Adventure for the Buried City (northwest of Kurn)

Peaceful Greetings Travelers,

I’ve been running a weekly session of Dark Sun using the 3.5 rules published here for years. Currently my prep has revolved around a prolonged adventure in the ‘Buried City’ ruin (found in the desert NW of Kurn). My thought would be to build this into a supplement. With a little conversion work it wouldn’t be hard to adjust the monsters/NPCs/traps/treasure to both 2e and 5e.

The intro of which handles the “investigation” of Kurn by a party of Drylanders, which could easily function as a stand alone adventure for groups of non-Kurn PCs.

The rest of the adventure is a sandbox style series of adventures (pun intended) in and around the Buried City ruins. Currently my plans are to build the ruins as Ghozer, a Green Age city of Goblinoids that was besieged by Daskinor during the Cleansing Wars. Additional unique undead types will be developed (similar to the goblin Khvakhas) for Hobgoblins and Bugbears. Aside from the internal power struggles of Ghozer, PCs would also have to deal with encounters from nearby Bandit States raiders, Desert giants, Dwarven prospectors from Foul Puddle, Ssurran DuneTraders and random desert encounters.

End Game could resolve the deadlock between the undead powers within the ruin, give PCs access to powerful magic & psionic items from the green age and possibly even result in the return of living goblinoids to Athas.

As I’m already doing the work to produce this content, my question is whether there would be any interest from folks to use this? If so, I’d welcome assistance with converting things to 2e & 5e as well as any art support (I’m good with painting miniatures, but suck at anything 2 dimensional).

May the Wanderer guide you,
-Jay

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Yes! This sounds amazing. I’m not fluent in 2e (anymore) or 5e, and im awful at art, but I’ll happily help where i can. Just drop me a line or whatever.

I don’t know how far along you have gotten with the background on the Hobgoblins and Bugbears, I personally have had them appear as augmented goblins, altered alchemically, magically, and psionically as shock troops and soldiers to stand up to Daskinor’s army.

They tended toward deep underground warrens and preferred more “natural” beauty than the dwarves. Every city has a main plaza where the goblins gathered for ceremonies surrounded by homes for the city leaders and links to other plazas. Smaller plazas could be reached via the warrens and were occupied by very large extended families. All cities had a connection to the surface with additional plazas where trade was conducted. Since underground was where everything from food was raised (mostly fungi and lizards) to where they lived, the surface area was rather small. Goblins preferred enclosed spaces that even when worked, had a rough unworked look and feel to them.

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Realy liked the athasian twist you gave the goblinoids. I would have imagined them as a sort of hive like society, with goblins as the worker caste, hobgoblins as the higher class, and bugbears as the soldier caste (maybe they were not a natural caste like the gobs and hobs, but are alterd “super soldiers” of goblin stock, created in reaction to daskinor purge like you said)
Anyway, you certainly got my gears rolling now.
One of the things I love about dark sun is the way it messed with the conventional boring races.

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Any time you mess with one of the dead species it is always fun to make a longer campaign bringing about their resurrection. I have always played the Champions as having a magically enhanced bloodlust for genocide only sated by completion of the task or extremely strong will. Daskinor is crazy, but I would imagine him to be completely unhinged if he found out goblins were back.
(as a side note I never realized a personal subplot of having Oronis find out about the Last Sea Lizardmen as a means of sabotaging his Avangion transformation).

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Jay, the project sounds interesting. I can probably help with any conversions to 2e and 5e if you need some help.

I appreciate all the good vibes. After 30 years of crafting storylines, the only reason to continue is because they are labors of love.

I do have a concern about stepping on the toes of those who have come before me. Specifically, those who are responsible for the “Faces of the Forgotten North” and “Wisdom of the Drylanders”, since they have already detailed the goblin undead ‘Khvakhas’ template. I believe they had also done some work for an additional supplement for the Lost Cities of the Forgotten North that has not been completed and released.

Any chance Peter Nuttall & Will Kendrick are still active on this forum?

I’d like to know if they have placed the Goblinoid city of Ghozer and if they had already done some legwork to flesh out the Buried City ruin NW of Kurn. Since I’m going to do the legwork to produce this adventure, I’d like for it to meld seamlessly with already established canon that has been produced by others.

Regards,
-Jay

Brax = PN is not around any more.

In the rough draft I have of the Lost Cities of the Trembling Plains, Ghozer is located in the White Mountains, sw of New Kurn. It does not appear that the area north of New Kurn was going to be included in the project, so the Buried City was not included at all in Lost Cities.

Durzghab is west of Azeth’s Rest. Based on spelling I assume this is also a goblin ruin. Juhudhuzar is located in the southwestern tip of the White Mountains not far from the ruins of Hogalay.

Do you have locations for Azghabar, Dzhuzhak, or Whal Khozdem? All are mentioned in Faces of the Forgotten North under the entry for Khvakhas. I’d like to use a city name that connects if possible.

Since you don’t have any details on the Buried City Ruin, and I don’t know of any other resources that touch on that area, I’ll continue moving forward.

Also, if you wouldn’t mind sharing the rough draft of LCotTP, I’d love to read what you already have outlined.

I think we’d ALL love to see LCotTP, rough draft or whatever.

Hello everyone!! I’m Bruno Lopez, and old colaborator of Athas.org when the 3.5e was released and lot’s of stuff was going on. I’ve been absent for a LONG time but would like to join the community again.

" As I’m already doing the work to produce this content, my question is whether there would be any interest from folks to use this? If so, I’d welcome assistance with converting things to 2e & 5e as well as any art support (I’m good with painting miniatures, but suck at anything 2 dimensional)."

I haven’t read the buried cities but would like to help with ART for the supplement.

Back then I created this drawings for the adventures and settings of the time.

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/YaXlkq

It will be nice to work again for this amazing setting.

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Bruno,

You are most welcome.

image

Your previous work definitely has that Athasian feel. Obviously you’ve got no issues with doing humanoids. If you wouldn’t mind cranking out a rough draft of a living goblin, hobgoblin and bugbear I’d be curious to see your style and take on the goblinoids.

How comfortable are you working maps (like that city) with greater detail? Also, what about scenes like the view of the city from a specific point?

Obviously, I’m thankful for anything you are willing to contribute toward this work and understand your volunteer time is limited.

Regards,
-Jay

I do not see Dzhuzhak but here is a map with the others. From the description it sounds like it is very close to Whal Khozdem.

I thought Brax posted a lot of LCOTTP on facebook back in 2017 or so. Maybe that was only Prison-state of Eldaarich.

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Bruno! Great to see you again :). There are a few of us old hands still floating about here and there.

For what it’s worth, I’m happy to give input in this regard - I went back to playing 2e so am rediscovering old familiarity with the system.

Very interesting thread with very interesting NEW and OLD peoples! Hi there!

Early 2019, I ended a part of my latest Darksun Campaign in which, for the first time, the players moved north of Draj. They ended up in Azeth’s Rest and explored a small ruin North West of there in search of a 5 Artefact parts. I intended to more north, visit Eldaarish vincinity and new Kurn.

Having something more to continue their exploration of the north would be EXTREMELY useful and interesting.

If I can be of any help, maybe with the layout of your doc, let me know. I’m no use with 2e as it been too long and I’m no use for 5e as I don’t have the time to invest in something new. BUT I still play athas.org 3.5e with great pleasure. Although, since I did ALL their adventures with my players, I begin to be out of stuff unless I create them by myself.

Update: As I said earlier, my weekly campaign is already in this area. I had set-up Kurn to have their gates closed dealing with a large number of Eldaarich refugees. The PCs used some clever magic from a concealed position to make it over Kurn’s walls undetected. They did pretty well in mixing in the merchant square and gathering some bits of info but they let their guard down at the House Azeth Emporium and let too much info slip. Kurnian Black Brethren will likely be taking them into custody in the next session.

As for development of the Goblinoid Ruins at the “Buried City” ruin, I’ve done some preliminary work. Based on the design of the Khvakhas undead goblin, I’ve developed unique undead for Hobgoblin and Bugbear leaders caught, tortured and executed by Daskinor’s troops. The Khvakhas were hung from a high ceiling (because goblins love being underground) and forced to watch their people butchered before they had the skin of their heads flensed away and a virulent poison injected into their necks. Coming up with suitable executions for Bugbears and Hobgoblins was an interesting challenge.

The Hobgoblins in standard D&D are known for their great martial discipline as well as the care they take in keeping their arms and armor in the best possible quality. The cruel Daskinor would execute their leaders publicly in front of their gathered troops, by strapping them into their pristine metal suits of armor and slowly heating the armor so that it would scald the Hobgoblin to death slowly. The undead that would result from such a hideous death would strip away all of the armor except for the pieces that were bonded to their flesh that remained red hot. The undead would have an aura of heat that would fatigue and exhaust any wearing armor nearby as well as being able to strike with the glowing hot pieces of metal armor still attached to it.

Bugbears are a strong and clever lot. Their leaders are notorious for devising the most clever schemes and tactics of all the goblinoids. They are also voraciously greedy. The few times a bugbear did not have a scheme to overcome his opponents, they could always rely on their brute strength and rage to see them through any struggle. So when Daskinor got his hands on Bugbear leaders he had a particular method of private execution for them. The Bugbears would be strapped to great chairs of agafari wood using giant hair rope to thick to break. They were bound in such a way that they could not budge at all, locked into place. A bucket of water was suspended over their heads, allowing a drop of water to land on the Bugbear’s forehead every second (yup, Chinese Water Torture). The Bugbear would be left in this state for weeks, no amount of rage or clever scheming to save them until completely lost to insanity their foreheads would cave in. These undead are completely mad and come with a gaze attack that enrages and confuses anyone nearby.

Last but not least, in developing this green age ruin I’ve given some thought to Guardian orbs. We know that they were used to cloak and protect the Last Sea area and that in Guistenal they were used to move platforms across great tunnels. I thought that Goblins would use Guardian orbs to use kineticist powers against their enemies, acting as defensive turrets in their fortifications. A single Laborer Orb is used to travel around the ruin making repairs to any Guardian Orbs that have taken damage.

On a personal note, I’ll be buckling down to knock out a new rating on my pilot’s license at the end of the month. Once that is complete I’ll be able to spend more time turning my notes into a publishable adventure/supplement.

Thoughts/Critiques welcome.