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GM's Resources

The Splintered Crypt at a Glance

The Splintered Crypt at a Glance

GM's Resources

The Splintered Crypt at a Glance

by Creighton Broadhurst

November 14, 2019

The Splintered Crypt at a Glance

Famed for his unswerving devotion to his celestial lord and his magical sword, Demon Bane, Kal Voren was a paladin-hero of old. For five decades he stood between Ashlar’s commonfolk and the darkness ever-pressing in on the small, isolated domain. Death is an implacable foe, however, and eventually old age caught up with the redoubtable paladin. Laid to rest not in the scared sepulchre below Tor Abbey but among the hills of his youth Kal Voren’s legend—and stories of his legendary blade—live on long after his hidden crypt was lost to time.

A recently landslide, however, has returned Kal Voren’s lost crypt to the world of men. And with it have returned the stories and legends of Demon Bane which is said to rest unclaimed and wielded with him in his sepulchre.

Notable Locations

The Splintered Crypt is a small, self-contained dungeon complex. It has the following notable locales:

  1. The Graven Portal: This heavy stone door wards the tomb. Beautifully ornate, flowing runes decorate the portal.
  2. Crumbled Wall: This portion of the cliff has collapsed, creating a second entrance to the Splintered Tomb. 
  3. Chamber of Wards: Three deadly, camouflaged spear traps ward this chamber (and, originally the chambers beyond). The collapse at location 2 means explorers can bypass this area. 
  4. Tahvo’s Rest: Herein lie the bones of Kal’s faithful squire, Tahvo Ehtaro, who died shortly after his master. Together in life, they rest together in eternal slumber.
  5. Hall of Pillars: Kal Voren’s stone companion guard watch over the approaches to his tomb from four deep wall niches.
  6. Chamber of Deeds: The now faded murals decorating this chamber’s walls celebrate Kal Voren’s most famed victories. The crypt’s architect also included several clever traps here.
  7. False Tomb of Kal Voren: Designed to fool tomb robbers and the like, this tomb is nothing but a decoy.
  8. True Tomb of Kal Voren: Here lie the undisturbed remains of the ancient paladin-hero Kal Voren.

Dungeon Background

The Order of the Watch Eternal has ever stood in the vanguard of the fight against evil and chaos. An order of paladins and warrior-priests devoted to Darlen (LG greater god of Law, Order, Justice and the Sun) its members are heroes and protectors to the commonfolk. Of the many illustrious personages who have filled the order’s ranks few are as well-known or celebrated as the ancient paladin-hero Kal Voren. Riding the land three centuries ago, Kal bore a magical sword of surpassing power. He called his blade Demon Bane, but it had another, older name: Heaven’s Fury.

Kal fought the ever-gathering forces of darkness for almost five decades before dying peacefully in his sleep. Respecting his wishes, the order did not inter one of their greatest heroes in the deep sepulchre beneath Tor Abbey. Instead, they dug for him a hidden tomb in the hills to the west of Dunstone near the nameless hamlet where he had grown up so long ago. Here, the hero rested, among the land of his forefathers. 

However, the world did not forget Kal Voren or the mighty sword which he had borne for so many years. Many folk desired Demon Bane and sought the tomb. Kal Voren had foreseen this and had sent the sword away shortly before his death. This fact was unknown to all but a few at the time and now is all but forgotten, and thus adventurers still search for his tomb. A recent landslip has uncovered the hidden tomb and it is just a matter of time before unscrupulous adventurers loot the place.

About Dungeon Backdrops

You are a GM, but you are busy. You want to write your own modules, but you just don’t have the time. And you don’t want to use commercial modules. You want to make your campaign your own. That’s where the Dungeon Backdrop line comes in! Each Dungeon Backdrop presents a fully fleshed out and lovingly detailed self-contained dungeon ready for you to use as you see fit. Stock the dungeon with your own monsters (and—perhaps—their treasure), decide their back story and you are good to go.  

Every Dungeon Backdrop is carefully designed to be easily inserted into almost any fantasy campaign and is compatible with virtually any fantasy roleplaying game. Dungeon Backdrops: we describe the dungeon, you add the monsters (and the treasure).

Credits & More 

Design by Creighton Broadhurst; Cartography by Dyson Logos

This article is an extract from Dungeon Backdrop: The Splintered Crypt, which is available in 5e, Pathfinder 1 and System Neutral editions.


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