Friday, August 22, 2014

The Long Halls of Luroc

Normally, the pictures I post are all unrelated.
But the Long Halls are huge, weird, and old.
There could be anything in there.  Anything.  Even this.
In the karst hills west of Kelzonn (kell-ZAWHN), there is a dungeon known as the Long Halls of Luroc (LOO-rock).  Or at least, that's where it was last reported.  It moves around sometimes.

an exorcism
Luroc the Architect

About 800 years ago there was a powerful spellcaster named Luroc.  This wizard was also known as the Architect, and built many incredible things under the earth and atop it.  Truthfully, that's really all we know about Luroc.  Origin, history, gender--all unknown.

Luroc loved to build.  He or she built not for any king, master, or end, but instead built for the sake of building.  Luroc studied only one thing: construction.  An enormous amount of intellect and effort went towards this singular goal.  Rumors claim that Luroc never slept, and instead sat and waiting, staring at the eastern horizon while waiting for the sun to rise.  And when the new day came, Luroc would rise and begin carving out dungeons.

Descriptions of Luroc vary.  Some say he was a brown-robed cenobite.  Others say that she was a beautiful woman who hid inside a small, fluffy sphere of cloudstuff.  Personally, I believe he was a giant badger.

Luroc was immensely powerful.  A castle could be raised in a day; a tunnel network, hours.  Luroc was also an anarchist, and despised both kings and religions.  While direct actions were sometimes taken against both of these sources of authority, Luroc was also very diligent about making sure that his abandoned creations could never be used toward a political or military purpose.  (Luroc was a pacifist.  Or at least, he abhorred laws and armies.)

And so such constructions were always in remote and/or useless locations.  An alpine castle built four miles above sea level, where inhabitance was impossible.  A desert coliseum, sitting 100 miles from any other settlement or water source.  Alternatively, a construction might be made impractical or unusable. A maze of tubes built atop 40' stilts. A mansion with 80 sealed rooms and not a single door.

Luroc was occasionally invited into cities in order to construct some public utility (a well, a hospital, or monument).  These invitations ceased when it was discovered that everything he built had some secret message encoded into it, always subversive and critical to government.

Everything we know about Luroc we learned from studying his or her constructions, each of which contains messages.  Luroc was a philosopher and a builder, and just as a potter leaves fingerprints on the wet clay, so did Luroc cover the walls with messages.  Many of his biographers (who have had to travel the world to view the many sites) believe that it was not a intentionally outpouring of hypotheses and political thought, but instead the workings of a rabid mind (possibly caused by the underproduction of mucus within the sinuses).

DMs: Use Marx or Rawls or whatever.

Later in life, Luroc took apprentices, who lived a life of privation and hardship.  While Luroc could topple a city wall with a wave of his hand, he or she suffered from starvation, parasites, and mania.  The apprentices moderated some of these effects by sharing food (as well as fleas).  There wasn't much they could do about his "frenzies", nor his long depressions.

Some of Lurocs apprentices went on to become powerful wizards in their own right.  Pashadeen the Inventrix, who invented the elephant and the Five Useful Beasts.  Taimor the Sky-bringer, who discovered air.  Goorum the Fat, who ate Taimor after a dispute involving a stolen cat.  And most notoriously, Vega, who made monsters: the World Maggot, the churtok horrors, and even the lowly yoblins.

Anyway, as all mortals die, so did Luroc.  Probably.

The Dungeon Without an Address

The Long Halls exist as negative space.  Each room is a bubble that travels through the earth without discovering it.  A shadow in the stone.  People call it a dungeon, but really it is better described as a motley correction of wandering rooms that tumble through the earth like a flock of sheep.

Technically, they are an overlapping instantiation of an alternate volume of spacetime.  When the rooms move through earth, they do not disturb it.  When a room moves beneath you, it doesn't risk collapse.  In fact, once famous incident involves a Fangolian shepherd who fell into the Quartz Courtyard when it suddenly yawned open beneath him, like a sinkhole.  (His name was Yakon, and his account of the Long Halls is one of the most complete.)

While some of the rooms in the Long Halls are believed to have been created by Luroc in his or her lifetime, some of the rooms are clearly stolen from other places around the world.  A curxioun opium den, a veldish minaret, about 2/3 of a Shangalore library. . . the list goes on and on.  Famously, the Long Halls also include the king's bed chamber, from what was formerly Ummadiada Castle.  (When King Diadarus discovered the theft, he spent two nights pacing his hallway and demanding it's return, which was now 50' shorter than the hallway in the floor beneath it.  Eventually, sappers were brought in to tunnel in through the walls, which resulted in the Ummadiada Tragedy.

<digression> A non-Euclidean void is when you have a cube.  From the outside, the walls have area and the cube seems to have a volume.  But from the inside there is no volume because there is no space.  A vacuum is a void within air.  A non-Euclidean void is a void within space.  And like vacuums (and other non-Euclidean spaces, pt 1, pt 2) it exerts a "pressure" on the surfaces of its environment.  In the case of a non-Euclidean space, this pressure is exerted on the fabric of space-time.  When the perimeter is collapsed, something analogous to explosive decompression can occur. </digression>

While the rooms are technically non-Euclidean, they have a constant volume and familiar dimensions.  However, the hallways are pure madness.

The hallways are always linear, with a room on each end and no other doors in the middle.  They exist outside of space-time.  Some are believed to be infinite (at least, one exploratory party travelled 60 miles down one before turning back) or have strange quirks of gravity.  One hallway might resemble a mine shaft.  Another hallway might be appropriate for a palace.

The Long Halls of Luroc famously infiltrated Djanza Town during the 933 TFM rebellion.  The authorities never noticed the small tea shops and ragseller's shanties that sprung up overnight within the city, but the rebels quickly learned that the new buildings interiors were much larger than their exterior indicated, and that they were full of useful weapons (which were quickly put to use).

The new buildings--extrusions of the Long Halls--disappeared overnight once the fort was captured, taking several people with them.

this dude totally hangs out in the long halls
The Dream Badger

<digression> I really should write a real post about the Dreamscape (instead of this shitty thing).  Basically, it's like the internet (you can pretend to be anyone, leave messages), except you connect to it by doing the right drugs and going to sleep, and it's only accessible during the full moon.  This is the only form of long-distance communication in Centerra (no sending spells).  People who do this professionally are called moontalkers, and they sleep like, 23 hours a day.

Basically, whenever a person dreams, it's like they're getting on their computer and playing a video game.  But sometimes random people accidentally access the Dreamscape, which is like logging into an MMO.  This is why people try to stay sober during full moons--to minimize the chance of slipping into the Dreamscape and experiencing a Weird Fucking Death.  This is also why some people try to get extra drunk/high during the full moon.  </digression>

The dungeon known as the Long Halls of Luroc is present in the Dreamscape.

This isn't unheard of.  Sentient weapons are often present in the Dreamscape, and for many of them, this is the only direct way they have of making their voices known.  A few animals frequent the dreamscape as well.  Foxes are notorious dreamwalkers.  (Claims that foxes can travel through dreams, however, and unsubstantiated.)  There's even a fish that resembles a bulbous goldfish that can enter the Dreamscape.

Anyway, the Long Halls of Luroc exist in the Dreamscape.  The dungeon appears as a giant badger, who can always be found atop the (the Dreamscape version of) Hungry Mountain, in (the Dreamscape version of) Asria.

The giant badger evinces all of Luroc's personality traits, and even claims to be Luroc.  It's moods range from grumpy and unhelpful to insane.  However, it knows a great deal about the Long Halls.  If any adventurer's want to find that dungeon, talking to the badger would be a good start.  If the badger likes you, it may even send a room to pick you up.

Most scholars believe that the badger is not actually Luroc, but instead of some daemon or spell construct.  The only immortal things in the world are elves and liches, and Luroc was neither.

When someone says "a wizard did it", they are usually talking about Luroc, who was responsible for over 200 weird dungeons scattered across Centerra, frequently in remote or impossible places (like a castle jutting 90 degrees sideways out from a cliffside).  Some of these dungeons have been co-opted towards a new purpose.  As a DM, you'll never need to justify another weird dungeon again.


  1. "Send a room to pick you up". I am adding this to my rumor tables and world lore right now. This is fantastic and would be such a cool place to entice adventurers to find.

  2. Love this! I'm using this now.