Friday, March 12, 2021

The Funnel of Death

Mythic World of Urd

The following is from GameDoc's session notes in our private social media.

Each player had five randomly generated 0-level characters that explores the dungeon. Out of 35, only 20 survived. Each player then chose one of their survivors to advance to 1st level.


Mythic World of Urd Character Selection
The town of Ünmann is dying. In truth it’s hard to say it ever really lived. Unlike most of the towns along the Tradeway, it has never thrives. Some say it sits on a cursed spot. The rubble strewn hill that overlooks the town is said to have once held a tower that belonged to the last warlord of the orcs.

The orc wars ended centuries ago and the Tradeway was built across orc territory, connecting the Old Kingdoms of the north and south. As human settlements and farmsteads popped up along the Tradeway, the orcs were pushed further to the fringes of their former lands. But the prosperity most humans found never took hold in Ünmann.

Most have left and only a handful of villagers remain, including the faithful acolytes of the local Shrine of Saint Iambulus, and a handful of dwarven merchants.

The town elder, Old Robert lays dying with no family to mourn him. As the last villagers pay their respects, he tells a tale of his youth, some fifty years ago. On the night of the Empty Star, he climbed the old hill, and in the rubble he discvoered a magic portal. Beyond he say the gleam of jewels but when he entered, he was chased away by “iron men” with spears. He wished he’d been braver and made the effort to recover the treasure he knew must lie within. Better to have died than return to the misery of scratching out an existence in Ünmann all the years afterward.  

As Robert finishes his tale with his dying breath, one of the locals realizes that the night of the Empty Star is only two days hence. The villagers give Old Robert a proper burial and make ready to ascend the hill.

Two nights later, they discover Old Robert was true to his word. The portal appears amid the rubble of the old tower, and a corridor leads to a gem encrusted doorway.

The Portal Under the Stars

The villagers endure a series of deadly hazards in the dungeon beyond. Beams of light that disintegrate you where you stand. Moving iron golems that hurl spears with deadly aim. Shambling piles of bones and a demonic serpent. And a statue that shoots jets of flame at all who pass. Some live and some die.

The recurring theme of the dungeon seems to indicate an ancient tribe of primeval orcs under the command of a strange alien sorcerer. At last the villagers breach the innermost chamber to find a large clay statue of the sorcerer surrounded by a battalion of clay orcish soldiers. The statues animate and attack the villagers. More fall in battle, armed only with hand tools and clubs. When at last they bring down the statue of the sorcerer, the soldiers freeze in place again.

The Funnel of Death Entry Sections

The survivors locate a hidden chamber. Within lies the inanimate body of the alien sorcerer. Peering into its crystal orb, one villager is confronted by a demon who explains that the sorcerer rose to power with its aid. The sorcerer retreated to this sanctum after his last battle and projected his mind outward to explore the cosmos. But his mind become severed and lost, never to return to the World of Urd. 

The demon offers a similar pact to the villagers, who reject the offer in horror. Demons are the bringers of chaos and strife and none want to sacrifice their souls.

The Funnel of Death Demonic Presence

Among the treasures, one villager also located the sword and armor of his ancestor - Sir Roderick the Guardian - a hero of legend said to have died in the towers collapse.

With a cache of treasure that can be sold and noting left to return two in Ünmann, the remaining villagers decide to head north along the Tradeway in search of new opportunities and adventures.

The Arcane Alienist corroborates all this on his podcast here!

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