Westlaws 2.0 - The Devouring
The Serpent Hold
Former Fortress of Evil
To casual inspection, the complex of the temple appears to be nothing but a collection of ruins, a legacy of when the illithid swept through these caverns and the forts of the dwarven kingdom of the Deeprealm. Despite its damage, however, the chambers are strong, made of closely fitted masonry, capable of surviving for centuries more. Some chambers even show signs of recent repair. Although the caverns near the Temple remain quiet, the echoes of life can be heard coming from the complex itself.
The Serpent Hold is a large trade fort, broken into three levels/areas, each serving a seperate purpose; the Outer Court, the Upper and Lower Halls.
The Outer Court is a large, open area of roughly hewn stone, with mosses and lichen growing in the corners and cracks of the walls. The interior is sealed by a massive iron porticullis, and a pair of huge bronze doors lead into the complex interior opposite the main entrance. Along the courtyard sides lie the stables and storehouses, a barracks and a forgeroom. A pair of roughly battered wooden handcarts, lie next to the main storerooms.
The Upper Halls act as a fortress and constitute much of the original barracks built to fortify the location during the era when dwarves ruled here. Barracks, a substantial forge, storerooms and a grand hall “The Malachite Hall” constitute the bulk of the area, with a few guest rooms, and private halls in the corners.
The Lower Halls are a former worship area, corrupted to the Serpent Cult’s ways, and includes barracks, a library, storerooms and various utility chambers. Access is through “The Stoneyard” a corrupted hall to some dark female deity that is guarded by a roaming shadow elemental made of ruined relics of that cult, and a failed portal to the Plane of Shadows. There is also a “Memorial Hall” to some dark naga figure named “Explicitica Defilius”, and a hidden boatdock that grants access to the winding Wisla River, a famous water trade route of the Upper Underdark.
The fallen hall of the dwarven barracks for this outpost, it was under the sway of the Serpent Cult for many decades. Recently, the PCs have sacked the temple, broken the local cult and chased its orcish mercenaries into the Underdark once more. Discussion has begun as to its future, which includes converting it into a trade fort, granting access to the dependents of the nearby Dawn Rock Clan of surface dwarves, or possibly using it as a base through which the war against slavery and oppression might be brought to the Underdark. Time will tell of its future…
Presently, the Dawn Rock clan have moved their dependents into the Upper Halls, and supported by several former slaves, have begun trying to support the mining camp of the clan in Vulcan’s Forge. Sontonia Ironfold has proven to be a capable administrator and has taken a lead in these efforts.