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The Hedge Maze is the magical barrier located in the center courtyard of the Citadel of Light. This maze of ten-foot high hedges surrounds the Silver Stair. It consists of three rings and there is a pond located inside. The paths shift so that those that walk the maze never take the same path twice. Those that just walk the maze will find the place they want to be with ease and the exit easily when they desire to leave. If someone entered the maze desiring solitude, the maze will not allow anyone to encounter that person no matter how many people may be walking the maze at that time. The maze also grants those that visit it clearer thoughts. Those of the Citadel claim that the shifting nature of the Hedge Maze was not by their design. Some believe the ambient magic of the Silver Stair powers this feature.

History of the Hedge Maze[]

The Hedge Maze was a gift from the Qualinesti elves. Goldmoon offered to teach the former clerics of Qualinesti mysticism and in return for this Lauralanthalasa Kanan had the Woodshapers among the former clerics create the maze. Within three seasons the maze was fully-grown.

Beryllinthranox's Attack[]

In 421 AC, the Green Dragon Beryllinthranox and her forces attacked the Citadel of Light. Beryl was looking for Palin Majere and Tasslehoff Burrfoot. Draconians chased the two into the Hedge Maze. A Red Dragon used its fiery breath to try to smoke out the two by burning the maze. The maze tried to save them by opening up new passageways and lead them to the Silver Stair. Palin and Tas managed to escape, but by the time the attack was over the Hedge Maze had been burned down nearly to the root.

Post War of Souls[]

What was left of the hedges began to grow again immediately. This is a thanks in part to the skill of the original Woodshapers and the magical care of the mystics during reconstruction. The maze was eventually restored and now occasionally the blossoms with blue flowers. A Shrine to Goldmoon was constructed at the center of the maze close to the Silver Stair.

Citadel Tests and the Hedge Maze[]

After being interviewed by three mystics, potential mystics must walk the maze to be tested. If they pass the tests in the Hedge Maze and face the visions granted by walking the Silver Stair, they are accepted into the fellowship of the Citadel and granted the title Citadel Aspirant. These tests only occur at night and the maze is closed to visitors during this time. No weapons or armor are allowed and the potential mystic wears a simple white robe. Only one person is allowed into the maze at a time to be tested. The potential mystic should be told that if the leave the maze before climbing the Silver Stair then they will not be accepted into the fellowship of the Citadel of Light. This warning is used in one of the tests, but if an applicant does leave the maze early it is unlikely that they will be given a second chance.

The tests inside the maze are largely powered by the ambient magic of the Silver Stair but are mentalism spells usually cast by Mirror. Goldmoon used to direct the tests. It is unknown who directs them now. Any injury the applicant receives in the test will appear to be real to them, but is in fact part of the mentalism spells. Flying, digging under, or climbing over the hedges during the tests will only place the applicant into the same area they were trying to leave. The hedges also shift blocking or changing paths making attempts to backtrack impossible. Also, only mysticism works in the maze during the test. Other forms of magic will not function.

The First Ring-During a Citadel Test[]

The tests here are designed to show the observers what tendencies the applicant may have, whether they have mystic, rogue, sorcerer, or warrior tendencies. They will encounter a Hill Giant blocking their path three individual times. The applicant can fight, sneak, reason with, use mysticism, or anything else they can fathom to get by the giant. They cannot use the same method twice and each encounter with the giant is harder than the last. If the applicant fails at any encounter the giant will grab the applicant and throw them into the next corridor.

The Second Ring-During a Citadel Test[]

The tests here are designed to show which mystic spheres the potential mystic is naturally attuned to. There is a test for each of the nine spheres. If the applicant passes three of the tests or at least attempts them all they are granted passage into the third ring. Applicants that come to take the test that can already have significant skill in three spheres are allowed to skip the test in this ring.

The Third Ring-During a Citadel Test[]

The tests here are designed to test the morality and commitment of the applicant. With first test in this ring, the applicant will encounter a green dragon. The dragon will be pleased and impressed with the applicant’s progress through the maze and makes an offer: Forget the Citadel and serve it in return for great power. Those that take the dragon’s offer end back at the entrance of the maze and have failed. If the applicant rejects the offer the dragon will fly off in a huff. The next test begins as the applicant nears the Silver Stair. The applicant will notice two draconians floating down through the sky landing somewhere outside the maze. Then a young girl will scream presumably caused by the draconians. The applicant has two choices: leave the maze, help the girl, and forfeit their chance to enter the fellowship or climb the Silver Stair. If the potential mystic begins to climb the stair they will be ejected from the maze and failed the tests. If the applicant decides to help the maze lets him or her exit by whatever means they decide. Outside the maze the applicant will encounter two Sivaks. One will have a young girl in its claws. The other will advance on the applicant. At one time the image of Mina was used for the young girl. As the sivak advances the scene melts away and the applicant is back in the maze before the Silver Stair. The potential mystic can then climb the stair and if they face the visions its grants they will be admitted into the fellowship of the Citadel of Light.

References[]

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