Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Elf Queen's Hill-A 4th Level Maze (Sneak Preview Map)

The Labyrinthine Courts of the Elf Queen In the Mound Near Glastonbury  

Due to a recent operation I  find myself with a little extra time on my hands to prepare adventure material for our games. This is after a near 3 month game drought when I did not do any gaming at all. But this is my hobby, after all.

The projects I am working on are the Elf Queen's Hill, a brand new 4th-5th level adventure, and The Shrine of Poseidon's Daughter.

The Shrine is an adventure I ran several months back for an ill fated 2nd Age of Atlantis Campaign (1st edition AD&D) that I began but had to let go. The adventure was enjoyable, however and I am considering revising it for use with non-Atlantean settings...or I may it leave it as is and simply write a formal key to the dungeon. It consists of two levels for which I have completed the Maps and have only to write up, being as I ran it entirely from hastily scrawled notes the first time.

That must come after my current task, though, which is to complete the key for Anwyn, the Hill of the Elf Queen Gwynach.

This scenario is inspired in the main by Celtic myth and Arthurian related themes. I used the name of Glastonbury due to its connection to Arthurian myths and also legends about a faery mound near there ruled by a faery king and his court. 

It presents a picture of the elves that is in keeping with the oldest traditions on the subject, traditions which portray the faery races as capricious and somewhat inimical to Man. 

These are not Tolkien's elves, much as I love those tales. 

Realizing that this will not fit in with everyone's campaign milieu, I am including notes for conversion and alternative antagonists if one wishes to remain with the Tolkienish Elven race.

In keeping with the idea of the faery mound, and sacred circles, the Maze lies within a great grassy hillock in a clearing within a vast forest.

The largest oak tree the party will have ever seen crowns the summit of the hill, and in fact it's roots form the walls  and ceilings of the labyrinth,along with earth. 

The floor of the Maze is soft, packed earth, and it is lit throughout with faery lamps which bring the light of the sun into the Mound so that flowering vines hang from the walls of the rooms and passage ways of Anwyn and there are a few gardened areas.

Of course the hill can only be accessed by means of a magic door...but enter at peril of ever coming out again. And if you do come out...will 100 hundred years have passed for every day you live in the courts of the Elves?

I am still working out a few elements of the adventure and it is proving a task--creating a fun and challenging adventure in such a small and unique environment without players becoming frustrated is going to be hard!

The atmosphere will be much more in keeping with a"fairy tale" atmosphere (I hope) than the traditional, gritty stone dungeon model. I know I have players whose tastes run decidedly counter to this, but I will find a place and time to run this scenario nonetheless.

But I have completed most of the rough draft of the Maze Key and I believe it will be a fun adventure.

I will upload the key to the Elf Queen's Hill and Shrine of Poseidon's Daughter as soon as they are complete.

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