The city of Redfort is an ever growing metropolis at the forefront of the magical industrial revolution. Expanding not just up and out but down as well. The city has commissioned a new metro line to connect the old city centre to the new suburbs. Whilst digging deeper than many had before, the boring machine uncovered a long forgotten and buried ruin. The players characters are the explorers sent by the city council to find out more. The adventure seeds result in substantial changes to the city of Redfort, making these ideas better suited to longer campaigns were the consequences can be fully explored.
Lost Elven Wood
The boring machine emerged at the top edge of a truly vast cavern. You can’t see across it because it is filled with trees that grow from bottom to roof. The trees are silver barked and white leafed and tens of metres across at the base. Water comes from several underground streams and light from pale glow globes embedded in the ceiling. Grown stairways, shaped platforms and knotted branches support and connect a network of tree houses large enough for a population of 5000. The trees are dormant and have no fruit, seeds or flowers.
The elven owners carefully abandoned and sunk grove two thousand years ago to hide it from an oncoming disaster. However, the elves never returned and the forest city has lain lost and dormant ever since. A sole caretaker remains, an ancient plant elemental in the form of an animate bramble whose branches reach all over the city. The spells containing and maintaining the forest are fading. The bramble will tell the explorers that the grove will soon die unless it is returned to the surface. Doing so will supplant and destroy the old cultural heart of Redfort that is directly above. The bramble is determined that the city survive.
Dark Dwarven Mine
The boring machine broke through into some kind of mineral processing room. All the hand powered machines within are smashed and it’s not clear at all what ore was being worked. The walls are smooth cuth and finely decorated with swirling pattern at waist height. From the processing room there are stairs that would have led to the surface but are now collapsed. All other exits lead to mine shafts and tunnels. There are tens of these but all but one go nowhere and show no signs of mining. The shaft that does go somewhere opens out into a large underground ravine, the bottom of which cannot be seen from the mine shaft.
Some dwarves dig too deep out of greed, mania or ignorance. Others know exactly what it is they are looking for and how dangerous it is. Cut into one side of the ravine is a path that leads down to the ravine floor. As the explorers descend, they find the light from their torches penetrates increasingly less of the gloom. On the ravine floor the wall along the far side completely absorbs all light. It appears like a darkness you could step into. This is umbrix, the ore of dark mithril. The metal is the counterweight to silver mithril and it is evil. Should a person possessing compassion or sympathy touch it they will be badly burnt. Wounds caused by the metal do not heal without powerful intervention. Deeply unpleasant beings from other planes are attracted to large deposits. The monster that drove out the dwarves lurks here still and carries a weapon made of dark mithril.
Orc Halls of the Honoured Dead
The boring machine was stopped when it opened up a small collapsed antechamber, the far wall of which was entirely a vast pair of heavy metal doors. Cold welded shut with age, they are two inches thick of solid steel. Beyond them is a long tight corridor with dozens of yet smaller corridors branching off into further more branching and shrinking corridors. The rock and walls are crudely carved but the floor is flat and paved with a colour coded pattern. The walls are lined with the mummified remains of dead orcs, all with weapons and armour. There are thousands of them.
At the end of primary corridor, some kilometre along, is a round room with a carved relief. It tells in pictures the story of a powerful orc culture that made alliances with other species for mutual protection and benefit. The dead here were the army of that culture, the Redshades, who fought to the last warrior in a battle against extra planar forces. Their allies betrayed them and did not reinforce the orcs when they took the brunt of the enemy’s attack. This conflicts with the explorer’s taught history, which states that the orcs betrayed the alliance and sided with the attackers. The remains of the commanding warlady are interred in the centre of the round room. Her spirit will appear to the explorers and explain that her army cannot find rest until their sacrifice is properly remembered.
- Tunnelfräser Wohlmeyer-Krupp KTF 280 TBM 04 by Daniel Mennerich – CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0
- Aspen Gold by Alistair Nicol – CC-BY-NC-2.0
- Mammoth Cave by Garden State Hiker – CC-BY-2.0
- Tomb by Andea Kirkby – CC-BY-NC-2.0