queen of Ice and mistress of Politics reigns. Entrance to the castle is open to all though one must pass the Frost-Guard on the gate and remove all outdoor clothes. After all to wear your big fur coats and mittens would be to insult the hospitality of the Queen.
It is here that Queen Shiva holds court and petitioners are normally welcomed by a member of her staff, given a tour of the grand castle and invited to stay the night and rest from their journey. The tour will be both a fascinating insight to the home of the Queen and a test of endurance to see if the summoner can withstand the biting cold. Once the tour concludes guests are shown to chambers that match their needs so normally something warmer and more enjoyable. Audience with Queen Shiva can happen the day after when the petitioner presents themselves to her court.
The Pack Ice is a region of frozen sea that stretches beyond the shore of the snowplains to the south and west. The surface of the ice is treacherous, uneven and dangerous to cross but it is the only known path to reach the ice-locked sailing ship that is the home of Frost, Prince of Ice and Queen Shiva's son.
Flying is not advised, the bitter ice laden winds that blow across the frozen sea will freeze anyone foolish enough to fly in less then an hour or so it is recorded. Unless of course you are immune to ice and snow and dreadfully cold temperatures then you can fly with ease should you wish. For anyone else walking is the advised path to reach the home of frost but traversing the treacherous ice-floes is no easy task. With the wind howling almost constantly, the risk of bad weather and the unstable nature of the ice that threatens to crack or yaw open into deadly crevasses. The deadly enviroment poses a moderate challenge but a summoner who has come prepared should be able to make the two day journey to reach the home of Frost.
A daily navigation check is required however to make sure travellers are following the correct path, heading toward the constellation known as the Bright Eyes for navigating by the bright brilliant stars is the only sure way to navigate the broken white peaks and valleys that make up the pack-ice.
Beyond the northern peaks lies the Palace of the Imp, the Impossibility Palace were fire and ice blend together with earth and water to form a palace of brilliant beauty and craftsmanship. Locating Icicle Pass is easy one need only travel north and search the foothills for the winding path up into the snow. It is not an easy pass to traverse but beyond it lies the palace of the Imp.
To cross the path a check of: Stamina+Survival with a TN of 15.
If the pass is crossed successfully the traveller may approach the soaring palace were Rael, the Imp holds his court. More importantly the palace is a gathering place of all domains. Spirits from every realm gather here to discuss matters that cross the boundaries in a diplomatic manner.
There are certain rules to Kailasa that one would do well to follow if they do not wish to bring down upon them the ire of the Queen.
- It is expected all visitors make their presence known to the Court of the Queen, either in person or delivered well wishes to one of her servants if visiting the Prince of Ice or the home of Imp.
- It is rude to bring flame naked or controlled to the land of Ice and Snow. No Fire outside the Impossibility Palace
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