Krarsht Complex Beneath Castle Kartolin



Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 5 February 2001
Last Updated On On 5 February 2001
Copyright © 2001 Simon E.Phipp

 

Background


This is a Krarsht Great Temple that existed during Gbaji's time. However, when Castle Kartolin fell the victors defeated the Krashtkids but could not close the Great Maw. Instead they placed a block of Truestone half inside the Maw suspended on an Adamant Pin ten foot long. Surrounding these were enchantments of great power preventing anything of Chaos from approaching and sealing the Maw. For years this temple lay dormant because none could come near.

When Ralzakark reawakened Dorastor he found that even he could not touch this enchantment and left the temple alone. Since then a few human, ogre and broo worshippers of Krarsht maintain a Shrine here, the bravest coming within 100 feet of the Great Block. The head of the Temple is a broo Jaw who reports to Ralzakark himself [1]. Hidden within the tunnels and caverns are some 2000 sleeping Krarshtkids lying dormant, waiting for the Great Maw to be opened.

The Temple consists of several layers [2]. The Central Core consists of the Great Maw and six tunnels that dead-end around 50 metres away, representing Krarsht herself. The Inner Layer is a series of tunnels in a complex knot pattern looping over itself and intersecting the Central Core several times. The Outer Layer consists of around 300 tunnels radiating from the Inner Layer and spreading beneath the mountains, across to Ralios and to the edges of HellWood. These tunnels twist and turn, often intersecting themselves and creating caverns and passing through small caves and natural caverns. The PathWays travel from the Outer Layer and eventually meet with other Krarsht Temples, it is possible to travel to Temples beneath the Lunar Empire and also beneath Ralios from here although the way is often blocked by rock falls and monstrous creatures.

Because of the absence of Krarshtkids the tunnels of the Temples have fallen into disrepair. Many have been blocked by rock falls, some have been flooded, others simply destroyed. Talor and his followers blocked many of the tunnels themselves and placed Guardians in certain of the intersections. Many of the Guardians have died but some remain. Over the years others have moved into the abandoned tunnels so there are many areas populated by Thanatari, Scorpion Men, Broos and other Minor Horrors.
 

The Scenarios

 

Option One - Discovery


The PCs discover Krarsht tunnels either in Ralios or in Dorastor itself. Perhaps they discover records relating to Krarsht tunnels and go looking for the tunnels. There would follow a nightmarish journey beneath Dorastor, travelling through tunnels and caves, fighting the Chaos there or avoiding it and perhaps even fighting some of the Guardians that remain. Eventually they will find the Central Core and fight with the cultists that remain. They will realise that the Great Maw is disabled and is no danger.

This is a pretty good Bug Hunt as it takes in battles with Krarsht, Bagogi, Broos and several other Chaots as the GM desires. It also means that the party may be forced to fight the Guardians and thereby weaken the strength of Law here by defeating them. They will also realise that they cannot destroy this Temple and that as soon as they leave it will be re-established with new worshippers. Of course, there are treasures to be gained from such a journey and many reputations have been made crushing Krarsht.
 

Option 2


A Great Disturbance [3] happens in Dorastor resulting in an earthquake or some similar event. The Stone Block that holds the Adamant Pin is cracked and the Pin falls, allowing the Great Maw to swallow the Truestone Block. This does not please the Maw as Truestone and Chaos do not really mix so the Block is spat out beside the Maw. In triumph, the Maw opens and lets out a Great Scream that awakens the sleeping Krarshtkids.

The Krarshtkids take a while to get their bearings but eventually many will return to the Central Core and will worship the Great Maw, turning the Shrine into a Great Temple of Krarsht. The Krarshtkids will try to reclaim the tunnels of the Central Core then the Inner Layer and finally the Outer Layer. This may well take several years but they are patient. There will be many battles between the Krarshtkids and the other denizens of the Old Temple but eventually Krarsht will prevail. Ralzakark will try to take control of the Temple by his Jaw but this may well fail, at the GM's discretion.

The players can find out about this in many ways. They can hear the Great Disturbance and work out what may have happened. They may have set spies around the Temple to monitor it. They may be exploring the Temple when the Great Disturbance happens. They may hear about the war from one of the defeated groups looking for allies.

Once they know about the problem, the players can choose to help fight Krarsht or to try and close the Maw again. The first would entail a large number of Chaos Fighters going into the Temple for another Bug Hunt. It would be very difficult to do this as the Krarshtkids are very numerous and more Krarsht cultists would have come to the Temple. The second would entail a HeroQuest to return to the Central Core and restore the Adamant Pin and the Truestone Block. Of course, this would also involve finding a way to lift a fifty ton block of Truestone without magic and attach this to an Adamant Pin so that half the block sits inside the Maw and half outside. Piece of cake, really.
 

Option 3


The party are members of Krarsht [4] or want to reawaken the Krarsht Temple somehow. They must find a way to release the Adamant Pin and to remove the Truestone Block from the Maw. A simple Crack or Fissure spell will not suffice, nor will any normal HeroQuest to Krarsht as these have been tried before. Some particularly inventive method must be found, normally involving HeroQuesting in other ways. One possible way would be for a Giant to come along and pull the Block out of the mouth, but how to get a non Chaotic Giant into the area and persuade it to stand astride the Hungry Maw?
 

Stats


Wot no stats? This is one scenario where stats are not needed. The GM can put as many nasty greeblies as he wants in whatever setting he wants. The Maw has no stats (apart from Is Big and Eats People, as a Chaos Void) and the Krarsht cultists in the Shrine are no more than initiates with a single Jaw. Maybe I will write up some sample stats for these but I doubt it very much.
 

Notes


1. Ralzakark wants to get his sticky fingers on everything in Dorastor. Over the years his Jaw has been slain, imprisoned or exiled in many factional battles, but he always gets another Jaw back. After all, he has a little Temple to Krarsht in Fort Wrath where he builds up pet Jaws just to keep control of this Temple.

2. Where is the map you ask. If you think I am going to draw an three dimensional map of three layers of interconnecting Krarsht tunnels then you must be mad. This is where a GM must be inventive and creative and get those pencils, crayons or computers out and get drawing. IN any case, I have found that it is only really necessary to draw the Central Core and to describe and invent the rest.

3. In my Campaign, the Great Disturbance was the destruction of the Chaos Dragon (It had Two Heads) which caused all of Dorastor to respond. One of the responses was a gigantic moving of the Earth that resulted in the splitting of the Stone that held the Pin. In my opinion, only something as powerful as the destruction of a Chaotic True Dragon should be able to split the rock otherwise it would have happened before.

4. Some people think that PCs should not belong to Chaos Cults (c.f. the wimp-out in Cults of Terror) but Bollocks to that. People should be able to play whoever they want as long as they can accept the consequences of who they play. Someone playing a broo should not be squeamish about rape. Someone playing a Vadeli should not be squeamish about incest and child torture. Similarly, players of Krarsht cultists should not be squeamish about the lovely things that Krarsht hold dear to her Maw. It is not that I condone any of these things, but in a fantasy game all avenues should be open for exploration. If the players are so traumatized by what they have done and go out and re-enact those things then I believe that they should not be playing any sort of fantasy game, watch television or read books and should be locked away in a dark cellar until they get better.

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