Casium (working title)
Ruins of Lacerta
The Ruins of Lacerta are of a temple dedicated to the lost guardian Zeliarum, and can be found on an island northwest of the town of Saldi. It is one of the few places that have escaped the blight caused by the Great Sealing and is covered in lush greenery because of this. Its primary inhabitants are reptiles of various sorts and the Zeli, ancestors of the ancient priests who worshiped Zeliarum.
Before the Great Sealing, the island had a temple dedicated to the guardian of life, Zeliarum. Despite the fact that there was actually a temple erected in his honor, most of the ancient elves denied the existence of the guardian as a god and branded all worshipers as cultists; the temple was built on this isolated island due to this fact. The island of Lacerta was a perfect location for the temple due to the lush forests and abundance of life.
Once Zeliarum lost his sanity the island became as corrupt as the guardian himself. The plants and other wildlife became twisted and chaotic over time; not even the priests that resided there could escape the corruption and eventually evolved into the Zeli. The corruption continued even after Zeliarum’s sealing.
The priests of Zeliarum were ashamed of their god’s actions, and currently await the day Zeliarum will obtain his sanity again. They hold and guard one of the key fragments to his prison and have rededicated themselves to protecting it to prevent the guardian’s premature release.
The island surrounding the Ruins of Lacerta is covered in lush forests and greenery that has been corrupted by Zeliarum’s insanity; it is not unlike a rain forest that has been tainted by demonic influences. Fresh water is plentiful and it rains a minimum of five times a week on the island. Much of the plant life is sentient—dark trees, monstrous venus flytraps, assassin vines, shambling mounds, and tendriculosi to name a few—and feed on the animal life in the forest. The non-plant creatures of the forest include mostly non-intelligent reptiles, though there are some primates and birds as well. The reptilians and primates tend to be omnivorous in nature (with the primates tending toward herbivorous), and the birds are almost completely herbivorous. There is a small population of tigers as well that feed on the other animals in the forest.
In the ruins surrounding the temple gargoyles, mimics and gorgons—all of which are under the control of the Zeli—are common. The gorgons and mimics are pets of and thereby provided for by the Zeli, while the gargoyles are their constructs and require no care.
Inside the temple dwell the Zeli themselves. They occasionally leave their lair to hunt and gather food from the surrounding forests, usually fruits and whatever animals they can catch that is edible.
The island of Lacerta is roughly shaped like a deformed “E” with the southern half (the lower part of the “E” being far smaller than the northern. The ruins and temple is located in the center of the forest on the southern end of the island. The only place where one can practically make landfall is along the northern coast where there is a small beach; this is due to the rest of the island being surrounded by 20-30 foot high cliffs of sandstone rock. The architecture of the ruins and temple is roughly a mix between Meso-American and Roman. The forest on the island covers the entire island except for where the ruins are, which is kept bare by the Zeli and their pets and constructs.