Ben Langstaff (leopardeternal) wrote,
Ben Langstaff

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Eberron, The Temple

Its been a bit since I've been able to return to this, for that I apologize, I've been catching up on a lot but I'm now in the position that I should be able to write a lot more.

Out in the Demon Wastes the group had been uncovering a temple that resembled something of an obelisk that had tumbled over, as well as something of an entire city that surrounded it. This temple was massive, even laying on its side. In its heyday the temple had passages that led well up into its spire leading to a few rooms that served druidic purposes. Now however the temple was tumbled on its side, they didn't have access to the base, but with the spire crashed and broken they had direct access to the stairwell that led up inside of it.

This allowed me to design one of the more creative dungeon crawls I think I've ever seen if I do say so myself. It was a simple dungeon for me to design, a switchback staircase leading up the center with various rooms leading off on its way up. Two large rooms like you'd find in a Church complete with pews (though the ceilings weren't so impressive), a practice room for the monks, a meditation rooms, and at the very top dorms for the senior druids. Very simple, just vertical. And then I tipped the whole thing on its side.

This made it very interesting for the characters to explore. The stairwell was firstly blocked by sand that had hardened after getting wet, their first obstacle was to get through this. Mostly this served as a time wasting barrier, Rick was called in as the tireless warforged to pick his way through it. Once through they had to navigate a stairwell that was laid on its side. The first set of rooms, the church rooms, were divided by a hallway that now ran vertically before reaching the doorways to the rooms. The rooms themselves were now relatively vertical with the pews and other various relics having fallen to a pile against a wall. They would have to descend by rope to reach one doorway while climbing a rather sheer shaft to reach the other. The bottom door would be packed in by the pile of pews and relics that were now against that same wall, while the top door would serve mainly as a narrow ledge before falling into the room proper. In these rooms they primarily found art type artifacts, the carved pews, the candle stands, some candles, tapestries and other wall hanging arts. I did include brass reliefs of two deities that are found in other D&D settings. One intended as a natural male aspect, the other a natural female aspect found in each room. This was primarily just flavor, but I felt it was a neat touch to explore different ideas of druidic theology.

Continuing the awkward clime up the stairs would lead next to the practice room, beyond some training wracks full of old weaponry that room would be relatively cluttered, but still vertical. In this room I included a floor design much like a large circle done up in the style of a celtic knot. I offered the more martial characters (Joey and Rick primarily) a feeling of familiarity but wouldn't immediately explain to them why. Later I would allow them to recognize the footing of a relatively obscure kata or "dance" that martial arts use to train the body to flow through various moves. This was meant as my hint as to what this room was used for. I wanted to bring together the idea that once upon a time druids and monks worked together as different aspects of the same study. Joey had rolled extremely well so I also allowed him to find secret cubbyholes containing well made and still useful scimitars.

Next the meditation room which would be least cluttered of all, though a rather artfully carved fountain head and bowl would be found carved into the far wall. In this room I included a magical effect that was used to keep the room nice and relaxing. It dimmed the noise, kept the temperature cool, and generally made the whole place nice. The fountain had a similar enchant that had failed after all the years, this enchant would have been used to keep the bowl relatively full and the fountain continuously running. I used this to express a concept that even magic would decay given enough time. I gather this from various concepts including the force, "Life creates it, makes it grow..." that with life around magic is strong, but absent that life magic itself too withers and dies. This temple had been buried for eons under sands. It certainly had the rare visitor for a time, but once the entrances sealed with sand nothing more would penetrate and visit. The fountain would have been endless, now its dry. Keeping the room cool and quite however would have been a relatively easier effect and so it lingers longer and is the first to react to the return of life.

Finally at the top of the spire the party would find the dorms for the senior druids. They had their extravagance but were still spartan compared to the Silver Flame or even the more well to do monasteries of the sovereign host. There were a few things in this section for the characters to find. Firstly on the main room floor the characters would find a circle of protection, surrounded by scorch marks. In fact the room looked as though an explosion had gone off centered on that circle with scorch marks reaching even the far walls. Most of this room was in shambles, all the wood was long since burned away, and what little metal might be found was twisted beyond identification much less repair. Hidden doors would be found easily, the doors weren't intended to be hidden as much as they were meant to simply remain inconspicuous. That said given the age and condition of the room as well as its sideways orientation I felt the doors would be a bit harder to recognize as such. Beyond those doors would be a few individual rooms that, save their orientation, were otherwise untouched. In one of these rooms the characters would find a journal, the journal for which I named the game (The Traitorous Journal).
Tags: campaign, d&d, eberron, gaming

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