What secrets lie within the ancient halls of the forgotten kingdom? What treasures await those with the skill and strength to take it?
The Ruined Halls of Esterfay is a megadungeon that I have been working on for a while now. Last year I ran a weekly campaign for several months using the DCC RPG system to explore this massive complex. The megadungeon is set in the wild north. Once the seat of a sprawling empire that seemingly vanished overnight. The City of Esterfay is just a ruin, nestled against the mountains and the great pine forests.
A Brief History of the City of Loris
Around two hundred years ago, explorers discovered the ruins of the once great city Esterfay. From the destroyed city, rare treasures and rarer magics were recovered by explores, treasure seekers and adventurers. Various camps grew into a semi-permanent settlement along the shores of the river. As these treasures made their way through the southern kingdoms, so too did the stories of the bounty of riches that was waiting in the north. More fortune hunters arrived, and with them a community built up seemingly overnight. Sages from the Isle of Salara to the south established a college to study the historical artifacts. Soon the camp had become a large village, and then a city within a few years. Inns, taverns, blacksmiths and anything else you could imagine. The Gold Rush of the north was not for a mine, but for the wealth hidden away in the sprawling ruins.
With the bountiful natural resources, and the constant stream of valuable treasure, the burgeoning city became a target of raids and piracy on the river. A knight from the southern lands of Salara was named Duke of the Northern Reaches. Sir Loris Endaris became the first Duke, and the city took his name soon after. Bringing a small army and navy, he secured the city from external threats and oversaw the expansion of the city proper.
Since then, much of the old city ruins have been picked clean. Loris has expanded to cover most of the old city, and dozens of smaller villages lay within a week or less from the jewel of the north. Loris boasts one of the largest libraries in the world, and most certainly the largest in the north. The history of ancient Esterfay is a topic debated among the scholars and sages of Loris College. Still, adventure and treasure seeking is the cities' primary attraction to outsiders. Even though the old city ruins of Esterfay have been picked clean, there are other ruins of the great empire within a days travel, including the terrifying Ruined Halls.