First version of a map for an adventure I’m working on. I don’t want to give away too much, so just a simple map this time. Key points include multiple small rooms behind secret doors, stairs to upper and lower levels, and an astronomically aligned summoning circle.
The following is a small plot idea I created to go with this map. I’ve been doing a bit of research on Archaeoastronomy (specifically, I’m a huge buff!) and have been jotting down some ideas for maps, encounters and even entire adventures based around areas, puzzles, and beings centered around cycles of celestial bodies.
Here you go… My first hand drawn map! (and… my first handcrafted scenario now I think about it… even if only a part of one)
Set within a hill 10 miles outside of town, whoever (or whatever) created the Tomb of the Sun, that knowledge is now lost to history. Nevertheless, a local circle of druids gather at this site every year on the Summer Solstice. However, the druids were never seen returning from last year’s ceremony.
And the Summer Solstice is tomorrow.
Inspiration for this simple tomb was taken from the real world site, Newgrange. The entrance is on the southeast corner of an artificial hill.
On the day of the Summer Solstice, light from the sun enters and streams all the way to the back of this cross shaped structure. This does not happen any other day of the year. Also, the shape of this tomb matches a constellation in the sky (Cygnus), as it would be positioned on the ground.
Some ideas for this encounter:
- The adventurers come across a disheveled old sage with opaque, cloudy eyes. Although he is clearly blind, he seems to have no problems interacting with the world. He tells the adventurers of a legend concerning the return of an ancient demon “when the stars and sun align with the tomb”.
- The druid circle is actually more of an evil cult. One obsessed with a belief that the world was created by the sun and that the circle of life must be completed by the earth returning to the sun.
- Currently, an evil druid is completing a year long ritual that began with the sacrifice of the other 12 druids within his circle this time last year. He believes that when he completes the final step, a ritual suicide at noon on the Summer Solstice, that he summons the elder God, Sol’gadon.
- The belief of these druids is that when Sol’gadon is called, that he will resurrect them all as immortal beings on earth with the power to “return the earth to the sun”. Of course they’re wrong in this belief; if summoned, Sol’gadon ‘resurrects’ them, but as slaves under his control.
- Sol’gadon‘s domain is one of the stars (of the same name) in the constellation for which the Tomb of the Sun matches
- There is an altar at the rear of the tomb crafted entirely out of one enormous block of stone that shines as bright as a small star when light from the sun hits it. Various glyphs decorate this alter in the shape of the sun (which, of course is, itself a star)