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Last time I started thinking about the adventure I’m going to write and said I’d probably make a cover as my next step. I’ve done that, and I’ll show you what I’ve made at the end of this post, but let’s talk about the other decisions I’ve made.
Last week I read Gavin Norman’s The Incandescent Grottoes for OSE, and I also ran The Wizardarium of Calabraxis in DCC. The combination of the two made me realise that I’ve never really written a classic dungeon with different factions existing inside it, and so I’ve decided that Beyond The Drowned Spire will include some faction stuff. This means that it needs to be a little bigger than the collapsed tower I’ve been envisioning, and that’s fine because I immediately have ideas.
Initially I have two factions in mind – the Burnt Eater’s cultists, and a strange wizard living in a (magically created and sustained?) air bubble in a network of caves beneath the lake bed itself. I think for peak fun I need at least one more faction, and I don’t know who that is yet.
I have some other vague ideas – the collapsed spire itself is flooded but has some air pockets in it, and the Burnt Eater exists at the very bottom of the caves we’ve now placed beneath the spire. I think historically there was an excavation beneath the tower that – in classic dungeon fashion – dug too deep and disturbed the Burnt Eater. It was then that the lake was created, the whole complex was flooded and, at some point, the tower collapsed.
Looking at the list of names I generated last time, I notice that I’ve got Hudko Xantia, Tower Zealot of Quarfio. I think maybe our third faction are the Tower Zealots, who exist in the collapsed spire itself. The wizard under the lake bed is doing some kind of research – perhaps into the Burnt Eater, perhaps other things – and is quite happy in the home she’s made for herself, but she also can’t leave due to the presence of the Tower Zealots. Maybe the Tower Zealots know of the existence of the Burnt Eater and its cultists and maybe they don’t. At this point I don’t know for sure, but I like where this is heading.
I think possibly we need a fourth faction, just to keep things interesting, because the wizard on her own isn’t much of a faction. I’m going to grab some more BBEG’s from Nate’s generator. These are the first five names it spat out:
- The Arboreal Warlord of the Lower Coast
- The Broken Host of the Flowing Shrine
- The Skeleton Prince of the Fecund Dome
- The Ghost Eater of the Screaming Darkness
- The Wooden Monarch of the Screaming Ocean
Two of them are already giving me ideas, so maybe we’re now expanding to five factions. I love The Broken Host of the Flowing Shrine and I really like the location “The Fecund Dome” but like “The Skeleton Prince” a little less. I might combine The Ghost Eater of the Screaming Darkness with The Fecund Dome – although I really like The Wooden Monarch as well. Lots of ideas, and I’m going to write them down and let them gestate some more.
In the mean time, I drew a very sketchy and not-at-all-detailed side view of the kind of thing I’m thinking of for the dungeon. Behold my brilliance:
And, as promised, here’s the cover I’ve made:
Next time we’ll hopefully have figured out what the deal with all these factions is, and started placing them in the dungeon.