Delvers' Guide: Ruins of Kor, Part 1

The Eastern Ridge

The 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 Canals

One fairly intact section is partially flooded; the former streets have become canals fed by a river of blood, hence THE RED CANALS. This area has been claimed by a team of engineers, explorers, archaeologists and adventurers, who have managed to clear enough space to establish a permanent presence, a camp amongst the ruins. They are ever vigilant, coming under attack on a daily basis, and mercenaries are constantly in demand. Sponsored by the Trade Guild, they are working to maintain a permanent stronghold, with their own lift, in direct competition with the Delvers' Guild.

Although they are a long way from achieving this, they have made some progress: there is a small trading outpost, a simple inn, and a make-shift tavern. It's certainly one of the safest spots in the ruined city.

The Bone Pit

In the central part of the ruins, surrounded by crumbling walls and shallow caves dug into the rubble, is a huge pit, really a crater, known as THE BONE PIT. Thousands of bones fill the pit, maybe even hundreds of thousands, as no one knows how deep it is. The bones come from all over the ruins, collected by the degenerates– commonly referred to as SHADES, due to their pale-skins, aversion to daylight, and affinity for shadows– and thrown into the pit, offerings to whatever dark gods, demons or totems they worship. Mingled with these assorted bones– animal, monster and humanoid– are gemstones, jewellery, anything that glitters and glows brightly in torchlight; trinkets and baubles for the most part, coins too, but also some truly valuable gemstones such as rubies, sapphires and golden yellow topaz.

Be warned: although the area surrounding the pit seems empty, it is anything but. The pit is a trap, with SHADES lurking in the caves, behind walls, even buried under a fine layer of dirt and rubble, ready to pounce. As soon as you turn your back, distracted by the flash of gems, they will swarm. If you're lucky, you'll be killed; if not, you'll be eaten alive.

Rumour has it that the pit itself holds a further danger, some monster that lives in its depths, occasionally rising to the surface to be fed sacrifices that the SHADES throw into the pit.

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