Alamras was a young man who became involved in the necromantic arts, developing an amazing aptitude for raising the dead and forcing spirits and demons to do his bidding. A necromantic talent this great had not been seen for hundreds of years, and Alamras was looking to gain power and influence in the kingdom. He proved his prowess during the Third War of the Mountains, using his talents to singlehandedly defeat an entire battalion of the enemy forces in an otherwise undefended mountain pass. His creations went on to ensure victory for the Imperial forces.
When the war was ended, Alamras was awarded the title of Imperial High Necromancer in the 14th year of the reign of Emperor Hadrick II. He spent the next 10 years establishing his greatest creation of all—his laboratory.
Alamras’ Laboratory was built on an empty branch of the Imperial Palace’s grounds. It’s circular base measured fully 100 meters in diameter, and it contained all the materials Alamras would ever need in his dark experiments, as well as a sizable cache of imperial treasures which he kept for study. But Alamras’ greatest achievement, and the greater part of the 5 years he spent building his laboratory, were the legs. Burrowed deep within the earth under the laboratory were 20 immense legs, each 25 meters long (specifically designed to clear any known fortifications in the world), constructed of the bones of many of the colossal creatures of the land—northern mammoths, trench whales, and most important of all, bones from the carcass of a great mountain wurm that Alamras had discovered in his travels during the war. When Alamras activates the legs, the laboratory rises up from the earth and begins to walk, spider-like, to whatever destination Alamras desires. When the laboratory reaches its target location, the legs begin digging and the laboratory becomes grounded once more.
The Exodus of Alamras
In the 26th year of the Reign of Emperor Hadrick II, Hadrick began to worry that Alamras, the Imperial High Necromancer was gaining too much influence with the Imperial Court. Indeed, Alamras had made many friends among the nobility—his creations had become dedicated servants, unfailing messengers, steadfast warriors… In the end, Hadrick suspected that Alamras would overthrow him and take power for himself. Whether or not his fears were true is unknown. But when Hadrick called upon the entirety of the Imperial Guards to assault Alamras’ Laboratory and kill the supposed usurper, it is said that the laboratory rose up from the ground on enormous spindly legs of bone and sinew and walked with surprising speed over the palace walls, through the city and out into the northern wilderness. Alamras disappeared, and would not return to the Gorandian Empire for a great many years.
Excerpt from The Imperial Saga, Chapter 47, Alamras and the Reign of Hadrick II
(1) The adventurers discover a series of great gouges in the earth leading away from the ruins of an ancient city. Should they investigate, they may eventually find the remains of the laboratory, and whatever lies (or walks) within it.
(2) Alternatively, the adventurers are present in the Imperial capitol at the time of Alamras’ flight, and they are tasked with following the trail of the laboratory into the wilderness.
(3) The adventurers are hired as a support task force for the assault on Alamras’ Laboratory. Leading the attack, they are the first and only combatants to gain entrance to the laboratory before the legs are engaged. Can they fight their way through Alamras’ undead creations and stop him?
Upon entering the laboratory, adventurers find themselves in the great hall, a 10 meter wide, 5 meter high corridor spanning from the main gate to the center of the laboratory. Adventurers will be met by a number of skeleton guards. After they are dealt with, the adventurers are faced with a number of options—namely, a number of doors on either side of the hall, a large gateway at the opposite end, and two stairways leading up to the second floor. Adventurers may or may not know that Alamras’ chambers are on the third floor of the laboratory (Though he could be in any part of the laboratory, waiting and hiding, assuming he is still alive when the adventurers enter the laboratory).
First Floor: The chambers on either side of of the hall all lead to various research labs. They may be empty, or they may contain one of several types of undead/demonic specimens which Alamras is actively experimenting on. Examples include a group of modified skeletons/zombies, a bone golem, or a variety of artificially created constructs with which Alamras may have been dabbling.
The door at the end of the hall leads to the 'barracks', where Alamras’ successful creations are stored. Adventurers stumbling into these chambers are certain to be met by numerous skeletons, zombies and other undead. Further into the barracks are the summoning/containment chambers, where Alamras conducted demon summoning rituals. Adventurers can expect to fight at least a handful of moderately powerful demons should they be unlucky enough to set said demons free.
Second floor: The stairways in the main hall both lead up to a large empty room, which in turn leads to what appears to be a waiting room of some sort, complete with a bone portcullis looking out into a large semicircular sand arena. The arena is home to Alamras’ greatest creation—a reanimated cave dragon skeleton. The dragon cannot fly (due to it being a cave dragon, which has no wings) and cannot breath fire (due to it no longer possessing lungs or fire producing organs), but otherwise possesses the enormous strength and speed of its living brethren.
Upon conquering the dragon, adventurers find themselves in the library, a vast depository of knowledge on many subjects; scientific, magical and otherwise. Some non hostile skeletal servants await in the library, but will most likely hide from potential aggressors. The library is considered by many to be priceless—as such, Alamras has enchanted the entire area with a powerful anti-fire spell; no flames, natural or magical, can burn in the library.
Third floor: Through the vast maze of bookshelves, adventurers find stairs leading to Alamras’ chambers on the third floor. Atop the stairs await Alamras’ personal guards—worthy opponents from his past who he took pains to preserve and reanimate, allowing them to keep much of their prowess from life. These three warriors possess legendary fighting skills, and are a match for even the most skilled adventurers. Note: Alamras may even attempt to reanimate the heroes, should they prove a match for these guards.
Alamras may be waiting in his chambers. Whether or not he will fight or attempt to escape is unknown. He is equipped with several rings in which he has bound his most powerful demons. Alamras is physically weak, so should all of his defenses fail, he will escape using his last resort—an amulet of teleportation, which will allow him to escape his laboratory to places unknown by the hero.
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? Responses (12)
A mixture of Howls Moving castle and Baba Yaga's hut. I like it, but it's a bit short. If expanded, I would feel more comfortable voting on it. Perhaps locations within the castle, creatures etcetera, and plot Hooks would be really nice as well.
Nice, a bit like the Discworld's Luggage.
As it stands, I agree with MJS: it's a bit too short. This is more of a sidenote that you'd toss into the histories your players are rummaging through. Some encounters, a basic layout, all that good stuff would immensely improve this. The basic concept is quite good however; I just want to see more out of it. I'll refrain from voting until it has been retooled and expanded a bit.
Thanks Chaos (and MJS). I primarily submit to this website as a writer, so most of my posts focus on style (and creativity) over substance. However, let me see if I can add a few things to bring this post up to snuff.
Updated: Thanks for the critiques, guys. Give me a chance, and I'll clean this up and maybe add a bit. Until then, let me put it under In Work for a few days.
Updated: Alright, try that on for size! Mwahahaha!
It's certainly well-written and very useful indeed. I would certainly be thrilled to lead a party of adventurers in storming this lab.The rewards in term of obtaining texts of great intellectual value would be incentive enough. And as for facing a vast, re-animated dragon within the narrow confines of a moving arena, that would be a challenge that I'd love to see PC's new to the adventuring bussiness face up to. Well done!
P.S:Is there any way that the lab could sense the presence of oncoming adventurers and then react by fleeing? And will it obey anyone other than its creator?
An interesting location, if anything. I keep feeling like the "moving building" thing has been done before, but I can't put my finger on what, and even if I could, this is still written uniquely enough to warrant favor. So well done.
A good one - very high-fantasy, with just the right flair.
Cool - the mobile building is not a new idea, but this is a good treatment of one.
Wow, I had forgotten about this one, sorry about that. I owe you a new vote and a comment to go. I think this rocks, the "encounters" section was very ambient and provided some nice visuals as I read it. In my opinion, this deserves a higher vote..
Dozus: Of course it has been done before, what has not been done before? It is all about mixing the old ingredients and brewing your own soup.
Take an HoH as well.