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The Sapling Shrine

The Sapling Shrine is a deceptively named dungeon built into the side of a great cliff face. It is a huge stepped pyramid of seven levels, each one nearly fifty feet tall. Whether each level seen from the outside is an accurate depiction of the interior is uncertain, since it's home to the largest known group of 'taurs.
There is only one known entrance - a huge round door, carved deeply with geometric designs and big enough for a mature roc, with a smaller, more reasonable door set within it, a large stone staircase leading up to it. Cracked, table sized paving stones lead up to the staircase from a curved arch 100 yards away, continuing beyond the arch for another 20 yards or so before being engulfed by the thick grass spreading out from the shrine. Trees surround the shrine where it cuts in the gradual curve of the cliff, thinning out as they reach the 100 yard mark of the arch, though the pathway is clear on both sides, left over from when the shrine was cared for.
Centaurs patrol this area, protecting their territory and the minotaurs within. Only a few minotaurs have been seen near the Sapling Shrine, but from the outside, it's safe to assume that an immense labyrinth lies within, presided over by the minotaurs.
The most significant part of this not-insignificant shrine is the Sapling it's named for. It hasn't been a sapling in a very long time, possibly not until before they Fey began to care for the shrine. Once, it sat at the top of the uppermost level of the stepped pyramid where it juts just a few feet above the ground at the top of the cliff. Now it dwarfs it, consumes it. The whole area there is nothing but a mess of roots, cracking through the ceiling and offering glimpses of the dungeon's interior and a tantalizing suggestion of a discrete way in past the centaurs. The roots extend for a mile away from the shrines rooftop and all the way down, plunging into the earth at the base of the cliff and searching out for several more yards.

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Cover image: by Varied and currently Unknown.


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