Thursday, June 17, 2010
World Creation Notes and Musings 3
On Static and Natural Dungeons, the Darkling Ways and The Lair of the Purple Worms:
Many dungeons are “static” or “natural” dungeons. This simply means they were built or designed by nature. For example, the dungeons beneath the Wizard Zebulon Whately’s Temple of High Magic, or the Pyramid Tombs of the Vampyre Clans of the Desert Sands to the south, or the Dragon Lairs of the Wyrm Lords of the Far North. There are of course numerous natural caverns and caves, such as the Kobold Caves of the Darkling Forests, and caves to less exotic owners, such as bears, carnivorous apes and great cats. However, there are two unique dungeon settings to the Realm. The first are the Darkling Ways.
The Darkling Ways are dungeon, but no one can say who ever made them. It seems too expansive, and new entrances are constantly being discovered that led to unexplored areas. It is believed that the Darkling Ways are chaotically magical in nature. It seems to grow organically, and not all the laws of physics apply within its corridors. This is the home of the Goblins and Hobgoblins who reign supreme over the other Underdark species: gnolls, bugbears, troglodytes, etc. Many of the races of the Underdark (a term used interchangeably with Darkling Ways by scholars), such as Goblins and Hobgoblins, do not spawn sexually; instead, they bubble forth from pits of dark ichors.
It should be noted that most scholars believe that the residents of the Darkling Ways are not native to the world at large. They did not appear until the Darkling Ways appeared.
It is not unheard of for entrances to magically appear to the Darkling Ways in Static or Natural Dungeons. The Darkling Ways are not the only unique dungeon setting. There are also the Lairs of the Purple Worms.
Purple Worms roam the realm, borrowing their lairs ever deeper and extensive. While it is true that their lairs would more logically fall into the category of Static or Natural Dungeons, they’re uniqueness qualifies them for further explanation. These beasts terrify the Frontiersmen of the Darkling Forest. There are campfire tales of entire farmsteads disappearing into the mouths of the beasts. As luck would have it, the worms seem to not bother the City-States and villages. They seem to prefer to hunt the frontier farmsteads. No one knows why. Perhaps it is a survival instinct of not taking on more then they can chew, pun intended. The worms themselves are rarely spotted; however, but it is not a rarity to find their lairs, seemingly abandoned; although no one can say if they are abandoned for good or not. These are yawning caverns, wide enough for the giant sized worms to borrow through, partially collapsed in places and prone to cave ins. Kobolds sometimes make their homes in them, along with other traditional haunters of dungeons and sometimes the worms tunnels even connect to the Darkling Ways.
It is a common misconception that kobolds are residents of the Darkling Ways. They are not. They are native to world at large and are typically cave dwellers.