Level X, Room 8

0X.08: Underrealm Depths

Form: Extensive networks of caverns and tunnels leader ever deeper into the earth.

At First Glance: Beyond the Bastion (0X.05) the caverns and tunnels of the underrealm become ever more complex and unmappable. It seems like one could travel for miles, going ever deeper, and never discover anything with certain meaning.

On Closer Inspection: The farther the characters travel, the more certain they are that the dwarven Bastion was there to block the lower depths, not serve as a gateway to it.

Secrets: Those cold, dark, lonely caverns are inhospitable and dangerous. Every four hours the characters spend exploring, there is a chance of a deep encounter. The check gets progressively worse for each four hours spent exploring and eventually the worst will happen.

Connections: If followed forever, these caverns will eventually lead to the Netherdeeps, a hellish subterranean realm beyond the scope of this adventure.

Level X, Room 7

0X.07: Helgate Chasm

Form: A wide chasm lit by an ominous orange glow.

Illumination: Darkness except within a few dozen yards of the chasm, which is lit by a dim and malevolent orange light.

At First Glance: The tunnel from 0X.01 narrows and goes for a hundred yards or more before wideninging slighting into a cavern dominated by a rift in the earth. A chasm 50 feet wide blocks the cavern. It glows with light that might come from hell itself: red orange and ominous, stinking of sulfur, and carrying moans on its foul breeze.

On Closer Inspection: There is a definite updraft from the chasm as hot air rises. While there is no visible smoke on that breeze, it is foul with toxic gas. Anyone flying or hovering over the chasm for more than a few minutes may succumb to the gas, losing consciousness and tumbling in to their doom.

Secrets: Despite appearances, the chasm is not unpassable. There is a bridge built over the chasm, made of deepearth blacksteel constructed by the Baelishite dwarves who abandoned their bastion in 01.05. The bridge is invisible to those without deep sight (like dwarves) but can be discovered through trial and error.

Connections: Across the chasm, the tunnel continues west to 0X.xx and branches southwest to 0X/xx.

Level X, Room 6

0X.06: Labyrinthine Tunnels

Form: Tight, twisting caverns.

Illumination: Pitch black.

At First Glance: Like the hunting grounds (0X.02) that led here, these caverns are tight, twisting, jagged tunnels that stop unexpectedly, turn back on one another and otherwise confound attempts to navigate them.

On Closer Inspection: Evidence suggests that creatures do traverse these tunnels: corpses and skeletons, dropped gear and the occasional attempt at a hatch mark or blazed sign.

Secrets: The whisperers — the Godecho’s cultists in the chambers beyond — know these tunnels well, using them to spy on and sometimes abduct garklings as well as investigate new arrivals. They leave a very subtle trail of marks that canny characters can use to navigate the paths.

Treasure: There is a minor chance of discovering a random piece of lost mundane gear for every hour spent exploring the labyrinthine tunnels.

Connections: Following the whisperers’ marks leads  between the hunting grounds (0X.02) and the echo chamber (0X.xx) to the north  and Whisperdale (0X.xx) to the west. However, misinterpreting the signs will lead the too-clever-for-their-own-good characters down into sparkling death (0X.xx).

Level X, Room 5

0X.05: Broken Bastion

Form: A ruined fortress blocks the cavern here.

At First Glance: The fortress blocks the passage northeast from the hunting grounds (0X.02). There is a tall wall, a gate and a keep, all of obviously upper world construction. It is in a crumbling state and appears to be very old.

On Closer Inspection: The fortress is of dwarven design and construction, though who knows who did the labors. Inside the ruins, evidence suggests that the fortress held for some number of years and was manned by dwarves as well as garklings. Eventually it was breached, however, and those protecting it either fled or were carried off since there are neither corpses nor graves here.

Secrets: An unfortunate company of Baelishite dwarves ended up trapped in the underrealm and did their best to establish a foothold while they searched for a way home, including befriending the garklings who lived here at the time. Unfortunately, the dwarves attracted the ire of the Godecho and their fortress was ultimately destroyed by the monsters that serve that entity.

Deep in the fortress one such enemy remains: a wrathful arachnopede dwells still in the depths of the ruins and will attack anyone investigating.

Treasure: During the construction of the fortress, the dwarves came across a vein of deepearth blacksteel, which they used to craft their weapons and armor but of which a few ingots yet remain in the ruins.

Connections: A well is the keep garden connects to a submerged tunnel that leads to both the lake (0X.01) and the garkling village (0X.04), though none realize it. Beyond the fortress a tunnel leads north, deeper in the underrealm (0X.08).

Level X, Room 4

01.04: Garkling Village

Note: Garklings are intelligent, humanoids with features reminiscent of pale salamanders. They are indigenous to the underrealm. They were here before the Godecho came, but because they track time by generations it is impossible to know how long ago that was.

Form: The garkling village is located in a smaller cavern in which the fungal forest has been cleared. There is a spring fed pond in the cavern as well.

Illumination: The garklings cultivate a blue-white bioluminescent fungus and the village is well lit by garkling standards (and only moderately gloomy by surface standards).

At First Glance: The garkling village is a collection of a dozen circular, fungal plank huts surrounding a much larger communal hut. The village is surrounded by a hedge of thorny fungal bushes with one entrance facing the passage into the cavern and a break in the wall adjacent to the pond where they raise sightless fish. Dog sized hoppers roam freely, raised by the garklings for their larva and ichor and kept as pets.

On Closer Inspection: Approximately thirty garklings live in the village. They are distrustful of outsiders but not outright hostile. They will trade for metal weapons and armor, offering food, hoppers or information in return. Their chief, a corpulent figure called Mulkov, lives in the communal hut with their garkling warrior consorts. A shaman called Gelth can provide healing and translation, knowing the common tongue from the upper world.

Secrets: The garklings live in fear of the Godecho and its monsters. Mostly they keep their heads down, but will assist those who find themselves trapped in the underrealm. If characters are friendly and helpful toward the garklings, Gelth with give them directions to Undertown (0X.xx) where more exiles from the upper world have gathered into a community of sorts.

Treasure: the garklings do not have much of worth, besides food and Gelth’s healing abilities. The chief and their warriors are armed with metal tipped spears and swords clearly from the surface world, however.

Connections: the only obvious entrance is the wide tunnel connecting the garkling village to the fungal forest (0x.03). However, a mile long submerged tunnel leads from the pond back to the lake (0X.01) and to the well in chamber 01.05.

Level X, Room 3

0X.03: Fungal Forest

Form: A large cavern (a mile longa nd a half mile at its widest point) with varying terrain, dominated by fungal “trees” and other flora.

Illumination: A massive bioluminescent ball grows on the ceiling, looking like and providing light similar to a full moon.

At First Glance: The forest of fungal “trees” and “bushes” is dense with growth. There are hundreds of different kinds of fungi here and lots of insects and small animals like lizards and reptilian bat analogs.

On Close Inspection: Perceptive characters will find game trails and also be able to tell that specific kinds of fungal growths are harvested for materials (the “wood” of the hut in area 0X.01) or for food (indicating what is safe to eat).

Secrets: There is a moderate chance that garkling foresters are present in the fungal forest when the PCs arrive. They will stay hidden and attempt to observe the PCs to determine their intent before either fleeing back to their village (0X.04) if the PCs seem dangerous, or parlaying with them if the PCs seem safe.

Treasure: If characters spend an hour harvesting, they can acquire enough food for an adult humanoid for one full day. Harvested fungal fruits will last 2d4-1 days before rotting and becoming toxic.

Connections: A passage northwest leads to the underground lake shore (0X.01) and a passage to the northeast leads to the garkling village (0X.04).

Level X, Room 2

0X.02: Hunting Grounds

Form: A complex of rough natural caverns connected by twisting tunnels.

Illumination: Utter darkness except for the hint of bioluminescence at the southern entrance from area 0X.01.

At First Glance: The area consists of at least a dozen cavern chambers — all tight and unhewn — connected by narrow, twisting tunnels. They are all devoid of any life. Not even lichen or luminous fungus grow on the walls or ceiling.

On Closer Inspection: Examination reveals that the caverns are scored by what appears to be acid, explaining why nothing grows or lives here.

Secrets: This region is the hunting grounds of an insatiable deep mollux, a surprisingly stealthy and fast moving slug like monstrosity. It begins to stalk the characters as soon as they enter and will ambush any stragglers, first spitting paralytic acid at them then swallowing them whole. The mollux will not leave its hunting grounds.

Treasure: If the mollux is killed and dissected, a suit of magical mermaid scale armor is found in its gut, undigested.

Connections: A tunnel south leads to 0X.01 and a branching cavern leads north east (0X.05) and north west (0X.06).

Level X, Room 1

I am switching up format for February, as well as exploring a much deeper and weirder level. note that I will be using more of a point crawl format than a keyed mapped format.

Level X: The Underrealm of the Godecho

Somewhere in the dungeons below Parenix Manor, there is an arcane portal. It’s origin is unknown — it certainly existed long before the Manor was built and perhaps long before the first ancient tomb was dug in Mornrax Hill. Its power is immense but unreliable and anyone passing through it surely did so by accident. How they might ever find their way back is unknown, even if such a thing is possible.

The portal leads to a vast underground realm full of wonder and horror. The realm itself seems to be sentient, and its hatred and malevolent will are palpable. The realm’s inhabitants call it the Godecho, and indeed it seems to be the lingering thought of some dark divine power.

Once characters enter the Underrealm of the Godecho, they are trapped until they discover the way out. Not even planar magic or reality warping wishes can free the unfortunate visitors. Luckily, the underrealm is not desolate and is inhabited by some creatures that are potentially helpful. Even so, horrible monsters and the Godecho’s own cruelly will haunt and hunt the characters as long as they are imprisoned in the realm.

0X.01: The Distant Shore

Form: A small rocky island in a wide underground lake.

Illumination: Bioluminescent moss grows on the ceiling perhaps a hundred feet above, creating a greenish twilight.

At First Glance: The rocky island is roughly 60 feet across. There is a hut made of what appears to be wood in the center of the isle and a garden patch of various fungi adjacent. There is a boat big enough for 4 persons tied up next to small dock.

On Closer Inspection: The “wood” is actually some dense, hard form of fungus cut into planks. The boat is made of the same stuff. The fungus in the garden is edible, but it looks like it is overgrown and hasn’t been harvested in a long time. Inside the hut, there is furnishing for a single individual about human sized, but little else can be gleaned.

Secrets: The owner of the hut, a garkling called Vulgaxl, is currently a prisoner of the Godecho (see room 0X.xx) for the crime of helping travelers upon their arrival. A deep sturgeon patrols the waters around the island and attacks anyone taking the boat or swimming in the waters.

Connections: The lake is about a half mile in diameter, with fungus covered shores ranging from a few feet to a few dozen yards in width before the cavern walls. There are passages north (0X.02), south east (0X.03) and west (0X.03).

Level 1, Room 31

01.31: The Vault

Access: The vault is accessible through a locked trap door in the floor. The door had been warded in the past but its magic is gone, drained by the eldritch devourer in the collection chamber (01.28).

Description: The vault is exactly what it sounds like — a storehouse of all the most valuable and most powerful artifacts uncovered by the Alastairn family in the many levels of Mornrax Hill beneath Parenix Manor.

Choose Wisely: A unique and powerful magical ward protects the vault. If anyone takes possession of any item in the vault without first speaking the words of power (now long lost), every other item in the vault is immediately teleported back to its place of origin. Note that items may be examined by both mundane and magical means, including handling them. But if any character should take possession of an item (having it on their person with the intent of keeping it) and leave the room with it, the rest disappear.


Level 1, Room 30

01.30: Summoning Chamber

NOTE: I am changing room 01.30a to 01.30, 01.31a to 01.30a and 01.30b to 01.31.

Access: This chamber is accessed from the stairs leading up from the study (01.24) by two doors. There is a locked and warded door in the north wall as well, leading to the infirmary (01.30a).

Description: This room was used by the Alastairn family to summon entities from beyond the veil between worlds. The southwest wing is full of crates and boxes containing the many different tools, reagents, appliances and materials needed for summoning different entities. Skilled conjurors can identify most of the materials and using them halves the rate of failure for such summoning.

The eastern portion of the room is dominated by a massive summoning circle. It can be used for reaching through the veil on almost any scale and has drawn everything from mindless servitors to godshadows. Although not currently active, anyone with arcane sense can feel the weakness of the veil here. If used to summon extra-worldly entities, the circle doubles both the chance of success and the chance of a catastrophic complication.

01.30a: Infirmary

Access: The door to the infirmary is locked and warded. The lock is of high quality but ultimately mundane. The ward protects specifically from passage by extra-worldly entities.

Description: This room served primarily as a recovery chamber of those exhausted by summoning or even injured by creatures summoned (or uncooperative sacrifices). There is a large bed and a supply of many different kinds of healing equipment and materials. It was also used as a refuge from any escaped summons, given the warded door, and a few days of food, water and wine were kept here. Like the rest of the manor, the room is damaged by the elements and pests.

Treasure: Enough equipment can be scavenged from this room to form a working chirurgeon’s bag. None of the food or water remains viable, but two bottles of wine remain drinkable. Hidden beneath the bed is a rotting leather bag containing a long sword enchanted against extra-worldly entities.