Voddick shivered. “As a reward for our last service, guarding a haunted gate does not seem like much of one.”
Gollaon shrugged. “It is only for a few weeks and it pays as good as a war. Also, we do not have to keep people out, we just have to keep our eyes open for something trying to cross through.”
Voddick shivered again. “Where does it lead to?”
Gollaon looked at the structure. “Anywhere, everywhere, as long as it is not here. If you do not like life under the Empress you can cross to somewhere else . . . but you never get to come back.”
In what was either a fit of pique, an act of mercy or a cruel joke, opinions vary, the Empress built this gate before the end of the first century of her rule. Constructed of stones harvested from other gates gathered from across the Sea of Stars, the stone arch looks a little haphazard and mismatched but the aura of power from it is quite palpable. Natural animals must be drugged or magically compelled to get them to approach the gate.
Exile’s Gate is that, a place of exile, once you cross through, you are beyond the Sea of Stars and you will not be able to return. It is used as a punishment for rare crimes and unusual situations; the greatest use of it in recent memory was for a group of Sen’tek turncoats who aided the Empress, through the gate they would at least have a chance for a life safe from the vengeance of dragons.
Exile’s Gate is a masterwork of pandimensional engineering, applied adaptive magic and deep curses. Once one steps through the gate, they are given a vision of the Sea of Stars and five seconds to turn back, if they do not, they are transported . . . someplace else. The transit destination is random, though all passing through as a group will arrive at the same location, and unknown to anyone before hand. The place they arrive at will be safe, at least in the near term, but may not be near to civilization or even food or water.
Those who pass through the gate are permanently changed, they gain the ability to survive in the environment they find themselves, gain knowledge of the local language and an inability to plan a return to the Sea of Stars, such thoughts just slip from their mind, like water from a broken cup.
This is an artifact level item and immobile, so only barely a magic item, much more a magic place.
Notes: While it is designed to only go one way, the Empress retains a heavy guard on Exile’s Gate (complete with access to Gatebreaker Javelins and other exotic weaponry) with order to prevent people from preforming rituals there, if they wish to cross through they are free to do so. TheEmpress did not claw her way to rule over an Empire to allow some dimension hopping marauders screw it all up.
The Exile’s Gate allows characters from the Sea of Stars to show up in other campaign worlds, though not to return afterwards.
Also my final contribution (probably) to the Blog Carnival: Gates and Portals hosted by Tales of a GM.
Photo by Jim F and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.