The Legend of Rappan Athuk
Many hundreds of years ago, the forces of good allied to destroy the main Temple of Orcus in the ancient city of Tsar. With their temple in ruins, the surviving high priests of this accursed demon-god fled the city with an army of enemies on their trail led by Zelkor, a powerful wizard, and many heroic fighters, clerics and paladins. The exact fate of these evil priests was then unknown, for not only did the remnants of the followers of Orcus disappear from all human reckoning, the army of light that followed after them disappeared as well. Some said that in the eternal scales the loss of so many good men was a fair price to pay to rid the world of so much evil.
The evil church, however, was not destroyed. The priests and their followers instead settled on a hill near the Forest of Hope, a sylvan woodland near the Coast Road. There they found a vast underground complex of caverns and mazes carving out a volcanic intrusion beneath the hill. There, the priests of Orcus found the perfect lair to continue their vile rituals. For many years they carried on in secret, hidden from the light and from the knowledge of men.
Many years later, their underground delving completed, the evil priests erected a hideous mausoleum and a sunken graveyard atop the hill. It is believed that these graves are in fact the final resting place of the pursuing army of heroes that had been destroyed to the last man. Soon after the mausoleum was erected the peaceful creatures of the wood began to disappear. Though many rangers and druids investigated these happenings, the cause of the creaturesâ€™ disappearance was not immediately found. Some years later, a powerful group of adventurers, led by Bofred, a high priest of Heironeous, investigated the evil happenings and found the sunken graveyard leading to a labyrinthine complex. Bofred and his companions found great hordes of evil creatures in the complex. Though some of his companions returned from their expedition telling tales of fantastic treasure and ferocious monsters, Bofred was never seen againâ€”lost in the catacombs beneath the newly-built mausoleum.
For the last one hundred years, ranks of adventurers swarmed to the newfound dungeon. Many fell prey to bandits and monsters in the surrounding wilderness. Of those that survived to reach the mausoleum and the sunken graveyard, rumors tell that most were slain by guardians of green stone before they even entered the dungeon or perished on the very first level. Those rare few who return from deeper treks speak of horrible undead and of creatures that cannot be slain. All who have explored Rappan Athuk offer this one universal piece of advice: “Don’t Go Down The Well.”
Rappan Athuk, the legendary mega-dungeon by Frog God Games and Necromancer Games is nothing more and nothing less than a good, old–fashioned, First Edition dungeon crawl updated for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Very difficult, Rappan Athuk will truly strike fear into the hearts of the most stalwart adventurers. It offers legions of inventive traps, tricks, strange features, and monsters—many of them never before seen. It affords numerous opportunities for roleplaying, but anyone willing to brave these subterranean halls better arrive ready to rumble, or their lives will be short indeed. Many, many players have lost favored PCs delving into the depths of this dungeon, all the while giggling like children and having the time of their lives. Hundreds, if not thousands of players have combed the halls of Rappan Athuk over the years, seeking treasure and fame, making it one of the best-known dungeon locations the game has ever produced. Even players who have never entered its halls know the term: “Don’t go down the Well!”
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