Sunday 24 August 2014

Though Flesh be Vast

Here's the adventure to go along with yesterday's map preview.  This one started out with me wondering what it would be like if a dungeon were viewed by under-worlders the way we see the proverbial mountain-top monastery.  Remote, inaccessible, spiritual places.

Deep in the ground is the world of the dradkin, but with so little sunlight, they are dependent on scarce food resources. Starvation is a constant threat.  The cult of Inceraugh prophecies that one day their great under-good will show them a path to the surface, a fabled place where fat animals blunder about, grazing on a never-ending crop of lush plants that sprouts from every surface.

This adventure is potentially quite dangerous, because the dradkin are so numerous. Their society is breaking into factions, but the party will have to be clever to find and make use of them - or else be polite and generous enough to parlay their way into some hospitality. For now, at least, Incerat operates cohesively, so clumsy or ill-prepared attacks will be provoke punitive counter-attacks.

The rulers will be hard pressed to keep this up, however - the ritual avatar feedings must continue at all costs, and if Incerat's pious warriors are busy mounting a defense, the slave pens will soon be emptied.

Much of Incerat is lit (at least dimly), but consider being careful about PC light sources. If they are guests of the dradkin, they could easily become utterly dependent on their hosts just to get around.

Edit: here's a rainbow-tinted map that uses color to indicate depth beneath the surface.

Note on Power Levels

If you're using a system with a flatter power curve (e.g. Burning Wheel, Dungeon World, World of Dungeons), the threats as described will probably be ample. For established D&D characters, the pious warriors should be quite capable (e.g. 4-7th level fighters), with the fleshpriests having several levels of evil clerical powers in addition to the listed dradkin rituals.

Maps and Illustrations

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