Each week I will be posting my progress in creating the dungeon, NPCs, lore, and the surrounding area. My version of #Dungeon23 is to make progress every day. Most days that will mean a room description or using a dice drop to generate a section of the dungeon. Other days will include adding lore, NPC, and other descriptions needed to fill out the document to my satisfaction. The blog post each week will be a copy-and-paste directly from my personal google doc. My hope is to show how this dungeon and area evolves over the year.
Change Log. rooms 14 – 19, hallway H4, added map details, NPC info on General Hualpa and the Order of the Fox
Previous Entries. Week 1. Week 2. Week 3.
**for the original post on Dungeon23 see the post on Sean McCoy’s blog https://seanmccoy.substack.com/p/dungeon23
**for a list of resources for Dungeon23 see https://itch.io/blog/462261/dungeon23-resources
Cover and spot art by Perplexing Ruins, I highly suggest you check out their Patreon. Maps are made with Dungeon Scrawl.
Deep in the Kyusoku Mesa hides the ancient vault of ‘Vaelving Gamles’ which holds a fabled warhammer with the power to unite the local tribes. A deep scar carves a wedge into the middle of the mesa. A lush jungle covers the scar and other portions of the mesa. The rest is an unforgiving desert. The tribes of the Resu’suteppu have called this area home for centuries.
The ancient vault was built centuries ago by the local stone giants to protect (and hide) their most sacred possessions. Long after the giants abandoned the vault local tribes of elves used parts of the upper floors as an emergency shelter in times of need. Most recently it has been the focus of a foreign War Priest (with claims of local blood) to find the fabled warhammer Endbringer, and unite, and rule, the tribes of the mesa once and for all.
Hook: The retired General Hualpa is hiring adventurers to map the halls of Vaelving Gamles.
Hook: A foreign War Priest is paying anyone who brings them magic items from the depths of the vault.
The town of Unrock provides many accommodations for the locals and the many adventurers that pass through the region.
Topside provides more goods and services to the area and is more affluent than Unrock.
The vault of Vaelving Gamles is made up of a combination of smooth, worked stone and hand-hewn stone, with the occasional natural tunnel or cavern. Some areas have exceptional architectural features that are noted in the text.
Ceilings. Built to accommodate many types of giants, the room ceilings are at least 35 feet at the least and as high as 50 feet in the more important spaces. Ceilings in hallways are approximately 40 feet in height.
Doors. Locked wooden doors require a successful DC 20 Dexterity check with thieves’ tools or a key found on the same floor. Large stone doors require a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check.
Light. Large sconces can be found in most rooms and hallways. Whether they are lit is another question.
The Giant Archway, Vkhod Arku, Floor 1
Wandering Monsters. Check for wandering monsters if the players move to a new area, make a lot of noise, spend too much time in one area, or at the dungeon master’s discretion. Also, an encounter can occur at the dungeon master’s discretion without a roll. Check for wandering monsters by rolling a d20. On a roll of 17-20, an encounter takes place. Roll a d6 and consult the wandering monsters table. On a 20, roll twice on the table and use both results.
|1||1d4 + 2 Giant Rats|
|2||1d4 + 2 Giant Centipedes|
|3||1d4 + 2 Skeletons|
|5||1d4 Swarms of Bats|
|6||1 Grey Ooze|
Giant Rats. An oily smell precedes the sight of rats gnawing on bat carcasses.
Giant Centipedes. The skittering of hundreds of legs on the floor approaches slowly out of the darkness.
Skeletons. Undead skeletons can be found repeating echos of ancient actions of their past lives like standing guard, patrolling a hallway, or playing cards. The dark energy that animates their bones compels them to attack any living creatures on sight.
Troglodytes. A group of troglodytes is scouting the vault for a possible new lair.
Swarm of Bats. Screeches pierce the air as a group of bats erupts from the darkness above flying around chaotically.
Gray Ooze. Blending in with the stone work, the gray ooze waits for the perfect moment to strike unsuspecting adventurers.
- The Vkhod Arku
A giant archway built into the mesa holds an alcove that nature re-claimed long ago. Faded murals dedicated to the giant god Annam All-Father. Small scripts in ancient elvish provide directions beyond the stone doors. Two giant-sized stone doors require a successful DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check to open. There is a chance this room is occupied. 1d6: 1d4 kobolds and 1 giant goat; 1d4 kobolds; 1 giant goat; nothing; Spy, Priest, Knight fighting 1d4 kobolds; Spy, Priest, Knight resting after a bad fight.
Rotten wood, cobwebs, and rusted weapons lie scattered around. More elven writing marks the two doors. The south corner of the room ceiling has collapsed causing the floor to rise to a ledge in the corner. In the north corner, Goblins and Kobolds are fighting each other over some treasure. In the south corner of the room, a Goblin Boss and a couple Goblins are harrying an adventurer perched on the ledge protecting a large chest. The Scout cries for help as soon as they see the characters. Treasure. 210 sp, 80 gp, black velvet mask, gold vestments, potion of climbing, dust of dryness, and a key to the stairwell in room 4.
The floor is partially collapsed in the southeast corner. Several Kobolds are attempting to dig through to access a room 4 floors below. They rigged an old well to be a hidden pit trap that fills with poisoned water over 1 minute. A successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check discerns an absence of foot traffic over the section of the floor that forms the pit’s cover.
- Main Stairwell
This main stairwell room was originally used as a staging area for going deeper into the vault. Touching any of the small doors causes the character to take 1d10 poison damage and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. There is a chance this room is occupied. 1d6: goblins, empty, kobolds, empty, adventurers, empty.
- Guard Room
The heavy stone door is slightly ajar. Once used as a base for the guards of the vault now the room serves as a camp for adventurers. Written on the wall are instructions on how to seal the room from the inside for safety. An almost empty wooden cask holds travel rations and waterskins. Attached inside is a parchment with dates written on it indicating when the rations were last restocked.
- Empty Vault
The secret door to this chamber was found long ago and was fully pillaged shortly after. All that remains are scraps of broken storage and furniture that have been used here over the centuries. There is a chance that the room is occupied. 1d6: goblins, empty, empty, empty, empty, kobolds.
- Fake Barracks
This chamber is set up like a small barracks but is a trap to thwart intruders. As soon as the characters enter the room scything blades emerge from the ceiling and walls. DC 11 to detect the trap and the same DC to disable the trap via a panel in the doorway. Each creature in the doorway must make a DC 11 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5 (1d10) slashing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A mimic disguises itself as a fancy door with no traps. The room guards a chest containing a bag of gems (tiger eye, 2 rhodochrosite, 3 moss agate, malachite, lapis lazuli, 3 hematite, and azurite), a scroll of greater restoration, a scroll of protection (undead), and a potion of frost giant strength.
H1. Gas Trap Hallway
The hallway between rooms 6 and 7 contains a poison gas trap. When triggered small holes appear in the walls hissing out a purple noxious gas and causing the area to be lightly obscured. DC 13 to detect the trap and the same DC to disable the trap via a panel in the floor. Each creature in the area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 3 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
The Giant Archway, Vkhod Arku, Floor 2
H2. Collapsed Hallway
The entrance to room 8 has a 1 in 6 chance of being blocked by a collapsed ceiling.
Many kobolds and a couple goblins fight over the water contained in the cistern. The kobolds are looking for the goblin who sabotaged their water supply. The goblins are fleeing a bad situation with their tribe. Part of the ceiling has collapsed creating partial cover and difficult terrain. A secret door in the southwest corner reveals a secret staircase that goes up and down one floor each.
- Audience Chamber
Three tiers separate this room. Some furniture still lingers in the far east corner where a historical text can be found in an unknown language (ancient giant). A secret door in the far west corner leads to a hidden hallway. A rotten skeleton can be found in the secret hallway with 6 gp, a dead mouse, a page torn from a spellbook, and a ring of iron keys.
- Goblin Museum
What was once a torture chamber in ages past has been turned into a gallery for some of the goblin clans’ prized possessions. Ancient slabs of stone are now pillars for trinkets. 1d4 + 1 Goblins are making simple repairs to some furniture and cleaning up after a scuffle with some kobolds. The goblins are willing to help the PCs in exchange for wealth of any kind. Among the items on the pillars are a small mirror set in a painted frame, a giant gold locket, a silver pitcher, a black velvet mask, a potion of animal friendship, and a potion of greater healing.
- Goblin Game Room
The Goblins turned this old barracks into a game room. Broken wood, scraps of fabric, and a makeshift toy ball lay scattered about amongst odd markings on the floor and walls. A fancy painting depicts a small black line emanating a shaded blend of reds, oranges, and yellows. When touched a wall of force is created splitting the room in half. Any attacks made by magic weapons bounce off and cause 1d6 force damage on the wielder. Normal weapons and physical attacks do damage as normal. The force wall disappears after it takes 10 total damage.
- Goblin Campsite
An old guardroom has been turned into a campsite and training room for the defenders of the goblin clan. A large patch of green slime clings to the ceiling above a raised platform guarding an enchanted treasure chest. Inside the chest is 15 cp, about 450 gp in gemstones, and a seamless rectangular obsidian box. The only way to open the box is to ask it nicely to open. Any attempt to damage it destroys the contents. The obsidian box contains a potion of animal friendship, a potion of poison, and a potion of greater healing.
- Ritual Chamber
The magic circle used for rituals can still be seen etched into the floor. Ancient bas reliefs depict giants fighting enormous beasts. The north section of the room contains a variety of glass humanoids in several poses. A greater restoration spell or equivalent reverses the glass curse. Using the magic circle triggers a wild magic surge. A group of Kobolds are trying to help one of their friends stuck in a paralyzing mushroom field in the southeast corner of the room.
H3. Vaelving Chasm
This hallway features a chasm approximately 20ft wide and 80ft deep. Rooms below are in view and accessible.
H4. Fleeing Goblins
1d4 Goblins are running from a fight with some kobolds. One of the goblins is badly injured and they are looking for a place to rest before returning to the tribe.
- Shield Vault
What was once a main vault room indicated by the giant rune on the stone door has been turned into a workroom for the Gathering. A group of adventurers loosely working together in solving the mysteries and plundering the treasure, of the vault. Pedestals and tables are piled with notes, notebooks, and trinkets. A large table holds a map in progress. A map of the current floor can be found among the scattered papers. Books: gear inventory, old adventurers journal, and a letter from the retired General Hualpa asking for a progress report. Trinkets: monster tooth, hand mirror, and an empty bottle.
- Trapped Campsite
An empty firepit sits in front of two abandoned tents. A suit of armor lies untouched by age in one corner and an old target dummy stands in the opposite corner. When either one of these is touched or moved they both begin to animate. Use the Animated Armor and Medium Animated Object stat blocks. Treasure: 16 sp, a pair of cloth gloves, and a trilobite fossil.
- Kobold Guard Room
1d6 Kobolds are stationed in this room as a guard post. They are currently hiding and resting after a scuffle with some goblins. Pieces of broken furniture lie next to a set of faded wooden chairs and a table. Kobold graffiti is painted on one of the walls containing a secret door leading to a stairwell that goes down one floor to a section of the kobold lair. Treasure: 7 ep, a herbal poultice, and a set of fine brushes
- Kobold Laboratory
This dimly lit space features two tables filled with various alchemical equipment and ingredients. A small furnace burns in the corner and shelves line the walls filled with vials of colored liquids and jars of strange substances. With one hours time and a successful DC 20 Intelligence check one of the following potions can be made: potion of healing, potion of fire breath, potion of growth, Keoghtom’s ointment, oil of slipperiness, potion of gaseous form. Eight hours can be spent studying the equipment to lower the DC by 1, the limit of five. In both cases, wandering monster checks should be made every 30 min. A 10 ft. raised ledge contains a Mimic disguised as a treasure chest. Treasure: 15 cp, a block of soap, a bundle of seven twigs, fragments of a shattered sword
- Trapped Pass
A Rug of Smothering lies in the center of the room waiting to attack any who don’t know the command word: Qaavric. A glass sculpture of a tall kobold with scaled armor wielding a spear. If touched the statue attacks. Use the Animated Armor stat block adding a Death Throes explosion, DEX save DC 15 vs 1d6 piercing damage when it reaches 0 HP.
- Kobold Armory
A few racks of old rusted weapons line the south wall. The ceiling has partially collapsed creating a pile of rubble that is just tall enough to reach a high ledge. The ledge contains a small passageway that leads to Level 3 below. 1d4 + 1 Goblins are attempting to sneak into the Kobold section and run amok.
General Hualpa is a proud and wise male elf known for his plate mail and powerful battle axe. Despite his conceited nature, the retired general is a skilled and experienced leader. Patron to the Gathering, Hualpa wants to completely map the vault so it can be inhabited again.
Order of the Fox
Trym Greenleaf the Halfling Spy
Nissa Glittergem the Gnome Priest
Nuraval Orcfoe the Dwarf Knight
Chem Ennui the Tiefling Scout
Adventuring group that can be found from time to time in the vault or general area.
The Stonewalker Goblins
This tribe of goblins has been living in the ancient vault for generations. They call the sprawling vaults their home and most of them have never been outside. The kobolds that have recently moved in have been causing havoc to the supplies and resources of the tribe.
Skrax the Goblin King is looking to end the fighting with the kobolds soon so he can go back to breeding his prized hunting rats.
1d8 Goblin Names. Biks, Jorg, Leechbrain, Gnatface, Jhibi, Igugg, Mudleg, Belch.
The Sharpsnout Kobolds
In the past few months, one of the kobold leaders has led them into the depths of the vault in search of ancient artifacts. They tell the kobolds not of what they seek but just to bring them anything they believe is valuable and shiny. Deadly encounters with the goblins have caused some dissent among some of the tribe.
A young sapphire dragon called Jharthanach is using them to begin building their hoard that’s located in another section of the giant vault.
1d8 Kobold Names. Kirg, Kloh, Erla, Then, Scuz, Trig, Chroma, Tema.
The Broken Crown Troglodytes
Having been chased out of their home this group of troglodytes is looking for a new lair. Their name comes from the obsidian and ruby broken crown worn by the patriarch, Zarm. The trogs have knowledge of the evil that lurks below due to the years they lived there. The trogs also want to find out why more adventurers have shown up in recent months.
1d6 Troglodyte Names. Silk, Skriss, Koldar, Grist, Lid, L’gronk
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