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 Statuary

Closer to the ruins are a series of linked caves and tunnels full of statues, known as the STATUARY or the PETRIFIED CAVES. A nest of Cockatrices is said to lair here, although no one has proven this; and a medusa is rumoured to have taken up residence in one of the caves; both would explain why there are so many statues.

The statues themselves are dominated by perfect sculptures of adventurers, explorers and their entourage; many are posed in mid-fight or -flight, some wearing expressions of shock and surprise, fear and horror, or simply acceptance. There are statues of animals and monsters too, and their ages range from a few decades to a few days old. The aged statues are worn, cracked, crumbling, with many fallen into piles barely recognisable rubble.

It is an eerie, quiet and unsettling location, where the eyes of the statues seem to follow you, or move when caught in the corner of the eye; and it has its own particular danger.

Living Statues

Whether the result of an experiment or research, or ignited by a spark of the divine from the blood that drips from the rough, unseen ceiling, it is known that some of the statues are alive, in the crudest sense. These LIVING or ANIMATED STATUES have an intrinsic disdain for all forms of life, ambushing parties as they pick their way through the tunnels crowded with statues. They vary in both material and methods of attack, shatter, crumble or rust when vanquished, and all have jewels for hearts. Some magi believe that their victims turn to stone themselves, replenishing the statues that are worn or smashed.

The Twisted Stairs

Eventually the tunnels emerge amongst the ruins of KOR, some merging and forming natural steps that twist and buck towards the surface. These TWISTED STAIRS exit all around the edge of the ruins, creating numerous entrances.

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