Showing posts from August, 2012

Delvers' Guide: Ruins of Kor, Part 2

The Stained PalaceNestled amongst the rubble of the fallen walls and towers, rests the largely intact palace of the former rulers of KOR. It has buckled on one side, an entire wing bending at a steep angle to the rest of the building, the rest leaning backwards as if to escape the rest of the ruins. The centuries have worn away at the stone, and the rain, blood and waste blown across the chasm have stained the walls. It's name derives from these stains, but it is also known as the STAINED PALACE because of the stained-glass windows encircling the dome that dominates the palace. The glass has retained its bright colours, is unbroken, but generally coated in a layer of grime. The windows have proven to be indestructible, repelling even spells that unleash destruction in the form of lightning bolts and fireballs. Magi would gladly pay a king's ransom to discover how they were made. The Twisted TowerNot far beyond the palace is another mostly intact building, the TWISTED TOWER; so …

Delvers' Guide: Ruins of Kor, Part 1

The Eastern RidgeThe eastern tunnels largely emerge into the ruins over a ridge of densely packed stone, strewn with scree slopes and scattered boulders. Many of the rivers of blood stop here, forming pools and small marshes; others have carved channels through the ridge, and bloody waterfalls cascade into the ruins beyond.
The ridge acts as a natural border, separating the tunnels and city ruins, and is spread across the miles-wide chasm. Paths, natural and man- or monster-made cut through the stone, winding down to the sunken city below. The Boulder Fields Forming a rough crescent on the edge of the denser ruins is a sparse expanse of bedrock, scattered and strewn with boulders of all sizes. These are actually the worn-down remnants of ruins, and hidden amongst them are trapdoors and buried stairs leading down into cellars, crypts, dungeons and underground warehouses. Some are visible, some have been excavated and explored, but most remain untouched, waiting to be discovered. The Red Ca…

Delvers' Guide: the Ancient Ruins

The ANCIENT RUINS OF KOR are centuries old, and by all accounts KOR was an old city even before it fell. There is no doubt that a wealth of treasure can be found there, along with ancient knowledge, unknown magics, and history waiting to be discovered. It is the ultimate goal of anyone descending into the chasm, and can be a hive of activity; with adventurers, explorers, historians and other scholars all paying the ruins a visit.
The ruins are also dangerous, even more than the tunnels and surface of the chasm. Pale, regressed humans are the dominant threat in the city, believed to be the descendants of the original inhabitants. They are little more than scavengers, cannibals, and hunt in packs. They have an aversion to sunlight, and cringe in even bright light, but can tolerate the light of lanterns or torches. There are rumours that some among them are shamans, but this has yet to be proven.
The original landscape of the city has changed beyond all recognition, and there are few intac…

Delvers Guide: Places to See & Avoid, Part 3

The Hidden Forest Deeper into the tunnels is a natural cavern that sinks lower into the ground. This cavern holds THE HIDDEN FOREST, with giant mushrooms in place of trees, patches of mould in place of bushes, and fresh water from streams fed by rainwater that trickles through the layers of stone above.
Home to a variety of wildlife, some hostile, the forest is a source of food and water for those that live in the tunnels, and for adventuring parties passing through. Old Scar-Face One of the inhabitants of THE HIDDEN FOREST is an old, huge tenacious Manticore that has been given a name by adventurers: OLD SCAR-FACE; for the monster's face is covered in scars from the battles it has fought and survived. None have managed to slay him, and those that have tried have always suffered casualties. In part, this is due to his size, power and ferocity, but also because he is rarely encountered alone, being normally encountered with his fully-grown children or mates. The StatuaryCloser to the ru…

Delvers Guide: Places to See & Avoid, Part 2

The Bloody MireUpon the surface of the chasm, starting a short distance from the shaft, is a boggy marsh region where the rivers of blood have muddied the debris; creating the reeking BLOODY MIRE. This marsh is abuzz with insects, including some of the giant variety, and monsters hunt and lair there. Flocks of BLOOD RAVENS dine on the insects when they can't get meatier prey, and ICHOR or BLOOD ELEMENTALS have been known to spontaneously form.
The mire covers two-thirds of the width of the chasm, making it to difficult to avoid. Those that try find themselves trapped by those monsters who have learnt to hunt on the 'dry land' between the mire and wall. Blood RavensThese abominations are a bane to all travellers to the chasm. Originally they were ordinary ravens, attracted by the deaths of all those Avatars and followers. They began to change when they first tasted the divine blood; growing in size, feathers turning blood red, beaks sharpening, overcome with insatiable hunger…

Delvers Guide: Places to See & Avoid, Part 1

The WEEPING CHASM is full of danger, but it is also full wonder. There are things below that you won't find anywhere else, sights unseen, experiences like no other. Some can be found in the tunnels, others in the ruins, and a few cling to the walls and lie upon the surface. Keep your wits about you, however, because for every wonder there's a monster close-by.
Here are a few of the more common monsters and places to see, and sometimes avoid. Skin WraithsThought to be the lost, discontented souls of slain Avatars and their subsequent victims, SKIN WRAITHS are common enough to be fairly well documented. Semi-corporeal undead entities, akin to the deadlier life-draining wraiths found in the CATACOMBS, these shadowy creatures wear the tattered skins of their victims. They radiate intense cold, and their touch freezes, eventually paralysing their victims. The SKIN WRAITH then skins the victim, slowly, painfully, killing them in the process.
Thankfully, they are vulnerable to the divin…

Delvers' Guide: Entry & Exit

Entering & Leaving the Chasm There is only one safe way to enter or leave the city, and that is by the lift attached to the DELVERS GUILD. For a modest fee, a delver will take you down in the lift, and the return ascent is free; although you may have to wait a while for the lift to arrive. There used to be a bell attached to a very long rope, but it was removed after the more intelligent monsters learnt that they could call down food; their very own room service.
The lift passes through a shaft at the bottom of the chasm, and stops in a cavern that has been cleared and enlarged over the years. The shaft is defended by sharpened stakes driven deep into the rock, and a mixture of divine glyphs and arcane wards. There are no guards down there, as their life expectancy would be very low.
The other ways in and out of the chasm are risky at best, deadly for the most part. The obvious way is climbing the walls, which certainly have plenty of nooks and crannies to hold on to; an easy climb, …

Delvers' Guide to the Weeping Chasm

The first thing you need to know about the WEEPING CHASM is its size: a little over twenty-seven miles long, half-a-mile deep, and five miles across at its widest point. The tip begins here, in our CITY OF BONES, and the fissure ends at the foot of the mountains to the west. It is vast, with numerous tunnels, caverns and pits spreading out from its interior, like cracks in a broken pane of glass.
The second thing you need to know is that its depths are largely unexplored, and that new areas are always being discovered. The remains of the ancient city of KOR lie in the chasm, the more intact buildings at its centre, the rest at least partially buried by rocks and scree, flooded with water or blood. The accumulation of centuries of fallen stones, dumped waste, and general detritus have compacted layers of debris, with natural pockets and caves being formed, creating a network of tunnels and rooms, some narrow, some wide avenues, often cramped with low ceilings, damp and pitch black. Thes…