Saturday, October 30, 2021

Post 1001: Seven Spooky Greyhawk Locations

Happy Halloween fellow Greyhawkers! For future reference, it is the end of October 2021, this is officially post #1001, and my last post was March 31, 2021. In the spirit of one of my favorite holidays I am going to revisit one of my columns, "Spooky Greyhawk Locations." Disclaimer: Don't get too excited about my return, I just thought this post up today, and I currently have no other projects in the works since I went back through all my previous posts to clean up broken links. In other words, enjoy! Whether you are new or a long-time reader, thank you for checking out Greyhawkery. Who knows, maybe I'll have something for Needfest

1. Star Haunt. In the mood for a ghost-like tale? Send your snooping PCs to the Celadon Forest, and enter the star-shaped castle ruins called Star Haunt. The walls of this ruin glow in the dark due to peculiar moss, and inside the creatures that lurk have an innate displacement effect. Anything, including perhaps the original Oeridian residents slowly turn into incorporeal undead. Star Haunt is a nice haunted house style romp, and its definitely not a place the heroes will want to stay in for long. Check out this ruined castle in the 2E sourcebook, Marklands.

2. The Blood Obelisk. Fading Lands are weird demiplanes that overlap the Flanaess at set times then vanish. Usually these are strange lands like a faerie realm, but one, the Blood Obelisk of Aerdy is quite frightening. The fading land is a black plain of dust and rocks. Here, unwary heroes will run into metal-skinned trolls, iron golems and other metal monstrosities. At the center of the plain is an unholy magic obelisk dedicated to Hextor. What is its purpose and how one gets here is up to each DM, but if you'd like to know more, check out From the Ashes

3. Wormcrawl Fissure. So you think zombies are too easy in D&D? Then send your players on a quest to the Wormcrawl Fissure! This ravine is on the western end of the mighty Rift Canyon, and is best known for being the home to the vile creator of undead, Kyuss. Bandits and servants of Iuz avoid this place if possible because the zombies here are even more than your run of the mill Sons of Kyuss seen in Fiend Folio. They are stronger, tougher, and have other nasty powers. Read more about this eerie fissure in Iuz the Evil or the Age of Worms adventure path, particularly Dungeon #134.

4. Howling Chasm. In the mood for a mind-twisting mystery? Go to the Howling Chasm in the Tilvanot Peninsula. This chasm is in the south face of the Okalasna Plateau, domain of the Scarlet Brotherhood. If an aspiring explorer can get to this remote land, what they will discover here can be a chilling mystery. Those who enter seemingly return years later to learn less time has passed on Oerth. What's worse is the maddening visions and memories they are left with after coming back to their own time, or the unexplained alterations to their body. The Chasm could be literally anything a DM desires to spook and confuse their players. Naturally, you can find this spooky locale in the 2E sourcebook, The Scarlet Brotherhood.

5. The Sanitorium. The city of Molag in the Horned Society is bad enough as evil locations go, but within the Hierarch's Palace is a site that is downright horrific in its own right. This imposing edifice is the most well-known location in Molag, infamous for being ran by priests of Nerull. Here at the Sanitorium, people near death are captured by the priesthood, and brought to be used for their twisted necrotic interests. This scary building is an excellent location to host a thrilling rescue. Will the players offend the Reaper, or will they be his next victim? Check out this location, including the Molag city map in Iuz the Evil.

6. Pits of Azak-Zil. How about some dwarven themed horror? Your best bet is sending the adventurers to check out the ruins of a mining operation called Azak-Zil. Greyhawk is notorious for things falling from the sky, and this fallen meteor site is an especially creepy location to send players. What came of the dwarven miners? Who is in charge now? What is in the center of the poisonous lake? Intrigued? You can find more on this classic scenario in the hardback Greyhawk Adventures by James Ward.

7. Screaming Valley. So the characters are passing through the Cairn Hills? Want an alternative spooky site to the much maligned Doomgrinder? Try passing through the Screaming Valley. This is a bleak, four-mile long stretch of land where no insects or birds dwell. Half-way through this barren place, one can find a mass of sandstone riddled with holes that create a loud noise for miles as wind rushes through the valley. This unnerving valley is home to an eclectic selection of undead and creatures. DMs who want to subject their players to this chilling valley can find it in the From the Ashes boxed set.


Lord Gosumba said...

Yea!!! Great to see for Halloween!

Ancientgamer said...

Awesome Mike

Thomas Kelly said...

Thanks Mike! Really fun to see this post. And that Sanitorium in Molag is still a potential ahead in my GREAT NORTHERN CRUDSADE campaign-if the PCs ever even make it Molag. (I haven't been able to get that group together for months now.) After that, it's off to Grabford where the vampire Maskaleyne has transformed the city into a haunt for undead and hidden away twelve coffins throughout the city. The PCs will need to find and destroy all twelve before attempting to take him on directly while the Knights of the Shield lay siege to the city.

Dick McGee said...

One of my old players had a custom-made shirt that read "I was eaten alive by vermin in the Wormcrawl Fissure and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!" I've never been sure if he had them print the logo on an old shirt or if he'd artificially distressed it, but it was suitably moth-eaten and ragged-looking.

Guy had a strange sense of humor.

eLarson said...

I can't get over the similarity of Okalasna Plateau to Onalaska, WI.

Is it known who created the Okalasna Plateau? (Did they have some connection to the LaCrosse area?)

Crimsondeth said...

Absolutely on point. To tell you the truth..growing up, I would always get the October issue of Dragon Magazine every year. Halloween, Samhain, the Feast night of Orcus....and gaming go hand in hand!

Zudrak (Michael G.) said...

Yay, a Greyhawkery writing sighting! ;)

This reminds me that I owe you a "digging up" of my old Celadon Forest notes that I apparently forgot about until I read this. It led me to this earlier conversation of ours:

Heh. Happy (belated) Halloween, Mike!

Armenfrast said...

A good season for sightseeing.

Mike Bridges said...

Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm glad to make everyone's Halloween a surprise. Let's see now...

Gosumba: firsties!

AncientGamer: Poor guy, he was just a regular gamer then became ancient waiting on my 1001st post.

Thomas: Awesome! I hope none of the players see this spoiler then. ;)

McGee: That is the strangest custom shirt idea I've ever seen haha!

eLarson: I want to say Sean Reynolds named it for the SB book. Did he work in Wisconsin at that time? I dunno, I think WotC owned TSR by then, but yeah the similarity is too suspect. Given Gygax used stuff like "Walworth" County in his maps, why not?

Crimsondeath: IT truly is the best time of the year for D&D themed content haha

Zudrak: Go for it! It's amazing how things slip our mind.

Armenfrast: Happy dungeon delving!

Rafael Silveira said...

Great article! Flanaess has many scary places.

I read your post about how the ratman Skaven race from Warhammer to Greyhawk would be. Which location on the Flanaess map would you think would best be their capital, the Skavenblight?

Mike Bridges said...

Somewhere in the Bandit Kingdoms. I could see them easily over running one of those towns and making it their own.