Continuing the delve that was started with Tuesday’s “The Ziggurat in the Sand” maps, we head inside the ziggurat today with the middle and lower levels of the structure!
Much of the ziggurat is buried under the desert sands. This is shown on this level with the sand encroachment into the entrance on the far right, as well as the two stairwells built into the archway. These areas are not just sandy, but the rooms indicated are completely full of sand, requiring hours if not days of hard digging to clear.
Any such diggings will be further hampered by the fact that all three of these locations on this level contain stairways down into the depths of the ziggurat.
The lowest level of the ziggurat continues to show the sandy encroachment, with sand in a hall and chamber in the southern portion of the map (where the spiral stairs down from the buried archway enter the level), more on the upper right side (where the stairs from the eastern entrance on the middle level has allowed sand to flow down to this level) and again on the upper left side (where a secret exit from the ziggurat has been breached and has in turn sealed off a solitary room behind a pile of heavy sand).
To enter the two spires (that appear on the middle and upper level maps) requires finding the southern stairs on the lowest level. When designing the map, I envisioned the “main boss” to be in the eastern spire, with the western spire containing lost and forgotten traps and treasures. The design allows for a party to actually skip the vast majority of the map if they take the right path – entering in through the doorway on the west side of the middle level (which I would seal with a wizard lock, so the party is rewarded for preparing appropriate magics), down the ramp from the middle level to the lower level, immediately going to the east and then south along the wide passage leading directly to the spire stairs.
Of course, there are many other routings through the ziggurat, and I’m sure most adventurers will find themselves walking into trouble at any number of turns, dead ends, odd passages, and sandy chambers.