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zeorge
2005-07-04, 11:55 PM
Introduction: *As I approached the little farming community, I couldn't help but smile. *Out of all of this bleak, grey, unforgiving stony landscape, it was still so quaint, so friendly, so...classic. *Or at least, it seemed so at first. *Upon closer inspection, the entire town was... tired. *It seemed like everyone was just trudging through their daily tasks, no hope, no happiness. *There were a few shops, but they were just side-jobs for the farmers and their families. *The smiles were under baggy eyes, forced and fake. *They were unhappy, yet only very few didn't try to hide this. *The people were undernourished, and their farms seemed to produce just enough food to survive, leaving very little people to do other things. *They also seemed to be ruled by Drow, though they seemed to be speaking on the behalf of some greater power. *I avoided the dark elves as I passed through. *The answer to the village's troubles lay to the east, where a dark tower surrounded by a crumbling wall lay. *As I approached the citadel, a noisome (really smelly) stench came across my nose... the stench of death. *It became stronger as I came closer, but I didn't let that keep me from finding the truth behind the plight of this small town. *Soon, I came across the wall, which was easily scaled due to its decay. *Behind it, the stench was almost unbearable. *It was night, but I could still see dark shapes walking slowly, oddly, almost as if they were being controlled by something far away. *I struggled through the stench and finally came across the source of the smell: a dark, seemingly bottomless pit. *I couldn't bear to come closer than 200 feet from it, but the sun was rising and I could still make it out. *It seemed as if some great god of death had cursed the pit itself, enhancing the power of death over the nearby areas. *Whatever lived in the nearby tower undoubtedly used these powers to create the "dark shapes" that I had seen earlier. *I couldn't stand the smell any longer, and I left promptly. *I never came back. - from the journal of Henry Johnson, explorer and mapper

Stats: *Town Size: 1231, Small Town (Farming community is the size of a hamlet with around 300 residents, undead population of about 900 in the tower and around the pit, so the maximum price of items is still that of a hamlet.)
22% Human
1% Drow
2% Other
75% Undead
Government: Sole dictatorship of the Resident of the Tower, whose will is done and thrust upon others of the village through its Drow henchmen
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Religion: All villagers are forced to worship the Resident's god: Nerull
Gold Piece Limit: 100 GP

Physical Description: *Flat, grey and stony ground covers the entire area. *The houses are low stone huts, with about 2 or 3 rooms, each of which house a family. *There are farms on either side of town, and shops in the middle. *An arms and armor shop called "Ingal's Weapons", run more out of family tradition than demand for it's items, is in the center of town, next to a creaky inn and tavern called "Tarsil's Inn", which is beside a musky shop that all of the villagers seem to avoid, with a sign that says "Nalgan's Magic Shop". *All of these get next to no business, except of course for the magic shop, which gets none. *The entire village seems to be under the shadow of the looming tower, and the pit, emenating death. *There are quite a few breaks in the unmantained, crumbling wall around the pit and tower, as usually the smell is quite enough to keep unwanted visitors from coming in. *The tower itself seems generally well upkept, black, though not very smooth (though not visible, both the tower and the magic shop have pretty extensive dungeons). *Ramparts surround the top of the tower, and it is rumored that whenever someone dies, a dark shape appears at night at the top of the tower and looks out upon the town, casting a dark spell.
http://img274.imageshack.us/img274/3843/mapforcitycontest3ci.jpg
(Please excuse my very poor mapmaking skills, it's my first time doing it on a computer and I don't have any half-decent programs. *Oh, and I forgot to show on my map, north is ^, etc., etc.)

Arts and Culture: *None. *There is a slight farming culture and tradition, but there is only one forger in the town who very rarely gets his hands on any material, 5 or 6 stonecutters, 2 or 3 housebuilders, and the one magic user other than those sanctified by the Resident of the Tower is shunned by all others. *There is very rarely time for fun or games, and much less for developing any traditions past farming.

Economics: *This community is entirely cut off from the rest of the world, except for the small import of clothing and export of stone from the very plentiful quarries around the town. *The entire community is basically a farm for the Resident, creating more and more living so that it may create more and more dead, so it doesn't want any influence from the outside world that would take its little farm away from it.

Crime: *None that is even slightly noticable, for the Drow that work for the Resident kill any criminals immediately, eager for an excuse to cause more death and please their master.

The Monument: *The Pit is the monument here, much more breathtaking then the tower built near it. *It has a great curse upon it from Nerull, and makes everything around it slowly die. *The farms just barely survive, and the villagers have unusually short lifespans due to this. *Death, however, thrives. *A necromancer within the Pit's area of effect can create undead on a whim (has maximized, extended and quickened necromancy spells automatically, as do clerics of Nerull trying to command undead or do anything along the lines of undeath), and kill even more easily. *Healing spells, however, only did 2/3 of their normal effect, due to this great presence of death. *It is pitch black, even for those only a few feet away, and seemingly bottomless. *Those that go in do not come out, nor do they even make a thud. *It is just one huge hole, a gaping mouth in the earth.

Power Struggles: *The only surviving resistance to the Resident is Nalgan, the owner of the magic shop. *He in turn, however, is shunned by all of the villagers, and if he should ever emerge from his dank shop and all of its very powerful wards, he would surely die almost immediately. *Other than that, all resistance is immediately squashed by the Drow.

Adventure Hooks: *A. *Nalgan is tired of waiting in his shop under the shadow of the Resident, and wishes eagerly to rid of it. *Even though he doubts that you can destroy the pit, he is willing to pay a handsome price and reward you with many powerful magical items if you can kill the Resident and come back to him. *Then, he could finally flee this cursed place, and hopefully free the poor villagers forced to do labor under this cursed lord's harsh rule.

B. *A Drow officer asks you to go into the magic shop and rid him and the Resident of this nuisance Nalgan. *He warns you that he has built extensive dungeons beneath his shop, and will probably hide in them if you try and kill him, but you will be able to root him out. *He offers to bless you with certain powers if you destroy him, and also give you some nice magical items, provided, however, that you leave immediately after recieved the items. *He couldn't have another magic user trotting around town with all of his/her fancy powers, now could he?

C. *A small boy comes up to you and tugs on your sleeve. *He tells you that he saw the big black hole near the tower when he once got lost, and he tells you that if you found out what the hole was exactly, he'd give you his necklace. *Though the boy seems innocent and oblivious to the greater power struggles around, you sense a great amount of magical power in his necklace. *The boy also tells you that he once dreamed that he saw the big hole, and that it wasn't dark, and that he saw a small side cave in the wall, and that if you wanted to find out more about the hole, that you should go into that side cave. *With that, he scampers off to find his parents.

Extra Backround Info: *Before the coming of the Resident, a previous Necromancer build the tower and the walls and lived there, attracted by the Pit, which was there since anyone could remember. *He didn't build the village, however, nor did he use the Resident's method of cutting himself off from the world as a means of safety. *He would send his undead minions far and wide, terrorizing the countryside, but as was inevitable, the last group of powerful adventurers sent to cut him down did just that, and his reign of death was over. *The Resident is a pretty recent installation, only a few hundred years since it came to the tower. *That's just the general history of the place, everything else came with the Resident.



Oh, please, please, like it... :-/
First time in a OOTS contest, I'm much too nervous than I should be :P

The_King_of_Durf
2005-07-05, 10:48 AM
Sounds pretty cool, maybe you could give us some character sheets for Nalgan, the Resident, or quick maps/layouts for the tower and the pit. Also, what kind of undead is common there?

zeorge
2005-07-05, 11:00 AM
Well, Nalgan would probably be a level 14 Wizard, and the Resident most likely a 16 Necromancer, who's powers over death are greatly enhanced by the Pit (maximized, extended, quickened). *His Drow would be either necromancers of a much lower level (like 8 or 9) or clerics of Nerull (same level). *I'll make their character sheets some other time. *Non-sentient undead is common here, as the Resident likes no resistance and takes a great threat from sentient undead, and has only very few in the higher ranks of his army which it keeps close watch on. *Other than that it's really the DM's choice for what kind of undead.
Levels of all of the enemies are flexible for what level the adventuring party is, but those character levels are what I had in mind when making it.
As for dungeon maps... I'll get around to it pretty soon, probably in a day or so. Never mind :P

The first level is done, the upper and lower levels I think I'll leave to the DM. *As for the pit, there's just a cave (Search check DC 30, 35 or something like that) in the wall, but that extends into a huge dungeon of Nerull himself, the hardest dungeon in this city.

Here's the tower as I see it (DMs can take any liberties in changing this):

http://img288.imageshack.us/img288/9678/contesttowermap8xc.jpg