Those who exit the Red Dragon Inn, passing the door to the Duel of Swords Arena, often remark upon the mysterious door — of peculiar size and shape — that is just behind the stairwell. Slanting oddly, the door opens into a corridor that defies all principles of gravity and perspective, illuminated in shifting purple light. That corridor leads to a small glowing portal that seems to pulse. Only the adventurous traveler dares walk though, for it transports one to Twilight Island, home of the Duel of Magic.
Existing wholly within its own pocket dimension, there is no “mundane” way to reach the isle. It is eternally suspended in twilight: the dying rays of the setting sun light the western sky, and stars twinkle in the East. The isle is surrounded by mountains along all shores save the South, which boasts a beautiful lagoon with blue water and soft sands that contain the Portal. Rich fields and forests lie to the West, the tallest mountains touch the sky to the East, and a smoky volcano burns to the North.
But the center of the isle is what draws its visitors. In a plane of volcanic stone rest the ancient Great Rings of the Duels. Carved into the cooling lava, the Rings are a permanent feature of the landscape, and contain great magical power. These rings limit the spells that may be worked within. They also prevent any spells from crossing its boundaries, and heal all wounds as duelists exit. After all, these duels are not to the death.
The portal and most of the Rings were carved into the magma as it cooled, as was an amphitheater into the volcano’s slope in the northern mountains. In the very center of the island is Ring Alpha, the first created, surrounded by a cold lake of volcanic rock.
Sometimes, when the flow of magic is strongest (most often during the ArchMage tournaments), the trees crackle with St. Elmo’s Fire, becoming suddenly more alive. Enwrapped in blue, electric sparks, the aged trees snap and shiver, reaching toward the Magi with skeletal branches.
At the heart of the volcano’s lava lake stands the Tower of Fire, home of the Keeper of Fire. This lair is not made of stone or even magma, but sold, living flame. In all other respects it resembles the other three individual towers of the Keepers: 60′ tall, 50′ wide at the base and 30′ wide at the top, complete with windows, battlements, and large double doors of solid brass set within the red and orange flame-walls.
Just above the tallest mountain stands the Tower of Air, home to the Keeper of Air. Made from air itself, the tower is nearly invisible to the naked eye, yet to its Keeper it stands as proud and bright as if it were solid gold. Even when one stands close to the tower it appears to be nothing more than a shimmering haze with double doors appearing as clouds.
Away from the shores, near the center of the lagoon, stands the lair of the Keeper of Water, the Tower of Water. Those looking at the tower swear that it looks like a raging waterfall — but the water flows UP from the lagoon, and never seems to come down. The majestic double doors are made of coral.
It is within the face of the greatest cliff in the western range where the Tower of Earth stands. As it lies entombed within the living rock, it is not as visible or dramatic as the Towers of Fire or Water. There are no doors or any other visible entrance to this Tower, only a small keyhole in the cliff 100′ from the ground. A stone stairwell that appears at the will of the Keeper of Earth is the only safe approach to the entrance.
A small island of rock floats above Twilight Island, directly above the First Circle, teeming with vegetation and flowing water. Upon this great rock there rests a citadel of columns, steps and domes made of white marble, and a brilliant flame burns within. This is the Citadel of the Stars, home of the ArchMage, who also bears the honor and burden of being the Keeper of the Stars. The flame within the Citadel is pure magic, and is so powerful only its Keeper may approach safely.
As you arrive, you are greeted by a goblin, which rushes up to offer a drink or a light meal. Then a smile and nod from the official:
“Welcome to Twilight Island!
May magic and luck grace your path herein.”