This is a follow on from my Mortal-Made Wonders of the World post from a while back. If you haven’t read it yet then check it out!
The Loqiron Ice Springs
Though this scholar argues they are more an arcane phenomenon than a wonder, the Ice Springs that appear around the Loqiron Plateau are undeniably one of the most incredible things one can witness. Periodically, a regular spring in the Plateau will seemingly become host to energies from the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ice. While subject to these energies the spring will emit ice which builds into large spire-esque structures. The largest recorded has been almost a mile tall.
These spires grow rapidly, as much as 300 feet in a day, then disappear as rapidly as they manifest. There appears to be no seasonal correlation with the springs appearing equally at all times of the year, though naturally the ones that appear in Winter tend to grow larger and the ones in the height of Summer will melt rapidly – sometimes almost as rapidly as they grow – and therefore vanish quickly.
A few specific riverheads seem to be more regularly affected than others, though the reason for this is still unknown.
The Fey Gate
It has only been recently that the existence of this Wonder has been observed by scholars, though rumours have existed for millennia. Deep in the Northern Archipelago, on the highly inaccessible island of Stormurskivin, lies a grove which contains a stable, ever-present portal to the Feywild. For many long centuries stories have propagated of inexplicably lush groves on this otherwise snowy and icy islet, in conjunction with scholarly propositions that these groves may contain passages to the Feywild.
The first sighting of one such passage occurred in 648 PA, and just 5 years later The Fey Gate was discovered. Its exact age is hard to discern, but its stability has been proven by a council of the world’s most respected Archmages.
A curious property of The Fey Gate is that it seems to be easy for folk from the material realm to pass through it both into and out of the Feywild, whereas for Fey creatures the portal is highly unstable and largely considered dangerous.
Ghostpass Island, long the topic of dubious mariner’s tales, was confirmed to exist by the scholar Mogravane of Nisk in the year 122 BA. The island itself does not appear in a single geographic location, nor does there appear to be any sort of pattern to where it may appear. As such, studying it has been challenging as scholarly expeditions are in no way guaranteed to be successful in even reaching the island.
According to the old stories and legends the island was a place where people could meet those who had previously died, with many of the original mariner’s tales speaking of marooned crews meeting and conversing with deceased loved ones and relatives. The most famous iteration of this tale appears in Livini’s famous play ‘Of Ghost’s Pass and Ship’s Passage’ wherein the play’s protagonist finds that he is in fact the only survivor of a shipwreck on the island and the supporting cast slowly cease appearing in scenes as the play continues.
Mogravane of Nisk delivered an admirable report, but our most concrete record of the island’s phenomena comes from the Prospector’s Guild of Lursa, who funded several expeditions in an attempt to learn if the island contained minerals possessed of arcane properties. The learned wizards and geologists did not find the minerals they had hoped for, but were able to posit that the island must have some connection to the places that souls go upon a body’s demise. Indeed, the most senior-ranking wizard on this voyage noted that they were unable to meet or find several deceased colleagues of theirs who’d had their souls obliterated upon death.
The Simulacric Caverns
This location has been known to arcane scholars since time immemorial. Nested deep in the only remaining desert in the region, the Simulacric Caverns have the marvellous property of being able to mimic the casting of a spell by a magic-user. One need only cast a spell, then navigate through one of the cavern’s many recursions until they come across themselves casting that self-same spell. This phenomenon has been used all throughout history to experiment with the concatenation and magnification of known spells. Indeed, many new spells have been discovered through experimentation in this region.
The first Necromantic spells were developed in this way. In the caverns a spellcaster could kill someone, then find the recursive version of the murder and pour arcane energies into the victim at the precise moment of dying so as to maintain their life. Naturally these experiments are now highly illegal and were only conducted during the time of the Charred Kings. Despite the outlawing of many such arcane practices, however, the Simulacric Caverns remain a hotbed for extreme and possibly illegal arcane experiments as it is simply too difficult to administer and enforce the law in such a remote location.
The Stormherald’s Lighthouse
Similarly to Ghostpass Island, the earliest records of this structure come from mariners’ tales. Indeed, given that this structure serves a maritime purpose, the entirety of its history relates to shipping and sea travel. However, unlike Ghostpass Island there have been many confirmed sightings by scholars of the Stormherald’s Lighthouse throughout the ages.
The Lighthouse, as the name would suggest, appears on headlands in advance of oncoming storms. The light blinks in a pattern of Maritime Semaphore that gives precise measure of the storm’s intensity, as well as its direction relative to the ship viewing the Lighthouse and the expected time until the storm would be upon the vessel.
Though one might consider that this is a structure and thus must have been built at some point (and therefore not be eligible as an Arcane Wonder) similar phenomena have been described in stories that predate the invention of the lighthouse. These stories describe lantern-lights, firelights, and in some cases constellations, all of which have signalled in some way that a storm is coming.
Unfortunately the Lighthouse has never remained corporeal and accessible after being viewed such that one might make landfall and explore it. Indeed, as soon as a ship that has sighted the Lighthouse makes landfall the Lighthouse immediately disappears. As such the true nature of the Lighthouse’s inner workings and origins remain a mystery to this day.
The Birthplace of Wind
This is listed as the final entry for the reason that it is, in this scholar’s opinion, the most perfectly remarkable. In millennia past, the nomadic peoples of the seas and shores known only as the Acouil worshipped the wind. They left us extensive records of their faith, and all such records point to them uniting in some ancient age to find the source of all winds. For the longest time this was the end of our records of them.
Naturally, this ceased to be the case in 2988 BA when the poet Olse Maer (later ‘Windseeker’) became entirely captivated by the now long-dead religion and sought to follow this same journey to the source of all winds. His journey was successful, and his return nearly a millennia later launched an immense rush of scholarly interest. His record was originally thought to be embellished (being as he was a poet and bard) as it spoke of islands that floated in the sky and pathways of rainbow that bridged spans of coral-esque cloudforms.
None of these were exaggerations.
In the time since there have been countless excursions to these lands, both scholarly and mercantile, and contact with the still-living Acouil has been made. Deep within these lands a lucky few scholars, myself sadly not included, have borne witness to the incredible hollow floating rock of obsidian riddled with enormous holes from which endless winds flow. Indeed, the Birthplace of Wind. It is the holiest place to the Acouil, and the most singularly extraordinary thing in this mortal plane.
One could only hope to visit it before they die.
Similar to the Mortal-Made Wonders of the World, consider adding features like these to your worlds and settings! Many DMs already do, as magic is one of the ways we can justify cool and wild ideas for landscapes. These serve as a great way to more deeply integrate magic into the actual world of your world and often has the added bonus of making magic still feel mysterious and unknowable. A phenomenon that can humble even a high-level Wizard will always enrich your setting.