The Tel City (Paludia Supplement)
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The ancient capital of the old kingdom, this ruined city contains many old temples and other structures, but is extremely dangerous to enter. After a horde of dragons destroyed the city, they fought each other over the spoils, and most of them died in the ensuing conflict. Today, the city is a dragon graveyard, with some wyrm and great wyrm dragons still alive, asleep on their spoils, and apathetic to the world around them. The draconic descendants of the original attackers are also still alive, and, as a testament to what had happened, many half-dragon lizardfolk are counted among them. There are few residents in the city, and those that still live there must possess some means of immunity to protect themselves from the dangerous energies.
Magical fields from the temples, residual energy from the conflict, improperly stored magical artifacts (many of which leak magical and radioactive energy, although no one recognizes it as radioactive as of yet) and magic from the dead bodies of the dragons have combined to make the area very unstable.
Currently, the City is heavily damaged, with living inhabitants. Bones of dead dragons lie scattered on the floor, and signs of decay are everywhere.
The most notable denizens of the city are the dragons, who are still asleep on their ill-gotten treasures. Apathy and idleness have afflicted the ruins for untold years, and the buildings have mostly crumbled into ruins. Only certain magical structures still stand, and even these are heavily damaged.
The most active inhabitants of the city are the half-dragons. These creatures are mostly half-lizardfolk as well, and are mostly descended from the evil green and black dragons. They are mostly content to hunt in the surrounding countryside for food, and live in relative peace inside of the ruins. Occasionally, a small band will attack a village in the countryside, but they rarely inflict any serious damage.
Ghosts of dead dragons are a hazard to all who live in the city. Fortunately, the emergence of such spirits is rare, unless certain treasures are stolen.
Before entering the Tel City, there are some critical precautions that a party must take or risk death or serious injury:
1.Dangerous Energies: Simply being in the city exposes one to a variety of free-floating energies that can cause harm or even death upon exposure. Some races are immune to these energies, among these are dragons, demons, celestial beings, or anyone with close descent from any of those races; half-dragons are immune, but someone with distant draconic ancestry is not. It is important to know that the lizardfolk are NOT immune to the energies present, and will suffer if exposed for any significant amount of time. Needless to say, humans, dwarves, elves, half-elves, ogres, trolls, centaurs, halfings, half-orcs, orcs, goblinoids, and most other basic, terrestrial races will suffer upon prolonged exposure.
a.Effects: For the first five minutes, there are no significant ill effects. Any time spent after the first five minutes will require a check against subdual damage (1d6) every five minutes. After the first 10 minutes, an additional damage check has to be taken after 10 minutes, starting with 1d6 for the first damaging 10-minute interval of time (11-20 minutes), 2d6 for the next 10 minutes, 3d6 for the next, and so on. A character also has to take a DC 12 constitution check every 10 minutes or be sickened; the constitution check increases by 1 every 10 minutes.
b.Protection: Certain armor material can provide resistance to, or even immunity from the hostile energies. The suit of armor must cover one's entire body, and be made of high quality. The materials which offer immunity include mithral, adamantine, dragonscale, cold iron, and deep crystal. Alchemical silver provides partial (1/2) protection; only half of the ill effects that would otherwise be suffered will be if protected by alchemical silver armor. Darkwood and mundane crystal armor offer no special protection. A spell of endure elements will protect one from ill effects for 30 minutes (even though the spell is still in effect for an entire day), before too much hostile energy undoes the spell's defenses. Casting the spell again won't work, as the hostile energy is still built up on oneself, and is too much to hold back; sort of like rebuilding the same dam on a river after the original one broke due to the river's volume being far too much for it to handle. An antimagic field will protect one from all ill effects, but the spells has to be frequently casted (once every 10 minutes/level.)
2. Artifacts: Many magical items can be found in the ruins, and many an adventuring party would kill to get some of them. Unfortunately, many items are cursed, trapped, or have decayed to the point that they leak magical energy and are unsafe for use.
3. Dragons and Half-Dragons: While most of the dragons are dormant most of the time, their presence is still a great cause for concern. At this point, most of the dragons in the ruins are of the wyrm age category or higher, and pose a serious threat if roused to anger. The half-dragons who inhabit the Tel City consider it their home, and will not take kindly to those who seek to loot it. If adventuring party wishes to obtain some loot, their safest bet is to try to take it from a half-dragon's treasury instead. The reward correlates to the risk; the greater the power of the treasure's owner, the more he has for the party to take.
Temple of the first king: Built beyond living memory of all but the most ancient creatures, the temple was known for its massive size, huge number of priests, and large amount of treasures. Now inhabited by several deadly dragons, this once-great structure serves as a gradually-decaying home for dormant dragons.
Palace of the first king: The largest palace ever built in Paludia, this is the richest ruin in the entire city. While the Temple of the First King had treasures donated to or collected by the priests, this ruin has tribute paid to the king by his many vassals and subjects. Consisting of dozens of rooms and many hidden chambers, this ruin is often difficult to find one's way through. As with other places, dormant dragons can be found here, including a mated pair of green dragons who sleep in the former throne room. Of this pair, the male considers himself to the be "king" of the palace, and the female uses a secret room to build a nest for the eggs she plans to one day lay.
Temple of the swamp: A smaller temple, this structure is inhabited by several half-dragons. Also present is a great wyrm black dragon who has been dormant on his spoils for the past century; he is considered the half-dragons' patriarch. The treasure in this temple is considerably less than that of the larger ones, but it is a good place for less-experienced adventurers to go, as long as the black dragon stays dormant. There is a secret passage leading from this temple to other structures in the city, and this tunnel is adequately shielded from the dangerous energies which infest the ruins.
The south side houses: Known for its unique inhabitant, this area is home to the daughter of two of the dragons who originally attacked the Tel City. She is the youngest, weakest dragon in the city ruins (green dragon, young adult age), and will demand tribute from any party she finds. While most of her time is spent asleep on her pile of treasure, she sometimes patrols the city's southern area, which was a residential neighborhood. There isn't too much treasure to be found here, and apart from the young adult dragon, it is relatively safe; this makes it a good place for parties who have to hide, rest, or spend a good deal of time in one place, as long as the harmful energies of the city are kept at bay. Many of the homes in the section of the city used to house Sauromancers and priests, and the surviving houses have enchantments on them; they may also contain some of the hidden secrets of their long gone inhabitants...
Temple of the first king:
Palace of the first king: