By Jeff Quick
DR, one of the major wells in Eartheart dried up. This well provided water
for an entire Deeperdown clan neighborhood within the city. After divination
and thorough hydrological inspection, the Eartheart Water Inspection Council
determined that this failure was purely natural -- not an attack, not
the result of an accident, and unrelated to any known prophesies. The
well simply dried up. It seemed an almost pleasant change for a major
occurrence not to be tied to some portent of doom. Once the dwarves were
done feeling relieved though, they still had a water supply problem to
representatives studied the problem for two months. When they returned
with their proposals, they had three options. Their first option, digging
to connect the well with an underground lake several miles away, was ruined
when an aboleth suddenly took up residence in the lake and the aberration's
scum fouled the waters. The second option proved unfeasible when the necessary
aqueducts to bring water in passed through dense residential areas of
Eartheart. The third option was no one's favorite, but the only feasible
solution: Go to the surface for water.
representatives had found a suitable lake about three days' pony ride
south of the Rift in a wooded glen. It was clean water, fed by two streams,
in the open Shaar. After some observation, it seemed that only animals
and a wemic tribe knew of its existence. Though relying on a surface lake
for water seemed unorthodox and perhaps even a little risky, the dwarves
decided to try it.
dispatched a wizard and a team of engineers to the site. The engineers
built temporary dams and drained the lake. Then the wizard set about the
muddy task of creating a portal in the floor of the lake and the
engineers began moving earth to create a deeper reservoir. When done,
the engineers installed a mithral grate over the portal to prevent
intrusion, and the wizard summoned a Huge water elemental to stand guard
in the water. Then the dwarves released their dams, stopped up the lake's
outflow, and watched their new reservoir begin to fill. They built an
underground guard bunker next to the reservoir for dwarven warriors to
keep watch. Then they left a dozen stout warriors to look over it and
rode back to the Rift.
is delimited by a 1-foot diameter ring of stones, which are carved with
runes and arranged in shapes of larger runes. It is one-way and always
open, allowing a constant flood of water through. Within Eartheart, the
water appears from the ceiling above an open plaza in the Deeperdown clan
neighborhood. In a thunderous cascade, the water spills into a specially
carved basin that serves as both water supply and public fountain, serving
the community splendidly.
has worked for the last 580 years, with all the precision that one would
expect from a dwarven engineering project. Only the guard has slipped
over the years. As time wore on, and the reservoir began to seem safe
and stable, the guard positions posted at the reservoir were reassigned
to other posts. Today, only a single dwarf, Rauthas Deeperdown (N male
dwarf Drd9), lives in the old bunker, keeping watch over the reservoir.
As a full-blooded Deeperdown, Rauthas feels it is his duty to make sure
that the water remains undisturbed. He also prefers the solitude, even
if it is above ground. The elemental remains, vigilant as ever, and the
grate is still as tough as the day it was bolted down into the surrounding
other things have changed. An evil water genasi from Dambrath, Mavesta
Krinindo (LE female water genasi Clr5) has discovered the gold dwarves'
water supply. She has reported the find to her half-drow masters, and
they have devised a terrible plan. Mavesta is to take a score of rogue
and warrior confederates to kill Rauthas. Then they intend to poison the
reservoir and wait for the dwarves to sicken and die. Once the poison
has had time to set in, they will enter the city through the portal
in water form and kill everyone they find. What the half-drow believe
they will accomplish by doing this remains their own secret.
to Incorporate the Deeperdown Reservoir Portal Into Your Campaign
- The PCs might learn
of the plot in Dambrath and either try to stop it or warn the dwarves
of the coming doom.
- The PCs are visiting
dwarves in the Deeperdown neighborhood at a time when many of the dwarves
are beginning to sicken or die. Investigations into the matter might
lead the PCs to find out that the water is the source of it.
- While traveling
in the southern Shaar, higher-level PCs come across Rauthas's decaying
body. Tracks or clues lead the PCs to the reservoir where they see nearly
two dozen half-drow and a water genasi drinking potions, changing into
a watery form, and slipping away into the reservoir.
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