The work on my Dungeon 23 project continues. The last two weeks' progress was a bit slow, but I'm almost back on track now. I'll write a post with an overview of the February level once it is done. Today I want to take a closer look at one of the rooms and the lore behind it.
The tunnels below the Tower of Air lead to a large chamber. In its centre sits a large stone basin. A stone column stands behind the basin, with stairs winding to a small podium at its top. Tiered seating rises to the right, and shelves are set into the rear wall. When the keep was still used as a fortification and trading post by the shapers, the Air Shapers used the water-filled basin to spy on locations throughout the peak. A crystal linked to another stone located within the peak can be dropped into the water, creating a reflection of the surroundings of the target stone.
Initially, this was just a way to keep an eye on traders visiting the keep, but over time, it grew into a surveillance network spanning the entire peak. Dozens of crystals were stored on the shelves here, all carefully labelled. During important events, Air Shapers would gather here to observe and discuss. On a more routine day, two low-ranking Air Shapers were stationed here to observe and dispatch messages as needed.
Now it all lies in ruin. Most of the crystals have been smashed, and the water elemental who was once bound to the basin has escaped, filling the room with a dense mist. Visiting here is dangerous, as hundreds of years of imprisonment have done little to improve this elemental's mood. But savvy players who manage to get the elemental talking could learn much about what happened in this room and how the scrying pool could be repaired. The crystal linked to the entrance of the Tower of Air remains intact, and others may be found throughout the peak.
This may also be the first opportunity for players to learn about the elementals bound to gemstones that power shaper technology (and how unhappy the elementals are about this). There are other examples of this on this level. A fire elemental in the forge and an air elemental powering a trap.