Along with soaring temperatures I was asked if I wanted to run D3 Vault of Drow By Gary Gygax with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Now its been a very long while since I've done anything with the D3 series of modules. But I've had an idea sitting in the back of my mind now for quite a while which goes all of the way back to October 2016. Right now there's a huge kickstarter going on for AS&SH's HYPERBOREA: OTHERWORLDLY TALES & Mick Fernette For The Lost Treasure of Atlantis by Chainsaw. But let's quickly get back to the world of D3.
The underworld of Underborea is my games a maze of cold hells, forgotten ruined cities full of undead souls & the damned, vaults of ancient treasures, & more dungeonesquely hellish delights. The Drow are not as you might expect, they've settled down quite a bit after the events of Ragnarok. Most of the gods that we know today are dead! Their corpses twitch to life & sometimes spill onto the surface of Hyperborea. The North Winds held countless worlds within their grasp & Hyperborea was rife with all kinds of relics,alien objects, forgotten temples, & more. In underborea there are rare doorways & gateways that open into the ancient back halls of extinct giants who once ruled large swaths of land. Many of these were later killed by the Hyperboreans in war of conquest once the Boreas winds whisked them into orbit around Saturn.
How I would spin this is that the Drow appear on the surface of Hyperborea & do a series of lightning raids seeking sacrifices for their demon goddess. A local chief hires the PC's to rescue his son & daughter whose been taken in one of the raids! The PC's use the ancient giant temple halls to slide into the world of Underborea. But they get whisked into the twisting & turning maze of the world of the Drow Svartalfheim (Svartálf[a]heimr, "home of the black-elves"). This is not the traditional Underdark but something straight out of Norse mythology. This is the dwelling place not only of the Dark Elves but also the vile Dwarves of Hyperborea, maggot things that craft many of the treasures of the Hyperboreans. These enslaved dwarves forged many of the treasures, relics,engines of divine destruction that were used on humanity. Will the PC's make it back home?!
"In Norse mythology, svartálfar (O.N. "black elves", "swarthy elves", sing. svartálfr), also called myrkálfar ("dark elves", "dusky elves", "murky elves", sing. myrkálfr), are beings who dwell in Svartalfheim (Svartálf[a]heimr, "home of the black-elves"). Both the svartálfar and Svartálfaheimr are primarily attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholars have noted that the svartálfar appear to be synonymous with the dwarfs and potentially also the dökkálfar ("dark elves"). As dwarfs, the home of the svartálfar could possibly be another description for Niðavellir ("dark fields")."
This could help to explain the dark & fast link between the giants of Hyperborea & their servant slaves the Dwarves. After the events of Ragnarok giants became complacent & were easy pray for the Hyperboreans. The Drow were seduced into worshiping a spider demon goddess instead of their rightful goddess of fate Atlach-Nacha. There are still 'true' Drow who worship their mother goddess as they see here but they have retreated into the darkness of Earth's Dreamlands. The PC's are hopelessly lost in the twisting churning tunnels that lead into the underworld of Gary Gygax's Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits.
In the end its gonna take a lot of luck & lots of planning on the part of the players for their PC's. I'll let you know how it pans out in future blog entries.