If you are one of my players, stop reading. Seriously. Or I will get you.
I was sort of hoping to wait to post these until after I had played them, but that will be some time out, and these are really cool maps. So here we are.
Short history. There was a goddess, Yeila, daughter of the god of righteousness and the goddess of the moon. She was birthed out of a sorrow with the losses to the God of the Restless Dead.
Anyway, her special purview is restful sleep and quieting the undead. Necromatic cultists snuck into her strong presence on Prime, the Shining City, and tried to subvert her to become a death goddess. Her champion, rather than allow her to be twisted, rode a dragon and burned the city, melted its stone, to prevent the corruption. All was believed lost.
Well, our heroes are chasing clues to find the remains of this legendary city centuries later. And I will share with you how I am organizing it.
The melted stone on the surface is a “cap” and underneath are some structural basements and sublevels that survived the destruction of the surface.
THIS area is an intersection of sorts. When the city was active, it is where people from different walks of life would head down to hold funerals and cremate their dead.
The north east, peasants came down a long staircase, and gathered before the vast statue of Yeila in her aspect as gentle reaper for funerals. Then, to the south, wood and burning pits to cremate the dead and add them to barrels of ashes.
To the north central, nobles would come down with their dead in urns that line the walls; after a period of mourning, the contents of the urns were dumped down vast shaft pits to rejoin the essence of all the truly free dead.
To the north west, the basement of the temple opened to a place where priests could conduct funerals in the presence of holy statues of the Angels of Death.
The central intersections of the map have a couple shrines to heroes of the city’s past, where the grieving could go to draw quiet strength and inspiration, honoring the heritage of the city and the continuance of memory beyond death.
The south western area is the entrance the Guilders use. To the north of their area, a totally secure meeting room for totally secret meetings. To the east, where they solemnize the passing of their honored dead.
Now, all that is in the past. Other things have stocked the dungeon. But that’s how it looked, once upon a time.
Finally, a note on stairs. I am irritated at how stairs are noted in almost all maps. Here is my system for helping DMs keep track of how the levels connect. You letter staircases, both on the lower and upper areas, then note from lower to higher what the stairs connect.
A: Crematorium Complex to Yeila Temple Sub-Basement.
B: Crematorium Complex to Garden of Mourning.
C: Crematorium Complex to Sorrow Walk.
D: Crematorium Complex to Guilder Hall.
Arrows on staircases always point towards upstairs.
I believe the best way to do an epic “mega dungeon” is one page at a time, all interconnected, not to do a vast single level. I prefer mini-dungeons because that’s all most groups have time to manage, but this is my beginning towards my own epic adventuring environment. I have not stocked it for you, because some of my sneaky players may yet read this. But it is dangerous…