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Torch of the Immortals

by KtA

Given the name, I think Olympus would have to be linked to the Immortals... the local name would perhaps be "the Torch of the Immortals" - Olympus on Vaniae (M-Mars) being a currently active volcano, unlike the one on our universe's Mars. The mountain would emit a continuous cloud of smoke and perhaps a dull red glow... it would be seen by the inhabitants of Vaniae as something like an 'eternal flame' combined with a sacred mountain.

While the large scale geology/topography is similar to our universe's Mars, the fact that the Torch is active would mean that there are more geothermal features around it... secondary cones and vents, maybe hot springs and pools...

The upper slopes of the mountain would be impossible for normal living creatures to reach without powerful magic, as the air is far too thin to survive (Olympus is something like 3x taller than Everest). There would probably be a major shrine at the upper end of 'climbable' altitude, on the east side (as shown on the contour map Robin posted, the steep cliff/escarpment/whatever that mostly surrounds it is missing on part of the east side.) This area would be a sacred land which is open to all and not claimed by any nation.

The area would probably be relatively remote from major nations anyway ... on a "living" version of Mars, the Tharsis plateau would probably be high, cold desert. It might be inhabited by a nation of Sandfolk tribes, as they are silicon-based so could probably live in a very dry and barren environment. Maybe Rock Men also.

To the east is Amazonis Planitia, which according to the old thread is inhabited by a nation of Pyrithian Amazons. So the Torch might mark a divide between those territories, as well as being a sacred location.

hex map of the Torch of the Immortals (Olympus area), between the Amazonis Planitia grasslands and the cold desert of the Tharsis Plateau.

EDIT - Scale: 24 miles per hex. (At the widest point, the Torch of the Immortals is a bit over 380 miles across.)

Some notes:
- The shape of the mountain is not quite identical to our universe's equivalent, both because it is active (thus the extra volcanic vents at the base) and because either the Immortals or some powerful ancient hero (perhaps a Paragon candidate?) reshaped the western side to create the Sacred Approach. Thus, it's a bit less symmetrical.

-The dashed white line around the central crater and its surroundings represents the highest altitude that air-breathing creatures can survive.

- The Great Shrine, reached by the Sacred Approach up the mountainside, is devoted to all Immortals, but is tended by archons. Since these are creatures of Energy, this may support the idea that the Sacred Approach was created by a Paragon.

- Since the area is considered sacred and not claimed by any nation, groups of exiles, outcasts, fugitives, outlaws etc. have gathered here, forming two small settlements.

-Night's End (population 400) is a poor village founded by a group of minotaurs exiled from Noctaurus (the Labyrinth of Night). About 200 years ago, a prince and his following and servants chose to "settle the wilderness" to avoid execution after losing a conflict over succession; their descendants now inhabit this small canyon oasis at the edge of the grasslands.

-Fire Lake (population 1,000) is named after the volcanically-heated lake of the same name and inhabited primarily by an ancient Nithian-derived fire cult that worships the Elemaster of Fire and the Immortals of Energy, especially Ixion, though Pyrithian outcasts from Amazonis Planitia have settled here more recently as well.