The Jade Pyramid
Purpose / Function
The exact purpose of the Jade Pyramid is somewhat shrouded in mystery as the few surviving Yuan-Ti have not elaborated on its function. However, many educated guesses can be made. As the Pyramid has a large altar at its summit, and a throne room with an elaborate jade throne among other exquisite treasures at its heart, it is believed that the Pyramid served as the political capital, and religious center of the ancient city here. As no other Yulan-Tai ruins have quite as grand religious buildings or palaces, it is well within the realm of possibility that the Jade Pyramid may have been the political center of not just Mysteria, but of the whole Yulan-Tai Empire, or at least briefly served as such for a period of time.
The Jade Pyramid fell into ruin long ago, and almost all of the residual magical effects that have been dissipated. Arcano-Archaeological work has indicated that the Jade Pyramid once had numerous magical enchantments placed upon it, beyond the usual reinforcement against natural disaster and maintenance reduction charms, a handful of enchantments cast to make the building more impressive looking are believed to have been cast. Most impressive of all is the sign that weather affecting enchantment may have been placed upon the building, and advanced teleportation magic being found on enormous rings found within the throne room.
The Jade Pyramid strongly resembles the style of the High Yulan-Tai and is perhaps the largest example of such architecture. The High Yulan-Tai style favored broad sweeping steps in the construction in the major buildings as well as building very tall buildings unparalleled in the Aeillan region until the end of the High Imperial period. Open access to the air is often a feature of High Yulan-Tai construction and is present on the top layers of the structure. The Jade Pyramid is a megalithic structure with all of its remaining structure consisting of Jade. Strangely, the Pyramid lacks any sort of major structural seams implying that the building may have been constructed from a single, enormous piece of jade, the largest in the known world. Furthermore, despite being situated on a hill, the pyramid was built on nearly perfectly flat ground, implying an unprecedented terrain modification program.
The exact construction or early use of the Jade Pyramid is shrouded in mystery, and little is confirmed, with most of the structure's early history the topic of speculation. The pyramid was presumably constructed during the High Yulan-Tai Imperial, as the Yulan civilization was at its zenith. The structure served likely served as political and religious center of the city, and possibly of the whole empire for some amount of time. The presence of of scares associated with Yulan-Tai magic imply that the pyramid was involved with some political conflict, possibly during the transition from High to Late Imperial. As much of the city's populace began to flee to unknown regions following the collapse of the Yulan-Tai Empire, much of the surrounding city fell into ruins as regular maintenance of structures ceased. The Jade Pyramid is believed to have been one of the last buildings other than private residences to meet this fate however, given its generally better condition. Evidence suggests that despite the continuing degeneration and decay of the Pyramid that it continued to serve as a temple for the remaining inhabitants, being the site of frequent sentient sacrifices given the vast amounts of dried blood have been found at the top of the Pyramid. At some point within a century of the fall, the Pyramid, much like the rest of the city was sealed in some sort of supernatural pocket, isolating it from the rest of the known world, barring access to the Ancient Path. After 1,500 years of isolation, the Pyramid was discovered by a party of adventurers coming to Mysteria along the Ancient path. After a battle with Yuan-Ti living on the island, and serving as its presumed rulers, these adventurers took control of the island as their own base of operations, and therefore became stewards and owners of the Jade Pyramid as well. The adventuring party, seeking to build a new society, and needing the funds to do so have elected to deconstruct the Pyramid and use the vast amount of jade used in its construction as a source of funds for the project. Demolition began in ER 499, and continues to this day as various trusted academics study the ruins furiously to obtain whatever archaeological value can be obtain by studying the structure.