Delvers' Guide: Ruins of Kor, Part 2

The Stained Palace

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Nestled 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 Tower

Not far beyond the palace is another mostly intact building, the TWISTED TOWER; so called due to the odd arrangement of its ten stories. Each level protrudes above the lower, creating a step-like line, the direction alternating between levels. Believes to have once been the domain of a powerful mage who enjoyed experiments, the tower is said to be full of traps, puzzles and magical wards. Strange creatures have been spotted inside, and within its vicinity, and treasure both mundane and magical has been looted from within.

Worm Valley

On the western side of the ruins is a long, narrow valley formed by walls of rubble. It connects the BONE PIT to the west side, allowing easier passage between the two halves of the city. These walls are pitted with holes, leading into a network of tunnels and caves, which are the lairs of the creatures that made them: giant flesh-eating worms; long, pale-grey, blind, but possessing an uncanny ability to detect prey by the vibrations of their movement, even, so it is said,  by the pounding of the heart of a terrified man.

Looters' Square

Beyond WORM VALLEY is an open plaza strewn with debris. A square formed by the ruined buildings surrounding it, the plaza is one of the few areas of the city that the SHADES avoid, for as yet unknown reasons. As such it is one of the safer places to explore; which it has been on numerous occasions, each time discovering new chambers and passage beneath the square. This is where most of the treasure has surfaced, looted from the rooms below; and although the treasure found is less than it was, there is still enough to attract adventurers.

Below the square, depending on which entrance you take, there are tombs and crypts, former dwellings, crude passages and caves formed by collapsing rubble, as well as chambers believed to be ancient temples, arcane sanctums, and former barracks for long-dead soldiers. Some of the passages lead under and deeper into other parts of the city, some even connect to the tunnels beyond, especially those few to the west.

The Western Edge

Along the WESTERN EDGE of the ruined city are mounds of rubble, piles of waste, rivulets of blood and water, scree slopes that climb down to the craggy surface of the chasm; beyond this jagged line the chasm is largely unexplored, with fewer tunnels or features than the eastern side.

The edge is noted for the hives that have been built by giant killer bees that have developed a taste for the blood emerging from the walls. Rarely hostile, unless provoked, they have a deadly sting and seldom travel alone.

Beyond the Ruins

Beyond the ruined city of Kor, the chasm gradually begins to narrow, mirroring the eastern half, as it meets the roots of the mountains. There the broken rock has formed folds of stone, giant steps that climb out of the shadowed depths and into the slopes of the mountainside. It's a difficult climb, even without the blood concentrated on the walls; dangerous too, with caves holding the lairs of trolls, wyverns, and owlbears closer to the ground.

Like the east side, the floor of the chasm is made of crushed layers of stone, forming tunnels and caverns, but less numerous and with fewer connections. Most of the blood has merged into one large river, which cascades down a fissure in the rock, falling to unknown and unexplored depths below the surface of the chasm.

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