Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Dungeon: Level 2 - Cult of Chaos

Greedy men whose ambition exceeds their power gravitate to The Dungeon where they serve the unknown entity that spawns its children in the Black Pool of Chaos.  They protect and serve the pool, guide its stronger children to appropriate portions of the dungeon, and murder and steal from those that they can.  As such, this area of The Dungeon is the brightest and cleanest and best fit for human occupancy - if you are an insane human that can tolerate the bizarre wall carvings, delights in murder and suffering, and can live with the presence of vicious monsters around every corner.

The floors of this entire level are identical flagstones 2-foot square mortared in place.  Each one is engraved with the strange letters of an alien alphabet.  They do nothing, and their meaning is open for interpretation. Dwarves will find something sinister in the the perfect precision with which each stone is cut, and the identical nature of sigils of the same letter.  They are almost too perfect.

Level 2 - The Cult of Chaos

The halls of this portion of The Dungeon are well lit by burning torches placed every sixty feet, indicating that these halls are better traveled than most.  The walls are smooth faced stone carved directly out of the rock with pedestals jutting into the hall every twenty feet or so.  The pedestals support arches that would support the roof were the roof itself not also carved directly out of stone.  Along the central spine of the vaulted arches, the roof reaches fifteen feet above the floor.

The vaulted roof of the central hall is covered by bizarre frescoes - images showing gargantuan tentacles swarming over cities and mountains and forests.  Most will never see these, as the ceiling is more than forty feet above the ground, too dark for standard torches to penetrate the gloom.  The gargoyles who perch above the Pool of Chaos use this darkness to their advantage, swooping down from unexpected angles.

Why do men gather here to worship this pool?  Avarice - plain and simple.  The creatures that rise from the pool carry gold and treasures with them, and when the cultists ambush these newborn children of the DungeonGod, they help themselves to the gold, but always add to the offering pile that surrounds the pool.  As is so often the case, their greed will one day doom them when their master sends them a challenge they cannot match.  Until then, their leader dreams of finding the tomes of the wizard Garinginax so that he might unlock the mystery of the pool of Chaos and bend the DungeonGod to his will.

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