There are many tales about the Valley of Burning Orchids and its name. Most are completely made up and have no real sense to them. The Valley appears on most maps of the continent, far into lands that remain uncivilized and mostly unpopulated to this day. It is in fact named after an Elven Sorceress and not some strange flower that ignites itself on the night of the new moon pining for the return of the sun, or a great war that involved the magical incineration of the fields of prized orchids grown here by the Elven kingdom. It was just a place where one elven sorceress would leave her kin in order to study the pact magics she had made with otherworldly beings.
Of course, centuries of potent magics and extradimensional portals can make any place a little odd, especially a small cliff-enclosed valley where most people still fear to tread… Who knows if Burning Orchid is still alive (unlikely after these ages), or what strange things she invited into this world?
Tow structures remain from her time here, and one newer structure was build and then destroyed since the fall of the elven empire. The newer structure is the Octagonal Temple I posted last week – built by a chaos cult taking advantage of the rifts Burning Orchid had created between this world and the Eight Violet Hells. But that cult base was smashed out of existence by a band of adventurers some two dozen years ago and the valley has been mostly quiet since.
The other two structures of note sit on their own islands – the Iron House and the Basalt Dome.
The Iron House is at an intersection of three paths through the woods of the valley, and there are two iron bridges slowly sinking into the soft earth that cross over the river to the island. The area around here is mostly devoid of wildlife, and the old remains of flayed animals can be found tucked here and there behind trees and in tufts of grass.
Made of three iron pentagons, the house is a dimensional weak point where spells tapping into the magics and powers of the Iron Towers of Ges operate at increased efficiency and potency. Of course, it is also home to several of the “demons” of the Iron Towers, rusty steel outsiders who inflict pain and suffering on those they meet.
The Basalt Dome is a hemisphere of black volcanic stone with a chunk of meteor mounted on a pedestal in the centre of the floor. The meteor is the last remnants of the heart of a huge demon summoned in the skies over the valley that then burned up as it fell, leaving only this knot of pure anger and hatred behind. Any form of telepathy used within the dome will reveal these powerful emotions and the caster of such spells must make a saving throw to avoid being dominated by the last base urges of this fallen demon lord.
. . .
The Valley of Burning Orchids is my interpretation of these maps… however they were drawn for a very different purpose and will be appearing in a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure from Purple Sorcerer Games – “Escape from the Shrouded Fen” – which should be available soon. I’ll post a link as soon as it is available.
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