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An O5R "blue map" dungeon from the early days of fantasy roleplaying games; high-rez files for 34" x 44" printing. By Venger Satanis
An O5R "blue map" dungeon from the early days of fantasy roleplaying games; high-rez files for 34" x 44" printing. By Venger Satanis
226 backers pledged $1,220 to help bring this project to life.

The Background

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A Brief History of The S’rulyan Vault
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For as long as anyone living can remember, the world was full of men and the darker, stranger forms of life remained at the farthest edges of it. But the scrolls contained within the many temples of Tyr’Urden tell us that this was not always so.   

Demonic things came in the night to feed upon mortal souls, ripping and tearing at humanity’s soft, exposed belly. Our people lived in fear. Like children, man was afraid of the dark and what lay beyond the walls of his cities.

Then, one day, a champion came. He slayed many of the evil ones, the creatures who looked like walking serpents. Eventually, his mighty deeds became so numerous that thousands followed him into battle against the forces of evil. Man had both the numbers and the will to push back against these malevolent beings until his cities and forests were relatively free of hell-spawn.

Snake-men were the most powerful humanoid creatures, as they knew the secrets of blackest sorcery, having made a pact with the Demon Lord known as S’rul. Under his satanic tutelage, the snake-men became powerful enough to slaughter the armies of mankind. Before long, the entire race of snake-men were known as the Sect of S’rulyan… (S’rulyan meaning the great and terrible wisdom of S’rul).

At the height of their serpentine reign, a subterranean domain was constructed on the outskirts of the human realm. It became an outpost from where the snake-men continually raided – taking weapons, gold, slaves, and sorcerous objects from man’s cities. This vault was the crowning glory of S’rul and his loathsome worshipers.

Just as the Sect of S’rulyan could see the extermination of man in sight, a large band of adventurers retrieved a lost relic - the Helm of Power, an artifact that siphons the magical energy from everything surrounding it… and gives that magic to the wearer. The Helm of Power protected the adventurers as they waded into the darkness of S’rul’s foul dungeon.

Only three heroes emerged from the S’rulyan Vault, victorious over the evil ones with their spiked armor covered in gore and shreds of serpent flesh. Alas, the Helm of Power was destroyed in the final battle against S’rul. Yet, the Demon Lord was also destroyed, and so the people rejoiced!

The three surviving heroes, Artello, Urden, and D’meskus, established themselves as Kings of the central territories. For decades they ruled and now their children’s children are crowned Kings and Queens of Razira.

One such present-day ruler is Queen Zinnia, an alluring but jealous and ill-advised woman. She reigns over the smallest realm with the greatest ambition for power. Queen Zinnia forced her royal wizard to search deep within the magical abyss where hideous horrors frolic and feed. Upon her instructions, the wizard awakened an entity strong enough to shatter her siblings’ kingdoms – the Demon Lord S’rul.

S’rul’s first order of business was to revive his slumbering legion of snake-men far below the S’rulyan Vault. Brought back to life, the walking serpents felt their sorcery invigorated as never before and concocted a spell that would mean sickness and death for thousands of men, women, and children.

Almost three-quarters of a century after S’rul’s original defeat, nary a snake-man has been seen upon the surface of Razira. Today is the 74th anniversary of the assault upon the S’rulyan Vault. The entire realm celebrates the snake-men’s defeat with feasting, dancing, and merriment. Unfortunately, such revelry was not to last.

At mid-day, the celebration ended with black skies, a broken blood-red moon, and some mysterious plague that immediately killed off a fifth of those living in Tyr’Urden, the largest kingdom and closest to the S’rulyan Vault.

King Urdenson’s seers know that S’rul and his snake-men slumber no more. The King decreed this a time of war, and those who return from the S’rulyan Vault with the Demon Lord’s severed head in hand shall share in the reward: one million pieces of gold… a King’s ransom, to be sure!

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I see that we now have 111 backers.  That's awesome!  Thought it was high time I gave you guys some insight into what The S'rulyan Vault is all about.  

Hope you enjoyed reading.  Keep telling your gaming friends and acquaintances about this KS project.  ;)

VS

Chris Ayotte, Michael Pace, and 4 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Missing avatar

      Robert Lionheart on April 14, 2016

      That works for me. I run mostly 4-6 level stuff at cons (less spells for player to figure out / get confused about), but 8th-10th level in 0e is chunky enough, but still fun.

    2. Venger Satanis 10-time creator on April 12, 2016

      I'm working out a way to scale it to a variety of levels, but the default will be higher levels (higher than I'm used to writing for). Something like 8 - 10...

    3. Missing avatar

      Robert Lionheart on April 11, 2016

      In D&D terms, what level of adventurers do you imagine for the dungeon?