City of a Thousand Towers
Marselene's Knowledge of Pulchra Umbra
Marselene seems a bit shaken about the thought of going to one of the world-renowned places of evil, Pulchra Umbra, temple of beauty and shadows. More than once she voices her fear that this place will be the end of her: it is a place of both evil and subtly that all the gifts of the gods, which she has so far not been graced with, will be needed to survive.
Pulchra Umbra is a temple created on the site of an ancient rift to the plane of shadow. Over a thousand years ago, during the age of the witch king, it was consecrated to Nocticula, demon-lord of Shadow and Beauty, also assassination, guile and torture.
From her vast knowledge and her spirit (oracular) connection to even greater lore, Marselene shares the following:
- Connected to the plane of shadow, Pulchra Umbra’s shadows are especially deep. See more here.
- The rift to shadows is called the Scar. This is a gash in the ground that reaches from the deep dungeons under the mountains to the surface. The Scar is filled with swirling shadows. Since the days of the witch king, some of the magic of that realm has seeped into the scar to form pools of purple fluid call Ioqua in the crevices and lower places of the Scar’s floor, which is said to be extremely uneven and rugged.
- The heart of the temple is an artificial pond of Ioqua reached by walkways set in the middle of the Scar. The Pulchra Temple Guardian normally rests in the middle of this pool but can be commanded to go anywhere in the temple or even beyond.
- Outside of the scar, the slaves of the temple have carved passages for over a thousand years. Given their chaotic masters, the passages and chambers are seemingly almost random and endless.
- The keeper of the temple is Zynthra, an elder Lamia. She and her sister Lamyria are especially beholden to Nocticula. However, Zynthra rarely takes a direct hand in affairs at the temple and the other factions have learned to send her a steady stream of lovers and victims to keep her distracted.
- Drow have always had an affinity for Nocticula and usually have a sizable faction here.
- Others likely to be found at the temple are assassins and even demon “refugees” from the shadow lands- those demons who are only interested in their own dark pleasures and purposes and are not interested in propagating the shadow lands or serving those forces behind it.
- True to the chaotic nature of the place, there are no formal guards and the various denizens are not necessarily inclined to aid each other.
- There are allegedly portals in the temple that allow the assassins to service assassination contracts across the world, including one to Tavia, your home city. These portals are controlled by the assassins.