Gregor’s Last Redoubt

The ancient structure squatted over the deep crag in the earth known as the Scar, still in remarkably good repair for being abandoned the 200 years since the Plague War. It seemed some other forced had moved in, as undead bands roamed the area around it. Still, the patrols were small and few, this new necromancer was yet weak.

As the sun set, Gildoran crept toward the fort. He’d probably already seen enough to get the scout pay the hierarch had offered him, but there was probably a bonus if he could determine whether or not the new necromancer was Drow. More importantly, Gregor was rumored to have left great treasures upon his death. Surely the new occupant wouldn’t miss anything discreetly taken.

As Gildoran began to climb the hill, a deafening voice shook him from head to toe. “Leave this place, mortal!” Stunned for a moment, Gildoran started to turn to run. No. He hadn’t been seen. It was a magical alarm. His presence was known, but the correct course of action was to hide near oLichr within the fort.

He ran to the building, climbing into a window and huddling there in the shadows while undead patrols converged on this side of the fort. In the dark, Gildoran could only see the silhouette of the necromancer descending from the fort in flight. He seemed too tall to be Drow, but too thin to be Minotaur, or even human. ‘Too thin, perhaps, to be living’, Gildoran thought as the figure’s cape billowed to reveal skeletal hips and rib cage. He was casting. The spell finished with no visible effect, until the necromancer turned his head, fixing deep pits for eyes upon Gildoran’s hiding place. Screaming his disbelief, Gildoran scrambled to get into the fort as the lich began to cast.

Gregor the Plague, a human necromancer trained by Drow at the Scar, looked on the kingdom of the young King Vardor and thought he could take control of it. Vardor proved plucky and despite a good start, eventually Vardor managed to rally enough forces to prevent Gregor taking the battlefield, thus denying him access to new undead. Gregor never won another battle and was forced to retreat and, as the defeats continued, to flee outright as Vardor himself and his closest companions pursued him. Finally, he was forced to return to his fort on the Scar where Vardor caught him and killed him. Satisfied, Vardor returned to his kingdom, leaving Gregor to rise again.

Gregor’s transition to lich form left him significantly weaker in necromancy than he had been in life. As a result, his undead horde is small, as is the area he has them patrol.gregorallHis small fort stands both on the highest hill in the immediate area and on the Scar itself, a seemingly bottomless crag plunging steeply into the earth. In the lowest level of the fort, there is a narrow bridge spanning the chasm which Gregor and his undead can use to cross into the two sides of the fort, though the only door is on the West side of the fort. Windows provide mostly one-way access for the Eastern exterior for his undead patrols, which are sparse on that side.

What might be considered the ground floor is partially underground, especially near the Scar itself where the hill once crowned. On the West, there is a dining area and some storage of long spoiled food which Gregor hasn’t bothered to remove. Stone steps climb to the next level. A secret passage leading to the basement is easily missed, but if looked for becomes apparent do to it’s somewhat frequent use.gregor38The basement is kept completely dark when the hidden doors to the bridge are closed. It serves primarily as access to the bridge and allows access to the East side of the structure where the ground floor is mostly occupied by a wheel constantly turned by undead. Ladders near the wheel also climb to the next level.gregor30On the second level of the East tower, the floor is limited to narrow walkways around a mechanical fixture power by undead below. The mechanism spins massive fans, pulling a persistent breeze though the gaping windows on the North and South. Presumably, in life Gregor disliked the stench of his undead and installed the fans as a way to fill the tower with fresh air. His undead turn it still out of Gregor’s habit and love of power.gregor45The second level of the West tower is primarily transitory with the stairs up to it leading straight on to another stone stair to the open level above. Like the ground floor of the East tower, it contains a large wheel turned by the undead. A small side room contains a third, smaller wheel, perhaps turned by still more undead.

These two wheels turn fans on the level above like those in the East tower, one in the open space above the floor below and the other in a window in Gregor’s personal quarters. On the top level of both towers, the mechanisms have a switch that can be used to lock in another gear that tightens or loosens a rope connecting the two over the Scar. The rope suspends a large bucket (large enough to hold a full grown man) and if loosened from both sides the bucket can be lowered into the Scar itself, eventually bottoming out a shelf and passage in the West wall of the Scar 100 feet down. The passage leads into  the underdark, where he long ago received the tutelage of Drow in the art of necromancy.gregor52Gregor mostly languishes on the top floor of the West tower, obsessing over plans to destroy Vardor. This plan is made possible only by the enchanted staff he hides in the basement. It is an accumulator enchant and for 200 years it has been growing in power until it is now almost powerful enough to kill everyone in the area Gregor knows as Vardor (Vardor has since grown much larger). It won’t be long until he builds up the courage to lead his small horde into the country on a campaign to lure all of their armies to ground zero of his staff’s killing blast.

How would you use Gregor’s Last Redoubt? How would you expect your players to use his staff if they found it?

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