Dungeon Jam 1: The Dwarven Underground

June 17, 2008

Dev and I are having a dungeon jam. This is the kick off post. I’ll link to others as we go.

Svartálfaheim was an ancient underground dwarven city. The Svartálfar generally worshipped Moradin the crafting god, but among them lived a sole starlight warlock who claimed he could glimpse the heavens even through fathoms of stone. This warlock, called the Skymind, was vexed by visions of impending doom that would destroy Svartálfaheim utterly. Being practical people, the dwarves placed their face in their artifice, building impressive fortifications and traps that would withstand any invasion. They were ready.

However, the Skymind, driven insane by visions of the horrors to come, somehow opened a portal to a plane of utter madness, bringing about the doom by his own hand. The 147th Grandchilde of Vecna (itself a demon godling) stepped through the portal and Svartálfaheim instantly became an orgy of chaos and destruction, with star-mad dwarves turning on their family members and themselves before being reborn as undead alien horrors.

The sole survivors of Svartálfaheim’s destruction were a few cautious families that had previously moved to the surface. Ruing the failure of their artifacts and war machines to prevent the disaster, they turned away from the worship of Moradin, honoring the Raven Queen as a conduit to the spirits of all those lost. The remaining Svartálfar were now a people wreathed with the ghosts of their dead. Every child was expected to memorize and recite the names of all the lost dwarven houses.

One hundred and forty-seven years later, the original survivors — still around, thanks to the dwarves’ lengthy lifespans — have instructed their grandchildren in the Svartálfar ways. And this new generation is determined to retake their homeland or die trying.

(Yes, so far, this is basically Gimli and his posse retaking Moria from the orcs and Balrog. Suck it.)

7 Responses to “Dungeon Jam 1: The Dwarven Underground”

  1. DevP Says:

    Escalation? Sure.

    Here’s an old minipost of mine. Not sure if I’ll mix it in:

    http://10by10room.forgreatjustice.net/2006/01/02/because-if-its-not-dwarvish-its-crap

  2. Jmstar Says:

    Dvergrheim! Or if you want to get all saga on it, Niðavellir! I know that Snorri Sturluson used Svartálvar (black elves) as a kenning for dwarves…

  3. Jonathan Walton Says:

    Yup. Norse dwarves are clearly more hardcore. Black elves for the win.


  4. […] Jam 3: Break On Through To recap: – Dungeon Jam 1: The Dwarven Underground – Dungeon Jam 2: The Elven […]


  5. […] Jam 5: Ghosts in the Great Machine To recap: – 1: The Dwarven Underground – 2: The Elven Watchtowers – 3: Break on Through – 4: Into the Forgotten […]


  6. […] Jam 7: Among the Barrowkind To recap: – 1: The Dwarven Underground – 2: The Elven Watchtowers – 3: Break on Through – 4: Into the Forgotten Subaqueducts – 5: Ghosts […]


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