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Prison of Fire and Ice {Alioth's cage}

What's known as Alioth's Cage or the Prison of Fire and Ice is a system of galleries inside a remote mountain located in the Tundra branch of Sentinel Mountains. It is the place where The Firebird is locked down. It is a place of pretty difficult access surronded by lots of legends which is also considered to be deadly since a few people could explore the surronding area while no one had returned alive from inside. One of the stories that mentions it is the Tale of The Lost Northern Stars .

Geography

Overview

Is a volcanic cone of a low height -around 1.000 meters- surronded by two peaks of similar height located in the remote Tundra Branch of the Sentinel Mountains. The mountain is usually covered in snow and the zone got many glaciers. The soil is mostly permafrost but around the mountains is made of basalt. There's a small lake located between the peaks, in front of the south face of the mountain. It is unknown by most of the people if the volcano is still being active or if it had gone extinct due the difficulty for studying this place.

Inside the mountain

Inside the mountain, there is a galley of mysterious tunnels and caves that got several sections with different traits. Those uniquely traits are products of the different geological processes that had modified this place. Originated as a volcano, the cone got its inner tunnels thanks to lava tubes, and them algo got sculpted by the filtration of ancient subterranean rivers now dried out.   The entrance to the caves is a hole which is usually covered in ice. It is actually an ancient volcanic chimney. When the ice is removed, a break in the stones is revealed. The hole is pretty slippery due the ice that's on the walls and the fall into it is basically a sleed. For going on forwards is neccessary to have something that can be used as a spike for climbing up.     After sledding down the entrance it is possible to walk through the tunnels and sometimes is necessary to bend due the low height of the stone ceiling in some of them. These narrow tunnels lead to a larger chamber that can be crossed by walking through a path. In some parts, there's a big difference of height between the walkable area and the floor of the cave chamber. These areas are specially dangerous because the rocks that form this path (in some cases are big rock arches) can be narrow and falling from there can result in a painful impact or even death. The temperatures in the interior of the mountain are warmer than outside. Stalagmites hang from the ceiling and columns rise from the ground in many places.      

The Firebird's cage

The chamber and the tunnels lead to the place where The Firebird is locked down, the actual prison. It is a cage that's behind a wall of easily removable rocks which bars can and chains can be broken only by using a Stellar Saber. The cage is located on a rock platform surronded by a well and the chamber that keeps the cage has a lot of stalagmites hanging from the ceiling. Inside the cage, Alioth is chained and like the exterior elements of the cage, the inner chains can be undone only by the Stellar Sabers.

Localized Phenomena

Thin boundaries between Meterial- Supernatural Planes

Similarly to what happens in Lake Lamu, this place is unstable in what comes to its nature. In this case, the phenomenon is pretty rare: It is one of the places where the boundaries between the material and the supernatural planes is thin so it is possible to living humans to cross the line.  

Perturbing voices (loaded)

Main article: Sentinel Mountains   As how was previously said while talking about the Sentinel Mountains, in the Tundra branch of the range almost all the travelers are victims of the Perturbing Voices but the place where their worst face is shown is inside of this system of caves. Here this mysterious phenomenon don't just disorient people by talking to them in their creepy way but them also play with their minds in the most wicked ways for trying to get the worst version of them show up.Hallucinations, paranoia, untrust, thirst for money, pathological lying and greed, temptation of killing and more horrible stuff are what prevent people to reach the final chamber of the cave and freeing Alioth. Basically, every adult who had entered to the cave hasn't gone back from inside.

Natural Resources

The area would be a potential place for finding mineral resouces but due its remote and deadly traits it is still untouched by humans.

History

[...]"Alioth decided to descend from the sky in the form of a fire bird to look for her sister and save her from the spell that would condemn her to be an instrument of evil. But dark forces trapped her in a smoking mountain to which only people of pure heart, free of evil and corrupted intentions can come close to freeing her. Many kings of the world have sent men seeking for the lost stars, but none have returned alive"
— "Fragment of theTale of The Lost Northern Stars , Anonymous
The notion of the Firebird being trapped into a volcano is first vaguely mentioned in the Tale of The Lost Northern Stars (in the fragment quoted above) by the epithet "Smoking Mountain". Later folk tales involving the Firebird associate this creature with the duality Fire & Ice and things related to volcanic activity like lava, stones and such. It is believed that relative location of the place where the Alioth is trapped was deduced by the direction in which one of the "Celestial Fire balls" from the Sibirsk Event fell.   Many versions of the tales that feature the Firebird say that the person who finds her is rewarded by eternal prosperity and great amounts of money, gold and jewels. Most of the kings who had sent their best soldiers seeking for the mythological creature (some had the task of finding just the Firebird while others had the task of finding both stars. It depends on which story motivated the quest) had been motivated by the idea of a material reward and even some monarchs who lacked of a natural inheritor used this story as quest for picking a successor, making many men to see the possibility of becoming monarchs their main motivation for taking this journey.
Mountain lake.jpg
by Gege16
Alternative Name(s)
Cage of Fire & Ice
Type
Cave System
Location under
Owning Organization
Contested By

Ecosystem 

  The ecosystem in this area is a boundary of tundra and polar desert. Most of the vegetation is represented by lichens and small grass resistant to snow and dry weather. Some trees can be found near the forests. Some animals that can be found near the mountains are reindeers, polar bears, polar hares and polar owls while near the coast is possible finding seals and walruses.

Ecosystem Cycles 

The weather in the area where Alioth's prison is located is cold during the whole year. Winters are very cold with temperatures that never go over 0⁰C while summers are a bit warmer with temperatures that can reach 10⁰C. When it rains, it is in form of snow. The place is also pretty windy.
Screenshot_20210130-002932_Gallery.jpg
Meterial Plane vs Supernatural plane: tundra by Gege16

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Cover image: Sunrise at Sentinel Mountains by Geraldine Escriva (Gege16)

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Comments

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Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
23 Feb, 2021 10:46

Nice article! I want to try to give a layout suggestion for the future, which I hope will be helpful. You can try to move some contents, on the sidebars to give the article a rounder aspect. This is done only using bb codes, therefore you don't need to upgrade at all. I believe for some articles, it works very well.

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Gege16
Gege Escriva
23 Feb, 2021 19:20

I'm glad you like it! :D and thanks for the tip! Later I may try to check how it looks by moving different parts of the info to the side bar :)