I've lurked for a while and never posted...but that changes today.

My first entry into the One Page Dungeon contest, and into any Cartographer’s Guild contest. Somewhere amid the squalid side-streets of a medieval metropolis, seemingly forgotten, lies an abandoned and boarded-up temple. Ragamuffins and rapscallions chase each other around its pigeon-infested halls, only to be evicted every few months when some gang of outlaws wants to lay low for a while. The temple has been abandoned for decades—perhaps centuries—and nobody knows who is responsible for it.

Until now. The brilliant young scion of a prominent noble house has been making waves among the city’s elite with bold gestures and lavish expenditures. He hires a team of specialists—adventuring delvers with canny minds and souls of discretion—and reveals to them that, not only does his family own the old hulk of limestone and marble, but he wants to restore it to its former glory. He’ll have no such eyesore of urban blight weighing on his conscience. Not now that he’s in control of the family purse.

The nobleman’s hired scholars have read the old runes on the pool in the center of the temple and revealed that it’s a “Shrine to Holy Starlight”. It should be properly re-dedicated during a special midnight ceremony as the stars shine down through the great dome above. Normally, the nobleman would like to have the place completely cleaned and restored before the ceremony, but—wouldn’t you know it—his scholars have told him that the most favorable astrological convergence for the ceremony is fast approaching and there just isn’t time to wait.

The PCs are to escort the scholar and some priests to the site, help them inside, and stand guard against any riffraff or ruffians who might be lurking on the grounds. They are entrusted with an old chunk of stone the nobleman found in storage—a chunk of stone that just fits into a gap in the pool’s retaining wall. As it is, the gap allows any water to flow out of the pool before it can collect.

The backstory continues, but that’s enough to start…I’ll post more in a later update. Who (or what) will the PCs encounter in the dark, supposedly-abandoned temple? What boon (or bane) will come upon them as the stars shine down and midnight approaches?

What I have so far is this top-down plan in Illustrator, which I intend to perspectivize into an isometric view for a feel similar to Dave Sutherland’s Ravenloft maps. I’ll sketch the details in using ProCreate on the iPad, most likely, and lay down some effects in Photoshop. I’ll probably use Illustrator again to put in all the text and save out the PDF.

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