[nbos] [FM8] Joerdhgardh Map of Week #83 Released"Mark Oliva" Sun Nov 4th, 2012
With the 83rd Map of the Week we look inside the Dwarven Highway beneath
Ódhinn's Fortress in the borderlands town of Ódhinn's House in the Kingdom
of Slovania. This week we see an overland map showing the known path of the
highway extension and the first location along the trail, the dwarven
The Dwarven Highway (Entrance in Main Palace - Location No. 3)
Most humans upon the joerdh never have seen a dwarf nor have they ever heard
of the Dwarven Highways. Those who have heard something of this undeground
transportation network probably have their information from a skáld or a
blue druid or from a third person who has heard the tales from a bardic
figure. The light elves of Karelenland know of the Dwarven Highways and
their tales are taught in the great school for skáldar and blue druids in
the northern Kareli port town of Vaeinaemoeinen's Docks. The light elves
there teach that the Dwarven Highways connect all dwarven thanedoms upon the
joerdh, and they also claim that even long isolated Nidhavellir in the North
is linked to the system. According to the bardic tales, the Dwarven
Highways re a network of natural caves, tunnels, subterranean crevasses and
underground river beds that are linked in many places by dwarven-built
tunnels. There also are constructions away from but near the highways,
where the dwarves closed other natural tunnels and passages that hostile
creatures could use to enter their roadways. In earlier times, the AEsir
Austamaera god-king Ódhinn Borsson had become one of the few non-Escar
humans to gain entry into Midsilver Deep. While there, he negotiated with
the thane Thorin Eikinskjaldi and reached an agreement that resulted in the
dwarves secretly delivering iron items to Ódhinn's Fortress. The dwarves
built this extension of the highways to make those deliveries possible. The
dwarves of Midsilver Deep abadoned this extension and magically sealed it
after Ódhinn and his followers left the old AEsir Empire and migrated back
to Midhgardh in the East. When the Northern Circle claimed abandoned
Ódhinn's Fortress after the fall of the empire, its members discovered the
secret entryway to the highways in the Main Palace and began exploring it.
Just as quickly, they discovered the deadly magic that the dwarves had used
to protect and seal the passage. The first few explorers of the circle
forfeited their lives to the protective runic staves.
However, the circle's high white druid Arnfinnur insisted that the
explorations be resumed. To date, they have succeeded in exploring less
than a mile/a bit more than a kilometer of the road underneath Ódhinn's
House. Their research remains at a dead end at the great sealed gate at
Location No. 10 on the map highway map. A deadly combination of a battleaxe
embedded into the gate and surrounded by runical radicals is more than the
magi of the circle have been able to overcome. That notwithstanding, their
research to date has given them good cause to want to explore more.
Something unrelated to the dwarves has broken into the dwarven tunnels at
several points and then, after leaving, has caused the tunnels of its own
burrowing to collapse, making identification or pursuit imposible to date.
Arnfinnur recognizes that whatever is burrowing into the highway extension
might pose a serious threat to Ódhinn's Fortress. No corpses have been
found in the tunnel. Therefore, the high white druid assumes that whatever
is doing the burrowing either is immune to the dwarven protective magic or
is can withstand it.
The members of the circle will do their utmost to prevent outsiders from
breaking into and entering the highway. However, if a band of human
intruders should succeed, the circle will not attempt to haul it out
immediately. Instead, Arnfinnur's seer, Oern, will magically observe what
the intruders do and find. Only if the circle deems it necessary, will it
enter, intervene and extricate the intruders. The high white druid reasons
that a band capable enough to pass the circle's own powerful defenses also
might be powerful enough to discover things along the highway that have
eluded the circle's own explorers to date.
1. Dwarven Highway Terminal. The large hall on the opposite side of the
door marked – in the view of the dwarves, at least – the end of their domain
and the beginning of Ódhinn's kingdom. The Austamaera could see into the
hall, but the dwarves did not let them enter it. It could house a caravan's
dwarves temporarily along with their freight wagons and the tunnel ponies
that drew them. (See the terminal map.)
2., 7. and 9. Fire traps. Inscribed in the wall is the runic stave
Eldrdaudhigloetun. It will unleash six balls of fire upon any intruders who
pass without password protection. The stave reactivates 10 minutes after
3. Diggings. (Future Map of the Week)
4. Water and an Opening. (Future Map of the Week)
5. Twin graves. (Future Map of the Week)
6. Cold trap. Inscribed in the wall is the runic stave Ísrlíf. Any
intruders who pass without password protection will trigger it, causing the
temperature along the rest of the highway extension to drop to -30°F/-34°C
for 24 hours.
7. Pit and Broken Bridge. (Future Map of the Week).
8. Game master's choice. What did the Northern Circle explorers find here?
This is the place where the game master can season his or her own soup.
10. The great gate. At this point the highway extension is blocked by a
heavy oaken gate. Embeded in the center is a dwarven battleaxe with a head
made of middle.
Key to the Dwarven Highway Terminal floor plan (Highway Location No. 1)
This location corresponds to Location No. 2 in the cellar floor plan of the
fortress' main palace building of Map of the Week No. 80. The terminal was
the end station for dwarves' caravans from Midsilver Deep. It is abandoned
today. Except for the trap that the Northern Circle placed on the fortress'
side of the door at Location No. 1 on the terminal floor plan, all doors in
this area are unlocked, and there are no traps. There are no sources of
illumination here or elsewhere on the mapped extension of the highway. The
Northern Circle already has thoroughly searched the terminal and removed
anything of value. The terminal is sturdy but undecorative dwarves stones
masonry. The terminal ceiling is 20 feet/ 6 m above ground level.
1. Entrance to Ódhinn's Fortress. The Northern Circle magicians keep the
heavy oak door locked. They also have magically trapped the door area.
More details are available in the description of the main palace's cellar
level. There are no traps or other hindrances on the terminal side of the
2. Stable Stalls. Dwarven caravan tunnel poinies were kept here.
3. Heavy oak door.
4. Start of the highway extension.
5. Supply room. All that's left are empty weapon racks and empty dwarven
6. Officers' room. Only stone bed slabs remain.
7. Caravan riders' bunkroom. Only stone bed slabs remain.
8. Heavy oak door.
9. Beyond the terminal. The brick walls continue for 20 feet/6 m. After
that, the Dawrven Highway extension is a tunnel cut through the subterranean
rock and mud.
NOTE FOR FRACTAL MAPPER™ 8 USERS: The overland map is a zoom view of the
Ódhinn's House map which was released as Map of the Week No. 67. It is
activated by by making visible the last four options in the layers list, all
Dwarven Highway options under the menu options Maps/Layers. These layers
were unintentionally omitted in the first Map of the Week release version of
this map. If your version does not have the Dwarven Highway layers, you
will need to download the map again in the current version.
You can get the map and dungeon plan in two versions:
1. The Fractal Mapper (TM) 8 map in FMP format, fully editable, from our
Joerdhgardh web page (1.3 MB - terminal only).
2. As two JPG flat maps of 3000 x 1560 Pixels and 3000 x 1515 Pixels (3.9
MB), available above.
Both versions are released for personal and commercial use under the Open
Game License Version 1.0a, which you can read on the Joerdhgardh website at:
Next week: Ódhinn's Fortress - The Dwarven Highway Diggings
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