An idea has formed and the process begun! This is my first attempt at a “proper” dungeon for decades. There was no such thing as the internet or digital art back then. It was all on pen and paper. Simple symbols and graph paper dictated the layout of the fiendish, cavernous lairs that adventurers would set forth into. Some to find riches and glory, others to die grisly deaths at the hands (or claws!) of the monstrosities that dwelled within.
My plan is to draw up a three level dungeon, set into the side of a hill. As you can see from the screen shot, this is very much a work in progress. Initially I’m going to put it up here as one that people can download and use if they wish. As time goes on and I get more adventurous with my creative abilities I’ll probably add a campaign to it.
And the dungeon itself ? It was the home of a missing Warlord. He built it with the help of a mage in his service and a small army of soldiers. His new abode quickly became known and feared. He managed to carry out successful raids against the villages and towns of the local Lords. Eventually, they grouped together, laying seige to his fortress in the hill.
They suffered a heavy defeat. The Warlord had clearly planned his hidden fortress well. He was able to hold off a much larger army with a fraction of the soldiers and the mage who served him unleashed the terrors of the otherworld upon the attacking army.
After this defeat, many were captured and taken inside the fortress in the hill. They were never seen again. The surviving Lords tried a new tactic to rid themselves of their troublesome neighbour. They decided to build a tunnel that would break into the fortress itself.
Construction started on the tunnel at a distance away from the Warlords lair so as to not raise suspicion. An Illusionist working with one of the lords was able to help keep the work secret. Even then, there was a risk of discovery. There were constant patrols by the Warlords soldiers.
Soon after construction of the tunnel began and around three years after the battle outside the fortress, activity from there ceased. No patrols, no more raids, nothing. Concerned that he was plotting some new incursion, a small party of soldiers and a battlemage headed to the fortress on the hill to investigate.
They reported that there were massive holes blown in the strong stone wall in front of the main entrance into the hill. The gates within this wall lying on the floor. The watchtowers on the hill itself and the wall surrounding them still stood but not a soul could be found. The party had ventured further in and said there had been fighting inside the fortress. A broken sword here, a dented helm there. Dark red stains splashed across the walls. In one area which appeared to be an underground barracks, makeshift barricades had been erected, the same in a large hall which the scouts claimed was a huge mess hall.
That was about as far as the intitial investigation got. Although they had encountered no enemies it was felt that a more intense and detailed search was needed.
The scouting party returned with their news and soon set off again to the hill with extra provisions and people. That was the last anyone ever saw of them. From that point on the Lords were unwilling to sacrifce any more of their own people or resources, instead choosing to fence off the area and keep a vigil.
They did however offer a substantial reward for those that could find any sign of the missing scouting party or even a clue as to the whereabouts of the warlord and his minions. Some have tried but none have ever come back. No one knows what happened inside the fortress in the hill. Perhaps someday, a group of brave adventurers will be able to find out what happened inside that mysterious and forboding place…