Epic Dungeon in the Playground
The Fortress of the Hill
The Fortress of the Hill
The varied histories of the Fortress of the Hill
The Fortress as it currently stands was built 300 years ago. Its in ruins, but is still active. It is used currently as a staging area for bandits and slavers operating on the nearby roads. Few merchants travel the roads in the area unless faced with no other choice.
It was constructed by the Quiet Sun, an order of paladins, for some purpose they refused to share with those not inside the order. 200 years after its construction, the Quiet Sun was forced to abandon the fortress, and have not attempted to reclaim it.
But the history of The Fortress of the Hill is much longer than that. It is only the most recent fortress constructed on the site, and holds ancient secrets.
the first levels have been co-opted by the bandits and slavers. They operate freely in the area, but do not venture deeper. [probably player level 1-3]
Just below the Fortress proper are the catacombs, where 200 years of paladins are interred. at these levels a cult operates. The slavers above were not particularly aware of them, just that people who got seperated tended to not be seen again. They work for things lying deeper in the fortress. [player level 4-6, players start getting first real hints at the true depth of the place, and its history]
below that is where the things really start taking a turn for the strange. Here is where the eldrich horrors start to pour through. strange geometries and 4th dimensional monsters. This is also where the undead start to come through, guarding against those above venturing too deep [7-13 major meat here, seeing as the major goals were horror, and I think these levels allow that without much real threat. The players start getting a grasp on the real threats here, the evil undead plotting, the horrors from beyond the stars, that sort of thing]
The players start taking the fight to the undead kings or the like ruling here. The destruction of the undead lords ultimatelly leads to the power unleased below, as the UNdead lords are part of an ancient pact to keep the eldrich abominations sealed away[14-17, combat heavy]
having unleashed the eldrich horrors, the players have to rebind them. All tools to do so should be available from the undead lords, if they can work them out. [18-close. could lead to noble sacrifice, or some other method. but there it is]