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Name: The Great Northern Gate (formal); the Mountain's Mouth (nickname)
Description: The Great Northern Gate is a tunnel that runs through the heart of a mountain. It stands about 25 feet high and wide. A major two-lane road used to run through it, although the Ancient pavement has mostly crumbled away. Massive pillars topped by an elaborate lintel frame the tunnel, carved into the face of the mountain. The pale stone of the frame stands out sharply against the dark mountain and the black tunnel. Central supports help stabilize the tunnel, but rockfalls both outside and inside have narrowed the passage, making travel difficult.
The tunnel is so long that no light can be glimpsed from the far side. Remnants of Ancient lighting remain but none of the fixtures still function. At intervals, narrow shafts aid ventilation. Deep within the tunnel, at the halfway point, there is a vast chamber hollowed out from the stone: an Ancient "highway oasis" underground, now used as a campground by traveling Northerners. Aside from damage due to vermin, most of the Ancient artifacts there remain in exceptionally good condition, sheltered from weathering. Much of the writing on signs and such is still legible.
The mountain itself is tall and imposing, with many sheer cliffs. It presents a difficult climb, and there are no nearby passes over the range. Natural shapes in the stone above the tunnel subtly resemble a nose and eyes, creating the impression of a face with the tunnel as the mouth. So this mountain is called Mt. Mouth, or Mouth Mountain, by the Northerners.
Location: The Great Northern Gate stands between the Northerners' usual territory and the Lichenwold, which begins just on the other side of the tunnel.
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