Once a meandering cave cut into the stony hills by a river, this dungeon was expanded upon by the industrious labour of untold goblins lead by a massive goblinoid with strange earth powers (and at this point I just realized that I never posted the Goblin character class write-up that I did for Brave The Labyrinth issue 3 – so to find out more about the Ur-Goblins and high level goblinoids that I’m referencing here and that turn up in “Trouble at Imp Brücke“, you’ll need to download a copy of that magazine available from Small Niche Games via RPGnow).
On quick review of the map, there is a missing stairwell or heavily sloped corridor right around where the two passages overlap near the entrance – originally it was designed with the curving passage being a sloped passage leading under the other dungeon sections and down to the small pool, a last reminder that this was once a natural cave wrought by water. Another sign that I was probably quite tired when I finished this map is the cave on the bottom right – there is a cave that starts in a ledge in the lower right room and forks, but the right-hand fork doesn’t actually lead anywhere.
Crafted as the lair and fortress of Vrunek, and earthbound Ur-Goblin who could be mistaken for a massive gargoyle, the outside of the structure is clearly marked by the worked mass of stone between the two cave entrances. The arrow slits on this central watch “tower” are decorated to seem like distended screaming faces with the slits as very tall vertical mouths. The stone double doors on each side of the screaming tower are secured by ancient wizard locks that only allow entry to goblins and those who whisper praise to the foul titan of mud and stone.
While the original clan of Vrunek (and supposedly the ur-goblin himself) was wiped out during the war against the elves, other goblins have learned that the great doors keep them safe within the hold and several small groups of their kin have moved here over the ensuing decades – most eventually fall victim to each other, or to the “beast” that dwells in the dark recesses of the natural caves deep under the screaming halls. What this beast is remains to be seen – perhaps a pack of gargoyles remain from Vrunek’s unnatural armies, or even Vrunek himself survived, or one of his spawn failed the ur-goblin metamorphosis and lurks in the caves hungry for goblin flesh and any warm blood it can find.