The Lost Beacon
Excerpt from a guard journal at the Lifestone Gate Fort
In the distance it sits with spires reaching up, but not quite reaching the ceiling. I've heard the stories of the ghosts that haunt the beacon. Although the stories are spooky and the history tragic, I find the building beautiful and soothing. The cave around me is full of nothing....nothing grows and never will. The Beacon begins life, with the forest exploding behind those giant spires. The sounds of that life will still reach me sitting here...waiting. and praying that the Toronka never try to come this way.
Purpose / Function
The Lost Beacon was built to be the second beacon or city center. It was built in the first cavern of the Lifestone Forest to make it easier to gather food and supplies. The goal was to create a new city around the forest and expand to create a kingdom.
The buildings have been left as they were because the Toronka always seemed to be watching the Beacon. Fear kept people away and the blood would permanently stain the walls and keep people away.
This massive building stands over 70 feet tall, with plans to expand it another 20 feet to reach the ceiling. The complex covers over 2000 square feet of the forest floor. Massive pillars etched with ancient stories support the structure. Spires were built all around the beacon where you can view the forest for several miles. It was built with dozens of rooms to hold the central government of the new city. Massive 30 ft walls surround the entire building, with the spires peaking over it. The building could hold over 5000 people and the city around it could hold another 20,000 (although the city was never completed).
They shipped stone mined in other parts of the strata to avoid disturbing the forest too much. Attacks from the wildlife were somewhat common and protections from the poisons were also a struggle during the construction.
The Beacon was supposed to be the beginning of a new city. This was heavily debated as there was concern over handling conflict. The Kingdom Dream that led to the plan was disputed to be a warning, others believed it was meant to guide them.
The beginning construction seemed to be going well and plans on building the city were being put together. Exploration of other caverns showed even more places for expanding.
Meeting the NeighborsThe forest had many interesting creatures, but none showed any sentience. The first encounter with the Toronka was an attack on an exploration group in a connected chamber. This led to a few groups of Toronka watching the construction. The people hoped this would lead to some form of communication. Others warned that this is what the dream warned would happen. A large contingent of soldiers were placed at the site to protect it. The plans for the city were put in place and construction started.
The Cycle of BloodThe construction of the city is believed to have enraged the Toronka, although the exact reason is unknown. It would be called the Cycle of Blood by historians and the site abandoned in the aftermath. The Beacon only had minor damage, but stories of the viciousness of the Toronka would spread quickly through the city.
The Bloodstone CaveThis is the nickname given to the Lost Beacon and the area mined for the Lifestone. This 10 mile stretch is now devoid of life. It is highlighted by the Beacon sitting in the background covered in a thick layer of mold.
The Kingdom DreamThis dream was debated fiercely as it came from a local Guide whose name isn't even recorded in history.
The people move out into the forest and pick the food and eat. They build a grand city that slowly becomes part of the forest.
The primary interpretation is that the city becomes one with the forest and lives in harmony. Other interpretations believed it was a warning the expansion would lead to a lost city and the reach too far to sustain.
No one interpreted it as leading to war.
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