The Palace in Death
(August 24, 2015)

About 12 miles north of where the Cane Road crosses the river Malakha, a great earthen mound rises malignantly from the plain. Centuries ago, it was the Palace in Death of the Anmalakhan sorceror-kings, a monument clad in platinum and obsidian. Since then, its outer shell has been stripped, and time and nature have whittled its stone facade into earth and gravel. However, legend whispers of unnumbered treasures — and unspeakable perils — behind the Palace’s Six Gates and One. Deep in those silent chambers, too, the sorceror-kings’ most prized relics throb with arcane malice, casting a shadow of dark magic for miles in every direction. All the righteous kingdoms would pay dearly for the destruction of those instruments of evil; others would pay even more dearly for their possession.

The town of Ombridge, at the bridge across the Malakha, exists principally as a waypost for the traders that ply the Cane Road. Its second industry, however, is serving and supplying the adventurers who travel from all around to try their skill against the dangers within the Palace. Half the able-bodied adults in the town have traveled at least as far as the semi-permanent camp before the Silent Maw, the most commonly used of the Six Gates and One. Many of them know some of the Palace’s secrets, either from experience or from whispers gleaned from adventurers who survived at least one foray into its hazards. Or, some whisper, from hidden lore handed down to the celebrants of the forbidden cult of Anmalakhan, still unquelled after so many years.

The Palace is a very large dungeon complex, comprising the tombs and appurtenant chapels and treasuries of at least a dozen sorceror-kings. There are extensive, and extremely deadly, traps all through the complex. A frontal assault will probably be the death of all but the most potent adventuring parties. However, an equally important part of adventuring in the Palace is to engage with the people of Ombridge, become part of their lives and their politics, and tease out the myriad hints and clues to the Palace’s secrets that are known among the townsfolk.

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