Eschbach Tower Hidden Vault Building / Landmark in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Eschbach Tower Hidden Vault

Hidden under the Tower remains of the Eschbach Tower is a hidden vault. Opened by pressing a combination of stone blocks on the wall by the bottom of the stairs, it extends these going down to another level.

Purpose / Function

The ruins seem to be originally created to be an area of worship, a temple so to speak. Two parts mark a different god each, one in the western wall dedicated to Shiva, the Indo-Persian god of destruction, and one oppposite on the eastern wall dedicated to Nergal, the ancient Persian god of destruction. Both seem to have been worshipped here, along with a stone box below each carving for the storage of texts & precious items to both.


The room is carved out of local stone, with many circular Indus Valley designs still seen from western Persia into eastern India.


Two are now present, one is  set of stone stairs from the roof down in the northern end, and a crack in the southern wall leading to the Underdark.   In the tower above by the bottom of the stone stairs, there is a set of stones originally took from the temple and mixed with the stonework. Letters are carved on them though can be hard to read. These are made up of three languages; Infernal, Abyssal, and Sanskrit. When assembled correctly, or pressed in the right sequence they spell out the names of Shiva & Nergal. This will cause the entrance to the stone stairs going down to open and allow passage downwards. Somewhere in the detrius of the tower remains is a note that describes the use of these by an unnamed wizard who accidentally discovered it.

Sensory & Appearance

Musty is the best way of describing it, with a smell of earth & a hint of mould here & there. A slight smell of strange disgusting gasses sometimes can be picked up when a wind blows in from the southern crack. The whole place is a mess with damaged stonework abundant, and earthen piles are dotted here & there. The remains of the temple show excellent handiwork made with primitive tools, and in many cases have easily stood the test of time. Usually cool, and with the odd roots from plants growing above & the odd plant in is apparant.

Contents & Furnishings

A statue to Shiva, and one to Nergal is all that is left along with a stone box in front of each statue is all that remains besides a circular raised area in the floor is all that remains. A set of steps leads down to the floor from the hidden entrance.


There are valuables hidden down in here. In front of each statue is a stone box, with a removeable stone lid. Inside is items made of gold, jade & jet, and both contain small religious texts. The former are 1d6 rings, necklaces & statuettes made of these materials representing the relevant gods whether in shape or written on the jewellery. Any writing is different especially the latter. Shiva's texts are all wrote in Infernal, and Nergal's is in Abyssal. Most of the texts are now illegible or crumbles to dust but there is enough for roughly a couple of spells altogether to be transcribed.   Also there is a 50% chance that an inscription is found in the middle of the room. It will say that those who cast an opposing spell at the statues and at the other two cardinal points may have the main religious text revealed. It has to be done in a certain order with west (Shiva), east (Nergal), then north (the heavens)  and finishing with south (the hells) with the words of heaven & hell wrote in Sanskrit tied to the words for north & south. It stated that the one to be 'Illuminated' has to stand at a certain mark at either midday or midnight, fasting for 24 hours beforehand.   When done, the spells (all healing / buffing spells) will cause the ground where the caster is standing to start spiraling upwards to head height. This will bring up a stone column with a thinner part and a large A3 size vellum sheet attached. Effectively a full gfrimoire of full remanimation on them along with a rough map. It shows the Middle East & Europe and points marked out for ley line points. If examined property they will see Eschbach, the island of Anglesay, Tara in Hibemia, the City of the Dead in the Urals, ancient Babylon, and Jerusalem, as well as the Valley of the Kings, Cairo, Alexandria & Luxor in Egypt. Ther is a mention in Sanskrit in the bottom of it saying that there is a small irregular chance that someone or someones will be born or assemble at each of these points at different points to tip the scales of life & death in one direction or another.

Hazards & Traps

If any of the statues, boxes or related portions are damaged the statue has been imbued with magic to take on the effect of a powerful flesh golem attacking the victim with increased vitality & strength. As a holy site these seem to act as avatars of their respective gods, and chances are they may pack more than just a bad temper.   If someone was to mess up the spellcasting to get to the grimoire, there is a trap built in that if it is cast wrong in any way a powerful Fire Ball goes off. There is slight burn marks on the spot, and there does seem to be traces of ash in the immediate area.

Special Properties

It has to be said that any spell cast in this temple that causes harm does so with a boost to it's damage. If any person were to try woe betide the victim of such a spell. Also, if they ever fail to injure or kill anyone, there is writing in Infernal & Abyssal near the statues there is a chance that such a failed spell may rebound as damage, death & destruction must take shape in the walls of the temple.   Also, a warning is repeated satating that such a place empowers magic in general and the effects of almost any casting here can cause additional effects just like with Wild Magic Sorcerers, and the effects they sometimes have to deal with.


Damaged by the aeons that it has sat below a wzard's tower, it has parts of the stones wreaked beyond use. One part to the south has been damaged by water getting into the stonework, along with plant roots. Behind the wall the bedrock has been eroded over time leading to a fissure that appears to link up with the Underdark, leading west to the Central Massif. The tower that was built above has also led to damage due to years of it's weight bearing down of it, even if nobody seemed to know it was there.


Built out of carved stone, it bears fine details even if it appears to be made with a mix of bone, copper, and bronze tools. The details have a striking Indus Valley look at it's most primitive period. Carvings of the gods Shiva & Nergal are present with Sanskrit & cunieform are present written as if to tap into magical ley lines all around, and stating that it is indeed a temple used for magic & destruction.


Long ago before the majority of human ancestors had barely left the cradle of civilisation, a scant few were driven out of what became Persia. Thought to be something inbetween the burgeoning human empires of the region, and something else entirely, they made their way into Europe. Bringing with them texts & magic items, they encountered the tribes of Neanderthals and other peoples such as the Elves, and the Dwarves & Gnomes that called the area home. They weren't large enough in numbers to withstand aggression from these peoples so settled in the area that would become the town of Eschbach.   They had a high knowledge of magic, but many had bent it to the use of demonology, destruction and death, leading to having to keep their worship secret. In doing so, this mystery cult dug out an area in the rugged forests here and buried their temple under the ground. Finding that the area was saturated with magical energy spilling from the bisection of two ley lines they knew this place was special.   Drawing down many blasphemies into the world, they kept this a secret. They knew they had to keep their precious site of worship protected, and built wards in to the fabric of the earth. One such ward was to protect the site from a powerful creature, one so dangerous & powerful that if he discovered the site, it could spell doom for all. They knew his name; Shiva-Nergal, the Lich that governs the Necrocult City of the Dead in the Ural Mountains.   The site ended up buried after constant raids by the locals, and by undead minions of the Necrocult, caused the original settlement above to be burned down. The who community was massacred and the site forgotten about. All that showed was an attraction to the area by religious fellows & spellcasters. Two groves had existen nearby already, one to the west, and one to the south edst. These helped to mask the sit from view.   Eventually local Celts, then Germanic Tribes and eventually the Romans appeared. Those sensitive enough to the workings of th magic from the ley lines were attracted here, and constantly magic, whether divine or mundane, were practised here. Even then, with the passage of time has eroded here, and at best is a slight tingle at the back of mind at best is expected at most.   After a tower for a Roman wizard was built above it, this did nothing to show the magic below, which has twisted & corrupted beyond measuring, and bled out into the Underdark. Great power still resides there as powerful gusts of this same magic still blows up from below into the old temple attracted by the essence of gods.   One benefit of Eschbach and the tower above is that it has capped the worst of it, and protected some of the wards. Some have failed, and some are failing still, but so far the Necrocult has still to find it, knowing that somewhere there is still the chance of finding something in this ruined temple.   If only they could find it, and the carved stones used to unlock it's entryway.
Unknown, but thought to be over 9,000 years old
Founding Date
Unknown, but thought to be over 9,000 years old
Parent Location
Additional Rulers/Owners
Owning Organization
Contested By

Cover image: by Colonel 101


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