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Gate of Iron

In a neck of the Dustwall is a narrow pass leading from the burning desert of Raurin to the edges of northern shining south. At the very top of the pass, the way is blocked by an ancient stone battlement. Only a single gate pierces the wall, this is the famous Gate of Iron. Built over four thousand years ago, the Gate of iron still stands strong and undamaged to this day. More amazing, however, is the fact that no one can open the metal valves, nor have they been opened in over three thousand years.

The Gate of iron was built in the days of the Manetho Empire. In those days this pass was the only route to the lands of present-day Nubia and Dahshur, for the Scarlet Jungle covered the easier low passes. The gate was built during the advance of the Manetho armies in their march of conquest. Under the guidance of dwarvish master architects raised up the walls.

Of all the fortifications, the gate itself was the weakest part and so it was decided to cast it from iron. iron was scarce in that southern land, and thus more valuable than gold. A subscription was placed on all the people of the land, requiring they give up all they had of the precious metal. Pots, swords, temple-bells, every bit of iron was collected and melted down. The great molds were cut and set into place. All was ready for the final casting. There remained, however, still one problem. While the iron doors would be strong enough to resist drills, fire, and catapults, it was still vulnerable to magical attack. The best sorcerers of the land labored over the gates, searching for a way to protect from every possible attack. Finally they finished, devising a powerful conjuring, greater than any ever attempted before. So great was the spell that its casting would surely drain the very life from the caster. Bravely one of their lot volunteered to perform the ceremony. The spell was cast and the gates were forged.

The Gate of iron is immune to any type of magical attack. The spell had a second effect, so that the gates could not be opened once closed. Only two people, the spell caster himself (who, of course, died in the casting) and the king, knew the secret to open the Gate of iron. Today, the spell used to create the gates is lost and there is no known record of the procedures used to cast it.

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