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The Tower of Despair



Level range

40 - 50


Area 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.