Elefloe

About two days northeast of Old Cratera, the ancient stones of Elefloe may be found gleaming dully green against the white of snow and ice.  Many things are said of Elefloe: its grounds are haunted, the tower is cursed, it is a city of ghosts, never built for the living, and in the deepest winter months, evil spirits who roam the ice sheet hold court here.  These untruths are popular stories in southern towns where no true scholars and historians reside.

Like Jorgora, the ruin known as Elefloe was discovered by cartographers surveying Ungoza and charting the bounds of the Ice Sheets.  While a few remote dolmens have been happened upon in even more forsaken places, some far deeper in the ice than Elefloe, none of these have been mapped or studied (many could not be easily found again) due to their isolation. Elefloe’s size and proximity to the Old Cratera site, however, made Elefloe easier to find than other sites.

Owing to its architectural similarity to certain structures seen in Polaris, Elefloe is thought to be a late-Tyuravelinai site, perhaps only abandoned 400 to 500 years ago.

Elefloe consists of a single tower and three concentric rings of walls or other ruined structure, ultimately 180 feet in diameter.  All of the remaining structure is made of hewn milky green stone.  Petrologists have compared samples from Elefloe to the crater glass and other stones found in Ungoza, finding it composed of a mineral wholly unknown to the region.

The outermost ring of Elefloe was comprised of at least four well polished Orthostats.  Very little of this outer ring remains, the northern orthostat having fallen on its side, the eastern, partially shorn off near its base with its remainder missing, and the western gone

altogether.  Only the southern stone still stands in its place.  These stones formed a perfect cross with the tower at its exact center.

An intermediate ring is only supposed to exist based on the ruin’s precise use of measurements and strata found between the Orthostats and the inner ring.

The inner ring, which lies 25 feet from the tower and 50 feet in from the outer ring, is a thoroughly ruined wall, of which only four segments remain.  At one point, the inner ring had a large archway at its southern end and seven smaller archways or windows evenly distributed around its circumference. The base of the large arch, and three other segments bearing the smaller arches remain intact, along with a few large wallstones scattered.

The tower of Elefloe is circular, reflecting somewhat the inner ring, and 30 feet in diameter. The tower is somewhat more intact that the surrounding ruins, seemingly hewn from a single giant rock, though the upper portions of the wall are worn down, crumbling and in some places missing, so it is impossible to determine its original height.  At present, the highest portion of the tower wall stands about 40 feet from the ground, 30 from someone standing in the tower’s center. Only 5 feet (from the interior) of the wall remains in some places, particularly on the eastern portion.

Around its wall are eight inornate engaged columns or pilasters with an even 10 feet between each one.  The tower’s southern face is approached by stone slab steps between two of these.  Between the pilasters, on the northern, eastern and western faces are small windows, though the eastern window is missing much of its upper portion.  From each of these portals, one would be able to see the standing stones at the cardinal points of the ruin.

The pilasters of the tower form either a cross or eight pointed star, at the center of which is a round capstone.  At one point, the capstone featured many engravings, however most of these are weathered to oblivion.  Only the word “Elefloe” is distinguishable on the stone’s side.  It is from this that the ruin gets its present name.  No archaeological expeditions that have studied Elefloe have come equipped to remove the capstone, so it is not known what, if anything, it covers.

Beneath the three windows of the tower are shallow cists, one of which (the western cist) had been covered with smaller rectangular stone.  Within were found 3 sealed clay jars, each containing several scrolls in various states of preserve, all written in the language of the ancient Northern folk.  A few of these scrolls, which are now kept in the royal library of Gatia, have since been translated, giving some small insight into the Northern Civilization.

Most appear to be poems and song committed to paper, including the most complete manuscript of the Romance of Tyuran and Velina.  Most of what we know about the Northern Folk comes from these scrolls, combined with old myths told by the Ungozan Storymen and the dream poets of Polaris. In the years following the discovery of the Elefloe scroll cache, little new information could be gleaned from studies of the ruin itself.  The difficulty in reaching the ruin, extreme colds that any crews would need to come prepared for, and a lack of new finds brought about a near cessation of explorers and researchers.  Every now and then, a particularly daring treasure hunter may make their way to Elefloe, only to leave disappointed by a lack of easily carted off artifacts.  Thus, Elefloe has suffered only a little to vandals and robbers.  Now, the academic community has redirected its efforts to comparative study of the writings found at Elefloe and what we know of the people of Polaris.

Of note, Jorgora, which is thought by some to be a ruin, has not been found mentioned in any of the writings thus far translated.  No excavation has found any artifacts of actual inhabitation (bone, pottery, refuse, etc.).

A full scale reconstruction of a ‘restored’ Elefloe has been built as a folly in the imperial gardens in Gatia.

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