View Full Version : Share a location from your campaign

Dire Panda
2013-04-07, 05:19 PM
Some of the best adventures or entire campaigns are built around a memorable place: a mysterious dungeon, a city full of intrigue, or simply the same room which appears in every inn the heroes visit. What are the most interesting locations you've created or visited?

Here's one I used in my group's most recent adventure:

The Tower of Chains
"Adventurers, you have long plumbed this world's ruins, and know all too well how centuries of evil can... change a place. This prison is much the same, save for the fact that it was never abandoned..."

The most feared prison on the continent, this solitary spire stands alone amidst miles of desert, its weathered surface hinting at at truly ancient origins. In fact, none can say exactly when it was constructed, but records from the Second Empire reveal that it is at least a thousand years old. Local superstition holds that it simply rose from the desert, a beacon of evil that compelled mankind to hoard its worst members in one place so that their combined wickedness could attain a life of its own. One thing is for certain: if the prison wasn't tainted originally, it is now.

The first thing a canny prisoner notices upon entering is that the guards are no more in control than he is. Entire cellblocks - and more recently, entire floors - are sealed off with barricades and spells because they are simply too dangerous to enter. The guards draw straws to determine who has to stand watch adjacent to tainted zones, because anyone who survives their first week knows all too well how suddenly the prison can turn on them.

At least the guards can run. When the prison comes to life, the best an inmate can hope is that it will sate its bloodlust before it reaches his cell. Prisoners have been found strangled by their own bedsheets, choked on water that froze while they drank it, or simply turned inside-out overnight. Sometimes, when nobody is watching him, a prisoner will be replaced by a skeleton. Sometimes prisoners are absorbed into the walls or floor. Sometimes a cell block will catch fire, but nothing besides bodies is even slightly burned. Occasionally, extradimensional passages will spontaneously appear between cells, accompanied by an outbreak of cannibal madness that inevitably depopulates a cellblock.

The prison doesn't always kill its inhabitants - more subtle forces can manifest themselves. Shivs have been known to continuously weep blood and inmates often hear voices, but the most notorious is the screaming bread - loaves that shriek when cut or bitten, but which always regenerate themselves so long as a scrap is left. Nobody knows where it comes from; loaves simply appear in cells. Obviously this is a highly desired item, considering the poor rations, and prisoners have been known to wrap bedsheets around it before cutting it to make sure the guards can't hear and confiscate it. The small cadre of mages employed by the prison would love more samples to study, given how tightly tied to the prison's taint it is. The bread always mimics the scream of the last prisoner who died nearby, and occasionally an inmate will spit out a bone or tooth that grew back with the bread. Older loaves are almost completely ossified and inedible.

One might wonder how the prison can keep attracting guards. The young and the desperate take the job because it is a shortcut - albeit a risky one - to avoid compulsory military service: two months as a guard instead of two years defending the frontier. As much as they despise the prisoners, guards invariably come to loathe the warden and his mages more. The warden's name is unknown - some speculate that he may not even be human, since he has never been seen without his armor - but he has the attention of the highest circles of the empire, and standing orders to treat guards as "acceptable losses." The prison's mages report directly to the warden, and most guards believe that they aren't even trying to hold back the spread of taint: instead, they are trying to harness its power.

The wildest rumors surrounding the Tower of Chains claim that it is the larval form of an evil deity, bloated on the suffering of centuries of prisoners and ready to awaken in the near future. Certainly the taint is spreading more rapidly than ever before, yet the empire steadfastly refuses to abandon the ancient prison. According to the rumor-mongers, the warden is a representative of the lower planes, with whom the empire has struck an infernal bargain: in exchange for feeding the dark one generations of its sons and daughters, the empire will be become her chosen people when she finally awakens...

2013-04-07, 05:57 PM
The capital of one of the three major empires (formerly the capital of all civilization, except for the cursed dwarves) in mine:

The Fortress-City of Kri'stak

Built upon the intersection of three major rivers, this city of thirty million souls was founded forty thousand years ago by the Godslayer, who ruled there for a time before marching to the First Battle, and predates the modern Empire itself. It is surrounded by fourteen circles of walls, each fifty feet high, crafted from iron and stone.

Separated by ten miles each, the outer walls are filled with fields of grain and pasture. Inward, the estates and mansions of Great Houses long extinct stand empty, awaiting the Final Day when their masters will rise again to battle and glory. Further still inward is the Great Warren, where elven swords ring in duels, and merchants trade in every commodity that can be imagined, and some that can not. Inward from this, the traders, craftsmen, and whores of the Working Guilds ply their trades, and the masses make their homes.

Inward from here, at the heart of the City lies the Citadel, a gleaming tower wrought of mithril and adamantine a full mile tall juts skyward from a crystal lake. Angelic statues stand sentry along it's surface, each one an ancient automaton sworn to defend the King of Kings from all foes. In a chamber near it's peak the the King of Kings sits upon the Throne Of Light, with the broken sword of the Fallen one beneath her feet, and the banner of the Betrayer broken behind her.

2013-04-08, 01:16 PM
There are pleanty of interesting and important locations in my campaign, but the one I'd like to share with the playground is the country Molnari.

Molnari is a country in a perpetual downpour. The citizens keep dry (and therefor, healthy) thanks to anquari stones, magical blue gems sewen into their clothing and equipment. All these stones do is keep things dry. As such, if one cannot afford the stones, they either leave the country, or don't last very long. As a result, there aren't really any poor people in Molnari. In my campaign, it's also where the largest druid organization is located.

Kol Korran
2013-04-09, 05:37 AM
In previous campaign I designed a fairly complex little local: the Obsidian city. it's a populated ruin in the continent of Xen'dric on Eberron, but i'll explain enough for those who don't know.

millenia ago, the ancient civilization of giants was threatened by the invasion of nightmare creature- The Quori from the plane of dreams. fearsome abominations with impressive psychic powers. But the giants held great magic and power, and quite a few powerful mages started exploring potential weapons, defenses and what not against these invaders. one of them (I forgot the name) sought to create a safe research facility.

He created a massive area made of obsidian, whcih was conducting to special energies he harnessed- energies harmful to any living mind, but especially to psychicly gifted individuals such as the Quori. he have built an entire city in this wodner of Obsidian, using the city's very substance to fuel an over powerful psychic barrier. in this relative safehaven he and his many assistents researched various tools and wonders, to further battle the threat.

but the draconic catclysm has struck, and the Obsidian City was not excluded. most of it shattered, it was made into a crater with huge tall obsidian masses justting fro mthe bottom up, creating sort of tall islands in the crater. at first it was abandoned, but not for long.
current days
the giant civilization fell into ruins, and much was forgotten. but on Xen'dric giants remain still, only more barbaric. first came the stone giants, drawn to the place of their ancestors, using it as a training ground for their young. they also found a special Geode there, with forces over stone and obsidian, enhancing the natural talents of their shamans. the giants were there only part time, as their culture was a nomadic culture, and they believed they must revere many of the old wonders, if they seek to return the past. they erected massive primitive bridges between the obsidian island, linking them.

later came the half giants, drawn to the psychic nature of the place. the barrier was reduced, and only partially worked now it seemed, but they forged an understanding with the giants. the half giants settled in the obsidian city, making it their home.

Last came the naga. a mystical creature of formidable magical powers. the first nage called itself "the guardian", and sought to protect many of the treasures there. at first the half giants mistrusted the serpent, but she was able to activate the generator obelisk, the device which generated the barrier by day, by fueling it with her magical powers. this has become a crucial part of defense for the city, and the naga earned her place. from time to time over the centuris a naga died, or moved elsewhere, but all the time a new nage would come, drawn by reasons mysterious even to herself. on the walls of the generator obelisk' room were many moving strange scriptures- part of the Draconic Prophecy (a world encompasing prophecy in Eberron ,a big deal). it seems it drew the nagas here. that they had a purpose here...

Enter the PCs
In my campaign one of the characters was a half giant that came to help his clan against a besieging force. the power they faced was quite strong, so they sought to gain access to various treasures of the giants in between fights to protect.

at night the generator obelisk was powered by the moons, and nothing could breach it (this was to give some time to roleplay, to rest, and to explore giant ruins), by day the naga tried to power the barrier: it erected 3 mental barriers over each bridge, which the enemy could take down, but with some effort. any creature with a mind could pass through a barrrier, but be damagedand suffer some effect. the party needed to divide their attention and resources at the protection (about 3 bridges was besieged at a time), and to postpone the onslaught.

the enemy could shatter focus stones for the psychic barrier and prevent it being erected again over the specific bridge.

A major threat was stil lexisitng (but malfunctioning) teleportation circles between major locals in the city, protected by riddles and such. the enemy had a few dedicated caster working on this with a chance of solving the riddles every day. the party could also also use these try and strike at strategical forces in the enemy camp, but that put them far more at risk.

Various treasures
Though most important places were destroyed in the cataclysm, a few things remained (which in my game the party could use to fight the enemy) amongst these:
- The temple of dragons: the main hub of power, holding the naga, most of the half giants tribe and so on. it also held:
the psychic barrier generator
the central Geode: a sort or mini artifact the stone giants worshiped, it enabled using several spell like abilities of stone, but mostly by stone giants, unless you had a reasonable UMD. very few stone giants remained i nthe place (other were migrating) and they mistrusted the "small ones" to start with.
The Blood Ship Pool: an underground small lake, with the inscription of "in need, it will come" in fiendish... the party didn't solved this right away, only much, much later. it enabled to summon the strange ship of blood, ancient as nearly time itself, which will grant you speedy voyage to ANYWHERE, provided you pay a special, dear price.

- the ancient warforged laboratory: a partialy functioning laboratory in which one of the assistents tried to fuse obsidian psychic technology with warforg titan technology. if the party defeatedthe automated guardians and solved the riddle of the place, they could try and get one such semi complete piece working.

- the catacombs of the giant mage: not THE giant mage, but still a fialry top notch. approaching this place was problematic, since both stone giants and half giants revered it as holy. but inside were a few guardians, traps (typical small dungeon), and the banner of the sun- a flag that gave great bonuses to fighting creatures of the (giant) type (the basic idea was that the half giant PC would wield it, but things... changed)

- The vaults: deep below lay some of the vaults, visited much much later, another deadly dungeon of traps, oozes, constructs and undead. which turned itself into one huge giant trap (as they reached the end, the entire dungeon started flooding rapidly, was sealed entirely, and dimension locked). it held various great treasures, but the party just got what they came for- a psychihc reservoire, which could fuel a ritual they desperately needed.

hope you enjoy.