Belching Vortex of Leuk-O
The Belching Vortex of Leuk-O is a mysterious location in the Hestmark Highlands.
The Belching Vortex is a black membrane set against a sheer cliff-face (part of the mountain the dwarves call Vashal-Tul). Occasionally it belches out a toxic gas that can strip flesh from bones. The membrane is impenetrable even to magic, and generally accessible only to those in possession of a small gray card known as the Secret of Passage, which must be held before a glowing panel to the right of the Vortex known as the Eye of Aspersion. Those who manage to enter can explore a metal cavern filled with strange artifacts of advanced quasi-magical technology. Portals to other worlds are said to be found within this toxic realm.
The Belching Vortex is named for Leuk-O, an ancient Oeridian general who entered it and emerged with his signature artifact, the Mighty Servant. Long before that, however, the Vortex was created by visitors from another world.
Before the Great Kingdom was founded, local hills tribes moved near the Vortex, interbreeding with the otherworldly visitors. The community declined, however, as its members succumbed to a wasting sickness whose symptoms included hair loss, nausea, fatigue, skin lesions, and dehydration. The inhabitants of the community disappeared entirely prior to -10 CY. Only ruins of a strangely advanced community, complete with running water, now remain.
- Lee, Robert. "Kambranex's Machinations." Dungeon #91. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.