"The dwarfs gone left you see, and they forgot to take their stuff with em' . They fled that ancient mountain of theirs. Why? Because some trees and some flies and some monkeys came and bothered em'. Guess they couldn't take the heat, couldn't take all that sweating under their fancy armor. What a bunch of idiots! Now there's a whole mountain up there, filled with treasure! Were going to be rich son. You and me will go up there and pick gemstones like potatoes! Where'd they go? No one knows, lest of all me. The world's better without em, who cares if a couple of stonemunchers gone and disappeared. We'll take the cart and fill er up, we'll have gemstones of every color and a big gold statue of one of those stonemuncher dummies. I have heard some of the stumpies are left though. Just a couple...nothing for us to worry bout'. Thems that's left are half mad . Near naked, running around in skirts, spitting blow pipes at each other. We gotta be quick though, before everyone else gets there and takes our treasure. That's why we have to leave tonight...without telling yer mother."
Forgotten Gorgzu's Mountain is the campaign setting for a Labyrinth Lord game I've been running for a few months. The campaign takes place in a valley in the middle of a mountain range that has inexplicably exploded with the growth of heavy tropical jungle. A whole dwarven civilization once lived in the valley, now there is a singular, collapsing town of bickering, confused dwarfs living in ruins at its entrance. News of this has seeped out into the world and predictably avarice and curiosity has lead to an influx of treasure hunters, explorers, archeologists, covert agents and merchants.
Here is what is known about the valley so far:
- Maddened jungle dwarfs have been encountered, they froth slightly at the mouth and fire paralyzing darts from bushes. Their appearance has coincided with vandalism of dwarven shrines.
- Great glass domes have been discovered. Inside these smashed and broken domes is 700 foot tunnel holes. Their architecture is distinctly non-dwarven.
- The vegetation of the jungle while plentiful, does not appear entirely healthy or wholesome. It has an unnatural, almost sickly zeal to its growth. Fronds, leaves and veins all have clearly visible veins that pulsate lightly, and root systems have tumor-like gnarls.
- Reports vary, but the jungle made its first appearance 500 years ago. The few dwarfs alive in the region can't seem to recall a time without the jungle, although they all agree the age before it was glorious.
- No one in the game, neither the dwarfs or travelers, have actually referred to the jungle valley as "Forgotten Gorgzu's Mountain". No one knows who or what Gorgzu is or why it's forgotten.
- Jungle dwarfs have been seen seen starving themselves in religious ceremonies under the tutorage of a robed human.
- A settlement of jungle dwarfs has been discovered in the caverns beneath an abandoned fortress. The settlement was hidden by a great sheet of flowing water. The dwarfs were not instantly murderous but insisted the adventurers left immediately.
- Hooded figures with with faraway voices request assistance with restoring facility production.
- There is abandoned huts in trees and on the ground. They are made of wood and stone. Both materials have been carved with an impressive amount of skill.
- There is one known town in contact with the outside world. It is called Zundrulth and it exists in the ruins of a much larger, older dwarven city. It is a town divided in two. One half of the population clings to the old dwarven ways and can be seen clanking through ruined stone mansions in rusting armor. The other half has embraced the jungle and lives amongst the trees and in rude wooden huts.
- The two groups of dwarfs get annoyed and disgusted at one another, but consider it blasphemous to actually come to blows. Dwarfs do not like spilling dwarf blood.
- A sullen dwarf sells wild monkeys. He keeps the shrieking mass of monkeys in a large cage in the outskirts of Zundrulth. He dislikes getting monkeys out of the cage when they are sold as they attack him.
- Baboons stalk explorers from the jungle canopy. If they are shown aggression they will haunt the explorers and attack them at very inopportune times.
- A monstrous tree is filled with thousands of baboons. A dark storm cloud constantly caps the tree while thundering loudly. Offerings of fruit can be brought here to placate angered baboons. Larger, four eyed baboons, holding metallic rods and wearing metallic triangles on their foreheads will accept the offerings.
- There is a newly formed Dwarven Reclamation League. They were seen heading into the jungle towards an abandoned fortress. Then there was a fire in the jungle. Now the fortress is bordered up and has barracuda men heads on sticks at its entrance.
- Lady Jaibu is a drunken dwarf noble who will pay gold for artifacts.
- There is fly hobbits, mushroom men, and potato monsters.
- A huge stone purple dome has been discovered. Tubes of blood line its walls. There is weird chairs in the dome.
- There is bloating poison.
- Dwarven architects can be hired for 50 gold a day, they are terrified of the jungle.
- There is weird fruit and weird mushrooms. Some are deadly, some give you infra-vision, some make your vision swirl but hydrate you immensely.
- There is giant undead turtles with parasitic plants controlling them.
- A brass statue have been recovered. This statues will move when presented with freshly severed limbs. The blood of these limbs is quickly drained into the ether. The statue is frowned upon by the dwarfs.
- There is a lot of black slime underground.
- Barracuda men steal boats and build pools. The pools they build get covered in a black carpet of algae which the barracuda men enjoying hiding in.
- Lamprey like mouths take up whole walls underground. Similar mouths are seen on tentacled spider-like creatures.
- Golden flying things are chased by animals and monsters through the jungle.
- The jungle dwarves are training feathered lizards for riding. No one has seen them ride them as yet.
- Jungle dwarf hermits have been found meditating over carved scenes of a massive terrifying tree.
- Some dwarfs possibly did some very bad things a long time ago.
|Artwork by the talented +Dean Flemming|