At some point in the latter half of the First Epoch (500 NG - 1,000 NG), a long-forgotten mage became obsessed with the concept of manipulating time through magic. This Chronomancer constructed a tower far from prying eyes, in the hills equidistant from modern day Cliffport, Greyhook, and Sideswipe Tower, among the hills of the Vastwood. A few decades after it's construction, a great catastrophe befell the tower, its master, and its inhabitants, trapping them in a temporal explosion that has been slowly playing out for the last 1,200 years.
Constructed more to resemble a small keep than a singular tower, the Timelocked Tower is situated in a small dale amongst the rolling green hills of the northern Vastwood. This is an excellent location for privacy, as travelers can, and have, trekked a single hillock away and not noticed the structure.
The keep, and the surrounding grounds, are protected from teleportation magic by a permanent 'redirection' effect. If someone attempts to use any form of teleportation spell (including Thunder Step, Dimension Door, Far Step, Arcane Gate, etc) to appear in, on, or within the grounds of the tower, they are instead shunted to a 'waiting room' some 5 miles to southeast. This waiting room is now nothing more than some stone ruins next to a creek in a small forest clearing. It should be noted that this magical protection does not extend to the now exposed underground areas of the tower. A permanent teleportation circle within this area of effect would be able to circumvent the redirection.
As has befallen many an arcanist who investigates powers they do not fully understand or control, the Chronomancer made a fatal mistake during a magical experiment. The resulting arcane explosion emanated through the tower, freezing time in a shockwave of disintegrating destruction. Although seemingly static, the explosion is, in fact, slowly expanding, annihilating's the surrounding landscape as it does so. Over the course of the last thousand years since the magical disaster, the explosion has expanded out about 300 ft from the tower, creating a sphere of slowly destructive force. The ground around the tower has been obliterated, leaving to it stand on a jagged, apple-core shaped pillar of crumbling stone.
The interior of the tower is strangely intact. Due to the nature of the disaster that befell it, most objects in the tower are exactly as they were at the moment of the explosion: warm, steaming food on plates, practice arrows in mid-flight, the last few drops of ale falling into an off-duty guardsmen mouth, etc. However, this status is a fragile one and any interaction with such things causes them to immediately break out of the timelock and quickly ‘catch up’ the intervening years, aging hundreds of years in a matter of seconds. Food turns to dust, arrow hit their mark and disintegrate, ale evaporates, and the person’s body decays, skeletonizes, and collapses into a pile of bones in the blink of an eye. There is no saving them, as they died long ago. Only a Wish spell or other such potent magic can alter the fate of an item or person that has been timelocked.
Even temporary visitors in the tower can encounter ‘temporal disturbances’, such as wounds that suddenly appear (2d8 slashing) and then disappear 1d4 rounds later, being frozen in time for a few seconds (Hold Person for 1d4 rounds), Slowed (for 1d4 rounds), or even Hasted (for 1d4) rounds.
The Temporal Explosion
Though the explosion is trapped in slow-motion, its concussive damage still exists, only smeared over decades, not seconds. Any object or creature in the explosion takes 1 HP of Force damage per round. This damage accumulates. After being in the area for 2 rounds, the damage increases to 2 HP, on the 3rd round, the damage is 3 HP, and so on until 50 HP of damage is reached after spending 50 rounds (5 minutes) in the area. From then on, it’s 50 HP of damage every round, if anything has managed to last that long. Leaving the area for any amount of time resets the counter.
Occasionally, an unfortunate bird or bat will enter the nearly invisible area of destruction. After a few seconds, they begin to fall, crumpled by the force. Usually, before hitting the ground, they explode into a small puff of red mist which slowly dissipates over a few hours.
The unnatural, unnerving, and deadly nature of the tower and its environs is enough to deter most creatures from venturing too close. Indeed, no large animals or wild game roam the dale, with only the occasional bird or bat flying above. However, considering the tower's remote location, supernatural defenses, and robust construction, the Timelocked Tower could be a formidable home, headquarters, or lair for whatever group or entity capable of domesticating it.
(This image is an edit of 'Skywatch Tower' from 'Milby's Maps' - SSK)