Dungeons of the Shadowend


Well of Swords

The Well of Swords lies four days west of the reclaimed city of Shalanholt, south of the High Hills and due west of the Hags' Mere, within the bounds of fallen Asavar. The terrain around the Well is flat and fertile, covered in a mature forest of oak, elm, chestnut, and beech. No other notable ruins or hamlets lie within a half-day's walk; the Well's proximity to the fell Hags' Mere detered settlement even in Asavar's safest years.

The Well of Swords was begun in 417 AR (Amerite Reckoning) by Enwald of Barin, a former soldier forced to change professions after the loss of his right leg and several fingers to dragonacid. Enwald oversaw the excavation of the first two levels of the Well (now known as the Guardrooms and the Testing Grounds), choosing to dig out his stronghold after having seen too many castles fall to seige in his earlier years to be comfortable living in one. Enwald adopted as his sigil a fan of maces.

Hivuar, Smith of Swords, was an longtime companion of Enwald's, and lived with him in the Well for many years. Hivuar's elven blood ultimately extended his life well past his friends, and he became Master of the Well after Enwald's death (446 AR). Hivuar dug down further, adding the third level (the Suite) to the Well of Swords for himself and his wife. Hivuar's sigil was a fan of swords, a motif retained by all following masters of the Well.

Nindalia was Hivuar's wife in his later years, and was popularly known as the Lady of Swords. She added her command of magic to Hivuar's forgecraft, and together created a great many enchanted weapons. She is also believed to have crafted the upper set of force blades that guard access to the Well. She inherited mastery of the Well after Hivuar's death (498 AR), but died later the same year. Her symbol was a circular rune above a fan of swords.

Tardel Throwingstone was the first apprentice in the Well to become Master of the Well of Swords. Although his true apprenticeship was long completed, he never took a journeyman's journey, preferring to remain in the Well as an assistant to Hivuar. In addition to his skills as a runesmith, Tardel was a cleric of the Lord of Smiths. There was much strife in Asavar during Tardel's tenure in the Well, and two of his apprentices, Ashun Wier and Muar Tenshoulders, were killed when the Well was beseiged by a lizardman force from the Mere. Tardel's sigil was a hammer above a fan of swords.

Gwaylar Finla-Gormadoc'son was the first, last, and most proficient of Tardel's apprentices, and it seemed appropriate he become Master of the Well after Tardel's death (in 517 AR). During his tenure the Well was sunk to its current depth of eighty feet, and the fourth level (the Forge Halls) were added. War flourished throught Gwaylar's time, and the Well of Swords was a reliable source of quality weapons and armor for gnomes, half-elves, and humans of the Sunrising Kingdoms as they battled lizardfolk, goblins, dopplegangers, and the dark clans of gnomes tempted and transformed by the Crone Goddess. Gwaylar's symbol was a spear above a fan of swords. Gwaylar's exact ending is unclear; he purportedly died in 601 AR, in Asavar's final collapse, but careful investigation revealed the body interred in the crypts of the Well to be an illusion. If the gnome has, in fact, not died, he would be no more than middle-aged now.

Varalon, Smith of Kings, was himself of royal blood, one of Sieriven's princely sons. With the fall of that kingdom to shapechangers and the wilderness, Valaron chose to remain in the Well with Gwaylar, and later, after the gnome's "death" (601 AR), as Master. He retained contact with the Hundred Kingdoms in the west, and crafted a great many enchanted crowns and other regalia for the myriad princelings and petty lords in those hotly contested lands. His symbol was a crown above a fan of swords.

Andrella, Lady of the Well, apprenticed with Varalon and inherited the Well when he departed for a civilized life in the Hundred Kingdoms (614 AR). Andrella herself preferred the wild and dangerous place the lands about the Well had become, spending weeks adventuring in the High Hills or the ruins of Asavar. Her symbol was a morningstar above a fan of swords.

Hildurn the Smith was the last true runesmith and Master of the Well of Swords. He apprenticed to Andrella and inherited the Well from her (638 AR). The Lady of the Well had not bothered to retain more than the most tenious connections to the civilized lands, and Hildurn found himself master of a smithy-stronghold nearly forgotten. Nevertheless, he created a number of powerful magical items before he was betrayed and slain by one of his own apprentices, the dwarf Lenki. His symbol was a katana above a fan of swords.

Lenki, last Master of the Well, fell prey to foul temptation and forged a pact with a dark god (likely the Crone Goddess). He slew his master Hildurn (642 AR), and interred the corpse in a crypt with Lenki's two fellow apprentices Red-Hair and Yorn, alive. Lenki, however, found himself sadly lacking in the runelore he craved, and spent many years trying to puzzle out the secrets of the runes, slipping into undeath as he did so. Most of the Well of Swords was abandoned (at least by Lenki; many other creatures moved in) as the mad dwarf toiled at the forge, slowly unlocking the secrets he craved. He had assembled an armory of weapons of evil, and contacted many forces of woe in the Shadowend as purchasers shortly before he was slain by a company of adventurers. Lenki's symbol was a skull above a fan of swords.

Malin de la Rocha is the new Master of the Well, and intends to convert it from a smithy to a school of swordsmanship honoring the Proclaimer, the goddess of victory. The consequences of his decisions have yet to make themselves apparent, as powerful forces seek out the armory he guards.
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Wow! I really like this. It may well find a home in my campaign world. Possibly just before the Well is rescued by it's newest master. After all, the PCs may want to do that....

Do you have maps of the Well that you could post somewhere? Or a writeup of the mad dwarf Lenki?



Thanks for the comments! It's always nice to know someone besides myself reads these things...

I have maps of the first level, second level, and a partial of the fourth level. I'll look into putting them on the internet somewhere soon.

The Well of Swords adventure was the first one the PCs embarked upon, and brought them from 3rd to the brink of 5th level. This was a few levels lower than I had originally envisioned the Well at, and the Lenki I used was less powerful than he probably should have been. Runesmith is a character class (standard, not prestige) in my campaign, but you could make him a cleric and actually make him more effective (runesmiths' not having alot of abilities immediately useful in combat...)

Anyways, here are some stats on Lenki.

As he was run:
4th level moulder dwarf wight runesmith
Hp: 58
AC: 22 (+4 natural, +2 Dexterity, +5 breastplate, +1 enhancement)
S: 18 C: --- W: 13
D: 14 I: 11 Ch: 10
Weapon: +1 evil keen heavy pick (inflicts +1d6 damage on good creatures).
Slam attack for 1d4 +4 + energy drain

Note that an evil weapon is not the same as a unholy weapon, and has a +1 bonus modifier.

All moulder dwarves gain the Craft Magic Arms and Armor item creation feat for free at first level; Lenki also had the Craft Wonderous Item and Weapon Focus (heavy pick) feats.

For a campaign without my house rules, I'd make Lenki a 7th-9th level dwarven cleric, possibly with a level of fighter, and access to the evil domain. He should certainly have the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat.

In the campaign, the party went through 3 serious encounters without resting, and came within inches of completely obliterating the PCs as a result. Lenki's lizardman "allies" (who have gained access to the Well through submerged tunnels from the Mere) successfully abducted two of the PCs; the final confrontation with Lenki and his wight lizardman slave killed two PCs and rendered all but one unconcious before the undead dwarf was slain.

As always, posts recounting the most recent adventures (highly summarized) of the Monday Night Party can be found at this thread
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Powers of the Shadowend

Gods in the Shadowend come in three varieties; the Elder Host (those that are, were, and will be), the Dalerain (divine by birth), and Ascended (divine by dint of power and worshippers). It makes little difference mechanics-wise; but factors into divine attitudes and relationships.

Oricant (The Riddling God, the White God)
Demi Power
Major AoC: Divination, Prophecy, Riddles
Minor AoC: Puzzles, Inevitability
Symbol: An endless knot
Allies: None
Enemies: Darghin
Avatar: Cleric 5 / Rogue 10 / Sorcerer 10

Oricant takes the shape of a young albino man, with pale blue eyes and wild white hair. He rarely manifests himself, preferring solitude to any interaction in the mortal world. Those who do converse with him find the experience disquieting, since the Riddling God often answers questions before they are asked, but rarely in a manner they find pleasing.

Oricant is the child of Darghin, the Lord of Night, and was imprisoned by his father for some years when his oracular powers became evident. His freedom was arranged by Ados, who did it as much to frustrate Darghin as free Oricant. He is the only deity with an absolute knowledge of the future (save perhaps Te), but rarely shares that knowledge. Either his imprisonment or his gift has left him withdrawn and antisocial; he has no firm allies, but many opponents who seek his knowledge.

Priests of Oricant are solitary, belonging to no hierarchy or organized religion. They devote much time and energy to unravelling puzzles and riddles, and are masters at uttering inscrutiable prophetic statements. They practice many forms of divination and forseeing, believing the method is less important than the practicioner. On rare occasions they may go adventuring for methods of increasing their ability to forsee the future. As they grow more powerful, though, most of the White God’s faithful go subtly and quietly mad – even as their prophecies come closer and closer to truth.

Domains: Divination, Fate, Time, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Club
Bonuses: +2 class bonus to Scrying skill checks.


Cyriana (The Proclaimer, Divine Herald, Goddess of Final Fortune)
Lesser Power
Major AoC: Heralds, Victory
Minor AoC: Fate, Glory in Battle, Messengers, Music, Travel
Symbol: A horn, a golden banner, a golden horse
Allies: Aur, Palanar
Enemies: Adosil
Avatar: Cleric 15 / Fighter 15

Cyriana appears as a striking woman of average height, with golden hair and pale blue eyes. On the battlefield, she appears mounted on a golden horse, wearing full plate mail with no helm and carrying a blank golden banner. She rarely speaks on such occasions, instead indicating a victor with a tip of her banner. She never enters combat herself. In her role as herald to the gods, she carries a horn instead of a banner, and wears mithril scale mail instead of full plate mail.

Cyriana won her place in the pantheon by dint of service and devotion to Aur, the Lord of Lords. She may have come into conflict with Adosil during this period; certainly the Feuding Goddess bitterly hates the Proclaimer with a passion that dwarfs any other. She is on neutral terms with Tamath, Sif, Talabas, and Madate – they are unable to win her favor, but take care not to offend her, and grudgingly accept what she declares. Her closest ally is Palanar -- the Coinlord, supremely confident in the success of his own abilities, does not bother to woo her, and cheerfully accepts her company.

Cyriana is worshipped by anyone seeking victory over a tenacious or difficult foe, success in a risky endeavor, or judging a contest or competition; soldiers, heralds and messengers, and many bards. Her priests are confident and proud, sometimes arrogant, though the haughtiest always find themselves rebuked the hardest by their goddess. They follow their own code and do not swear allegiance to any king or ruler beyond Cyriana.

Domains: Battle, Celerity, Charm, Fate, Travel
Skills: Intimidate, Ride.
Favored Weapon: Heavy mace.
Bonuses: +2 class bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate
Requirements: Priests of Cyriana can never promise or assure success in any endeavor.
Granted Powers: Proclaimers gain a +1 class bonus to all saving throws.
Penalties: Clerics of Cyriana Turn or Rebuke Undead as a cleric of two levels lower (they do not gain the ability to affect undead until 3rd level).

Epic Threats

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