Beastgrave

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Beastgrave
Beastgrave 01.png
Titles Allpeak[3]
Height-of-Heights[3]
Type God-Mountain
Status Destroyed[4a]
Followers Aelves of the Hollows[3]

The Beastgrave was an immense predatory living mountain situated in the Realm of Ghur that lured explorers into its labyrinthine guts. While the name Beastgrave refers to a single mountain the primitive tribes that live there often refer to the region around the mountain as the Beastgrave is an all-encompassing presence that watches over them with a silent hunger.[1a] It was destroyed as a consequence of Alarielle's Rite of Life.[4a]

Nature

Chimerical statues with weird sigils created from animal bones mark the borders of Beastgrave. After that is a land of deep gulleys and rearing crags with sharp rocks that tear the flesh of the unwary. The light here is searing while the shadows are hard and cold, plants that grow here are coiling horrors with inch-long thorns and flesh-eating sap. However, when slopes near the foot of the mountain are surprisingly easy to climb with time-worn trails scaling the winding around outcroppings of ancient ruins and remnants of camps left by other explorers. The mountain's call becomes increasingly stronger, tunnel entrances appear to yawn invitingly, some see the faint glint of gold, hear whispered promises, or the clash of distant blades echoing up from below. The compulsion to push on grows greater discouraging thoughts about turning back.[1a][1b]

Within it are tunnels that wind and twist to confuse even those with the keenest sense of direction. Lights filter from invisible shafts while floors and walls recede suddenly into darkness. Dead ends and sudden drops are common while open spaces are honeycombed with side entrances and twisted columns. Deeper into Beastgrave are vast caverns that echo even the slightest sound, spiky sigils and disturbingly alien figures covering the walls. Acidic fluids that eat away stone, metal and flesh trickle from above. Molten amber rolls down corridors to engulf entire chambers, carcasses of fallen beasts, gnawed to the bone by unseen scavengers are swallowed by the amber tides. In some areas, entire walls or floors are formed from smooth, opaque amber that recedes into the distance for leagues upon leagues. Staring too long into the golden-brown depths causes explorers to see ancient treasures just out of reach, strange lights or the tortured features of those the mountain has claimed. Even deeper treasures lie mingled with cracked and mangled bone, corridors shift and rearrange themselves by the moment. The mountain's hollow hunger becomes more apparent as rocks split open into yawning cracks to devour the bodies of the fallen. [1b]

Longer the person prowls the tunnels, the more they fight their enemies and the greater the amount of blood they shed upon the mountain's thirsting stones, the more predatory and feral the person becomes. The sentience of Beastgrave leeches into the souls of those who fight inside sharpening their senses and increasing their aggression. Many forget their original intent as their mind drowns in the instinct to hunt and slay.[1b]

Direchasm

Beastgrave is infected by the Katophrane curse, depriving the mountain of its sustenance. In its hunger, Beastgrave awakened before Ghur’s primal resurgence was ready, releasing the solid amber that has previously filled the region known as Direchasm.[2a]

Within the mountain’s roots, warbands are consumed by the mountain’s powerful emotions. The rooms of Direchasm are dark, only lit by a red light that glows in clefts and gullies. Tomb-like rooms are filled with riches and treasures, some from primaeval civilizations that had been trapped within the amber before living memory. The walls are rocky, and hot to touch, while the ground shifts as though the mountain itself is moving.[2a]

Within this amber, many fearsome and fabled secrets once lived, but with the purging of the amber, many fled to other mountains, however, dark entities still haunt the shadows. These remaining beings hunt Direchasm’s deepest tunnels, desperate to consume and regain their strength to have revenge against Beastgrave. The warbands within Direchasm occasionally catch glimpses of large, spined shapes moving in the dark red light, however, they’re quickly forgotten until a companion disappears, screaming.[2a]

Within the amber lived the Silent People. Painting and statues convince people that these Silent People created the tunnels within Beastgrave, or they were priests who gifted the mountain offerings, or even possibly the masters of the mountain. In reality, the Silent People are intelligent, migratory insectoids who lived in symbiosis with Beastgrave, as well as other living mountains. They had willingly entered the amber, however, with the mountain's early awakening, they were released from the amber as mere larva. With this, the Silent People wriggled into darker places, with the premature bodies making them give up the relics they have stored within.[2a]

Doom of Beastgrave

When the great life-spell of Alarielle performed at the foot of the Oak of Ages Past broke across the realms the curse of the Beastgrave was finally shattered. The surge of life resulting from this ritual caused the lands themselves to split apart, as rapidly-growing trees forced their roots through solid stone, and rivers crashed violently against the valleys that held them. Some believe it was this time of geoloical unrest that sealed the mountain's fate. However, others claim a band of Seraphon activated an arcane device that caused the mountain to tear itself apart from within. Still others insist that a deranged mob of Bonesplitterz consumed the mountain's savage spirit and gleefully head-butted their way to freedom as the Beastgrave collapsed around them. The truth may never be known.[4a]

With Beastgrave now lying in ruin, it no longer priojects an aura of frenzied ferocity that infects all who pass beneath it; no longer do scrawled runemarks and beast-totems indicate hidden entrances into its labyrinthine guts. These entrances have been sealed beneath thousands of tonnes of stone. Many of the warbands who once prowled the tunnels and caverns of this once-living mountain were slain in the avalanche of its own doom. However, a fortunate few endured. The mountain's death throes not only sealed it from above, but tore open ancient seams in its foundations. Even the Silent People that once guarded the Beastgrave had long forgotten the existence of these winding tunnels that bored through the bedrock of Ghur. Through these passages, the mountain's inhabitants made their escpae, preferring to risk a journey into the dark tunnels rather than sure starvation and death. These tunnels were bizarrely organic in appearance and seemed to wind on forever, passing through miles of solid rock. Sometimes they opened into a series of forking branches, though none of those who ventured off the main path were ever seen again. After what seemed like an eternity, these haggard survivors finally stumbled out fo the darkness, collapsing into foul-smelling marsh water that rose to their haunches, and looking up to see a twisted canopy of interlocking branches, that looked at first like writhing limbs.[4a]

So it was that the survivors of Beastgrave found themselves in the root-halls of the Gnarlwood in western Thondia. Somehow, they had travelled beneath Lendu and crossed the Mawbite Sea - a jounrey that should have taken years, but they had completed in mere days, or so it seemed. If the survivors believed they had earned their salvation, they were sorely disappointed. In this new hellish place their violent struggle for dominance and survival would start anew.[4a]

Religion

There are many peoples living on and around the Beastgrave that revere it as a god, including a number of cities found to the south of it. The Order of the Wardens-in-the-Wild is known to revere the god-mountain.[3]

Greatwarden Tythrae, a leader of the Wardens-in-the-Wild, worships the god-mountain, and teaches that it is the corpse of one of the titanic Godbeasts. Even claiming it to be the first and greatest of them, having fallen from the heavens at the dawn of time.[3]

Sources

Deities of the Mortal Realms and Beyond
Ascended AlarielleKragnosMalerionMorathiNagashNerontes FaneSavage MaidenSigmarSix Smiths (Ong) • TeclisTyrion
Ancestor Gods GazulGrimnirGrungniValaya
Elemental Gorkamorka (Bad MoonGorkGulping GodMork)
Chaos Gods Dark Gods (Great Horned RatKhorneNurgleSlaaneshTzeentch) • Devourer of ExistenceEver-Raging FlameGreat GathererHashutNecohoNewborn (DexcessaSynessa)
Godbeast AuroxisAxactiarBitterbloodBoingobBrondtosDrakatoaFangathrakFangtharGhillnarad DhorGnorrosGuardian of the BalestormHammergordHrunspuulIgnimbrisJorharKharybtarKodzodonKrondMammothasMorbhegNagendraNharvolakNyxtorOkaenosRakka NakRavenakSarathrascaShattatuskShurihurathaSkalokSkwidmunchaSpider GodTatto'Na'KottoTestudinousUlfdengnarlUnnamed Kharibdyss GodbeastUr-PhoenixUrsricht‎Urs-Serkir
Star Titans AgraphonOhlicoatl
Zodiacal Godbeasts ArgentineBehematChimeracDracothionHydragosIgnaxLode-GriffonTwin-Headed SerpentVulcatrixVytrixYmnog
Unspecified Alhar-KrakenBeastgraveBrine-GodCinder GodCunning AgtheymaDreaming GodEightfold WatcherFirst ShadowGlareface FrazzlegitGod of SharksGod-Worm of the Great VentGorfatherGreat Bull-RoarerGreat MawGreat StinkhornIron DemiurgeKing of Broken ConstellationsLauchonLion God of EdassaLord of DustLost War Deity of the SeraphonManarchaelMirmidhMirrored TwinsMorghurMorrdaMother NightMother of All CatsMyrmidiaOuborothPrince of CatsNodh KurNulrakharObsidian EelOzolRavokSamnethSotekSpirit of the JungleStalagogTaalTjatsår MaiUnnamed God of PigeonsUnnamed God of the Order of the FurrowVannahVine GodVultzaXereusYahmBeyond the Realms (Y'ulae)
Asur Pantheon AddáiòsAeshaAnathAthaertiDrakiraErekEstreuthIshaKhaineKurnothLadriellaLileathMathlannMorai-HegNéthuThial
Old Ones ChotecHuanchiItzlQuetliQuetzlTepokTlanxaTlazcotlTzunki
ChosenDemigodsTypes (Aspect of ChaosCurse-GodDaemon-GodOld OneTutelary DeityUnderworld DeityWinter God) • Pantheons (Ancestor GodsAsurCrystal GodsDark GodsInvidianLittle Gods of WinterLords of MischiefOld Gods of AccarOrderSilent GodsSubterranean Gods)