The Tower of Despair

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Contents

Area Directions

  • ZMud: #6 s;ne;#2 s;se;#2 e;s;#2 sw;s;#4 sw;#4 s;#5 se;#2 s;d;s;se;s;#3 sw;u;#3 s;sw;s;sw;w;#3 u
  • MUSHClient: #6s (ne) 2s (se) 2e s 2(sw) s 4(sw) 4s 5(se) 2s d s (se) s 3(sw) u 3s (sw) s (sw) w 3u
  • General: 6s, ne, 2s, se, 2e, s, 2sw, s, 4sw, 4s, 5se, 2s, d, s, se, s, 3sw, u, 3s, sw, s, sw, w, 3u

Area Information

Description

The Tower of Despair has been a black stake plunged into the
heart of the land west of Darkhaven since the Age of Honor.
The god Strahd created this monstrosity as a gift to his most
loyal servant, Orcus, the Demon Lord of Death. Orcus crafted
foul minions in his tower to terrorize the lands of Despair
throughout the early ages of the Realms. Orcus was
unchallenged in might until meeting the legendary Darkblade,
Zarkas. Wielding the soulblade Nemesis, the Darkblade warrior
forced Orcus and his minions to return to the Tower. Invoking
the power of Scarab, Zarkas sealed the Tower and imprisoned
Orcus forever.
But Orcus did not spend this time idle. Though he was weakened
by his struggles with Zarkas, he was able to capture and
contain a Solar, a being of pure light. Unable to corrupt his
hostage, Orcus bided his time.
As the Ages passed, Orcus grew frustrated and irrational. His
imprisonment infuriated him to no end and he sought release.
These powerful feelings emanated from the Demon Prince so
fervently that another imprisoned being detected them. As the
moon rose that night, an offer was made. As the moon waxed in
the sky, haggling began. As the moon sank towards the horizon,
Orcus' lifeless form fell to the floor only to rise again.
Whatever spirit commanded Orcus' form had both power and
purpose. He shattered the wards Zarkas erected and sent
minions under cover of night to kidnap demi-humans from their
towns. He took these captives and subjected them to horrifying
experiments, twisting them through magicks into the horrible
entities. Those who had been bound to Orcus before his death
unknowingly entered into a Covenant with the entity in
exchange for more power. Only Hastur the Unspeakable
understood what had occurred and received even more power in
exchange for his silence.
The changes in the Tower of Despair did not go unnoticed.
Many flocked from Darkhaven seeking to unravel this riddle,
but none succeeded. However, it is possible their actions
weakened or altered whatever nefarious plans had laid dormant
within the Tower and lessened the impact of the Shattering.
Following the Shattering, the Tower stood quietly as it rose
crookedly from the Mire. Travelers who have spoken with
Tyrax, the Watcher of the Tower, say that he reports he can no
longer sense Orcus. Whether this is a new trick of the Demon
Prince or whether he has met his demise is as yet unknown.

Historical Scandals

The Tower of Despair (hereafter "ToD") was originally a leveling area. At one time, many leveling enthusiasts used the mob Demi-Lich as the pivotal backbone of their entire late-leveling sprint. When this mob was altered to be made less useful for leveling, the resulting uproar was quite astounding.

Later (but still quite a ways earlier than the Shattering) the area was revamped by Moonbeam/Kali to be avatar/multi-avatar level. For a few weeks, the Tower was sealed off, causing a truly astonishing perpetual hubbub of excited players to congregate just outside. Sometime during this period the second scandal occurred: a group managed to infiltrate the tower via a secret entrance from Carnifex Castle in Kontaur. In response, the immortals changed that secret entrance so that instead of leading into Orcus' room, it lead into a ToD death trap.

When the area was opened, the first organization to successfully kill Orcus was the Order of Inconnu. This caused some feelings of jealousy (popularly held to be unjustified) in the Order of Dragonslayers (and some of the various other orders as well). Some folks speculated openly of Inconnu-Immortal conspiracies, including this author; however, in retrospect, these rumors are transparently silly and ridiculous. As a "reward" for their spectacular feat of bravery, the Inconnu received special recognition from the Black Monk, a mysterious mobile who wandered New Darkhaven at the time.

For the longest time, noone was able to defeat Hastur, a mob who appeared upon Orcus' death. This was one extremely difficult mob! He was finally beaten by a group of 12 vampires made up jointly of the Orders of Dragonslayer and Ascendere. The tactic was for all available bodies to get in the room, and suicidally attack as many times as they could before being slaughtered. Meanwhile, the tank through this ordeal was Rathain, who was exceedingly powerful and had over 2,000 hitpoints. In total (with this group), two kills were made. Both times, Hastur dropped a ring (Twisted Steel), which was pretty good but not game-breakingly good. His death prog mentioned something about a helm, and this caused endless speculation about a possible pop item. Both rings are believed to have been devoured by Balzhur.

After the original assault by the joint group, further runs of the tower were conducted by Asc/DS/Baali groups who managed over time to get the run down to a more managable 6-8 players. An eyewear (Wrath) and another item were popped. After much exploration and many man hours spent in the area the puzzles within were actually solved, however because of a fall out between a few players one member of the group decided to use illegal means to try and advance further. Thus bringing the wrath of Kali (aka Balzhur) on himself and the removal of the quest from the area.

Not long after this event was the Shattering and the removal of Orcus/Hastur as part of the storyline.

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