Lighthouse of Saiar
From Dragon Eye Atlas
The Lighthouse of Saiar is not only the tallest lighthouse in Auseka, standing 30 metres tall atop a cliff rising another 30 m out of the ocean, it is also the entrance to one of the largest explored dungeons.
The lighthouse is built on top of an ancient stone tower, which must have been the central keep of a castle standing at this site, with the rest of the castle having been reduced to rubble long ago. The rough shape of its outer walls can be guessed at from the stones and boulders in the vicinity, but nowhere is anything even resembling a wall left.
The tower, however, forms the lower three floors of the lighthouse today, and was likely twice as high when it was built. It today serves as the living quarters for the lighthouse keeper, a small garrison of soldiers which is empty most of the time and considered a fallback position, and a shop for adventuring equipment and maps of the dungeon underneath the lighthouse.
The real fame of the place stems not from the lighthouse, which serves as a beacon for the trade route between the island of Hampa to the south and the coast of Fonticia to the north, but from the extensive dungeon underneath.
The Dungeon of Saiar
Discovered in 108 BV, the dungeon proved deadly for the first adventuring parties to enter it, until a first breakthrough was made by a party of seven in 97 BV, cleaning out the top three levels and discovering considerable treasures.
A period of exploration and scholarly research followed, and those three levels were considered safe and entirely mapped in 92 BV. Several parties did not return from the lower levels in that same time, however, and those that did return spoke of magical traps and terrible beasts.
The fourth level was finally conquered and looted in 86 BV, though the plunder was relatively small compared to the upper levels.
A cave-in following the earthquake of 83 BV closed off anything below level two for many years, and the extensive damage done in both Hampy and south-east Fonticia reduced interest in the dungeon for a long time. It was only two generations later that the collapsed passages would be excavated and the dungeon tried again, in 41 BV. By this time, monsters had settled again in the already cleared levels, and further passages deeper down were discovered to have been partially collapsed as well. The year 35 BV marks the first proven descend to and return from level five, where it became clear that the dungeon is much more extensive than previously thought.
A period of intense exploration followed, and Pyeogc became for a while a major spot on the map, with sometimes two or three adventuring parties on the island at the same time, exploring or preparing to explore the dungeon. Levels six and seven were discovered during this time, both of which required extensive excavation work and magical protection against their many magical traps.
All of this happened during The Century of War, but due to the remote location of the island of Pyeogc, the only effect this had on the various expeditions was the long times that sometimes lay between them. But around 20 BV, Fonticia forces landed on Pyeogc, taking the island for the old kingdom and closing it off to all foreigners, building a garrison on it to control trade and ship traffic towards the south. During the next 40 years, only three parties are rumoured to have explored the dungeon, using stealth and magic to bypass the guards.
Starting in 21 AV, after Fonticia had ceased the island peacefully to Hampy in a much-discussed deal, it began being opened to foreigners again, and a few years later, expeditions into the dungeon started up again. But it was only in 36 AV that interest peaked, when a party discovered a hidden treasure room on level four. Over the next ten years, a hundred adventuring parties descended into the Dungeon of Saiar, two dozen of which never returned, and another dozen who lost all but one or two survivors who escaped. Of those that exited the dungeon, several claimed to have descended ten levels and more, and one party emerged by teleportation spell no less than three kilometres inland, claiming that they had teleported straight upwards. A small number of stalls and shops selling supplies sprung up in those years, inside and outside the tower.
The rush ended in 46 AV when three parties descended at the same time, and emerged with maps and small treasures, announcing that the dungeon has been fully explored and looted. Scholars studying the maps these parties had drawn agreed with the conclusion, and two further parties who went into the dungeon came back empty-handed, having encountered nothing more dangerous than large spiders and swarms of rats.
Today, with interest in the dungeon having waned, it is again inhabited by monsters and some of its traps have reset, especially the magical ones feeding on ambient mana. It is no longer considered a place worthy the risk, and what treasures are left to be found are the remains of parties that have since ventured into it and not returned.
From time to time, rumours appear about hidden rooms discovered or scryed by magic, and that some of the collapsed passages in the lower levels lead to further sections or even deeper levels that have never been explored. A large part of the 12th (and final known) level is flooded, and could indeed contain passages out of reach of the underwater-breathing spells used so far, but many people believe that the rumours are simply spread by the merchants and ship captains profiting from adventurers visiting the lighthouse.
The ancient tower contains the supplies store of Vancent Argium, an adventurer turned merchant originally from Sila, who claims that he descended into the dungeon himself when he was younger. Aside from rations, healing potions and some equipment, he also sells maps of the dungeon, which become progressively more expensive and unreliable the deeper the level. Vancent is open about the fact that maps for the first three levels can be considered reliable, maps till level six more or less correct and maps below that incomplete and more or less rough outlines. Prices range from one silver for the first levels to 3 gold coins for a map he claims shows about half of level 12.
Given his isolated location and the fact that adventurers are often of the rogue class, the most valuable items in the store are kept under magical seals that would require extensive rituals to break.
This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.