This giant structure dominates the landscape of eastern Ulaphia, and can be seen from hundreds of miles away in all directions. Its mystery has been an attractive temptation for Ulaphians for millennia, but its dangers have protected its secrets for all that time.
Known also as “The Pit of Veraalon” and “The Prison of the Gods”, Tardotzh was created thousands of years ago to trap the renegade Ipur Veraalon. It was created by the other two Ipur (Orthoroth and Hollyn) right over the top of the stronghold in which Veraalon dwelt in eastern Ulaphia, from which he would wage a protracted war against the elves of Raedelthynys.
Veraalon was indeed trapped there for a very long time, and there he made the Ulaphians themselves, and Chthallg the Twisted One also had his origins in Tardotzh. However, at a critical point in the Ulaphian-Elf wars, Veraalon was able to escape to establish his new realm on the Abyss, though Tardotzh itself remained intact, and is rumored to still be home to Chthallg.
Physical and Magical
Tardotzh is a massive structure, being a tall mastaba nearly a mile on each side, and over 3000’ in height. It is constructed of gigantic black stones each the size of a house. Every inch of each stone from which it is built is covered in arcane runes of an incredibly complex nature. Presumably only the gods themselves can decipher them in their entirety, though some mortals have had some success at reverse-engineering their works here recently.
The structure has a single entrance, which is on ground level, and takes the form of a huge trapezoidal opening which faces to the south. There is no door or anything else blocking this opening.
Spells that detect magical energies are useless within 100 miles of Tardotzh, as its own blinding magical auras block out all other magical auras of all types.
It is not known what all of the effects of the Structural Magic used to create Tardotzh may be, though it is believed that any sufficiently powerful being who enters the structure can be trapped by its spell.
The Zone of Death
Because of the magic with which the very stones of Tardotzh are imbued, there is a zone 100 miles wide, radiating out from Tardotzh in all directions, in which living things are affected detrimentally. There is a constant drain of life energy from its surroundings, manifesting itself in the form of physical Strength of living creatures within range.
This strength-draining effect is not permanent, but it can prove fatal if one stays within range of it for too long. It is rumored that this draining can cause the death of anyone who is drained completely by it, and that those who are slain by this effect rise again as a type of undead that wanders this Zone of Death around Tardotzh, always seeking to take their revenge upon the living.
This strength draining zone has been a great hindrance to the Ulaphian Blood Mages wishing to study Tardotzh’s Structural Magic, but over the years much has been learned of the fabrication of other structures utilizing its more basic concepts.
It is rumored that this zone of death is slowly growing, as millennia ago, it only stretched to 50 miles out from the structure, but has since enveloped several old (now abandoned) cities.