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October 30, 2006, 2:14 pm

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The Hollow Mountain


It’s cold up this high, the air is thin and hard to breath. We should find the entrance in the next day or so. I can’t eait to find it, I can’t wait to be out of this wind…

Surrounded by giants of granite and folded stone, the Hollow Mountain is a Dungeoneer’s myth, a folk tale, a fantasy. According to the legend, it was once the lair of a dragon, and the beast heaped it’s loot there. But the dragon wasn’t immortal. Dwarves tell the tale of Oin Hammerhand, a dwarf whose company of iron draped and filthy dwarven companions managed to find the lair of this dragon, hack it to bloody gibbets and then roast the creature the gnaw the red meat from it’s dead bones. Oin Hammerhand would later go on to found the ill-fated Clan Hammerhand of the Hollow Mountain. They delved into the core of the mountain, hewing out great halls, armories and all sorts of devices. In a show of arrogance, towers balconies and halls rose from the side of the mountain, growing on top as the burrowed within.

This wealth and excess was not to last. With the next round of Goblin wars, Hammerhand Holt would suffer great losses in the campaign, and when a new dragon appeared, the holt was lost, and all of its defenders slain when the beast collapsed the outer defences. Some whisper that the death scream of hundreds of dwarves was what gave rise to the winds that batter the Hollow Mountain but I says they was there all along. The dragon inhabited the halls, filling them with great wealth and spawning is scaly kin in the feasting halls of the King of the Mountain.

The Soaring Dungeon
At well over 12,000 feet in elevation, reaching the mouth og the Hollow Mountain should be an adventure in and of itself. Crawling across the broken terrain at the feet of the mountain could reveal that some of the debris is acrually worked stone, such as the PCs sheltering under what is in fact an inverted stone staircase that survived the tumble down. The cold and the driving wind that batter the mountain are constant enemies more remorseless than any goblin warband more more heartless than the most flint-hearted dragon.

Inside is little better. The inisde of the ruins is littered with debris, and the ejecta produced by an active dragon. (This is assuming that like an owl, a dragon will cough up a pellet of undigestable material, rather than digesting everything it eats) Much of the stonework is damaged by the presence of a multi-ton lizard, doorways broken, floors weakened, and smaller rooms blasted to cinders to make sure no pesky dwarves were hiding within. Some of these rooms may be haunted by the ghosts of the dwarves who were indeed hiding in the room when the dragon flamed it.

The general feeling of the Hollow Mountain should be one of loss, sadness, and the inevitable passage of time. The dwarves are gone, and the stone splendor of their home has been sullied and despoiled by a dragon. Deeper in the ruins, evinced by a trail of massive doors that have been crushed open and collapsed walls is the corpse of the dragon itself perished by some unknown means. Surrounded by its gold, the mummy (not bandaged wrapped, but more freeze-dried) of the dragon lies dead on its pile of wealth.

Inspired by a blank spot, and The Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
March 18, 2006, 12:53
I like the idea of the mummified dragon.
Voted MoonHunter
March 19, 2006, 0:53
I like this piece. Well executed and well thought out. It has those little details that I enjoy so much. It does not have as much dramatic potential as the other things you have posted recently, but it is interesting. Paws up.
Voted Pariah
March 19, 2006, 22:04
I like it. Does it have droves of foolhardy adventurers filling up the creveses yet?
Voted Nobody
April 6, 2006, 9:16
I like everything about this except for one thing. It sounds like free Gold for the PC's. I mean, they walk in. Turn a ghost or two, and then leave with a horde of treasure.

Aside from being hard to get to, why does this place make sense for an adventure worth all of that treasure?

Otherwise, I really like it
April 6, 2006, 18:22
One of the things to keep in mind when dealing with the high altitude campaign is that the players are going to be limited to what they can bring with them into the mountain, and even moreso what they can take out. gold is heavy, and like Pariah says, there are going to be bodies of people who failed to calculate the right ratio of gold to supplies for the return trip.
Voted Strolen
February 26, 2011, 5:56

Creates a great atmosphere. It would be a long, difficult trek up the mountain. I see Nobody's point. Although on the trek down, carrying all the heavy items, they would have to slowly ditch the treasure as the moved in order to survive. Will give them great grief when their only rope can only hold one person and they have a trench to cross. Each can only keep a handful. It can be worked.

Voted valadaar
November 6, 2015, 11:00
I like this - a cross between the Lonely Mountain and Everest. Perhaps one could even make it such that the mountain has gotten higher over time - much faster than normal - making its hazard much greater than when the dwarves dwelled there.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: ephemeralstability

In a crowded marketplace, a man is standing on a soapbox, orating. Some of the crowd are cheering, some hissing, some standing around saying "I can't hear a bl**dy word he's saying". It's a hustings for an election. The PCs can either leave, or stay and listen. If they do the latter, then they can vote too, and they might get quite involved in the cheering. Depending on who wins they might get quite involved in the post-election brawl too...

There are numerous possibilities with this encounter: the PCs might end up talking to one of the nervous candidates before their speech, and offer encouragement and support. Of course this candidate may well turn out to be someone with outspokenly unorthodox views, and the crowd don't take kindly to s/his supporters. Or maybe the seemingly innocuous candidate turns out to be a complete racist, and the PCs wander off embarrassedly, pretending they weren't talking to this person five minutes ago.

Encounter  ( City/ Ruin ) | September 23, 2003 | View | UpVote 1xp

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