This magical door is an archway that is set in solid ice. By stepping into the door, you immerse yourself in what feels like icy water, but you remain dry as you step through to the other side. One the Icegate is set in a wall of ice, it is always open and cannot be moved except by chiseling out the ice that the arch is set in.
The Icegate in action is an impressive thing to watch. As someone passes through the archway, the solid ice appears to develop thousands of cracks to maneuver around the occupant. With each tiny movement the occupant makes, the ice silently cracks and appears to shatter from within to allow unimpeded advancement through the solid ice wall. As the occupant moves forward, the fractured ice heals and melds itself back to its original form. Throwing an object through the doorway would display as a giant spider web fracture that spreads out from the point of impact and then immediately and slowly begins fusing back together into a solid wall. This will have only mildly slowed the object that passed through as if it had only passed through water.
The Icegate is nearly harmless when placed on a thin wall of ice. At worst, it chills whoever passes through. The real danger comes when the wall of ice is thick. 5-foot or even 10-foot thick walls are not unheard of. An Icegate must be placed on both sides of the ice wall to allow an entrance and an exit. Whoever enters the Icegate must hold their breath as their is no air when trapped inside a block of ice. The occupant must then swim through the receding ice and make it to the exit before they suffocate or go into shock from the bitter cold. Even creatures who can breath water are suffocated because there is neither air nor water inside the ice. For this reason, fire is always suffocated when passing through an Icegate. Once a creature passes through an Icegate, they are trapped in the ice until they find an Icegate to allow them to exit safely.
Worst of all, there is no floor through the Icegate. Once you enter, you begin sinking as the ice shatters and recedes to make way for your gravity-bound form. You must swim through the vision-obscuring cracks in the ice and fight for your life to make it out alive. If you fail, your body will sink down into the black depths of the ice with all those who have failed before you.
Rumors tell of a ice dungeon in the far reaches of the frozen tundra where a vast treasure was hidden in a room far below the ice that was only accessible by swimming down a great distance through an Icegate. More than a few adventures paid the ultimate price for seeking it out.
I can see it as a de-weaponer as well. As you move through it, the ice only allows the form of a living being, any extra stuff could be stripped and left at the entrance. Either ripped or it seems like the ice has enough finesse to remove it without breaking it.
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This is a great idea. I really like the idea of a doorway that you can get lost in and the description of passing through it is imaginative and gripping. How do you make one of these gates or who made these gates? Where can you find them and can they only exist at freezing temperatures? Are they created in place or movable? Also, I would love to hear more about this dungeon.
I imagine the archway as a thin piece of precious metal that has runic carvings. You can carry it around until you find a wall of ice that you want to put it on. You bend the metal to the archway shape you desire, place it against the wall of ice, cast a spell, and you're done. The metal seals itself to the ice permanently and can't be removed or reused. But you could destroy the Icegate by chipping off the ice it is set in.
They would be most frequently used in ice castles or ice dungeons where an eccentric magician wanted to limit his use of materials primarily to ice. They are only practical where a wall of ice is a structural support and can therefore not be cut into without compromising the integrity of the ceiling. It doesn't have to be freezing, but it does have to be on ice. Magically created ice or any other frozen liquid are perfectly acceptable substitutes for the Icegate.
Keep in mind that almost every solid substance is technically a 'frozen' liquid. So, limiting it to ice seems to be the best answer to this issue. Still, I love this idea.
Perhaps when saying any other frozen liquid he is referring to a temperature/pressure relationship. In some game worlds i've read of ice can be a primal force, like fire, electricity , sound or ...eh...acid.
By frozen liquid, I don't mean metal. You are correct though, and I should be more precise. I pretty much mean water-like, but most natural state liquids would suit me just fine. For example, an ice demon could build his fortress out of frozen blood from his enemies and use Icegates to traverse the blood.
Ok ... that's a really cool idea. I'm going to make that my next sub.
Not a gate for the non swimmer or those in heavy armour.
This is a really great idea, I ran glacier dungeon twice, two years ago. I wish I had this item for that one.
I like the idea of guardians that are not the typical giant monster, in the 5 room dungeon set-up, which this fills nicely. Also the potential for it to be an entire dungeon in itself, or just to add difficulty to a dungeon is great.
Very clever and flavorful, in the right environment this would be a way to make the cold and ice much more than window dressing.
Update: Fixed some spelling and sentence structure issues, and added freetext.
This is a great idea - basically like swimming in a giant slushy. Given the headache drinking too much of that fast will bring, swimming in it sounds to be ungodly cold :)
Diving for items lost by those who failed to pass could be a local rite of passage.
Awesome visual! I like all the ideas associated with it. Fun idea all around I must say.