Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Mysterious Places from the Fringe V

Well met Greyhawk adventurers! The year is nearly over and this will be my 96th post of 2020. That is significant because it's my most blog activity since 2014! I thank you all for reading and participating in the Greyhawk community. Today I am revisiting one of my favorite columns, creating adventure hooks based on the "Mysterious Places" articles of Living Greyhawk. Go back and check out some of my previous attempts from 2014 again 2014, 2018 and 2019. As in my other installments, I have not playtested, researched or stolen any of these adventure locations. I am literally going to write these off the top of my head after I finish writing this introduction. Let's go...

The Terror of Udgru: Over the centuries, the dense Udgru Forest has gone largely unexplored by the Baklunish who have only ever exploited its edges. Those who seek to evade the law of Ekbir, or the hunt of the Tiger Nomads often venture for the deeper woodlands out of desperation. Most of the time they find plentiful game and sometimes monstrous denizens, but the unluckiest of those who would try to explore the forest might encounter the Terror of Udgru. Tales abound of a great stone obelisk that is the size of a tower and marked with weathered runes. The immediate area around the obelisk is perpetually shrouded in gloom and choked with overgrowth that conceals the bones (and treasure) of countless creatures. None have stayed at the Terror for longer than an hour before running away in fear. Survivors describe hearing gradually increasing sounds; shuffling noises, bestial growls and shrill howling winds. Those who remain behind never live to tell their tale. To date, no ranger or druid has been able to track the Terror's exact location, leading some to believe the cursed obelisk is a randomly occurring Fading Land.

The Leap:
The hardy folk of the Hollow Hills have peaceably mined their lands since the ancient days of Queen Ehlissa and even on into the more recent era of the Great Kingdom. Further south beyond the Menowood, and the safety of their halls and warrens, there is notably more danger in the highlands. Here, they run up to a dizzying cliff overlooking the Azure Sea where sailors and intrepid explorers speak of a spot called The Leap. This cliffside point is only discernable by arcane detection or the occurrence of a shadow helix. The purpose of the Leap is debated. Locals claim an evil presence attracts those who despair and lose all hope, while pirate yarns tell of a great sea-elf king's treasure submerged at a point below the cliff, yet sages insist the Leap is part of a ley-line or an intermittent magical gate to the Outer Planes. Adventurers may seek their own answers at the Leap.

Abbathor's Claim: Somewhere within the venerable Griff Mountains is a remote ravine, hazardous to reach through rocky terrain and collapsing paths. Those who actively seek this place know it as Abbathor's Claim, named for a greedy dwarven god that implies both risk and reward. There is indeed a divine lure of untapped riches here; stories ranging from fabulously large deposits of diamonds to veins of rare magical ores. The truth is no one has ever been able to properly start a mine here. Clans of dwarves, duergar, humans and even orcs from nearby Garel Enkdal have all attempted to seize Abbathor's Claim to no avail. 

Surveys of the ravine say at the very bottom, ringed by the jagged cliffs, there is an unnaturally flat granite plain where the remains of prior prospectors decay along with their unused gear. In the center of this plain is a steaming fissure barely a hand-width across. Whatever the reason, this plain has been the site of many brutal, bloody fights, as rivals clash or partners turn on one another. Ultimately those who are last to stand either lack the will to stay at the Claim or suffer at the hands of those who arrive next. It is said local stone giants have began placing markers on the trails leading here as a warning to avoid Abbathor's Claim.

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