The Wheels of Torment
The Wheels of Torment are a legendary torture device created in an earlier time. Made of bronze and a black oily substance rumoured to be the flesh of Leviathan. When a person is buckled into the frame the wheels are set in, it twists the flesh of the victim as well as the soul, breaking both down and warping them into another shape entirely. The exact location is unknown but rumoured to be in a ruined mine in the Saharan Atlas Mountains once owned by a family of Elves. Exactly how they came to have is another matter.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
When strapped down, the Wheel uses large hooks to catch & tear at the skin & flesh of the victim, sending pulses of dark energy into the victim. At the same time this overstimulates the pleasure & pain centres of the victims nervous system, and with this helps to open a gate to a place referred to as the Labyrinth. The sigils carved into the bronze, and the flesh of Leviathan, when tasting this pleasure & pain causes the latter to happen, by absorbing it. Somehow, this is only activated when there is a living victim placed on it, and likely has spells carved in to it to sense when a living being is strapped to it. The cogs move and act like clockwork the whole time it is running, and the flesh is held in place by black chains and seems to act like a battery to run the cogs. The hooks are themselves attached to chains that can extend & pull back when the cogs move. They randomly move fast or slow depending on the levels of energy pumped out by the 'flesh' and the victim.
The Wheel of Torment was created by a black dragon under the thrall of Leviathan many millennia ago, for the purpose of causing extreme torture to a degree it affected the very soul itself. Using bronze as the base structure, Leviathan gave some of his own supernatural flesh up for the panels and for a direct connection between victim & his domain. The Wheel itself was large enough and strong enough that if a whole creature cannot be strapped down, then a part of it can. This was done by using bronze chased leather straps made from the skin of tortured angels. When it was discovered many ancient factions fought over it to control it. Some wanted it to act as a deterrent, others to stop it ever being used, and others to put it to use whether on themselves or others. Gradually, knowledge of it faded in time, and it came to rest in the remains of a temple to Baal, where a group of Elves discovered it while on a tour of the region by the local Governor. They were there initially to set up mining operations after travelling down from southern Britain at the bequest of the Phoenician King, who wanted closer ties between the Elvish tin mines & the local copper mines. The place had always been a cursed region given to strange disappearances, sudden attacks by bandits & monsters, and regional instability. They agreed to do it, and felt something was evil in the region. After finding the ruined temple they scoured it of this, and found the Wheel. From there they moved it & other such objects into an old abandoned mineshaft, in a mine that was dearly dried up of material. There it still sits unmarked on any map to this day.
The Wheel is rumoured to be the basis of a summoning puzzle box called the Le Merchand / Lament Configuration. Exactly when this happened / happens is another matter.
"Oh what exquisite delights the Wheel of Torment must produce. If only it was not lost, and its guardian restored. At least it will never age, and the spirit of the black dragon that constructed it lingers still. When it is restored it will surely seek it out. If this does not come to pass, at least I have others that will free it. They don't know it of course, as that page in their books have not been written yet... Still, at least they will fall to my grasp and my quill when this finishes. And their suffering will be stories told in the labyrinth for centuries to come. If only they would scurry along to that old mine, and the Black Pyramid though...." Librarian Stitchscar, recounting a an incomplete tale to a damned soul.
Legendary if not mythic no-one living can seem to attest to the whereabouts or exact purpose of it.
9ft by 9ft by 6ft
1,000,000 GP to the right buyers
Raw materials & Components
Bronze, and the 'flesh' of Leviathan.