--"Please, come in"--
Built from the remains of the Court Tower, the Strix Pomest'ye is an architectural wonder whose aesthetic is often confused with Medieval Gothic. However, it is actually a cocktail of different styles ranging from Gothic and Gothic Revival to Norman Romanesque. A large multi-story high castle with many a staircase throughout it's many towers, turrets and deep dungeons, the Strix Pomest'ye inspires mystery and uncertainty, persuading the mind to imagine more than there actually is.
The Castle - Location & Architecture
Unlike the Court Tower whose home was Gothic City, the Strix Pomest'ye is located in Northeastern Siberia and is built in a valley area surrounded by mountains. Furthermore, the Strix Pomest'ye's architecture differs greatly from the Court Tower as there is no greater influence on the manor's architecture than the castles and cathedrals of the United Kingdom. It's twin square towers are almost identical to stone structures found on the Durham Cathedral save for the Pomest'ye's tall, pointy spires at the top. Among the manor's key components are ribbed vaults, pointed arches and flying buttresses.
Despite the manor featuring a largely Norman Romanesque visage, the Strix Pomest'ye's ribbed vaults etc. are of New Gothic architecture. Additionally, the manor is influenced by Scottish Baronial and even French Renaissance elements as well. Among them are towers adorned with small pointed turrets, crenelated battlements, lancet windows (tall and skinny windows with pointed arches at the top), and finials (decorative features atop towers and spires). The Pomest'ye's pointed arches, vaulted roofs, large windows and the like however, are influenced by English Gothic. As previously mentioned though, the manor's strongest architectural elements are of Norman Architecture, which is England's interpretation of the Romanesque style.
Components of that style are found in the manor in the form of massive semi-circular arches over windows and doorways, arched cloisters (semi-open covered walkways around quadrangles), and vaulted ceilings.
The Manor - Key Areas
The following are the most significant locations within the castle:
-The Entrance Hall-
Located on the ground floor of the castle, the entrance hall features a wide marble staircase opposite it's large oak doors. Double doors to the right lead into the living room. The kitchen, dungeons and Bol'Shoy Staircase can all be accessed through the entrance hall. The castle itself bears a charm whereby none other than it's owner (Ezra Strix) may enter unless one condition is met; they must be invited inside by Ezra himself. If not, attempted intruders often find themselves simply unable to move into the Pomest'ye.
Before every door, entrance, and even attempts at teleportation simply do not work as though one loses their ability to walk or teleport. Powerful enough magic however, is able to overcome this charm, in which case the castle's defenses are triggered.
-The Bol'Shoy Staircases-
A great and intimidating structure, the Bol'Shoy Staircases are what's mainly used to access each floor of the castle, including it's dungeons. Many a Renaissance painting decorate the walls of this section, some of which are supposedly there to conceal secret passages/shortcuts to other areas within the castle. The paintings themselves are enchanted and for that reason are animated. The Bol'Shoy Staircases feature (obviously) multiple staircases that lead from platform to platform until coming to an end at the castle's final floor. When an intruder has somehow overcome the castle's charm and entered it, the staircases' enchantment comes alive.
The stairs move around the staircase chamber, usually when an intruder is walking up one of them. Additionally, there are several trick stairs designed to cause the victim to sink through a step. The paintings are rumored to be animated not by an enchantment but by the trapped souls of Ezra's cannibalized victims.
The Laboratoriya is supposedly where the Mad Strix developed his four distinct fear toxins. A gloomy and dimly lit room found in the castle dungeons, the Laboratoriya's shadowy walls are lined with shelves of large glass jars filled with several experimental chemicals and strange, revolting substances suspended in unknown liquids of varying colors. The room has a fireplace featuring an emerald flame and in a corner there is a cupboard holding Ezra's more prized stock of chemicals and ingredients. The Laboratoriya itself features several shades of green and is illuminated by emerald lamps.
Like the castle itself, the Laboratoriya is protected by a charm of some sort that prevents any intruder from entering it.
The Pomest'ye's guest room features several shades of red and gold, and the fireplace mantle is decorated with a portrait of a Siberian tiger. The entrance to the guest room is, for whatever reason, concealed under the animated portrait of a woman whose eyes are empty and whose smile seems to be fading but never quite disappears. Inside, the room is a circular domain with squashy armchairs, tables and varying decorative shades of red. The room features many windows that look out onto the castle grounds and the Siberian wilderness. Furthermore, a large fireplace takes up a significant amount of space on one wall.
The walls themselves are decorated with scarlet tapestries that depict various animals and scenes of nature. Additionally, the room also has bookcases filled with several old novels.
Like the Laboratoriya, the Pomest'ye's living room is decorated with several shades of green and unlike the guest room which prominently features a portrait of a Siberian tiger, the living room sports a portrait of a basilisk (a deadly serpentine reptile of European legend). It is designed to subtly resemble a dungeon-like room with greenish lamps and chairs with the light in the room casting a green tinge. Furthermore, the living room features a significant amount of low backed black and dark green button-tufted, leather sofas, skulls and dark wood cupboards.
The room's decorative tapestries feature the adventures of the Strix Family's most famous and infamous ancestors. It's atmosphere, though grand, is somewhat cold and dreary.
Found on the Pomest'ye's last floor, Ezra's study is reached by a circular, moving stone staircase which is in turn concealed by a large and revolting stone gargoyle which moves to allow entrance only to Ezra himself. Inside, the study is a large and circular room with many windows and portraits from the European Renaissance. Additionally, the study hosts a number of spindly tables upon which delicate silver instruments were set. These instruments seem to emit gaseous forms of Ezra's fear toxins in the presence of an intruder. Furthermore, the study features a large collection of books that make up the Mad Strix's private library.
Charms & Defenses
In addition to the various charms that prevent entry into the Pomest'ye unless overcome by powerful magic, the Mad Strix relies on two of his artifacts to bolster his castle's defenses. The first is Кровь Баба which is a red liquid rumored to be the blood of Baba Yaga from Slavic folklore. When drank, it grants Ezra a host of strange qualities, one of which is command over a tier of black magic; necromancy. With it, Ezra can reanimate and command the corpses and skeletons of those who have died in the Siberian wilderness surrounding his castle. The second artifact is Κέρμα του Πάνα or 'Pan's Coin' which grants him the ability to control wild animals.
With this power he commands any nearby animals or insects of the Siberian wilderness to attack attempted intruders. The Pomest'ye's primary means of defense however, are as follows:
Serpentine reptiles of European legend, Basilisks are said to be so venomous that they leave a wide trail of deadly venom in their wake. Furthermore, their gaze is so lethal that they are believed to cause death with no more than a glance. Though traditional European account suggests that the basilisk is a small serpent, the Mad Strix is in possession of a unique breed of basilisks that produces extraordinarily large specimens. Kept in several of the castle's dungeons and controlled by Ezra via his use of Κέρμα του Πάνα or 'Pan's Coin', these unique basilisks can grow up to fifty feet in length.
Their armored skin tends to be black of dark green, and their eyes a large and lurid yellow. Their eyes hold the supernatural power to induce death by stopping the heart with a shared gaze. This effect can be resisted through powerful magic or whatever means one has to prevent their heart from simply stopping. Furthermore, their armored skin and large size renders them very durable and physically powerful. Strangely, if one gazes into the eyes of a basilisk's reflection, they will instead be petrified instead of dying. Though their large and sharp teeth renders them dangerous, the basilisks are famed for their powerful venom which is believed to be capable of dealing a painful death in mere minutes.
When an intruder manages to enter the castle, a horde of Ezra's basilisks are released from the castle's dungeons.
-The Faceless Owls-
Tainted by experimentation and the 'Black Rot (see Black Rot in Ezra's bio for details)' sickness from the Mad Strix's blood, the swarms of Faceless Owls guarding the Pomest'ye are corrupted. Draped in black and tattered hooded cloaks, their limbs are elongated and long, their bodies contorted beyond normality. Their organs have been replaced by black sacs that hold the rotting puss of the Black Rot sickness. Their flesh is gray and emaciated, as if decayed. Their eyes are gone, leaving behind only empty sockets covered in folds of rotting skin. They are vessels of Ezra's Black Rot. They are unusually, almost supernaturally tall.
Their mouths are gaping, disturbingly large holes lined with many needle-like teeth. And their nails, smeared in the sickness, are long and dagger-like. Unlike many who managed to survive the Black Rot and instead of death are 'turned', the Pomest'ye's Faceless Owls do not have their minds stripped away from them, possibly due to experimentation by the Horned God. Despite this, their intelligence is lower and Ezra's commands burn in the deepest parts of their subhuman minds. They are still able to remember vague impressions of their memories and are thus able to barely recognize those they once knew. Though their gaunt and sunken features wear no expression, only the blank stare of a cannibalistic perversion that is more thing than man.
Many times stronger, faster and tougher than the ordinary human, the Pomest'ye's Faceless Owls' physical attributes exist at the most basic of extranormal/superhuman levels. Though they still possess the sonar abilities of ordinary Faceless Owls, they are no longer capable of the Dim Mak/Death Touch technique. Their needle-like teeth and dagger-like nails however, are supernaturally sharp, capable of shredding through the toughest of materials and transferring the Black Rot sickness. Spidery tendrils of blackness burst from their flesh and drip with the rotting puss from the black sacs their organs have become. Tendrils they use to attack their foes and erode their flesh with the black puss.
Furthermore, the Pomest'ye's Faceless Owls are capable of some form of basic regeneration. They are also able to levitate and glide through the air, though it is not known how. They are said to be followed by a cold and depressing mist.
- This is meant to be a difficult place to locate so if you show up, sell the difficulty in finding it. And while I'm open to anyone stopping by, you need to have a good reason to be here.
- If you want to attack this place for whatever reason, you can. But just remember, the Basilisks and Faceless Owls NPCS.
- Have fun :)