The Binder’s Sanctum is a dungeon for fantasy roleplaying games set in a forest environment. The dungeon is setting and system neutral for easy adaption and improvisation.

Background

The Binder’s Sanctum is the ruins of an old wizard’s stronghold on the outskirts of an ancient forest. The Binder was an artificer who built golems as guards against the demons hiding in the shadows of the Old Empire.

Invaders, cultists and monsters has rebuilt, destroyed and looted the site numerous times since the Fall of the Old Empire. Little remain of the ruin’s original structures.  Scholars and rangers have gathered what information still exists about the site, although much is lost.

Yet secrets remain below, old spells linger here drawing those who seek to tap the dark powers the Binder drew on.

Entrances

The Binder’s Sanctum has at least two entrances. Only the stairs in the ruins is known to rangers and scholars.

Overgrown Grand Stair. The dungeons has one known entrance, an overgrown and half-covered grand stair down in the ruins on a hilltop in the forest. The stairs are overgrown is moss and vines, and cracked from wear and exposure.

The Dragon Cave Tunnel. The lower level of the dungeon is a vast cave believed to be lair for a brood of dragons. Some ranger claim having seen a narrow cave in the overgrown side of a nearby hillside, but none have explored them beyond the entrance and a few caves below and returned alive.

Areas

The walls of the dungeon are masonic stone. Most of the areas have 10-foot ceilings. Vines, moss, and fungi cover all surfaces, and there is a thin layer of festering slush on the floor. Soot cover the walls and ceiling.

The Demon’s Foyer and the Binder’s Lab

The Binder’s Sanctum Entry Hall. A large stone, partially destroyed, statue of the Demon Lord dominate the entry hall. The ceiling is 20 foot high in this area.

The Binder’s Old Quarters. The Binder lived in cramped living quarters close to the lab in the innermost part of the dungeon. Cultist refurnished the area with a dark altar at some point, and still occasionally use the area as a safe house.

Recently a band of ogres laired here, leaving the area is littered with garbage, broken goods, and rotting carcasses.

The Binder’s Ritual Hall.  The hall on the left hand from the entrance is dedicated to a Great Ritual. There is powerful lingering magic here, and cultists seek to reactive the spell for unknown purposes.

The pentagram and symbols on the floor and wall may have one of several effects:

  1. Binding spells with faint strands of magic disappearing into thin air. A dark presence hangs over the room, and someone is watching from afar.
  2. Translocation diagrams and runes, and symbols representing known locations around the world.
  3. Planar diagrams point towards other worlds and runes represents.

The Dragon’s Well. The chamber on the right hand from the entrance is a 10 x 15 foot well down into the darkness of the Dragon Caves below.

The Binder's Sanctum Dungeon.

The Binder’s Sanctum.

d6 Random Dungeon Features

  1. The Horde Altar. Stones and decorated leather is set up as a primitive altar to dark war gods.
  2. The Horde Map. You find a crude calfskin map of the forest and the surrounding areas. Scratchings clearly mark the nearby settlements, including a wall symbol under the walled communities.
  3. Deserted Horde Camp. The area has many filthy furs, sleeping bags, and rugs. There is an old campfire at the center of the room.
  4. Lost Crates. A stack of crates of trade goods with the symbol of a well-known trade company in the area. Someone has opened the crates, but the contents seem undamaged. The cargo manifest show a guild in the area is the owner.
  5. Pile of Corpses. A pile of a dozen corpses is stacked along one of the chamber walls. The dead are of all ages, stripped of clothing and show signs of violence.
  6. Ritualistic Wall Painting. A brightly colored symbol is painted on one of the walls. The symbol is symmetrical and oddly hypnotic, and there is a presence as if someone is watching the room.

d12 Random Dungeon Encounters

  1. 3d6 brigands or bandits
  2. 1d6 cultists
  3. 3d8 goblins
  4. 3d8 orcs
  5. 1d8 ogres
  6. 1d6 trolls
  7. 1d4 giant spiders
  8. 2d4 ghouls
  9. 1d6 wights
  10. 1d4 vampires
  11. 1d6 wraiths
  12. a green dragon

d4 Random Dark Secrets and Developments

  1. The Demonic Presence. The Demon Lord desire to claim the dungeon. A green dragon and a band of ogres ousted the Demon Lord’s presence sometime in the past, but the conflict remain unsolved.
  2. The Dark Master. Darkness is gathering in the wilderness preparing an invasion of the forest and the surrounding lands. Wraiths move among the trees.
  3. The Dragon Cult. A cult of dragon worshipers is preparing to claim the dungeon, working from a nearby city. The cult is wealthy and will use sellswords to clear the area before the cultists move in.
  4. The Fey Curse. The fey is withering away on the sanctum, with vines, erosion, and fungi slowing destroying the site. Elemental spells have higher potency in the area, sometimes manifesting in odd magic phenomena. Elder fey sometimes listens in on the dungeon and may answer if anyone attempts to tap into their power.

Closing Notes

I inteded to use Dyson Logos’ the Golem-Crypt of Ul-Vir the Mad for my game, but eventually redrew the map to fit a changing story.

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