Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Map from Ages Past

This map was drawn by my cousin, Tim, who introduced me to gaming back in the earlier '80s.  Somehow, it came into my possession years--decades--ago. 

We never gamed in this dungeon.  I don't know if Tim did with another group.  I've thought about using it myself on several occasions, but I don't know if I ever did.  Since the various iterations of my campaign world relate to Tim's rather bare-bones world in a fashion similar to the relationship the Marvel Universe has to Timely Comics, Kazoth has been mentioned at times.  I've always conceived of him as one of those demon/monster/god-things, like Thog, or similar creatures, from Robert E. Howard's oeuvre

Looking closely at the map, I see several interesting things:

It amuses me that the innermost sanctum of Kazoth (where he has his own chamber) also houses his vestal virigns "and such" (whatever that might mean) and his sacrificial victims-to-be.  This says to me Kazoth is the kind of god-thing who would have a mini-frdge full of drinks in his den.  He just doesn't want to go far for stuff. 

Its interesting the walls of these chambers are rough-hewn (I assume that's what that means), suggesting it might be older than the rest of the complex.

 Most intriguing is the secret passage surrounding Kazoth's chamber.  I wonder what purpose that serves?  Perhaps its a doctrine of the faith that Kazoth's taking of sacrifices must be recorded in gory detail, so scribes watch unobtrusively to do just that.  Or maybe Kazoth gets cranky if his every need isn't responded to instantly, and its just for convenience?

Moving to the other side of the complex we find the mysterious Room of Illusions.  I assume all the "X's" are locations of various illusions.  Why would a temple complex need this?  I'm not sure. Maybe its for psychological torture to make a sacrificial victim juicer for old Kazoth.

Leaving the Room of Illusions, one encounters several traps (the dotted lined areas) which I suspect are probably trapdoors.  So many traps in one place perhaps argues against my explanation for the illusion room, but perhaps there just here because of those three treasure chests.

On the other hand, the naming of the Passage of No Return reinforces the notion that most who saw the Room of Illusions were on a one way trip.

I think the name of the last area I'll comment on may give away its inspiration.  The Room of Souls may have at least acquired its its title from the Well of Souls in Raiders of the Lost Ark--I would suspect specificly from Kenner's Well of Souls Playset

I could see the statues there supporting a Raiders connection as well, though I'm sure these statues come to life at some inopportune time for the players.

At least that's how I'd do it.


Brutorz Bill said...

You need to use this!
Maybe have the party sent in to rescue a vertal virgin before they become a sacrificial victim or some such?!

James said...

Cool post. I wish I still had all my old D&D notes and maps. Funny you should mention Raiders, as we're watching it right now. My son's a big fan of the films, Legos and games.

Trey said...

@Bill - I think you're right--and that's probably the right angle to take to add a level of urgency to it.

@James - I'm glad your raising your son to have good taste. :) I actually have a lot of my campaign material going to earlier handwritten stuff in a very precise printing that years of medical training has utterly obliterated. I think though most of my old dungeon maps are still at my parents. Maybe I'll post some of my late middle school/early high school city maps at some point though, if I can overcome the embarassment.

Brutorz Bill said...

Post away Trey!
We are all friends here! ; )

Shane Mangus said...

It is fun to look back on D&D memories from the days-of-yore. In my recent move I had a chance to look over several old campaign maps and notes. Good stuff!

Trey said...

@Bill-We'll see. But remember you were warned. :D

@P.S.-It is. There's the nostalgia aspect, but its also interesting to mine good ideas from your past self!