The Gondola is a transportation device that moves back and forth over the chasm in the Obsidian Pass within the DragonSpine Mountains (map link 1, 2). The chasm separates Ilithi and Zoluren.
When on either platform, players can LOOK GONDOLA to see how far along it is in its journey.
The gondola takes approximately 3 minutes to travel from one side of the chasm to the other. A Trader caravan no longer increases the travel time. The gondola pauses for 2 minutes at each platform.
The Gondola can be skipped with 550 ranks of Athletics, or 475 with a large rope.
The Gondola was established in the Year 20 After Victory by Ferdahl Alec. The Mountain Elves maintained the gondola for 230 years, but when Queen Morganae's daughter Anloralhe was murdered on the gondola in the year 250 the Mountain Elves ceased their maintenance. The gondola was not reopened until the year 350, which permitted Adventurers and trade to flow between Zoluren and Ilithi.
Excerpt from Shard History
During the first fifty years of his rule, Alec established a gondola over a chasm that split Ilithi from the Mountain Elves. For over one hundred years it served the people -- transporting Elves and Elotheans between Zoluren and Ilithi. It was the task of the Mountain Elves to keep the pass where the gondola was located clear and free of danger.
It was a bright, clear day that Morganae's only daughter Anloralhe boarded the gondola with her war party to visit the lands of Zoluren. Some say that it was Morganae's great enemy -- the Bone Necromancer Sidhlot -- that caused the arrival of the snow creature into the cab. Whatever it was, the beast -- the likes never before seen in the mountains -- attacked all in the south cab of the gondola, and slaughtered the guards, the mage in charge of the gondola, and, most of all, the young princess.
Afterwards, despite having no mage to operate it and no hand to guide it, the gondola continued slowly back and forth across the ravine, as if some ghostly hand yet pushed it along.
When Morganae found her daughter dead, it is said she turned nearly to stone, save for one tear that crossed her cheeks. Her only words were, "Aman abule," as she cradled Anloralhe's shattered form, holding her all the long ride back to the Hall of the Mountain Queen.
From that point on, the Obsidian Pass has remained closed in mourning for the death of the princess. Since so few know Mountain Elf customs, no one knows how long the pass will remain closed, and since no one wishes to tempt the Mountain Elves into releasing their anguish on fools who defy their desire for mourning, the pass has remained closed.
As it was, Alec had enough to deal with rebuilding Shard and fighting back the Black Hand to bother with the Mountain Elves.....