The Underground is the first level of the Underworld. It is a buffer zone between the Daylight Realm and the Palaces of Unending Black. You can find hidden entrances to it in many places, if you know where to look. The Underground links together all dungeons and Underground spaces. From secret facilities to subway tunnels, they all have access points in the Underground. Fortunately, most are hidden. Unfortunately, this is also because the Underground does not wish to be mapped.
Travel through the Underground is quicker. If you know how to find your way, you can go anywhere in the surface world. You can walk to Hong Kong from Washington D.C. in several hours, if you know the way. But the Underground does not wish to be understood. It hoards its secrets, only speaking to those who are like it. Those who are not like the Underground are very likely to get lost. It is well known that only children, as long as they possess a relatively normal childhood that wasn't horribly traumatizing, been orphaned or abused, had to grow up too fast; fools; and madmen are able to navigate the Underground well.
If you are in the Underground and you go up, for any length of time, you will end up on the surface once more. If you don't go through the same exit that you entered through, you will end up in a different place.
Conversely, if you are in the Underground and you go down, for any length of time, you will enter the Veins of the Earth.
The door is...
1- Concealed behind paint, a layer of boards or wallpaper.
2- Hidden behind an appliance.
3- In an abandoned house that no one ever enters.
4- In an underground passageway or tunnel. The door is unmarked.
5- Placed in the ground, ringed by concrete and sealed with a rusty lock that could be easily smashed open.
6- In the basement, in the far corner, behind the old board games and the boxes of stuff from Dad's house that you could never bear to throw away.
This hallway is...
1- Carpeted, lit with electric lights.
2- Carpeted, but it's threadbare from decades or longer of use. There are electric lights here, but they've long ago burned out or broken.
3- The carpet is patchy and partially dissolved in places. A powerful alkaline smell lingers.
4- The floor is hardwood, freshly swept and gleaming. Lit by candles.
5- The floor is hardwood, but the wood is old and certain floorboards creak when stepped on.
6- The floor is hardwood, but has been dirtied by many years of abuse and use. 50% chance of being stained with fresh blood.
7- The floor is white tile, the walls are covered by the same till about halfway up the wall, then it is painted white. The hall is lit by fluorescent lights. In the distance, you can hear groans of pain and electric motors whirring.
8- The floor is dirty tile, with small windows near the ceiling. If you can manage to peek through one, you will see it shows an area far from where you entered. The lights don't work.
9- The walls are ancient stone, the floor is the same. This passageway looks like it was painstakingly mined out by hand.
10- The floor is cobblestone, the walls carved stone. They display reliefs depicting ancient times, like Greek or Roman art, but depicting inhuman creatures and bizarre rituals.
11- The walls are brick, the ceiling wood, the floor hard-packed dirt. Above you, you can hear a man and woman arguing. 25% it escalates to throwing things.
12- The walls and floor are poured concrete, occasionally adorned with graffiti and notes signed with names saying things like, "I Daniel Schmidt, made it all the way to the Black Door." The floor is scattered with used condoms, candy wrappers, beer cans and the occasional hypodermic needle.
13- The floor is covered in an inch or two of dirty water. Above you, you can see a bit of sunlight peeking out around a metal circle. It might be a manhole cover, but the bits of speech you can hear on the other side of it don't sound familiar.
14- The walls are wood, the floor is covered in utilitarian carpet. Occasionally, the walls are decorated with a painting or a mirror. You occasionally pass doors that are numbered. This area leads to dozens of other hallways, all decorated the same way as the one you entered. Sometimes you meet other travelers or maids pushing carts, but none are likely to give you trouble. If you talk to them, they will tell you to get your refund while you can and to avoid the Night Manager. Some of them have been here a very long time.
15- It was once a nice hallway, but the wooden walls are scorched and there are burn marks on the concrete floor. You will pass a door in this hall that is locked from the outside. Behind it, you can hear screaming and the sizzle of fat in a fire. If you stop, knock or make any sound, there will be cries from inside for you to let them out. The doorknob is hot enough to burn unprotected flesh when touched.
16- The floor is concrete, the walls and ceiling metal. You can smell gunpowder.
17- The floor is covered in sand, the walls bare, sandy dirt reinforced with wooden planks. You can hear waves crashing nearby and smell sea salt. If you look carefully, you can find a small door that will let out underneath a bungalow on a beach.
18- The hallway is half-flooded, with small fish and crayfish swimming around your ankles. The ceiling is porous, so bits of sunlight flow through the holes. You can hear someone, or something, splashing around nearby.
19- This hallway is covered in utilitarian, easy to clean brown tiles. Nearby, you can smell blood and hear the distant cries of animals. This hallway is lit by electric lights.
20- The floor is carpeted. The smell of gingerbread and pine fill the air. The hallway is illuminated by a string of glowing Christmas lights wrapped around the frame of a large mirror.
The hallway leads to...
1- A room covered in ancient mosaics, depicting events that seem eerily similar to what the party's current quest is/what they are doing right now.
2- A room with a fountain in the center. There's water in it, but it's long stagnant, with some glittering coins at the bottom of the pool.
3- What looks like an indoor pool, with concrete walls and a matching ceiling. The pool is illuminated so it glows a calming blue, but the pool doesn't seem to have a bottom. The deep end just goes down and down and down, until you can't see anything, just murky black. There is a "No Diving" sign.
4- A wide arcade of concrete, tall as a semi-trailer and at least fifty feet across. The floor is asphalt and is covered in tire marks. You can hear motors growling in the distance and occasionally, someone will drive by in a car or truck.
5- A room lit by strange, green lights. There are strange plants in vials or glass tubes growing into bizarre or disturbing shapes under these lights.
6- A metal catwalk bolted to a stone wall that resembles a cliff overlooking the huge expanse of water beneath you. You cannot see the other end of the water. If you are lucky, you might see a ship sailing across it.
7- A large room with one glass wall. On the other side of the wall, you will see that space is full of water and fish, a massive aquarium. But some of the fish in there will be like nothing you've ever seen. There may also be stranger things in there.
8- A warehouse looking building with a ceiling and walls of bare steel, lit by harsh fluorescents. The room is massive and stacked with dozens of wooden crates, each one labeled with the seal of a government agency.
9- An elevator. It's a very nice one, with granite floors and mirror walls. It can take you up or down. Really far down.
10- A communal shower locker room (men or women's, equal chance of each). May not be for humans. May be empty, or currently being used. There are showers nearby though, in case you need water, or to clean yourself.
11- A staircase carved into bare rock, leading down and down into the earth.
12- A darkened room full of row after row of filing cabinets. The information in here can be mundane or magical, secret or declassified, (equal chance of each).
13- A darkened cellar with wooden shelves loaded with canned goods and pickling barrels. There is a door and and a short staircase leading up to the surface, presumably.
14- A survival bunker with a generator, a bunk, a pile of books, mostly political philosophy and survivalism, a stash of guns and medical supplies and more canned goods than a man could eat in one lifetime.
15- A mostly bare concrete room with two strange devices in the center of the room, connected to a series of thick electrical cables and other devices. There are a series of security cameras in this room, along with a heavy metal door that is securely locked.
16- A huge concrete room lit by brilliant lights with a huge pool in the center of the room. The pool is illuminated by dozens of lights and at the bottom, you can see what looks like the corpse of a massive beast lying on a bed of graphite rods. Staying in this room for too long will lead to groups of armed men with very large guns bursting in and asking lots of personal questions.
17- An underground marketplace that resembles a bazaar, but lit with neon and garage lights. Many of the sellers appear slightly or totally inhuman and the goods being sold are all magical, odd or unconventional.
18- A medical waiting room with dozens of horribly injured people waiting for treatment. You see people with knives sticking out of their chests, dozens of bullet wounds, clothes soaked in blood, eyeballs hanging from their skulls, etc. No one seems in any rush. Are you finished using that magazine?
19- A grassy hill illuminated by sunlight. 50% chance someone is here having a picnic, otherwise the room is empty. Unfortunately for you, the sunlight comes from some arc lights and the grass is artificial. Still, it looks nice.
20- A large room lit by bright electric lamps and showing a number of displays, depicting "the lost people". All the items seen are items from the current age, but severely damaged and weathered by time. The centerpiece of the room is a huge display depicting a pair of monstrously deformed wax statues of what might be humans cavorting through a facsimile of a 21st century house, though everything is incredibly distorted, as if viewed by someone who knew nothing of humanity and had to reconstruct our society by sifting through the wreckage.
And down here, I met...
1- A group of Adventurers on some foolish errand. Brave men they were, but likely doomed. Roll for their number and class here. They are 1d4 [1= Hunting a monster; 2= Trying to retrieve some kind of occult commodity or artifact; 3= Traveling through the Underground, they look like foreigners; 4= Retreating from a fight.]
2- 1d6+1 Vampires in edgy outfits, black leather, spikes, too many skulls. Self-conscious, theatrical and horny. They are 1d4 [1= On their way to talk to an ally; 2= Hunting, looking for food; 3= Making a supply run; 4= Transporting something valuable.]
3- 1d4 Humans wearing raincoats and trying not to be let any skin show. Terrified of anyone who tried to approach them or flashed a weapon/had one visible. If you look closely, you can see their skin looks waxy.
4- 1d4+1 Toxic. They look mostly like normal humans, if you ignore the occasional weeping sore and the worms sliding in and out of their wounds. They pick them up though, so that was nice. Toxic are essentially zombies, but with intelligence and occasionally, magical abilities. These Toxic are 1d4 [1= Z-Patrol, zombie cops, out to police their own kind; 2= Two-Facers, on their way back from reporting on their own kind; 3= Toe-Tags, useless scrubs who are out on some kind of tedious errand; 4= Brunos, very expensive bodyguards, currently protecting an important Toxic.]
5- A beautiful human woman with some seemingly less than human companions.
6- A group of teenagers trying to solve a mystery. Hopelessly out of their depth, not that they realize it. All stat as 1 HD commoners. Have no idea where they are.
7- A group of "humans" who all dressed exactly the same and seemed to act as one. When one smiles, so do all the others. Definitely not human and very dangerous.
8- A group of people with shaved heads and runes painted on their faces. I couldn't exactly tell what runes they were, as looking at them made my eyes swim. These guys are all either level 1 Wizards or level 1 Sages (equal chance of each). The Wizards have 1 spell each, the Sages guns with magic bullets. Lead by an insane level 1d3+1 Wizard. They're out to prove one of the Wizard's theories, no matter how many of them die.
9- A pair of pale men with dark circles under their eyes, wearing stylish black suits and carrying spades. One is fat and jolly, the other skinny and gaunt. Witty fellows, if you like dry or dark humor. They smell faintly of rot and wet grass, but it didn't bother me that much. They are Ghouls, but they won't advertise that fact.
10- 1d4 Reptilians. Cold-blooded creatures with muscular frames and entrancing eyes. They are cordial and clearly intelligent, but you can't tell what they're thinking. Reptilians are known to eat people, but that's not why they're dangerous.
11- One of the Iron Fey, heralded by Makeshift Men and Gremlins, the former crudely cute, the latter heard but rarely seen. The Iron Fey will recognize you as denizens of its world and will greet you cordially (probably). Of course, being Folk, it's demands are inscrutable.
12- An enormous man with a hideously warped and deformed frame, bulging with muscle, his skin straining to contain his pointed bones. He is 1d4 [1= An ancient ghoul, fat and jolly, accompanied by a dozen of dangerous, flesh-eating worms that nest in his body cavities; 2= An animated corpse, murderous and vile, accompanied by 1d6 Carrion Crows; 3= An Undead recently freed of it's master, desperate to be free (ie die), alternates between hateful and pitiful, Necromancer is following at a safe distance; 4= A Fleshcarver's bestial creation, 1d4 handlers are trying to recapture it, as it is very valuable.]
Monday, February 17, 2020
TwK: The Underground
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