So, I’m sure I’ve complained before about some of the D&D books, including the Dungeon Master’s Guide – some of them are confusing formatted, they all have terrible useless indexes, sometimes the content is just dumb. But I gotta tell you – the random dungeon generator section of the DMG absolutely saved my ass this session. With it, I managed to put together something reasonably coherent that made sense in the context of my setting and give my players a surprise dungeon to loot.
Mordora, tiefling warlock-wizard
Kronch, half-orc barbarian
Max, halfling bard
Alkar, elf mystic-artificer
Samzon, half-elf rogue-cleric
The City of Pearlmouth, on the Coast of Splendors
The Ruins of the Sky Temple of Akadi
The Story So Far:
As she was going about her classes at Planar Collegium, Mordora found an unseen door slamming open next to her in the hall, and a tall elven figure barreling through. Guessing – correctly – that this was the elusive headmistress of the wizarding school, Mordora quickly and quietly moved to keep the door open long enough to get through. As an afterthought, she removed one of her shoes and used it to wedge the door open, just in case she couldn’t get back out. She found a long, winding corridor within – a secret passage through the tower.
It lead to a closed door that was not locked – evidently the magically hidden door had been enough for Headmistress Lestarielle Cloudfall. She ducked into the room, checking over her shoulder as she had been the whole way. She found herself in the headmaster’s office and she knew she wouldn’t have much time before she was found out. She grabbed a handful of documents off the top of the desk and copied them out to take back to her friends who would help her crack the code the documents were all written in.
Mordora returned to her group and established a telepathic link with Alkar. Standing near the tower, the group joined up to work their way through some of the code. They did so, and as soon as they realized what they were looking at, they immediately disbanded and made plans to meet back up at a more private, secure location. They made their way to the Red Sky Tavern, where most of the group had been staying, into a private room, then into a Leomund’s Tiny Hut provided by Alkar (which was then additionally secured by Samzon casting Forbiddance on it – ain’t nobody getting in there).
The documents Mordora had found revealed a far deeper connection with the Faith of the Seven-Faced God than they’d realized previously, one that bound Planar Collegium, Suncastle Enterprise, and the Montclair Mercenaries together. As they read, a conspiracy unfolded before them – a cult surrounding a powerful mythic figure, “An-Shumash”, that rose up every century or so, under different names and guises to attempt to deify this An-Shumash, allowing him to reign over the pantheon and remake the world in his image. The tale was told of the cult’s power, its influence, and its disappearance and resurgence over time.
Deciding to get out of the city for a time, just to make sure that they could lay low, the group looked for other opportunities to make money in the region. Despite their lucrative bank robbery mere weeks earlier, some party members were already starting to run low on funds (or they merely had expensive tastes in magic items). Alkar purchased a map of the region showing several ruins which had most likely been looted already, but they could certainly go out and see what might be left over that they could quickly claim for their own.
They made their way to the nearest site, an abandoned temple to Akadi, the goddess of air, located atop a small series of mesas and tepuis. They saw no means to climb up easily, so the party members with flying brooms ferried the others up to the top, to a central area in the complex of buildings where a monastic order had once made their quiet, peaceful lives. They were immediately greeted by some beautiful holy relics – magical items, huge gemstone orbs – which they tucked safely away in their bags of holding. After all, they’d already pissed off two goddesses (Mystra and Umberlee), so what did it matter if they pissed off another?
Making their way further into the complex, they found a broad, open area where several families of aaracokra were nesting, and bearing no grudge against the simple airfolk, they left the area undisturbed. They found an area of dormitories where penitent monks had once lived in sparse, bare rooms. Cots still lay where they always had, heavily coated in dust. However, something had disturbed some of the dust, and not an aarakocra. Curled up on one of the cots, sleeping deeply, was a tressym – a winged, intelligent cat. The group variously tried to attract its attention and lure it into joining them (with Max keeping Dogstein at bay and reassuring him that he was the best of the group’s various animal companions).
In another area, they found what would have been a feast hall, with silver place settings still laid out neatly. These they stole as well – silver was silver after all, and if nothing else, it could be melted down and used to silver a weapon or two. There, Samzon found a trap door, leading down into the mesa, tunneling deep into the earth. Surprised to find such a thing in an air temple, he ventured downwards for a time, before returning to his party – the passageway went down well below the level where the mesa rose out of the earth. They all went down then, climbing ever downwards until they finally reached a flat surface again.
They landed on an elaborately tiled mosaic of a glimmering, golden sun. Three passageways lead in three different directions from there. Following the first one, a long corridor – again, wider than the mesa itself could have been – lead them to an enormous set of golden double doors. Several party members began to salivate at the sight, readying crowbars, knives, smelting tools, whatever might be used to take some segments of these golden monoliths, not concerning themselves so much with what might be beyond them.