Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mere Hours Remain For The S'rulyan Vault by Venger Satanis Kickstarter

Have you ever wanted a huge dungeon map that you can plunk down on the table top to bring your friends into your world's epic adventure? A place where the dungeons are deep, the dragons are Lovecraftian, and the dangers a wait around every corner? Well the The S'rulyan Vault awaits you! Mere hours are ticking down now to the end of a fantastic Kickstarter by Venger Satanis
Bojan Sucevic wanted to do some color artwork for the S'rulyan Vault and I think that the PDF cover looks fantastic.

Here's the pitch;"
I don't know about you, but I love those old school "blue maps" from the inside of late 70's and early 80's RPG modules, the outside illustrated with dragons, dungeons, elves, demons, warriors, giants, wizards, and undead.  
Last month, I decided I wanted my own map - one that I helped design with Glynn Seal (from MonkeyBlood Design) - nearly as big as the table I game on... a visual aid that not only helps move the adventure along but also makes us feel like we're 15 years old again, playing AD&D for the first time.  Incidentally, the main picture above is from a previous blue map of his.  
This one is going to be in the "middle ground" between standard dungeon and mega-dungeon.  Not too busy, but lots going on... and huge!  Each quadrant of this map will be created by Glynn so they can be printed out as one big map or used separately as 4 smaller maps (individual dropbox links will be provided for everything), arranged as you like.  And if this goes well, it's possible we'll immediately have bonus quadrants or giant maps available to us."
But this isn't an ordinary dungeon there's a whole back story here;"
For as long as anyone living can remember, the world was full of men and the darker, stranger forms of life remained at the farthest edges of it. But the scrolls contained within the many temples of Tyr’Urden tell us that this was not always so.   
Demonic things came in the night to feed upon mortal souls, ripping and tearing at humanity’s soft, exposed belly. Our people lived in fear. Like children, man was afraid of the dark and what lay beyond the walls of his cities. Then, one day, a champion came. He slayed many of the evil ones, the creatures who looked like walking serpents. Eventually, his mighty deeds became so numerous that thousands followed him into battle against the forces of evil. Man had both the numbers and the will to push back against these malevolent beings until his cities and forests were relatively free of hell-spawn. Snake-men were the most powerful humanoid creatures, as they knew the secrets of blackest sorcery, having made a pact with the Demon Lord known as S’rul. Under his satanic tutelage, the snake-men became powerful enough to slaughter the armies of mankind. Before long, the entire race of snake-men were known as the Sect of S’rulyan… (S’rulyan meaning the great and terrible wisdom of S’rul). At the height of their serpentine reign, a subterranean domain was constructed on the outskirts of the human realm. It became an outpost from where the snake-men continually raided – taking weapons, gold, slaves, and sorcerous objects from man’s cities. This vault was the crowning glory of S’rul and his loathsome worshipers. Just as the Sect of S’rulyan could see the extermination of man in sight, a large band of adventurers retrieved a lost relic - the Helm of Power, an artifact that siphons the magical energy from everything surrounding it… and gives that magic to the wearer. The Helm of Power protected the adventurers as they waded into the darkness of S’rul’s foul dungeon. Only three heroes emerged from the S’rulyan Vault, victorious over the evil ones with their spiked armor covered in gore and shreds of serpent flesh. Alas, the Helm of Power was destroyed in the final battle against S’rul. Yet, the Demon Lord was also destroyed, and so the people rejoiced! The three surviving heroes, Artello, Urden, and D’meskus, established themselves as Kings of the central territories. For decades they ruled and now their children’s children are crowned Kings and Queens of Razira. One such present-day ruler is Queen Zinnia, an alluring but jealous and ill-advised woman. She reigns over the smallest realm with the greatest ambition for power. Queen Zinnia forced her royal wizard to search deep within the magical abyss where hideous horrors frolic and feed. Upon her instructions, the wizard awakened an entity strong enough to shatter her siblings’ kingdoms – the Demon Lord S’rul. S’rul’s first order of business was to revive his slumbering legion of snake-men far below the S’rulyan Vault. Brought back to life, the walking serpents felt their sorcery invigorated as never before and concocted a spell that would mean sickness and death for thousands of men, women, and children. Almost three-quarters of a century after S’rul’s original defeat, nary a snake-man has been seen upon the surface of Razira. Today is the 74th anniversary of the assault upon the S’rulyan Vault. The entire realm celebrates the snake-men’s defeat with feasting, dancing, and merriment. Unfortunately, such revelry was not to last. At mid-day, the celebration ended with black skies, a broken blood-red moon, and some mysterious plague that immediately killed off a fifth of those living in Tyr’Urden, the largest kingdom and closest to the S’rulyan Vault. King Urdenson’s seers know that S’rul and his snake-men slumber no more. The King decreed this a time of war, and those who return from the S’rulyan Vault with the Demon Lord’s severed head in hand shall share in the reward: one million pieces of gold… a King’s ransom, to be sure!"
The mythology and history of the place echoes the awesome ideas and artwork that centers around this style of dungeon. This is the kind of place that could really bring a campaign setting together for a group of players and the DM.

As a dungeon master I began to think what would I personally put into The S'rulyan Vault ? My thoughts are that there would be some very dangerous and deadly minor  Lovecraftian magic items. So here's what I came up with
1d6 Random  Minor
Lovecraftian Magic Items Table 
  1. The Orb of O'mas - This orb is the black heart and soul of a minor elder demon, this orb allows the owner to surround themselves with a protective aura once per day that will block minor black magic spells. 
  2. The altar stone of K 'ar'a - This stone drips with the venom of the serpent gods but it allows a wizard to cure light wounds once per day but the regions healed are mutated and weirdly whirled affairs. 
  3. The dagger of the serpent warrior - This is a serpent man warrior's horridly wicked +2 dagger that drips with the ichor of ages. The merest nick and the target will begin to age 1d10 years as the dark purple magicks consume the target. The thing is sheathed in a great half serpent's ancient skin. 
  4. Howard's bracers - These bracers were created from the tanned leather and weirdly worked bones of Sir Howard a knight of exceptional skill and grace whose sacrifice allowed his friends to escape the wrath of the great purple wizard of Krolish a demon god of ill aspect. The bracers grant the owner a burst of strength once per day as a hill giant and will fill the owner with horrid rage but they consume any magick from those around them. 
  5. The Box of Forbidden Mysteries - This box allows 1d6 minor spells to be cast from it once per week but the owner must place 1d6 drops of blood into it as payment. There is a 20% chance of a minor imp or other demonic creature attempting to use the box as a doorway into our realm. 
  6. Eddy's Right Eye OF Trouble - This glass eye belonged to the dread pirate and thief Eddy The Vengeful or Eddy the Crazy. The eye allows one to gaze past the illusion of reality once per day and summon forth a minor creature of the damned. The eye also grants darkvision but the owner must sacrifice one of their eyes in order to use the powers of this device. 

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