...In the hallowed halls of the University of Linnarson a glimpse may sometimes be caught of the Senior Masters, learned sages and masters of knowledge. They seldom leave their dusty studies full of learned tomes, other than to dine - each evening they will be found shuffling down the dimly lit corridors to the dark and shuttered Great Hall. After feasting at high table by candlelight they will be gone, returning once more to their studies. None but they know of their pact with death, how they have willingly embraced an eternal undeath in which to pursue knowledge, yet this is the reason for the darkened corridors and the shuttered hall, for those who are undead cannot abide the light of the sun…
Sab Rejak, also called the City of the Lost, was once a thriving city until a curse and a plague brought an end to its glory.
Some say that Darigus was murdered for his treasure. Others say that Darigus’s court magician did away with the nobleman and ran off with his daughter. And some say that Darigus isn’t dead, and took off with his treasure. But no one knows for sure…
Something occured and those in the grand city went mad. Was it a curse, a prophecy, a spell gone wrong, or a magik item opened? Nobody allegedly knows. The city guard on the city walls, saw the madness and were apparently not touched. They tried to keep the crazy ones inside, by blocking the gates and sealing the entrances to the large city wall. The region’s leader, eventually sent the Army there to reinforce the city guards, to hold the mad ones in. Since the mad men are incredibly strong and immune to pain, if they escape it would be a plague upon the land. There is still hope that someday they could be restored (perhaps a royal heir or a royal household was in the city). Perhaps they are nearly immortal. The city guards who occasionally decend into the city to drop supplies and stop fires believe that to be true.
Now it is a small town, with its own walls, that rings the old grand city. Over the years, the army and guards, have created a town that supports them. They think themselves immune to the madness, yet their proximity to them, means they are only slightly odd… perhaps becoming mad. The crazed watch over the mad. A running joke is that someday, someone will man their walls to hold them in.
My group had to locate the hidden entrance to an abandoned Gnomish city. They searched for two days before they found what they thought was the entrance. It was the entrance…., to Kiddieland, the Gnomish equivalent of a modern funhouse for children. Evil, nasty super-gremlins had infested the place and had warped much of the magic there to terrorize suckers, er, characters who found the way in.
As long as any can remember, these certain paths allowed one to travel up to and over 20 extra miles a day by using them. One moment one was deep along a small trail, the next he would find himself 20 or more miles farther down the path without realizing it. All was fine until recently. Reports returned talking of the failure of these areas which revealed miles of ancient paths. The protection hiding them has finally failed. Will it release monsters of ages past or reveal magic of unknown worth?
Idea from the Aeneid. Could make an intriguing encounter when searching for firewood..."Quite near there happened to be a mound of earth, at the highest part of which were growing thickets of cornel and a dense cluster of spiky myrtle-stems. I went up there and tried to wrench the green growth from the ground to provide a leafy covering for our altar. There I was confronted by a horrible and astounding miracle. For from the first bush which I tried to break off...blood oozed in dark drops, fouling the earth with its spots...A piteous moan came from the base of the mound and I heard a human voice answering me: 'Why, Aeneas, must you rend a poor sufferer? I am buried here...for I am Polydorus. Here death overpowered me in a crop of piercing iron-pointed spears. And so a crop resembling javelins has grown over me...'"