RPC-448

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Registered Phenomena Code: 448

Object Class: Alpha-White

Hazard Types: See below.


Containment Protocols:

The object in question is still under study by a Cair Aisling Expeditionary Force detachment, and as such proper Containment Protocols and Hazard Types are not present.

Furthermore, the following file is currently being revised for relocation and rewriting, as the validity of the object in question's status as an anomaly is considered uncertain.

We apologize for any inconveniences.


Description:

RPC-448 is a building complex comprising a large, elaborate rock tower, as well as its underground segment, spanning several hundred meters in total. RPC-448 is located inside the Pabbay Anomaly1, and as such, its exact location cannot be ascertained, both due to the technological difficulties presented by the anomalous energy field surrounding the anomaly, as well as its widespread geographical inconsistencies. However, it is always approximately in-between the Deep Refuge2 and the Guardian Spire.3 RPC-448's current height is average when compared to other Elven Spires. However, the upper section of both towers has been destroyed or collapsed, potentially halving its original height.

Notably, RPC-448 consists of a single tower, instead of the usual twin spires inhabited by Spire Elves.

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Sketch of RPC-448, drawn on-site by Dr. V. Locke.

While RPC-448 itself does not constitute an evident anomaly, it remains the single major location in Cair Aisling that is not mentioned in any of Randolph Gowering's work, including unreleased drafts and other work outside the Cair Aisling series. RPC-448 is also exempt from any geographical or topological anomalies common to Cair Aisling — the tower and its immediate surroundings are as self-consistent as baseline locations.

RPC-448's existence is, however, acknowledged by most entities inhabiting Cair Aisling. Commonly referred to as "Wyrmspire" or "Wormspire" by locals, information about its history or purpose is scarce and unclear. Most known races in the island actively evade passage near RPC-448 for unknown reasons, refusing to elaborate further.4

RPC-448's surroundings are employed as a naval base by Ashenfolk elves, providing access to Cair Aisling's main river network through the Cinderflow River, which crosses most of the Ashenwood jungle5. However, RPC-448 is never interacted with by the Ashenfolk, citing a lack of necessity to do so. No explorations or surveillances of RPC-448 have ever been conducted by groups native to Cair Aisling, and no scriptures regarding it have been found, with all acquired information proceeding from rumors and folk tales.6


The results of RPC-448-related questionings on locals have been varied: while Orcs seem to largely ignore its existence, Dwarven travelers commonly know of it, and many have visited it with the purpose of sightseeing. Of note, all questioned Spire Elves refuse to speak about RPC-448, only alluding to the fact that it was never meant to be inhabited. Ashenfolk have been the most vocal regarding RPC-448.

Below, a report written by the Office of Analysis and Science is attached.

Despite many, many attempts at questioning even the friendliest of folks of many races, I'm afraid to say we know little to nothing about the Wyrmspire.

The story we know begins somewhere around the start of the Corrupting Wars, when it was destroyed. That's a red flag; we know it existed before then, but we know absolutely nothing else, and nobody seems to either, save for the Spirers. Their reticency to talk doesn't seem to be founded on pragmatism or dread, rather on taboo.

Its destruction occurred sometime after the Ashenfolk breakthrough north of the Nightmare Road. The oldest inhabitants of the nearby naval base claim that their initial takeover of the Road allowed them to beeline to the fortress Spire now named Watcher's Rest, at the border of the corrupted forest, and besiege it, at which point some sort of rumble, or perhaps roaring, was heard coming from the southeast. Once their siege was finally repelled after several weeks, they were forced to retreat back into the Nightmare Road, and set up a camp near the Wyrmspire; by the time they came, there were large amounts of debris nearby, all of which seem to have disappeared since. Ashenfolk warriors have both claimed that they did not know of the Wyrmspire until then, and that it was deliberately avoided during the first expedition through the Nightmare Road.

A common story regarding the Wyrmspire is about its inhabitant: a large, powerful flying creature known as the "Eidolon Wyrm."

The Eidolon Wyrm is said to have lived in the Wyrmspire before its destruction. While it is known to have been carved in the shape of a dragon, descriptions of the titular Wyrm are entirely different; narrations indulge in describing its long, "luminous and blue-armored" body, black muscular skin covered with invulnerable metal plates. We believe it had some mechanical components, as descriptions of "toothed metal wheels" sounds awfully similar to the gears or cogs that we know.

The term "Eidolon" itself is rather strange, and coincides with the Wyrmspire's primary anomaly; it does not appear elsewhere in Gowering's work. While mentions of 'ghosts' or apparitions are common in fantasy, the word Eidolon is nearly never mentioned, and seems to carry a certain malice to it in Cair Aisling's folk stories, as the destructive power of the Wyrm is said to be both 'typical' for Eidolon and 'extraordinary' in of itself.

While we commonly believe that the Eidolon Wyrm was responsible for the Wyrmspire's destruction, we simply have no evidence to confirm so. We haven't been there to see its destruction, but the way the Ashenfolk describe the debris they found seems to suggest an inward collapse rather than outward explosion. So, perhaps the structure was particularly weakened, or old? No way to know with what we have now, and there are no outward signs of deterioration on RPC-448.

So far, no inner explorations could be carried out, only external surveillance.


Between July 14th and 16th 2020, the main bulk of the ASF-CAEF7 North reached the outer border of the Corrupted Lands, catching up with the 15-man scout division that performed the initial reconnaissance of the Nightmare Road and encountered RPC-448.

After the end of a short skirmish between Spire Elves and Ashenfolk for the main entry point to the Nightmare Road resulting in mutual retreat, expeditionary forces proceeded inside in search for RPC-448, found two weeks later in the expected location. While Camp Ithil was being built near RPC-448 as a stronghold within the Ashwood, an exploration was performed.

RPC-448 was found to be hollow on the inside, with a spiral stairway climbing upward. A 25m wide hole, filled with water and extending for an unknown depth, is located in its center. RPC-448's inside was found to have numerous, separate low-reliefs, apparently depicting unrelated events of usually violent nature featuring several Cair Aisling races. However, these reliefs are largely incoherent, with figures having an unnatural number of extremities, abnormal extremity length, and unusual weaponry, among others. Apparent sides and races in conflict are randomly scattered and often seen engaging in combat with themselves as well as each other, with no evident coherency or purpose.

As the height of reliefs increases, so do violence and incoherency in them. Along the end of the intact section of the stairway, the lower portion of a large, unidentified shape can be seen, presumably continuing into RPC-448's destroyed segments.

Between these regular carvings, other, less polished reliefs are often present. These consist of simpler shapes and written words, sometimes more akin to pencil drawings than stone carvings. As their height rises, the "strokes" that compose these figures grow more erratic and less streamlined. A few sample descriptions of these reliefs have been attached below, numbered by their proximity to ground level.


Initially, exploration of RPC-448's lower, flooded section was considered impossible, as viable diving equipment cannot be properly crafted with known materials that are able to pass through the Cair Aisling anomalous barrier. However, three months after CAEF North's arrival to RPC-448, commerce with Dwarven travelers allowed purchase of a set of seven custom protection rune complexes which would prevent the passage of water in a 1m sphere around the user, allowing both for protection and oxygen supply underwater.

Four of these complexes were transported by foot to Camp Ithil and received around November 10th, later put to use on continued exploration on RPC-448.


RPC-448's lower segment was found to be largely empty and, scarcely illuminated by floating, immobile white crystalline solids.8 The walls of this segment are near perfectly polished and light gray in coloration.

A number of entities, similar in appearance to baseline animals found in abyssopelagic zones9 of the ocean, are often seen appearing from inside RPC-448. In rare occasions, specimens of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni10 can also be seen.

At around 1200m depth, a number of interlocked steel beams prevent further descent. These are considerably bulged upwards, as if struck from the opposite side with great force. Moving these beams has so far been proven impossible. Observation of the opposite side is noticeably more difficult, as the illuminating crystals present elsewhere through RPC-448's lower segment are completely absent. Use of lighting spells has proven ineffective, as these are quickly and unexplainably nullified. In the brief moments where observation was possible, explorers reported seeing "something large" of unspecified shape moving.

A small stone altar is laid on top of the center beam, with a sword firmly nailed on top. Removal of this sword has similarly proven impossible.

RPC-448's purpose in Gowering's vision for the Cair Aisling book series remains unclear.


During 07/07/2021, the following handwritten draft was recovered from Ismael Gowering's11 possession. This is the only known work by Randolph Gowering to mention a 'Wyrmspire'. According to Ismael's testimony, this particular draft is unusual in that it is somewhat stilted for his brother's usual writings, even considering preliminary drafts. Its significance is unknown.

It rains, it's raining red.

"God has slit his neck" — says a passerby. His eyes gaze absently along the street, the same absence of every six o'clock excursion to work. It's Monday, and the absent pairs of eyes abound far and wide.

The man lifts his left hand, holding an open umbrella, and extends his right, reaching for the rain. The red rain impacts his index, and squeezes through it and the ring finger, tinting both red. It falls to the ground, and tints the pavement red. It drags itself to the street, tinting the asphalt red, and drips inside the drainage.

"God has slit his neck" — he says again, quieter. He scratches his neck, and keeps walking.

"God has slit his neck" — says an old lady from a balcony, twelve floors above the passerby. She extends her right, reaching for the rain. The red rain tints her too, and sticks to the balcony. Is it blood, or is it oil?

The old lady stares up from the balcony, her face now wet in red. Red droplets fall over her eyes, and they too are tinted red.

It's a misty Glasgow morning.

The old lady keeps staring up, struggling to see through the mist. A gray, twisted reflection of sunlight responds to her. She can barely see the curved form of a turbine, or a windmill, or a cannon.

Over that form extends a curved tower, twisting unto itself, spiral. Things she can't see reach for the rain, from the tower, the unreal Wyrmspire, holding the red rain. And it slips between the spirals, falling like oil over Glasgow.

"God has slit his neck" — says the old lady, red drops falling on her throat.

"God has slit his neck" — says a child, suddenly silent, from the window of a kindergarten over River Clyde. Something undulates and slides through the mist. Are those spider legs, or dragon scales, or an eidolic shell? It's the Eidolon Wyrm flying over the city, over the drowning chapel.

"God has slit his neck" — shouts the teacher to her class, and the child returns to his window, yawning off boredom.

"God has slit his neck" — says another child, and the teacher responds; "God has slit his neck."

Is it God, or a machine? Is it God, or a red star? Is it God, or a color from space? Is it God, or Sol bleeding? Is it God, or oil? Is it God, or the Eidolon Wyrm reigning over all? Is it God, or a phantasmal force? Is it God, or an otherwordly eye? Is it God, or the red rain? Is it God, or are they bees? Is it God, or an Authority? Is it God, or a whisper? Is it God, or a howling tomb? Is it God, or a machine? Is it God, or red wire? Is it God, or a closing tomb? Is it God, or an undertaker? Is it God, or a buried tomb? Is it God, or the departing steps of the undertaker? Is it God, or rigor mortis setting in? Is it God, or a machine?

"God has slit his neck" — says my son, looking at my eyes.

"God has slit his neck" — I say, looking at his.

"God has slit his neck" — says God, slitting his neck.

"God has slit his neck" — and the sky darkers, sevenfold pattern realized.

"God has slit his neck" — and the clouds begin to fall.

"God has slit his neck" — and the oxide squeaks.

"God has slit his neck" — and the stars are fading away.

And the stars are fading away.

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