Immediately through the Hall of Altars, and at the heart of Korgaran’s Succession, is the Sphere. The Sphere is, for all intents and purposes, Korgaran‘s ritual ground within the dungeon. Its primary purpose is to provide a buffer between the ritual grounds, whose worshipers are largely hostile toward each other. As in the building of the Rotating Labyrinth, Korgaran created this buffer in his eccentric fashion. The Sphere, filled with winding tunnels and stairs, rotates sporadically. Giant metal bearings around the outside allow it to turn with little friction as the weight at the center shifts.
The Sphere has six entrances, one toward the Hall of Altars and one toward each of the ritual grounds of the five other deities. The South entrance leads from the Hall of Altars, the West to Omalin‘s ritual ground, the East to Grethgan‘s, the North to Mythalis‘, the upper to Glaineth‘s, and the lower to Quudala‘s. Priests accessing their ritual grounds would have a Priest of Korgaran to guide them when the complex was still active. Now that Korgaran’s followers have lost their knowledge of the Sphere, the worshipers remaining in the area are forced to find their way alone, often dying in the attempt as the sphere turns to drop them down a shaft.
While ladders on the walls of certain tunnels make it possible to climb them when they are vertical shafts, but others become all but impassable. Ancient Korgaran Priests knew which paths were open and would often have a colleague in the Hall of Altars, using the stone sphere at [C] to turn the Sphere to a favorable rotation. The priests also knew the locations of the “small rooms,” closed off with boltable doors and small enough to prevent serious injury no matter how the sphere turns.
Lightning Slugs infest the maze. They find it an excellent source of carrion as explorers fall to their deaths. Their ability to climb on walls gives them an advantage in the Sphere where they are among the few that can move safely.
At the center of the maze, hidden behind a well concealed secret door in a hard to reach place, is a large open chamber. The chamber is home to an old, but stunted Adamantite Dragon, put there by Korgaran as the moving counter weight to turn the sphere. It is 75 feet long, no bigger than it would be at 70 years old. It is content to roll about in the sphere, as moved upon by Korgaran’s magic, while it sleeps, surrounded by a modest wealth of treasure. It’s fitful sleep is governed by the sphere in the Hall of Altars, turning the sphere as its 8,000 ton body tumbles into place. Without someone to control the sphere, the dragon will move randomly.
The Sphere itself is only about a football field across, but it holds a lot of volume, more than the Rotating Labyrinth, and while the maze itself doesn’t change, the shift in gravity makes it just as complicated to navigate.
Like the Rotating Labyrinth, Korgaran has hidden treasure rooms in the Sphere. The first treasure room is built in such a way to keep the rattling treasure from falling out where it can be more easily heard. It’s secret door will only be suspect when the one beside it is found.
The lesser treasure room is in a far corner of the sphere, but it’s rattling is easily heard when passing near it. It’s secret door is in a place that might be suspected, but it has no major hints as to it’s location besides the location itself.
Some of the other nuances of the maze, the rooms and the intersections of the tunnel, can only be explored by play. Maybe someday my players will make it to the Tripik area and have the chance to explore this place and its 16 possible orientations.
What do you think of The Sphere? An interesting place for your players to adventure? Excited to see the 5 ritual grounds that lie beyond it? Let us know in the comments below!