Castle Grimgrannog, Part III – Catacombs [Wednesday Map]

Being the third part of the Castle Grimgrannog Series.

Area B of the Castle Grimgrannog & Environs map.

Beneath the portentously crumbling ruins of Castle Grimgrannog lies a basement full of skeletons, some of them belonging to the Grannog family, others, well, belonging to others. Currently, the necro-focused Sons of Azthrax are converting the catacombs into their new digs (think of it as dungeon gentrification from the POV of the original dungeon monster stock), mostly as a sort of forward operating base for further exploration of the dungeon below, but they’re not exactly the most organized of undeath worshippers. As such, they can be found either sort of just wandering about in the catacombs, renovating alcoves for habitation (or cohabitation, in a few “lucky” cases). The cult has become quite decentralized, emulating the entropic functions of decay, if we have to be pedantic, or really just behaving like siblings, if we don’t. This means, though, that they offer very little in the way of a unified front against intrusion, beyond stationing an orc here or there above and below. Additionally, necromantic runoff has led to a real problem in the underground lake and river nearby.

3-23 (Grimgrannog II B Catacombs) (final)

(Included below with this map is a “Dynamic” random encounter tables, inspired by Chris Kutalik’s Hill Cantons. I’m using this instead of actually fully stocking the dungeon for ease of writing but also ease of use. This should make the castle adaptably vague for anyone who might need a quick castle for their campaigns.)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Castle Grimgrannog, Part II [Sunday Map]

Area A: Castle Grimgrannog
Second part of Castle Grimgrannog Series.
Castle Grimgrannog itself is a lovely 4 bed, 0 bath (apparently) home away from home but a bit of a fixer-upper. Currently occupied by the Hollowed Skull clan of orcs, who work in service of the necromantic cult known as The Sons (and daughter) of Azthrax, the castle commands an overlook of the lands west of the [Something Something] River with easy access to the river’s banks and nearby cave complex. Far older than anyone in the surrounding vicinity is aware, the castle has withstood the predations of voluminous armies, transient home-invaders, and antiquarians alike. 3-18 (Castle Grimgrannog)

(Included below with this map is a “Dynamic” random encounter tables, inspired by Chris Kutalik’s Hill Cantons. I’m using this instead of actually fully stocking the dungeon for ease of writing but also ease of use. This should make the castle adaptably vague for anyone who might need a quick castle for their campaigns.)

Continue reading

Castle Grimgrannog & Environs, Part 1 [Thursday Map]

(This is the side-view for a series of incoming maps depicting the ruins and dungeons of Castle Grimgrannog. Included in each entry will be a new feature: a dynamic random encounter table for stocking the dungeon. Additionally, I’m including a bit of backstory for the castle to be used or ignored however you may wish.)

On a low bluff overlooking the banks of an appropriately menacingly named river, Castle Grimgrannog was once the seat of power for the dastardly Baron Angmort Grannog. The castle had been the Grannog family steading for the adequate passage of enough generations to allow for the commonfolk to speculate upon the disappearance of the Grannog family jawline and chin in hushed, serfish chitchat whilst not earning their keep in the fields.

3-17 (Castle Grimgrannog side view)-Recovered

But the Grannog’s didn’t build the castle, despite their claims otherwise. In fact, the castle was purchased by the slumlord and sometimes moneylender Bert Grannog over a century ago. Bert originally intended the castle to be loaned out to down-on-their-luck nobles in need of a good showing of power but as the mounting costs of sending in expeditions of monster-killers, torchbearers, misled gallivants, and mildly errant knights began to accumulate, he sealed off the lower chambers and moved his wife and nine children into the castle initially as a summer home, though they, not Bert, would find themselves wintering in the castle as the years went by.

A few generations later, Angmort Grannog managed to purchase the title of baron from a fleeing third rate scion of a nearby kingdom and styled himself as the Baron of Grimgrannog. This didn’t last. The baron grew tired of managing the troubles of serfs incapable of tugging on their own boostraps and hightailed it to the family’s port-of-calling downriver, leaving the castle to crumble and attract bored and/or drunken adventurers seeking “treasure”, wandering monsters in need of “facilities”, and most recently a cabal of necromantic squatters.

The waifish necromancers and their hangers-on have since precipitously lowered the castle’s property value, as well as that of the nearby farmsteads. This cabal has taken to calling itself the Nine Sons of Azthrax (with no indicaiton of who Azthax actually is) and were tolerated with a sort of you-don’t-dig-up-my-grave-I-won’t-dig-you-one disinterest from the locals for some time. This was until a farmer recently attempted to slaughter a cow, only to have it develop opinions to the contrary and wander off headless into the nearby woods.

Meanwhile, the Nine Sons of Aztrhax (though two would be more accurately classified as daughters) have taken to unearthing the ignored catacombs underneath Castle Grimgrannog in search of something called the Crown of Azthrax, even though they really have no idea what this crown actually does or looks like. (In all truth, it could just be something made up by the cult’s founder years before that just sort of stuck.)

Bur recently, Angmort has returned and seeks to evict the squatters. He wants his castle back but the commonfolk of the area haven’t quite decided yet if they prefer the necromancers or the Grannog baron, whose arrival already purports suspicious causal relationships.

Coming Updates
In the coming days, I’ll be posting different levels of Castle Grimgrannog alongside additional material for stocking the ruins and dungeons. I might even throw in some NPCs and additional backstory for good measure.