Gloamhold: The Twisted Warrens

Honeycombing the rock above the Murkwater, the Twisted Warrens are a confused and convoluted network of (mostly) natural caverns and passageways inhabited by derro, troglodytes, dark creepers and worse. Strange aberrations of alien aspect stalk this nightmarish cave system, hinting at hidden, terrible connections to the Ebon Ream far below.

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Superstitious, or weak-minded, survivors of explorations into this twisted, cramped realm tell of sudden rock falls and crumbling precipices lurking to catch the unwary and a sense that the very rock itself possesses a malign intelligence bent against intruders.

Life in the Twisted Warrens is brutal and hard. Resources — particularly fresh water — are rare here and jealously guarded. The various humanoids dwelling in these caves do so because they are not strong or numerous enough to take and hold anywhere better.

Of the three, the trogloytes are the least numerous. Most such creatures dwell in the Twilight City — only renegades, outcasts and survivors of the vicious inter-clan wars that occassionally consume the city’s inhabitants live here. The dark creepers are much more at home in the Twisted Warrens and several clans led by dark stalkers dwell in the Warren’s farthest reaches. Of the derro little is known. Small groups are occassionally encounters by adventurers sneaking through the area, but no sizable group has yet been encounters. Undoubtably sadistic — and in all likelihood mad — nothing is known of their goals. However, of all the groups, they are most likelihood to mount an expedition against the smugglers lurking in Rivengate.

Ever shifting tribal alliances and the constant competition for resources make the Twisted Warrens a dangerous place to wander. Here mercy and compassion are unknown. Most adventurers venturing into the Warrens do so because they choose not to dare the Murkwater’s turmultuous course (or their boat has been wrecked and they have no choice if the want to escape to the surface).

Notable Locales Within the Twisted Warrens

Several locales of note lie within the Twisted Warrens:

  1. The Black Pits: In several sections of the Warrens, rifts pierce the rock. A few merely link the Twisted Warrens to the Murkwater. Others — much deeper — avoid the Murkwater’s course altogether and plunge downwards far into the earth. It is from these rifts — called the Black Pits by the Warren’s denizens — strange and horrible hunters creep forth to prey on the Warren’s denizens.
  2. The Fane of Bones: Most residents of the Warrens avoid this bone-filled, terror-haunted cavern through which the Murkwater courses. Legions of unintelligent undead lurk within four ziggurats standing here. (Learn more about the Fane of Bones here).

Tribes of the Twisted Narrows

Several tribes dwell in the Twisted Narrows. A sample of such groups include:

  1. Gibbering Doom Derro: These derro have come to the Warrens in search of suitable subjects for their lord’s mad experiments. Merely an oversized raiding party — the bulk of the tribe dwells far below — the derro are still numerous and powerful compared to the Warren’s other denizens. Their leader is beginning suffer delusions of gandeur and dreams of taking a section of the Warrens or Rivengate as his own.
  2. Light Step Creepers: Dwelling deep in a particularly fractured and confusing section of the Warrens, these dark creepers scavenge through the lightless caverns and tunnels for what they need. Instinctively, they avoid the other races dwelling therein, but occassionally fall on and slay lone or weak explorers. The creepers waste nothing and such unfortunates are carried back to the creepers’ lair to feed the tribe.
  3. Broken Tooth Troglodytes: Numbering no more than 40 or so individuals, the Broken Tooth troglodytes cling to existence deep in the Warrens. Driven to the edge of extinction, they are a desperate folk. They worship a chipped and damage statue recovered from a ledge overlooking one of the Black Pits. The statue is of Dagon and the troglodytes have unknowingly fallen under his influence. As a result, deformities and mutations are becoming more common in their ranks.

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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