Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vault of Eternal Sleep

The Vault is cut from a single block of a mysterious, deep-blue stone, origin unknown. It is a perfect nine-foot cube, with a single square opening three feet wide cut in the center of one face.

As one crawls through the entry, the interior surface of the cube will glow with a faint blue light, illuminating a pair of trough-like pedestals that run the full length of the space, flanking the opening. Each pedestal is three feet by three feet by nine feet, leaving one to wonder exactly how the interior of the cube is as large as the exterior. The top of each pedestal is hollowed out, forming a two-foot deep, coffin-like depression. Five large, yellow, pentagonal crystals and an even larger, hexagonal green crystal are set into the inner edge of each pedestal. There are faint markings, perhaps numbers, visible within the yellow crystals, one mark per face.

Experimentation with the crystals will show that the yellow crystals can be lifted slightly and rotated to any one of five orientations. After a crystal is shifted in this manner it begins to glow and emit a faint hum, which continues for about two minutes, then dies away. Glowing crystals cannot be shifted until they go inert. If multiple crystals are shifted, all crystals remain active until the last-shifted crystal goes inert. The green crystal cannot be moved, but it can be depressed. Depressing the green crystal with any yellow crystal active instantly deactivates all crystals -- but see below.

The entire Vault radiates Legendary amounts of an unknown form of magic. Attempts to discern its nature through divination or tests of lore will require multiple successful Epic results. The markings that appear within the yellow crystals are a bit less difficult to decode, a Great test of decipher or appropriate lore will show them to be archaic representations of the numbers one to five.

The pedestals within the Vault are stasis chambers, capable of perfectly preserving any living organism within a crystal matrix for a specific period of time. The five yellow crystals are the clock, determining how long the stasis lasts. The green crystal activates the stasis, instantly filling the trough with a transparent golden material that is effectively unbreakable. The stasis function only activates if there is a living being within the compartment; if it is empty, the controls reset to their inert state. Once activated the stasis cannot be negated by any means short of divine intervention.

Though large and bulky, the Vault is surprisingly light. A strong team of oxen and a good wagon could move it, assuming it was accessible. If found in the wilds, the Vault may or may not be empty.

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