Week 2 - Glemgulch

#dungeon24 Week 2

Day 008 - Some of the Goblin Pantheon

Dravak - The God of the Surface - a Giant Wolf that races across the sky. Worshipped by Hunters & explorers. Fey origins. Symbol is a wolf's head or paw print.

Arka - God of fire and light - feared and respected. Chases Dravak across the world. Light means the sun, of being exposed. Symbol is a flame.

Deleb - Daughter of Arka, goddess of shadows. Associated with safety. Favoured by goblin raiders, foragers and explorers.

Enhedrar - a goblin shaman who challenged Arka to a game of chance, and cheated. Gained forbidden arcane knowledge. Worshipped by goblin mages and shamans and gamblers.

Barglest - When the goblins left the unseelie court for the material plane they were poisoned by the scorpion Barglest. This poison lives in the hearts of all goblins, and in the source of any rage or fury or cruelty. Worshipped by warriors, raiders and war parties.

Day 009 - Glemgulch

The svirfneblin (or deep gnome) city of Gelmgulch beneath the Felestre Highlands, east of the Sarcova Quarry was founded nearly 1400 years ago, when Felestre was entirely forest, and home to the wood elves. The underdark was going through a tumultuous time. A sect of dwarves devoted to their earth spirit, split away from their kind to become the Duergar. They warred with everyone in their zealotry - other dwarves, goblins, orcs and the deep gnomes. Deep Gnome refugees found the ruby filled cavern of Glemgulch, and settled there.

The city is built around the central stalactite - the gnome leaders and religious institutions lived there. The rest of the city was built into the cavern walls, high above the lake-filled floor. The main access points - roads climbing the walls - are mostly accessible by boat. When building their city they needed it to be easy defensible.

The style of buildings is blocky cubes with rounded corners and edges, with stone doors in steel frames, or entirely steel. Dim lights in the form of soft perpetual flames or phosphorescent mushooms were helpful for delicate work like jewellery, gem-cutting and scrivening.

Glemgulch became known for its rubies and spinels - and the jewellery crafted with those precious stones.

Calamity struck when a purple worm tunnelled through the Glemgulch cavern, draining the lake away and collapsing a cavern wall where the most skilled artisans plied their trade.

The tunnel left by the worm became a road of conquest for the Shadow Horde - an alliance of goblins, orcs and cave trolls that for a brief period banded together to crush the Duergar threat and claim their ancestral tunnels and caverns back, and then some. They left Glemgulch a graveyard, looted it of riches. Not long after the Shadow Horde broke apart into rival clans, and Glemgulch lay ruined and mostly abandoned for centuries.

Day 010 - Glemgulch Today

Glemgulch is a surprisingly cosmopolitan oasis nowadays, despite the dangers and ruin. While the north-eastern portion of the cavern collapsed nearly a millennia ago, and the lake is all but gone, the central stalactite remains and is home to Stone Moss Goblins, duergar, orcs, hobgoblins, a small number of deep gnomes and even a drow enclave.

The goblins, when they discovered the place, created a criss-crossing network of rope bridges from the wall districts to the central spire. The duergar arrived down the Worm Road nearly two centuries ago, and fought the goblins out of the spire. The goblins harrassed and harried the duergar for decades - until the abominations arrived.

With the goblin / duergar alliance succesfully pushing back the outsiders, Glemgulch became a haven for other Underdark refugees. The depleted forces of both goblins and duergar welcomed anyone who wanted to help defend Glemgulch.

Today the descendants of those survivors live in a loose collective of mutual aid and support, trading gems and unearthed treasures with the weird goblin empire to the east, some frontier humans on the surface, and even some of the nomadic drow groups.

Day 011 - Cricket

NPC - Potential Adventure Hook

Lieutenant Cricket of the Crimson Shield was warned by Captain Hasty to be on her guard around the members of the The Selacian Order, but when the members of that shady order arrived to be escorted to the Sarcova Quarry in greater numbers than their escort, and armed to the teeth, Cricket was doubly on edge.

After they made the arduous trek on the switchback up the side of the cliff to the plateau top, they camped in the Edgewood, and Cricket and 3 of the Shield took first watch, patrolling the area. When they came back to camp to be relieved by the next watch, they find that all the remaining Crimson Shield are armed and waiting. Upon getting closer, Cricket discovers too late that they've all been zombified. She and her three companions fight for their lives, but soon Cricket is the only one left standing, and she runs deep into the woods, wounded and alone.

Hook idea: The party discover the wounded Cricket exhausted, leaning against a tree, clutching her side. Says her friends at the Sarcova Quarry are in great danger, and there's a big reward if the party help her get there in time.

Cricket is a tall, middle-aged woman, wiry and lean, with a mop of black hair, brown eyes and weathered skin and a face covered in freckles and a scar through her lip. She's wearing chainmail armour, carries a spear, shield and crossbow.

Day 012 - Riyad - Goblin God of Death

This idea wasn't mine - I read a better described & illustrated Mycelian based god of death in the Creature Companion from Appendix N Entertainment and I loved the concept.

The goblins worship a titanic Mycelian as their god of death and decay. As a shrine to Riyad, Goblins will tend a mushroom garden and offer it decaying food, and bits of deceased loved ones. They see mycelians as messengers from Riyad, and leave them offerings and stay away from them and their sacred rings, less they invite death into their lives prematurely. They see mushrooms (the non-sentient kind) as symbols of life and rebirth. Goblin shamans and divination wizards sometimes eat sacred grave mushrooms to gain wisdom from their ancestors.

Day 013 - Vaseem

The Worm Road continues east and down from Glemgulch, fairly straight with only the occasional interruption of a natural cavern or fissure. The Road exposed an ancient dwarven complex, abandoned and sealed over 1200 years ago. The reason it was abandoned is a bit of a mystery - but after the Worm Road opened an upper chamber, all sorts of nasties have moved in, and provided an avenue for the things trapped within to venture out.

The lowest level is on the shore of a magma lake. Boats of a strange metal have been dragged upon the obsidian beach. Most have corroded into uselessness, but one or two are still serviceable.

There are many legends in Glemgulch about the powerful artifacts deep within Vaseem, and talk of a few treasure seekers who made it to the magma lake and tried to boat across, but none have returned.

Day 014 - Inhabitants of Vaseem

The abandoned Dwarven complex known as Vaseem was inhabited by some powerful practitioners of dark magic at some time, at least 800 years ago. The necrotic energies seeped into the very stone.

Basilisk

There is at least one basilisk that lairs in the lower levels, the stone forms of its victims are found in many corridors and rooms. Most are petrified monsters, but one or two drow or duergar, if restored to life would give an interesting telling of how they came to be here, however many centuries ago.

Giant Vampire Bats

On the worm road and the upper levels of Vaseem are vampire bats. A healthy colony too, which suggests the presence of vampires of Underdark humanoids further down.

Bone Golem

A weird crystal with a portion of soul trapped in it has slowly animated bone around it to form a bone golem, but the strain of keeping a body together has left it mindless and void of purpose other than to kill and collect more bones.

Hellhounds

By the magma lake is a pack of hellhounds that splash about in the shallows. Have to share territory with two Fire Lizards.

Fire Lizards

There are some.