"We must cross the mountain!" cried the fighter.
"We must go through the dwarven stronghold in the belly of the mountain," stated the old wizard firmly. "We have no choice."
The dwarven stronghold is a multi-level fortified dungeon. It was undoubtedly built to defend one side of the mountain; the other side faces friendly people and has no need of strong defenses. The dwarven engineers built the stronghold near a subterranean river in order to exploit the power of water to build a dwarven wonder: a raising underwater bridge. The bridge is the major defense of the west side of the stronghold. The entire bridge, due to a gigantic dam-like device, can disappear under the waves of a mountain lake, thus preventing access to the main portal of the stronghold. Should enemies manage to get through the portal, they would find a formidable line of defense made of ballistae, murder holes, arrowslits and stone guardians.
The stronghold consists of five levels interconnected by a number of heavily guarded staircases. Each level has its own purpose: Level 0 houses soldiers and jails, as well as forges and shrines. Level 1 houses more soldiers (these two levels are self-sufficient, including kitchens and larders). Level 2 is dedicated to the nobles, with great halls of statues, an arena and nobles' quarters. Level 3, the topmost one, is the main temple area complete with crypts for the dwarven heroes. The last level (-1) is the dam level. The dwarven engineers work and maintain their devices here; the bridge control room is also here.
Some hints to use the stronghold follow:
- The adventurers must cross the mountain. The sole way is through the friendly stronghold of the dwarves. Unfortunately the stronghold has fallen into the hands of orcs and the PCs will have to run through the fortress avoiding warbands of bloodthirsty orcs.
- The PCs are crossing the stronghold, and must exit from the west side, but something terrible has happened: an unnamed evil has risen from the depths of the underground river, killing everything at the dam level. The dwarves are frightened and will not dare to descend below. The PCs must descend and find out what has happened while trying to operate the bridge device in order to exit from the stronghold.
- The PCs believe they are honored guests of the dwarven commander in the stronghold; the dwarves set up a feast for them. Actually, a vampire lord took residence in the stronghold more than a year ago and he is now lacking food, having infected the entire dwarven garrison. Therefore, the PCs are for dinner!
The Blueprints product line offers you old-fashioned blueprint-style maps for your adventures and campaigns. Each map includes a blueprint version and a standard black-and-white version. The maps are all vector-based for maximum print resolution. Despite their old-fashioned appearance, each map offers a degree of customization by taking full advantage of pdf technology. A small control bar (which will not be printed) on each map allows you to turn the grid on and off, eliminate the room numbers, fill the walls, or hide doors and furniture.
Each product features a classic fantasy adventure location: a dungeon, a keep, a temple complex, a thieves' guild and so on. You can use these maps as reference to build your own adventures or simply have them at hand in case your players go in an unexpected direction during the campaign.
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