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    Newly Discovered Dungeons of the Flanaess: Volume II
    Posted on Sat, August 09, 2003 by Trickster
    CruelSummerLord writes "The Caverns of Tsojcanth, Bone Hill, Saltmarsh, the Forbidden City...all these places are sung with dread in the lore of adventurers. But what other lairs of good and evil lie out there, so far beyond?

    Newly Discovered Dungeons of the Flanaess: Volume II
    By: CruelSummerLord
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Respected Iquander and Respected Sir Pluffet:

    My research continues unabated. I have now found several more dungeons and mysterious places that have just now come into the lore of the adventuring profession. People who have explored Rhiannon Hall or been trapped by the Endless Road have already been confirmed dead by my divinations, and I hope to give you more news on these locations in the future. In the meantime however, I shall instead divulge information on some more mysterious places I have found in the intervening weeks since my last dispatch:

    The Balor’s Stomach: In 502 CY, during his initial reign of terror, Iuz attempted to summon a balor of mammoth size from the Abyss to do his bidding. This creature was the size of a small city, and its power and temper were legendary. It fought back against the Old One’s dominance, causing a battle that lasted almost four months before the Lord of Pain shattered the demon’s mind and flung it into Whyestil Lake. It seemed to float, its mouth hanging open in the water as its body floated _vertically_, bobbing in the north end of the lake some two hundred miles west of Dorakaa. The lake for a five-mile radius became grossly polluted and unfit for life, as the rotting body of the balor simply sat there.

    Some incredibly foolish adventurers attempted to explore the insides of the demon. Those who returned with their sanity gave reports that other minions of the Abyss have apparently created a ghastly community within the insides of the creature, apparently put there by Iuz himself as a hiding and storage place. Unconfirmed tales speak of an artifact down here that could strip Iuz of his divinity, leaving him “only” a cambion. If this is indeed true, it may prove to be the key to destroying the Old One and his chokehold upon the Flanaess once and for all..."

    The Final Pact: One of the conditions made by Ivid I when he sold his soul for the Malachite Throne was that he would live after death. The devils he made his pact with granted his desire, but in the most horrific way possible-they destroyed his body and turned his mind into a crazed nightmare world that was distorted by Ivid’s own crazed thoughts.

    The devils then released this world into the Great Kingdom, where it would randomly appear behind closed doors within the Kingdom’s borders to entrap enemies of the state (and the Naelax) within a horrific world of nightmares and insanity. With the final destruction of Rauxes, the world now seems to have taken root there, and is now spreading into the Prime Plane, slowly but surely transforming the lands around it into the remnants of Ivid’s shattered psyche.

    The Forge of Souls: As the realms of the elven gods border on the Prime Material Plane, so to do those of the dwarves. Occasionally, doors of pure gold and silver will appear next to a major dwarven kingdom, opening to invoke the sweetest music to a dwarf-clinking coins, voiced raised in hallowed song to Moradin, and hammers striking anvils. This is apparently an invitation by the dwarven gods for their people to enter and test their mettle, and be rewarded with wealth and prestige among the other dwarves of Oerth.

    The Forge of Souls is said to have two permanent entrances: at the Fortress of the Emerald’s Home on the other side of the world in distant Orannia; and in the ruined halls in the Crystalmists where the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords once was forged. The dwarven kingdoms of the Crystalmists are preparing competing expeditions to find the Forge before their enemies do.

    Within the hall itself are many vicious combats, tests of strength and forging against the spirits of dwarven ancestors, and other riddles and challenges that suit the dwarven people. Humans, gnomes and halflings find that they simply cannot pass through the open doors, a force field repelling them. Elves, and all the evil humanoid races, and any other people, such as the fairies, will be struck dead if they attempt to pass through.

    The Hall of Punishment Divine: This bizarre palace, that apparently appears at random throughout the Flanaess, is said to draw in those people who have grievously offended their deities in some way. The Hound of Ill Omen is used by all gods to punish those among their flocks who go astray, while the Hall is similar in this way. Even the makeup of the hall itself changes-forests and natural scenes for followers Obad-Hai, seas and islands for Procan, Xerbo or Osprem, brilliantly decorated halls of silver and gold for Zilchus, ghoulish mausoleums for Nerull or Incabulos.

    Any swept up into this place can be expected to encounter tests of their faith, horrifying monsters of alignments opposed to their own, clerical magic going madly awry, dreams and visions of saints and holy followers of the god from ages past. Penitents will be trapped for forty days and forty nights, appropriately enough. At the end of that time, a final test will be administered, and the penitent will either be returned to his former status or cast out of the faith. And yet, if a person survives for the prescribed period of time, and is released, it will seem as if not a second has passed in the real world since he left. Those traveling with the penitent will never be trapped themselves, if they are innocent of any crimes against the deity who is using the Hall.

    Goblinaragard: Most people tend to think of the Jebli, or goblins, of the Flanaess as being stupid creatures without any strong base of power, great culture, or even much skill at crafts compared to their eiven and dwarven enemies. Goblin magic is worthless compared to that of humans or elves, people say. Goblinaragard, supposedly a hidden city in the Corusk Mountains, turns this myth on its ear. It is a grand city of goblins, which apparently was created when a holy realm of the dwarves was destroyed by the goblins, aided by Khugorbayaeg, which they claimed as their own.

    Now, it is a holy place for goblins from all around the Flanaess. They revere it as a reminder to the rest of the world that they are not as pathetic and stupid as they are made out to be. A place of stinking ironworks and great fortresses, the goblins use human, dwarven, orc, and even ogre and bugbear slaves to expand their halls and mine for iron to build their weapons. The grand temples to Khugorbaeyag and Maglubiyet occupy one quarter of the city, the other three quarters being full of goblins in a ghastly mockery of great human cities like Rel Astra, Chendl, Niole Dra, or Rel Mord.

    Taverns, businesses, and private homes all exist, as do slave pens. Due to the lack of precious ores in the Corusks, most of the city’s coin is brought in through trade. Goblins happily barter slaves for any other items that they need, of course. Humans are allowed relatively free reign of the place as visitors, as are some other humanoid races, but they cannot own property or slaves, or enter into specially sacred areas, such as the temples.

    The Sunken City: In the Vesve Forest just north of the Furyondian capital of Chendl, reports have surfaced of an ancient Flan city being discovered buried into the side of a valley. The elders of the local wild Flan tell of how their city was ruined and destroyed by the evil Ur-Flan of the northern reaches, the current stomping grounds of Iuz and the Horned Society. The elders insisted that the city, while ruined, was not destroyed, as Beory created an underground forest to preserve it until the Flan were ready to reclaim it.
    The first few expeditions have indeed confirmed that the incredible Flan city exists beneath the valley, and there is indeed a thriving underground forest.

    The forest is, however, infested with monsters, and at least two green dragons are known to inhabit the old giant stockades where the elites lived. The treasures of the ancient Flan are thought to lie down here, and so they draw greedy adventurers. However, the same elders who speak of Beory preserving the city also say that if the Flan prove their worth by reclaiming it, she will reward them by allowing their civilization to be re-born. It will not be in a way harmful to the Oeridian and Suel settlers of goodly weal who have proven their worth as friends to the Flan, nor to their elven brothers, however. The same tales also speak of the Horned Ones being re-born in the current Horned Society, something that bodes ill for the people of the north.

    The Valley of the Mage: Legend says that when the valley elves worshipped Chaos and its tenets, they stole the Cup and Talisman of Al’Akbar and returned with it to their home. (Xagyg reports that the artifacts were later lost in the Bandit Kingdoms, but I have been able to find no further data confirming this.) Baklunish adventurers have attempted to travel to the Valley for centuries, although no expedition has ever succeeded in finding them. Those few that return alive have always said they could find no trace of Al’Akbar’s sacred relics, and that they must have been destroyed. The expeditions finally ceased around 3019 BH (360) CY.
    However, with the current religious problems between the True and Exalted Faiths, new expeditions are beginning to attempt to find the artifacts and reconcile the brotherhood of Al'Akbar. Certain clerics from both faiths, repetant in the face of increased aggression from Zeif, feel a united front is necessary in any future conflicts. Any who succeed will be hailed among the greatest heroes in the history of the Baklunish peoples...if fanatics and enemies of the faith do not kill them first.

    Recently, however, priests of both the True and Exalted Faiths have been receiving visions from Al’Akbar, the god pleading with them to return his trusted artifacts and re-unite the faith. Mainstream religious authorities in both sects have dismissed these visions as false, lying tricks done by mages at the viziers’ requests. They hotly deny that Al’Akbar would ever want to reunite the two sects. Nonetheless, a new wave of adventurers are preparing to make the dangerous trek, since something must be going on there.

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    Re: Newly Discovered Dungeons of the Flanaess: Volume II (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Thu, August 14, 2003
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    More fun!

    I noticed that the Balor's Stomach ended with " If this is indeed true, " but didn't continue. Perhaps some additional fragments will appear to tempt adventurers to their doom?

    Similarly, The Vale of the Mage ends with "The expeditions finally ceased around " so hopefully we'll be able to read the end of this note, too? :D


    Re: Newly Discovered Dungeons of the Flanaess: Volume II (Score: 1)
    by chatdemon ( on Fri, August 22, 2003
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    I went ahead and made those edits for you, let me know if it doesn't read correctly for any reason.

    Re: Newly Discovered Dungeons of the Flanaess: Volume II (Score: 1)
    by Osmund-Davizid ( on Wed, February 11, 2004
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    I enjoyed both the hooks in this article and its companion piece. They are just thumbnail sketches and that is how articles should be in order for fans to get the most out of them. They stir the mind for ideas while allowing for individual tailoring. I like it when things are detailed but do not give away too much. Good job in both regards for these two articles.

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