Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Forge of Fury - A Peek Behind the GM Screen

As the heroes of the Shinning Scorpion make their way through the Foundry level of Khundrukar they find themselves in dwarven halls that once served as living quarters. These rooms and passages seem filled with undead, the remains of the 100 year gone battle that was the fall of the dwarven stronghold.

As GameMaster I am privy to the details of these halls, yet the players only get a fraction of that info. Even when they do explore rooms only so much can be shared with them as they go, which leaves behind a lot of cool story they may never learn. Story which could be hard to separate as character knowledge and player knowledge. 
But now that they've already explored most of the area I thought it would be nice to detail them here, away from the table, where it can be extra story that will not influence the game. Nor will it cause the players to make choices solely based on this extra knowledge picked up during their gameplay.

Area 41) The Kitchens
A century ago, one of Durgeddin's chief advisors was a high-level cleric of Moradin who prepared many defensive spells in and around the Foundry. One of the surprises he left was an animated object - a large table - in this room, with orders to attack any non-dwarf who entered. The cleric's exact orders were "Attack any non-dwarf who enters this room, unless a dwarf tells you to stand still."

I guess Durgeddin didn't have any guests over for dinner who weren't dwarf.

Area 42) Desecrated Shrine
Durgeddin made his last stand in this very chamber, laying about with his sword until his orc enemies finally overwhelmed him. The orc war-priests wanted to make sure that their terrible enemy would never return; they pronounced dire curses over the remains of their hated foe. Then they chose a fierce orc warrior to remain here forever in undeath to slay any who found this place. The orc champion became a wight and was supported by three large skeletons, powerful creatures who once served the orcs. In life they were a minotaur and a pair of equiceph (similar to minotaurs but horse humanoids).

Areas 43 & 46) The Dwarf Halls & Common Room
The dwaves of Khundrukar lived in private rooms to the north of the Great Hall. The orc horde pillaged most of these rooms, cutting down all the dwarves they found and carrying off any treasure they came across. These areas became the demesne of an undead dwarf - the cleric Arundil - who now exists as a wraith. Once the leading priest of Khundrukar he fled during the final assault using his magic to escape the slaughter. He returned later to find all of his kinfolk dead. In his despair and guilt he attempted to repair some of the defenses for the complex, animating dead warriors - both dwarf and orc, to kill intruders who may return. Arundil went mad in his grief and perished a mere few weeks later.

Well, there's some detail on the recently explored areas. Who knows what the players will stumble into next as they search the ancient halls? Well, the GameMaster knows ...

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