"We had heard rumors of great temples built deep in the earth below the city streets, but until now had never found solid proof of one. One would think that such large structures would be easy to find, but then one generally does not comprehend the scale of the city that is Stoneholt!
Generally, exploring the sewers is not something taken upon lightly by people - these are still the domain of other creatures, not the least of which are the terribly fierce bands of feral caretakers. Docile enough once broken, the ones found underground are vicious and tenacious in the extreme, but I digress. They are not alone down here. Massive bear-sized rats, huge amphibious scorpions, and other massive vermin dwell in the dark. Rumors abound of even worse things, but these have not been substantiated.
It was a spot of good luck that revealed to us the entrance of one of these places. There are groups of somewhat suicidal individuals who regularly enter the sewers to test themselves against the savage inhabitants. Since fielding our own patrols is both dangerous and costly, we instead post notices requesting information from these 'adventurers'. Once information has been found to be useful, we provide payment in gold. It was from one such group that the key information was received.
After a battle with a particularly large and vicious tribe of Ferals, the group happened upon a massive crack in the wall through which a great deal of water issued forth. They carefully noted the location and passed this information on to us when they returned, thinned in numbers, to the surface.
We sent a well-equipped survey team to the reported location and began to investigate the crack. The water flow had subsided to a trickle, so we believed that the water was caused by the most recent downpour. It had widened in the interval between it's discovery and our investigation, for it was large enough to barely admit the smallest of our team, a fellow by the name of Esgyld.
What he found withing was a massive structure, not in iteself unusual within Stoneholt, with a massive domed ceiling more then 130' tall at its peak, and a radius of nearly 200'. Hanging in the darkness from the cealing where scores of massive bronze hooks. The walls were covered with huge, alien runes.
The temple was largely empty but we did find a few very interesting artifacts therein. These items are being researched by our staff, though with great care, for these items have dangers odd and wonderful...
The temples are actually quite common within the confines of the massive city of Stoneholt, though most are well hidden below street level, imbedded in the areas not pierced by the labyrinth of sewers. Vast secret 'doors' block access to these places, being no more then super-massive stone blocks which have not been affixed in place. No mechanism apart from their prestigious weight locks these doors, and none without dreadfully powerful magics or god-like physical strength can open one of these. It is thought that the Giants used some type of device to move these blocks, as their weight exceeds even those beings ability to move.
It is much easier to simply tunnel through the solid stone to gain entry, but the builders have used a stone of very great hardness and density, making such an effort time-consuming and dangerous.
The Temples served a few roles for the Giants of Stoneholt.
First, as places of worship and sanctuary, far from the eye of the sun, who although revered is not trusted. A racial memory of some sun-caused devastation remains with the Giants and so the Sun has been associated with evil and betrayal.
(A solar eruption of massive proportions devastated the world of Neyathis at one point when the Giants were ascendant, and the only reason Stoneholt survived was it was night time there during the flare. The other continents were sterilized! This happened well before the younger races came to Neyathis...)
Second, the Giants are capable of metamorphosis to different forms, and actually produce cocoons to contain them during these changes. These would be hung from the massive hooks found on the roofs of these temples.
Plot Hooks/Campaign Use
Largely lore for the World of Neyathis and the city of Stoneholt in particular, this location could be a lone oddity found by PCs during spelunking.
A great cocoon could be found in one of these temples, thick and nearly impenetrable. What could be inside?
One of these temples can be used to introduce new items or artifacts into a Neyanthian campaign.
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? Responses (5)
Updated: A piece of Neyathian Lore.
I may have to rejoin Respite, just so I can go to Stoneholt. This place begs to be visited. :)
I like the writing here, draws me right in. Short, sweet, and flavorful! Giant cocoons hanging on bronze hooks. Rich!
I must agree with Muro. The idea of a gigantic, sun-phobic humanoid race that practiced mysterious rituals and underwent bizzare phsyical transformations within the confines of cacoons, really adds to the overall atmopshere of the city of the brooding bizzare city of Stoneholt. As your narative seems to imply, do feral bands of Caretakers indeed guard these places against inturders?
Yes indeed. See The Caretakers of Stoneholt for details...
Very nice on its own and as taken as part of larger group of submission it is even better.
Things like this could be used for the PCs to set a trap for the their enemies or as a hard to get to hideaway.
Yet, not all locations need to be a nexus of power, and there has be explaination for all this massive tunnels and underground structures that are found in so many fantasy game. So again nice