Chief Master Sal'Jooki the Splendiferous' Grand Impressive Spire of Right Dominant Oomph!
When Sal'Jooki awoke that fateful morning in the ruins of his captor's tower, he knew he was different. He could feel it in his little goblinoid heart. Tingling with energy, he knew; he had ascended! He would now need his own edifice, an erection of grandeur, a monolith of might! Gone would be the days of Master Tim poking him, prodding with wands and probes... experimenting. Sal'Jooki is his own master now! The best master! Chief Master!
On the ascension of a goblin and the erection of his spire.
When Sal was just a young boy, a wee gob of only 5, he was stolen away from his family by a vile enchanter named Tim. Tim performed magical experiments on Sal'Jooki eventually leading to his own demise and the ruination of his tower. The experiments that destroyed Tim's tower also imprinted a very strong residue of wild magic on Sal'Jooki. Sal woke up amid the debris and, feeling the energizing effects of wild magic and the delirium of several minutes of apoxia, he decided he had ascended. To what, he had not quite worked out. His noggin was still struggling. One thing he knew; he needed his own tower, a mighty spire, a place to rule a people from on high as a powerful chief.
Sal'Jooki gathered local goblin clans and formed a great tribe. Through momentous displays of his newfound wild magic, manifesting fire and frost and even more extraordinary effects they scarcely understood he gained their reverence. Enthralled by his sorcery and ego, their support was unwavering. They began building his tower and town, happy to live close to their splendiferous master of magic. Over a number of weeks, their numbers grew and so did the little goblin hamlet of Zar'Kesh. It was three acres all walled in, and almost cozy if such could be said of goblinoid things. Eventually, though, their constant raiding and building would come to a rather sudden halt.
Sal had not understood the astrological conditions Tim had been experimenting with when disaster befell him, and so Sal had little hope of realizing what would happen when the three moons' phases once again coincided. After weeks of continuous proliferation, the goblins' world would turn upside-down. It is a rare occurrence for three full moons to coincide, but one night the phases aligned and three full moons lit Zar'Kesh like it was day. In their silver light, the goblins themselves became moonlight, shimmering and glowing. The ground, the newly built shacks, and Sal'Jooki's splendid spire all shivered and shifted into the ethereal, dragged through the planar veil by a riptide left in the wake of Tim's disastrous release of energy just a few months prior. Four-hundred and sixteen goblinoid souls disappeared from the material plane.
The Goblin Market today.
Time flows differently in the ethereal, trickling slowly like that of a babbling brook. Once dragged in, those lost goblins found themselves trapped by the cycles of the moons. Every time the three moons are simultaneously full, the goblin market town of Zar'Kesh materializes where at all other days and nights stands the crater, Tim's Folly. The goblins occasionally leave but are always dragged back by dawn's light. They wander and raid, and should other goblins visit, they trade. It is rumored that if you ever do a great favor for a goblin tribe, their elder may reward one with an iron coin. They say this coin is admittance to the market as a merchant instead of dinner, a boon indeed if other rumors concerning the trove of magical artifacts they have collected are true.
Zar'Kesh is well known among the various goblin tribes in the region. Magic is rare in goblins, let alone entire towns. Because of this, the Zar'Keshi are allotted similar respect to magic users. Sal'Jooki is generally regarded by other goblins as a revered master of the arcane. This reputation often leads to goblins making a pilgrimage of sorts to Zar'Kesh and waiting for it to appear. They often bring offerings of magical tools and trinkets they don't understand. Occasionally it is even something of real value. While outsiders have taken to calling Zar'Kesh the Goblin Market, other goblins have taken to calling it the Moonlight Market. Both are attracted to the periodic trade in the arcane.
...yet when the moons began to wane and the sun broke the twilight sea with rays of dawn's light, the goblins found themselves fading back into the moonlight ethereal, invisible and insubstantial once again to the material world.
The Spire of Right Dominant Oomph!
Goblins are not known for their ability to build structures. It would be odd to ask of things such as "goblin architecture" as it is a bit of an oxymoron. They generally fashion hovels and shacks with materials at hand, hardly working them more than needed to function. The entire town and the tower especially were pieced together with whatever debris could be secured. Consummate raiders, much of the spire is built with the remains of wagons. Wheel spokes repurposed as window bars; cloth covers and wheel rims turning into eaves. Every part seemingly pulled from some lost caravan, traveling cart, or isolated barn. Piled high, tied together, and occasionally even nailed down, the tower teeters above its surroundings, a staggering heap of detritus.
Goblin engineering, such as it is, has never been what one might consider durable. As sections of the tower collapsed and fell away, they were rebuilt, often with the wreckage of whatever the previous section collapsed on. In this way it grew over time, adding new corridors and rooms with little thought or planning. As its denizens needed more space or simply when a hole in the floor had become too dangerous, more would be added on.
The Chamber of Judgementation
The lowest floor of the spire is the only one non-goblin outsiders are allowed to enter. It's a meeting place with dual purposes. As a place to meet foreigners in a formal setting, the chamber bears an appropriately stern atmosphere, something the goblins often seek out since their stature frequently leaves them disregarded in matters of diplomacy or intimidation. The chamber is also a place to gather his own people, usually to bear witness to judgment. Keeping peace is an important duty to Sal'Jooki, one of the few ways he is not self-centered. You see, only 416 goblins, including Sal'Jooki himself, were dragged into the ethereal and transformed by the magic. Babies born to these goblins are marked by the ethereal as their parents are, but outsiders can not truly join Zar'Kesh as the settlement leaves them behind at the end of each alignment. Therefore, maintaining the peace without resorting to violence is of the utmost importance. Exile, even temporarily, is one of the harshest punishments given out.
The Chamber of Observances
On the top floor of the spire, Sal'Jooki keeps a private chamber, as he understands all wizards must, for his personal studies of the world and of its magic. Here he putters about for a few hours a day doing "wizardly things", or at least he tells his advisers as such. It has often been noted though that his midafternoon meditations on the nature of the universe sound remarkably like Sal'Jooki snoring. A claim he refutes, "Nonsense, the sky is a noisy thing! It is just the thunders of storms beyond the veil!" On occasion, Sal'Jookie releases marvelous displays of magical energy "just to keep 'em on 'der toes!" raining fire and frost down across the sky. Sometimes the wild magic gets the best of him and more interesting things happen.
Characters in Location
Sal always said he'd ascended to something greater that day. Turns out he wasn't quite wrong. He's been floating about four inches off the ground ever since...
Everyone else had made it out hours before, but I just had to stay. They feared what might happen, called me foolish for staying, but the rumors were too miraculous not to try. So I overstayed my welcome, in hiding, past the hour the guards swept the street, right to dawn. As I peeked out, dawn-light began to crest the horizon and everything around me took on a silver shine. It sparkled, and faded, and as quick as that I found myself sitting in the middle of an empty crater...
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