Delvers' Guide to the Weeping Chasm

Sketch of 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. These tunnels lead to the ruins and the dungeons, catacombs and crypts below the city, and are safer to traverse than walking along the 'roof' of the tunnels, the surface of the chasm floor.

Which brings us to the third thing you need to know about the chasm: it is a dangerous place. Make no mistake, exploring the chasm is a deadly profession and a third of all those who descend into the dark never return. The blood that oozes from the torn edges, coursing down the walls to form pools, streams, rivers and even lakes, attracts all manner of beasts, both natural and otherwise. This is why the tunnels are safer, for upon the surface where most of the blood accumulates are monsters that have grown fat and bold. They will attack without provocation, driven by what has been described as an insatiable hunger.

The tunnels, although safer in comparison to the surface, are not without their dangers. Monsters roam the tunnels, or make their lairs in the caverns that have formed. The tunnels are also unstable, prone to collapse, and some have been flooded by water or blood.

Amongst the ruins of KOR, where the blood and tunnels converge, the danger is immense. Very few have made it out alive, although those that did came back laden with treasure. Aside from the monsters that now lair there, it has been said that degenerate humans live there, descendants of the original inhabitants who somehow survived their city's fall; we call them SHADES.

Rival adventuring parties, explorers, monster-hunter, and curious magi complete the danger. The competition for treasure, artefacts, trophies and lost magic is fierce. Fighting between parties are common, and many a man has been killed fighting over some trinket or jewel recovered from the chasm.


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