When a Tor hidden service is implemented it publishes an introductory point. To my current understanding, connections to the said hidden service is highly dependant on this introductory point.
Is this introductory node jurst another Tor relay/exit node? Do I know that my Tor exit relay is somebody's introductory point? Can I host one introduction point if I want to?
If the introductory service goes down, does it make the hidden service go down too? Is my hidden service smart enough to realise when the introductory point is down and republish another?