Savage Daggers Peak
The World of Dagger Peak
Note: Much of the Dagger Peak world is left up for the players and game master to create as we go along. As the adventure takes place in a dungeon world (which is a mystery to outsiders) there is no need to waste a lot of time working up a detailed background for the outside world. Besides, it’s more fun and fulfilling for the players to have an actual say in the world as we know it…
Note 2: The World of Dagger Peak is based on a single premise: Keep it Simple. It is heavily influenced by old style dungeon crawls with lots of action. There is a plot behind it all, but in the interest of fun and simplicity (we’re all busy folks), we’re not going to ‘over think it’.
In the beginning
The land of Arda is one of several continents in the world. Many kingdoms and empires have risen and fallen over the centuries. It has become a stereotypical medieval land: hard living, mystical creatures, great heroes, and tragic deaths. Most people know little outside their immediate home towns and villages, instead focusing on their meare day to day survival.
Beroma is one of the more powerful and influential kingdoms in this day and age. Not that they don’t have their own problems….
The Recent Past
One thousand years ago, the Kingdom of Beroma was terrorized by the great dragon Trazeth. Striking out from his lair under Dagger Peak, the dragon wrecked havock. With the raids threatening to destroy his land, the King sent out a call for Heroes. Many entered the dragons lair, and many died. Trazeth increased his attacks in retaliation for the kingdoms insolence and began demanding sacrifices and offerings to spare villages.
When all seemed lost, a lone wizard named Mardoch arrived. A week after strolling into the dragons lair, he returned, bearing the head of the dragon. Beroma rejoiced and the king offered Mardoch treasure, land, and titles.
Instead, Mardoch simply asked for Dagger Peak and the dragons lair as his own, and to be left alone. This the King granted, and the wizard ventured into the caverns and was never seen from again.
Mardoch never left the dungeon, but occasionally servants (magical and otherwise) would venture out for supplies. During these supply runs, nearby villagers would learn that the wizard was expanding on the dragons lair, digging deeper under the mountain. There were rumors that he had found an ancient underground city, dwarven ruins, and more, but none of these could be verified as the wizard would not allow anyone in.
On the two hundredth anniversary of Trazeth’s death, Dagger Peak blew it’s top, raining rock, ash, and lava for miles around. Entire villages were razed and the countryside was devastated. The once peaceful mountain had become a volcano.
A lone survivor emerged from the dragons lair, one of Mardoch’s servants. Badly burned, the man was raving like a lunatic when the kings men found him. They learned that Mardoch had been experimenting with great and ancient spells. He eventually summoned and bound a demon, named Sikath, intending to use it’s abilities to enhance his own. The demon betrayed Mardoch and slew him in a great battle, which resulted in the explosion of Dagger Peak. Despite being victorious, the demon Sikath found it was trapped under the mountain by Mardoch’s powerful magic.
The survivor was cured, physically by clerics, but his mental wounds stayed. Some time later, he would climb Dagger’s Peak and throw himself into the lava pit below. After this, the king of Beroma ordered the dragons lair sealed with a pair of great doors, and a garrison of his finest troops setup camp outside.
In the centuries since, the demon has sent out minions to do tasks it could not do. With the kingdom threatened again, the call went once more for heroes. None were successful. Soon the heroes stopped coming all together, as Dagger Peak became known as a place of certain death.
Three centuries ago, one of the Kings advisers proposed a solution. Those condemned for crimes against the kingdom would be sent into Dagger Peak. There they would serve out their punishment, typically death, or survive as best they could. However, should a prisoner manage to defeat the demon, they would earn their freedom. The king agreed and began sending traitors, murderers, and other vile criminals into the mountain.
Shortly after Beroma began this practice, neighboring kingdoms and Duchies began sending their own prisoners to the Peak, to serve out their life sentences. Dagger’s Peak became the most feared of all sentences throughout the land.
While the judge will state that there is a chance for freedom, no one who has entered has ever returned.
Yesterday you were charged with a crime by a Beroma judge.
Today you are being sentenced….