In the Fourth part of our Adventure Building Post, if you haven’t seen the previous posts you can see them at the links below.
This is an ongoing world building adventure, both on paper and off and some things may have changed since you saw them last.
The Undercity, an undiscovered cavern underneath the ancient Necropolis that is in some respects a mockery of the city above.
It features a citadel that mirrors the castle above.
The walls of the cavern are lined with buildings carved directly into the rock face and floor.
Though it may have been a refuge from some past horror, the Undercity is now home to those undead who have begun to gain some new manner of self after the centuries.
There are two main locations in the Undercity, and only one faction
The Underkeep, buried directly under the Lost Castle above, when observed it reflects the Castle almost but not completely, as if the Castle had been improved since the Underkeep was built.
Where as the Castle is built of prosperity and opulence, the Underkeep was built for war, its rooms are filled with putrid masses that were once food, water stagnant and bad, its weapons rotten and ruined, the only thing found moving within the Keep are the dead.
The one main addition to the Underkeep that isn’t represented in the Castle, a green stone inserted into a stone bell atop the bell tower, each hour an automated hammer strikes the bell but instead of a tone, a green radiance fills the Undercity with a light that grows during the day and fades at night.
If your players discovered the Undercity through the Castle, and have done so without antagonising the Dead, allow them to discern lore, whether through researching the Castle/Keep’s almost destroyed library
Now this is most likely the last location our players will discover.
The Crypt is situated in the heart of a maze that covers the floor of the Undercity, as if hidden from those who would exploit it for their own desires.
Within the center of the maze, is an solid stone sarcophagus carved out of the very rock floor, carved into the head of the tomb is a space for the sunstone, and the inner and outer walls of the sarcophagus are lined with pictograms of death, warnings as to the sunstones power interpreted as instructions.
Now lets build a little Lore.
In a time before recorded history, the Necropolis was the capital city of a great undying empire.
The Empire was feared not for its strength, but its warriors could never die and though many lands fought wars against them, the Necropolis could never be defeated for long in any fight, before their warriors would get back up and continue their battles.
How do you defeat an enemy who continues fighting after they die?
The secret of this ancient empire was found in the hidden city beneath their castle, a necromantically infused sunstone was found within a Crypt ancient even by their standards, when removed from its resting place the sunstone would pulse with a green glow and any who bathed in the light, would return from the dead.
It was with this ancient relic that the empire of the Necropolis flourished, it’s people protected no matter how close the enemy got to their home.
But no defence in war is perfect, and the enemies of the Necropolis grew bold, grew angry and in time they took the city, fought their way into the Undercity and slaughtered every man woman and child.
Knowing the dead would rise, they held their ground and fought again, and again, until the dead fought no more.
The Empire fell, but the sunstone was never returned.
Over the centuries the influence of the sunstone started to grow, spreading beyond the Undercity, beyond the Necropolis, affecting those who lived near by.
A wall was built around that now ancient city, with no one aware the cause of the plague afflicting the populations present it was assumed to be a zombie plague, and survivors believed that containing the endless dead to the Necropolis would solve the issue.
But still the sunstone fills the world with it’s light.
The only thing to survive the millennia since the fall of the Necropolis, is rumour and obligation.
Although no one can pinpoint where traditions and beliefs started, they are held to this very day.
But tale is told that deep within the Necropolis, lies a tomb that offers a chance at true death.
This concludes Part 4 of our Necropolis Series.
No doubt Part 5 will be out final world building post before we bring it all together.
So for Part 5, we’ll create some NPC’s, items, and plothooks and missions.
Then all we need is to pull it all together into a document, exciting, eh?