An Unkeyed Dungeon with a Secret


Imagine if-in the last days of your life were spent digging a tunnel.  Down there each bone pile is a mile marker of sorts, telling us how far a man got in his earth-toilin’ before he keeled over from want of food.  A drunkardly group-full of thieves, murderers, and scoundrels died in that dirt hallway thinkin’ they’d be free on the next spoon stroke.  They’re probably spittin’ in their graves, knowin’ all they did was set the next man through closer to freedom.  Leave somethin’ down there, a gift of thanks to those hopelessly dead, lest you be cursed by their cryin’ mothers.


At some point in time, dungeons held a pretty good purpose; holding bad dudes. Here is an unkeyed dungeon for your game, with a secret at the bottom of the oubliette.  Inmates thrown in this dungeon would eventually be lowered or tossed into the pit on the bottom floor and left to die.  If they survived the fall they would set about to find the secret door and finish digging the tunnel where the last man stopped.  Each starting and stopping point is marked by a skeleton or rotting corpse, and each new man picks up the same lead spoon to dig that the first man brought.  Eventually a man broke through to a natural cave system some many feet below the dungeon and went free.  Now if a man plays his tricks right, he could rob a rich man, hide the money, get caught, escape, dig the money up, then scoot to the next civilized settlement and have no one know the better.  I reckon that at some spot in history a man who escaped was caught again, and left a note in some kind of thieves code on the wall of his cell to reveal the secret to other prisoners.  He was likely assumed to be a trickster magician or devilish escape artist and executed by the head gaoler himself.

I am still fucking about with scanning hand drawn maps and tracing them in Inkscape.  I definitely hate how thick some of the lines are, and absent of a grid this map just kinda looks..bad..but I don’t use player maps in my games.  At any rate here it is, and I promise much more to come.

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