This is the first post of my A to Z Challenge series this year. For the month of April, I will describe 26 different locations in the World of Samardan campaign setting, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, A is for the Ancient Arena of Drakpada.
(Hex) Ancient Arena of DrakpadaAmbiance: Aside from the foundations of a few outlying buildings, a smooth bowl-like structure is all that remains of the deserted ruins of ancient Drakpada. Tattered hides and mutilated bodies hang along the outside of the arena, the remnants of those who fought for the entertainment of savage tribesmen and lost.
History: No surviving record of Drakpada's early existence has survived the millennia since the Ancient Ones vanished. In recent generations, bloodthirsty tribesmen have used this site for gladiatorial combat. Although a multi-level underground complex rests under the coliseum, the savages have barely explored the upper levels due to the belief that the lower levels are cursed.
Encounters: The uppermost level of the complex is inhabited primarily by Husrani tribesmen and local fauna, including a den of wild sahani (large ursinoid creature with vicious claws that prefer intimidation to actual confrontation.) The lower levels are inhabited by dulrani (man-sized subterranean humanoids with blindsight who are sensitive to loud noises), some of whom possess working examples of the technology of the Ancient Ones. Other common encounters and hazards include both operational and malfunctioning security systems within portions of the complex.
Treasure: Several caches of power crystals exist in the deeper levels here. In addition, a number of inoperable airships and other vehicles of the Ancient Ones can be found in an underground hanger. An operational holographic map provides a relatively accurate view of interplanetary space within the star system.
Adventure Hooks: Adventure hooks for this site could include the following:
- A Sarrani mystic believes that Drakpada holds a device that will project starmaps, which would greatly aid him in his esoteric research.
- According to the research of a scholar from the City-State of Valdren, Drakpada may contain airships of such great power as to be able to sail between the stars. While such matters are hard to believe, the lure of a powerful airship navy is hard for some to resist.
- Rumors out of Torkobalem speak of a secret society of silver-masked cultists seeking a location whose description matches that of the Ancient Arena of Drakpada.
- Survivors of airship crashes that are captured within a day or two of the arena are often brought here to be placed into gladiatorial combat.
- The warlord Hikokan of Garsol has learned that power crystals can be found in the tunnels below the arena, and often forces press-ganged "volunteers" into the games as a way to gain access to the tunnels.
As I have not yet decided where to set this particular location on the map as yet, I've left a placeholder to remind me to come back to this in the future. Later on, I'll replace (Hex) with the actual hex location, when I put all of this together into a single document.