Dreamers Deep - A Strange Aeon's Campaign
Upianshe’s paternal family operated a caravan that traveled throughout Ninshabur in that empire’s final decades. On the family’s annual circuit between the great Ninshaburian cities, she noticed strange signs in three of them. She recorded everything she observed, and on the third year, she took her findings to the city of Teralindar’s guards. She explained her theory of a subterranean mastermind who manipulated the markets for sinister purposes—an idea the authorities laughed off as playful fancies. Undeterred, Upianshe stole her mother’s sword and descended into the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the city. Four days later, she emerged, dragging the body of a dark naga behind her.
In recognition for her service, Ninshabur’s finest enchanted her family blade to strike down other threats to the empire. She continued to learn and question long-held assumptions—especially those superstitions of unexplored wonders within the empire’s own borders. Intent on disproving these wild tales about the Parchlands, she and her staunchest academic supporters assembled an expedition deep into that forbidden desert.
At first they found no threats, merely an abandoned city on the banks of a small crater lake. Upianshe coined the name “Neruzavin” (or “Cradle of Heaven”) while her team set up camp and began exploring the unsettling architecture. When the terrible dreams began afflicting
her team, Upianshe at first dismissed the signs because no nightmares had visited her. Her team’s behavior quickly became erratic, and she traced the source of their corruption to the lake too late. By the time she discovered signs of Xhamen-Dor, her entire team had been infected, and she was beset upon by her colleagues. When it became clear that they could not capture her alive, they tore her to pieces. She has haunted the city as a ghost ever since,
constantly reexamining her findings, second-guessing her conclusions, and blaming herself for not sensing the slumbering madness within the city sooner.
Millennia of relative solitude and self-loathing have twisted Upianshe into a hateful spirit, and when first encountered, she is a terrible foe the PCs must defeat. Once subdued, she is willing to relate her life’s accomplishments, explain what she knows of Neruzavin, provide an educated assessment of what dwells in the lake, and offer the PCs a relatively safe place to rest.
Unfortunately, Upianshe’s despair and failure bind her to Neruzavin, and they inevitably goad her into madness once more. Only by cleansing Neruzavin of evil and restoring her family’s legacy can she permanently regain her sanity and join the River of Souls. Doing so requires the PCs’ assistance with three goals.
First, they must recover her sword Teralindar’s Honor. Second, they must defeat the flying polyps in the undercity and seal them away once more. Finally, they must swear to Upianshe that they will destroy the evil that lives within the lake.