I have written elsewhere that I became intrigued by a reference to the vanished civilization of the Jenerak in the eighties movie "Mazes and Monsters" .
The movies showed a D&D session where the DM had a map of the Forbidden Mazes of the Jenerak and he told the players about "a mutated people...once human, now unspeakably vicious."
The idea turned into an idea for a campaign that I modeled after the movie's fictional game of M&M. I have not developed it all yet but the gist of it is here noted for use by anyone who wishes to help with it or make it your own.
In M&M, ninth level is considered a breakthrough level, so I based the campaign on this idea--the campaign lasts until the party all reach 10th level. When they reach the tenth level, that particular campaign is over and a new one must be devised.
I would construct roughly 9 or 10 complete dungeon maps and keys to challenge the party at each progressive level they attained.
These dungeons would be usable as stand alone adventures and each would be, for the most part, self contained. I decided to make the campaign center around dungeon adventures with a little wilderness and town fun thrown in. However, I would loosely connect all of the dungeons with a unifying plot thread that gave a back story to the campaign.
This is a spoiler alert if any of my players should stumble upon this blog post--keep out!
For my fellow DM's, here is the theme of the campaign:
A dungeon adventure reveals a plot by a cult to revive their ways by summoning an evil deity named Gamosh. gamosh can only be summoned if a special temple is built and the right rituals performed. A wizard named Nuromen who was devoted to Gamosh was in the process of beginning the rituals and the temple when he and his followers were destroyed (See my dungeon "The Maze of Nuromen"). The Players must rescue a number of relics from various dungeons and/or find clues to how to stop Gamosh's entrnace into the prime material plane.
Gamosh was banished by a band of titans sent by the gods to kill him--he killed all but one of them in the battle. The titan Agamemnus cut off the evil demi-god's hand and cut out his eye--Gamosh fled to another dimension to escape death but became trapped. The eye and hand of Gamosh were kept by his followers to use to summon him back. When Agamemnus was asked by the gods what he desired in return for his feat, in his grief he only desired to sleep forever and dream of his lost brothers. A goddess took pity and granted his wish, setting him in a deep underground hall.
The PC's will learn that they must visit Agamemnus to obtain relics to help them defeat Gamosh. They will vsisit other locales to hunt down maps, relics, or clues to where the final temple of Gamosh is being built. During the course of the campaign, they will discover that the race of the Jenerak perished because they turned to the worship of Gamosh form their former benevolent religion. This should be crafted so as to be somewhat of a startling revelation since in the campaign setting the Jenerak are somewhat like the people of fabled Atlantis in the minds of the people now living in their former environs.
In fact, the actual dungeon designed for the movie "Mazes and Monsters" is, just like in the film, the 9th level dungeon and the next to the last adventure in the campaign. I have the actual maps and will be uploading them. The final and 10th level adventure is a visit to the arctic regions where the true Temple is being built. The players will learn that the Jenerak come from a homeland now simply known as the Lonely Coast--the hills and cliffs of the Lonely hills are actually the buried ruins of the ancient and original city of the Jenerak people.
I have fully developed maps and keys for some of the dungeons of the Jenerak campaign. Others I have only maps for. Still others I have only ideas for. I will post what I do have in order that anyone who wishes to use the Jenerak campaign may do so.
Some of the the dungeons of the campaign are, in rough order by level, as follows:
The Maze of Nuromen
The Bandit Lair
The Under City of Kravekos
The Halls of the Sleeping Titan
The Pits of Tarthoom
The Forbidden Mazes of the Jenerak
The Temple of Gamosh
Others are yet to be developed.
As for the general backdrop to be read or given to the players before the actual campaign, it is as follows: