One of the aspects to come out of actually using my megadungeon is that my players are asking me about it. The last time I ran it I was asked why the dungeon was built, and I didn’t have a better answer than “I wanted to make a megadungeon” since I scrapped the dwarven dug mohole idea.
Originally it was going to be located in some european analog landscape with the typical quasi-medieval trappings. It was shifted to the jungle by a player in an early PbP attempt to run the dungeon, and somewhere along the way I added the name Zeteh Zandana to it. I’m pretty sure I was playing with google translate when I came up with that, and I’m not sold on it. It doesn’t quite stick. Stonehell, Dwimmermount, Barrowmaze, Castle of the Mad Archmage, these are names that stick. However, unless I come up with something better, it will continue to be known as the Ruins of Zeteh Zandana.
In the Third Age of the Ancient Empire, the God-Kings build a huge temple complex to the Immortal Creators and Destroyers within the side of the Great Volcano. A stone path that began in the very heart of their capital stretched through the jungle to the base of the fire mountain. From there, stone steps hewn into its side climbed nearly half way to the crater lip, and a grand entrance was fashioned. Carved into the lintel are the words “Zeteh Zandana” in the old language. Thus far they defy all attempts at translation. Through the entrance a labyrinth of corridors, halls, and chambers were excavated, and for hundreds of years it was the center of all activity within the empire.
Then the empire fell. Some say the very Immortals the God-Kings sought to worship and emulate struck them down. Other legends say that the world itself became jealous and caused the Great Volcano to kill them in it’s rage. Yet another places the blame on the the vile acts and decadence of the God-Kings. Whatever the truth, the jungle swallowed the empire and the temple-dungeon was abandoned.
Ages passed. Civilization returned to the jungle and built upon the bones of the Ancient Empire. In the shadow of the Great Volcano a new city stands upon the foundations of the old. The stone steps carved into the living rock leading to the grand entrance of the temple-dungeon have been cleared. Many adventurers have braved the long climb, and some have returned with ancient treasures, both magical and mundane, and tales of the horrors that guard it.
Will you dare to explore the dark halls of Zeteh Zandana?