The Great Seal is a powerful ward intended to contain the spirit of the Whispering Tyrant within the tower of Gallowspire in Ustalav. The Great Seal actually consists of four seals, three lesser and one greater, but only the Great Seal is located in Gallowspire. The three lesser seals are watched over by the victors of the Shining Crusade, and are intended to support the magic of the greater.
At the end of the Shining Crusade in 3827 AR, the victorious armies were faced with a dilemma. The body of the Whispering Tyrant had been destroyed by a fragment of the Shield of Aroden wielded by the Taldan General Arnisant, but the lich's soul still lived within its phylactery deep underneath the tower of Gallowspire. Unwilling or unable to confront the necromancer's minions in his inner sanctum, they instead decided to turn the Whispering Tyrant's throne into his prison. First conjuring the lesser seals, Narthoc, a high-priest of Aroden, instructed his fellows to take the seals far away from Ustalav so they could be hidden and protected away from Tar-Baphon's influence. After the remains of the lich's body were entombed underneath Gallowspire, Narthoc then placed the final, greater seal down to ensure the Whispering Tyrant would never escape.
The Great Seal is located on the first level below the tower of Gallowspire. Simply accessing it requires tremendous effort, as it is guarded not only by deadly traps placed there by the armies of the Shining Crusade, but also the countless undead that still make their home in the tower. The most powerful of these are a vampiric elven druid named Iliamaniss, who seeks a way to bypass the Great Seal, and the animated remains of three unknown soldiers who rose as ghasts to keep out trespassers.
The Final Guardian
A powerful sphinx oracle named Shadnusaptera is the final living guardian of the Great Seal. She was placed here by the leaders of the Shining Crusade and tasked to defend it with her life. She is kept alive by the magic of the Great Seal, which also sustains her without food and water. She attacks anyone not carrying a piece of the shattered Shield of Aroden, and since these fragments are heavily guarded in secret, few are able to approach her unmolested.
Magic of the Great Seal
The protective magics of the Great Seal are so powerful that the physical structure of the dungeons below Gallowspire cannot be physically manipulated by mortals. Additionally, anyone using magic to transport into the dungeons is kept from leaving by the same means. The strength of the spells is strong enough to even keep summoned creatures from returning to their home plane.
Opening the Great Seal
The magic of the Great Seal is extremely powerful, the cumulative effect being that the dungeons beneath Gallowspire are now impregnable. The only way for someone to breach the magic is to locate and disable all three of the lesser seals (see below).
The Lesser Seals
The lesser seals were created at the same time as the Great Seal. The high-priest of Aroden, Narthoc, ordered each of the parties that took part in the Shining Crusade (Taldor, the dwarves of the Kingdom of Kraggodan, and the Knights of Ozem) to take them far away from Ustalav, so that the Great Seal could never be opened.
- Jason Bulmahn. (2011). Gallowspire. Dungeons of Golarion, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-304-0
- Brandon Hodge. (2011). Shadows of Gallowspire. Shadows of Gallowspire, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-313-2
- Jason Bulmahn. (2011). Gallowspire. Dungeons of Golarion, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-304-0
- Brandon Hodge. (2011). Shadows of Gallowspire. Shadows of Gallowspire, p. 51. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-313-2