Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Further Brainstorming on "The Tomb of the Elohim"

My Players Keep Out!
In the Aeons of the Great Unmaking that ended the Aeons of the Ancients, Chaos permeated the world and the servants of the Great Old ones ran wild and free across the churning land. The Lords of Light send a mighty servitor who arrived in the form of a giant column of smokeless radiant fire ascending to the heavens that burned across the hordes of the wicked and evil. Next it descended in the form of a serpent of smokeless radiant fire with seven eyed wings which it used to cover its head and tail. From four throats it issued hymns and proclamations of the Lords of Light that cowed the wicked and evil and caused them to repent. As a golden giant clad in shining armor it strode across the land performing great Lawful works. Eventually a band of adventurers slew it and were torn apart by it's Lawful followers before they could loot the body.
In pulp fashion the tomb is guarded by a tribe of fanatic nomads (I know, it's deliberate). I was imagining them with tattoos of an eyed wing on their foreheads, but I'm trying to avoid tattoos, piercings and any other "extreme dude-isms" so they paint a golden eyed wing on their foreheads. They wear robes and veils and wield scimitars because the tomb is in a desert and also robes are vaguely ecclesiastical. Some sort of evil unhuman shapechanger servants of the Lords of Change have infiltrated them, of course, and will try to aid adventurers that fall into the clutches of the zealots.

In Abraham Merrit fashion the air in the tomb glows, ergo no shadows.

Yes I am well aware what the presence of an "ancient astronaut" implies. Two words: navigational presents. Not that I'm one of those hippy-dippy item-enabling DMs, but the players were discussing getting radiation resistant suits during a recent session so that could be good synergy.
Chogha Zanbil (Persian: چغازنبيل) is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran...It was built about 1250 BC by the king Untash-Napirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak.

I picture I found while looking at ziggurats that served as an inspiration for the exterior of the adventure site. Seriously, dig that name, INSHUSHINAK, Now that's sword & sorcery inspiration fodder!

Below is the rough draft of the map. Nothing too fancy, just a tomb containing an ancient astronaut?/angel?...

Here's the map and rough notes for another dungeon I'm working on, "The Vault of the Womb Harvesters" (inspirations: The Red Moon from The Warlord comics and Frank Hebert's Hellstrom's Hive)


  1. Cool, baby mutants !

  2. Sounds like it's gonna be a great adventure. I'm jealous of your players.

  3. What about wearing actual bird's wings with eye-shaped patterns on them–some vestigal, spooky influence of the Shining One on the local wildlife?

  4. It's a great concept, I'm def going to draw on it for my game :)

  5. "Vault of the Womb Harvesters" sounds delightful - can't wait to hear more about that one!