Temple of the Moondragon Root
|Status||Explored circa 833 TA|
The Temple of the Moondragon Root was located in The Netherworld - not the Realm. The Netherworld was destroyed in 833 TA.
From high above the dense canopy of trees that form the Jungle of the Moondragon Root, one can see nothing but trees for leagues and leagues except in the far northern reaches where a mountain range of unscalable peaks can be seen. Occasionally, the stone top of a pyramid can be seen jutting out from a clearing. These strange ziggurats are shrines built by the natives to the great moondragon roots, plants of a strange and alien nature. It is said that each moondragon root is a twisted mass of wood and bark, with large voracious mouths and all-seeing eyes. Atop their hardened form is a massive brain, soft and exposed, sending subtle charms out to any living creature nearby. The woodland creatures are used for food, fueling an appetite that is almost never sated. The natives are used to build stone temples around their massive unmoving bodies, sheltering their fragile brains from the harms of the wilderness. Once protected, these creatures are gods. The denizens of the jungle worship them and spend their lives in service of their every need. The origin of the moondragon root is unknown, although scholars have suggested that they are not of this world.
The great Suel explorer, Gabriela, is said to have made several journeys into the Jungle of the Moondragon Root. Although her last expedition did not return, a page of her notebook was sold by Mardon the Red to the Merchant's Guild where it found its way to the Chapel of St. Gabriela as a relic. "It is not surprising that the denizens of the Jungle of the Moondragon Root have made no appreciable civilizing effect on the lands of Ariandor. For the most part, the jungle is filled with small tribes of aboriginal hunters. The tribes tend to live and hunt in forest "corridors" between the temples where the influences of the moondragon roots do not penetrate. It seems that this land is dominated by about a dozen temples, and I have concluded that the moondragon roots cannot reproduce since no new plants have been discovered since my first journey almost two score years ago. From our base camp near Math's Refuge, we have spent time observing several villages of humans nearby. In this northern area of the jungle, it seems that most of the men are spider hunters, preying on a variety of very large spiders that live in foul-smelling pits in the forest floor. It is evident is that the natives that tend the temples are of the same stock as those that live in the wilderness. However, the former tend to be almost a century more advanced in their technology. Perhaps it is these damn roots. Tomorrow, we head for Ariandor. A cold pint of bitters will be a welcome relief to these humid surroundings. We will travel through the River of the Dead and past the Priests of Youth. I wonder what traps the Elven Shield will hold in store for us this time? Hopefully no more of those giant rats."
Adventures in the Temple of the Moondragon Root
This dungeon consisted of four levels in a pyramid shape (with the lowest level being the largest). It was built around a large moondragon root, a strange plant that seemed to have a charming effect on animals nearby. After leaving the dungeon, the party noticed a number of similar temples dotting the countryside. The events of this dungeon are given on Maps 1 - 4.
Spider Pits of Endicott and the Village of the Spiderhunters
The party stumbled into the spider pits after leaving the Temple of the Moondragon Root. The pits did not seem to have any significance for their quest. The events of this encounter are listed on Map 5. Upon leaving the pits, the party encountered a village of spiderhunting minotaurs. They learned of an outpost of Math (Ishap) built on the side of the mountain.
The party journeyed to Math's Refuge and learned that an army of demons was assaulting the stronghold. The outer walls of the castle were intact. Slipping behind the lines, Fuzzwort questioned the priests in private, and the party learned of an exit to the world of trees through the River of the Dead. It seems that each time the party teleported back to town, the demons made huge progress in following them.