The Eldest Journal
About forty years ago, a joint venture between Raghnal University and Raijin University established a research station on the sea floor several hundred miles off the coast of Maiden’s Rest. It took twelve years to construct but after only five years of active research it was deemed too expensive to operate and decommissioned.
Twenty three years later, an enterprising dwarf by the name of Harvuun Gordbeck heard about the station and arranged to buy it for a fraction of what was spent in its construction. Not a scholar of any variety, Gordbeck had a new purpose in mind for the research station: a luxury resort. He rechristened it The Blue. Amusingly, the dwarf has never set foot in The Blue due to his fear of water.
It was open for roughly eight months when something happened. Gordbeck shut the place down and never told anyone why. Only recently was The Blue re-opened. It consists of seven domes connected by tunnels. The top of most of the domes is made of crysteel, a magically-treated metal which is as transparent as glass. Each dome also has a “lifeboat,” really just a mini bathysphere. In case of an emergency, several people could crawl into them, seal them, release the locks, and they would float up to the surface. Each lifeboat fits five people comfortably, though perhaps as many as ten or twelve could cram in there.
Dome 1, the foyer, is the least changed since the station became the Blue. It consists primarily of a large airlock near the top and a powerful winch. A bathysphere, usually allowed to float freely on the surface, is attached to the foyer by the winch.
Dome 2, the lounge, has been converted into a reception area where new guests can be orientated and also a place to hang out and watch the ocean life. The magical lights around dome 2 are especially bright, and the water around it is regularly chummed to encourage lots of ocean life to congregate around it, especially sharks.
Domes 3 and 4 have been converted into guest quarters. Dome 3, the larger of the two, has twelve suites while dome 4 has eight. Each of the suites is lavishly decorated. The lights above domes 3 and 4 are designed to dim at night so that the guests can sleep more easily and keep an idea of the passage of time. During the night, each of the rooms is flooded with just the barest hints of a blue glow.
Dome 5, the smallest dome after the foyer, has been repurposed into the dining room. Like the lounge, the waters above dome 5 are chummed to encourage wildlife.
Dome 6 serves as a combination of servants’ quarters and kitchen. The employees sleep in cramped quarters; ten small rooms with triple bunk beds, allowing for up to 30 people to be stationed there. There are rarely more than twenty to twenty-five, though.
Finally, there is dome 7, called the “black” dome because it is not lit up like the others. The employees of the blue are under strict orders by Gordbeck never to enter dome 7, nor to allow the guests to. It is the most isolated of all the domes, and the only entrance is a door in the back of the employee quarters which has been magically sealed shut.
Rumors abound of what is in dome 7. Some say it’s a drilling platform which Gordbeck wasn’t able to turn into a tourist trap, some say it was sealed when he bought it and even he doesn’t know what’s in there. Some even believe that dome 7 is directly responsible for the station originally being decommissioned as well as for Gordbeck shutting The Blue down before.
Travel to and from The Blue is achieved by boat. Gordbeck has a deal with a shipping company which passes near it once a week; they’ll stop at the bathysphere, load it with supplies and passengers, and signal for it to be pulled down. An iron ring around the tether is clipped to the bottom of the bathysphere. By unclipping it, the rink sinks down and when it hits dome 1 an operator down there starts the winch to pull it down. They then wait until the bathysphere resurfaces and take back anyone or anything which is sent back up. The trip down takes about forty five minutes, while the trip back up only about fifteen.