A Chonian settlement in the contested foothills of Baevonia, K’Tarik is a sacred place, not only for the nearby cold mountain spring, but there is also a Grekian temple here. The locals are less welcoming of travelers to K’Tarik than elsewhere in Chonia, owing to the regular incursions from Baevonian war parties.
Dust and Hope
More than a week Waychon and his people roamed the highlands. A fortunate encounter with a free trader allowed them to extend their water supply, but the trader warned that the Steel Men were building a war camp to the south. Time was short. If they could not find a secluded ravine or mountain lake soon, they would perish.
They had lost much. In their flight from Wo’Mataja they had lost people and zevra to the arrows of the Steel Men. The news of Wo’Mataja had not yet reached the warrior tribes who map the True Shore; no aid would come from the plains.
Perhaps the elders were right, afterall. A Spring Camp in the hills was foolish, they said. The Steel Men would not allow it. Their words and warnings haunted him as he looked back down the dusty trail. Only a few dozen remained of those who had followed him to Wo’Mataja, their heads hanging low. Perhaps the elders were right.
The battle had been quick. More of a retreat than a battle, Waychon and his hunters had lured the Steel Men into the ruins, distracting them with traps and ambushes while the rest of his people escaped into the mountains. There were few warriors among them; their tribe was meant to establish a Spring Camp, a place for the elderly and families with young children. When it became clear they had no intention of defending their Spring Camp in the hills, the Steel Men gave up the chase, rather than face more traps.
The old mare they called Tarik is their last hope. She is blind and stumbles over the rocky terrain, but she found the spring at Wo’Mataja for them, and Waychon hoped—believed—she would do so again. He brushed the mare’s mane. She nuzzled his chin. His people continued their march into the mountains.
A Chonian settlement high in the Baevonian mountains, K’Tarik is a sacred place. Cold mountain spring water cascades down a ravine cliffside, feeding a deep pool. The locals are less welcoming of travelers to K’Tarik than elsewhere, for they are a plains people in the mountains. Their safety relies on secrecy.
The only approach into the secluded ravine is through a narrow crevice high on the mountainside. The waterfall is fed from a stream high above. The village sits on a plateau at the base of a sheer cliff from which the slender waterfall cascades over mossy rocks to end in a deep mineral pool. Greenery surrounds the shore and covers the cliffside on which grapes and berries grow wild.
Waychon’s people named this waterfall after their arduous journey to discover this place. The gentle waterfall brings the most valuable commodity of all: clean water. The pool at the base of the waterfall is calm and serene, and is far deeper than one might suspect. Behind the waterfall, not quite hidden from view even when the water flows, stands a pair of grand arched doors.
Underwater Passage: At the GM’s option, there is a passage into the wilds of the Underworld from the depths of this pool.
Gateway of Antiquity
Beyond the arched doors is a grand column-lined hall with regular antechambers along its length. The gates open by themselves with each dawn and close again at dusk. When the Chonians arrived, there was no sign that anyone ever lived here. Within the hall and the surrounding ravine, Waychon’s people have built a thriving village in the weeks since their arrival.
When the gates are closed, runes carved into the columns and walls ignite with arcane energy, lending the room a soft glow. The wall opposite the doors, normally unadorned, takes on a pale sheen as if lit by the moon.
Pillars of the Planes
Eight alabaster pillars stand in front of a rune-carved door; each pillar is marked with a distinctive rune. A character with even passing knowledge of the arcane recognizes each rune as depicting a specific outer plane. This doorway and the chambers beyond are fully detailed in Mini-Dungeon Monthly #6. Many of the villagers have taken up residence in the halls beyond these pillars.
The village Waychon’s people have build at the base of the ravine wall is hidden from afar by the terrain; only those exploring the ravines and valleys of the foothills might stumble upon this mountain oasis. Canvas tents in the Chonian style line the ravine wall leading up to the waterfall and the sanctuary. The tents serve as workshops and a makeshift marketplace. Between the tents the Chonians have built a corral of cobbled stones to herd goats and sheep, but so far only a lone zevra is protected within.
War for Old Grekia
While the party is visiting K’Tarik, the water ceases to flow over the waterfall. Waychon’s scouts have known about the Baevonian war party gathering elsewhere in the foothills, as well as their vanguard who have moved into the mountains above them, at the source of the waterfall.
Dry Runs the Waterfall. The Baevonian war camp has sent a vanguard into the mountains above K’Tarik, there to construct a dam to halt the water’s flow. The Chonians can subsist on the deep pool at the waterfall’s basin for quite some time, but eventually they must either move on or see the waterfall restored. These tactics are nothing new to the nomadic Chonians, but Waychon’s tribe is mostly comprised of the elderly and the very young; capable of defending themselves from natural threats, but not strong enough to drive off an entrenched enemy force. For K’Tarik to become a true, thriving Spring Camp, the water must flow.
Discrete Messengers Wanted: Now that the nomads have established a Spring Camp here at K’Tarik, they must reconnect with the larger tribe. But with few hunters and warriors to spare, Waychon looks to friendly travelers to spread the word to any Chonians they may encounter on their journey, while at the same time using discretion when dealing with their militant neighbors. Waychon knows they cannot withstand a direct assault by the Baevonians, and word of Chonian reinforcements will likely spur an assault.
Orcs in the Hills: Orcs have become a common sight in the foothills of the Savathar Mountains of late. Small raiding parties have begun harassing the lowland oases and highland fort-villages. Larger war parties, draped in blood red cloaks, have been seen in the passes that lead to Ogre Canyon. Before long, the people of Baevonia and Chonia alike will have a common enemy.
Underworld Passage: If the deep pool at K’Tarik runs dry—as will happen if the Baevonian dam remains in place long enough—the waterfall deep in the Underworld fed by the pool also runs dry. Not long after, the ahool whose moss caverns surround that waterfall beneath the earth will look upward for answers. Ahoolings looking to prove themselves will arrive first; if they are unable to restore the water’s flow, true ahool will emerge from the darkness, with nothing but destruction and subjugation for those in their path.
Planar Machinations: Xaxaxar the cambion invades the dreams of the Chonians at K’Tarik; its goal is to free its master from the statue prison within the Pillars of the Planes. See Mini-Dungeon Monthly #6 for details.
Next week the War For Old Grekia concludes with the Baevonian threat to K’Tarik! Preparing to use the region of Old Grekia to introduce your players to the dungeon of Rultmoork? Join our Discord server and let us know what else is you need!