Dungeon of Guldur Building / Landmark in Scarterra | World Anvil

Dungeon of Guldur

The Dungeon of Guldur is a set of First Age ruins about fifty miles north of the land of Fumaya's placing it on the edge of the Great Colassian Tundra.   Centuries ago Guldur the lich set this up as his hidden later so he could stew in his obsessive compulsive behavior and while away eternity in his labortory.   So far, any adventurer or curious orc (mostly from the Dirty Crow tribe that stumbled into these ruins have been slain. That is until Neshik the gnome and company finally beat Guldur by the sking of their teeth

Purpose / Function

Originally created as a watch tower for dragons and giants. It was repurposed into a hidden lair for a xenophobic OCD lich.


Upon occupying the ruins, Guldur crafted a wide variety of traps to encourage his privacy.   A feral wendigo was in the area and Guldur subtly encouraged it to dwell in the entry way of his dungeon as a de facto guard.   The area was trapped primarily with caltrops a few trap door spiked pits, and lots of containers booby trapped with explosive ruins. Guldur is an OCD about mathematical perfection so a lot of the traps are evenly spaced. Once the patterns are deduced, avoiding the traps become easier.


Dungeon Entrance

  The top of the tower sticks out of the ground like a tilted crown. The entrance to the tower is now the entrance to the dungeon. The entrance was big enough for a dragon or giant to climb up the stairs. Erosion and centuries of sediment makes the entrance look a bit like a cave thought it’s a bit too regular for a cave.  

Old Guard Stairway

  A spiral stair case goes around the building. Given that the tower is on its side, sometimes the stairs on their floor, sometimes the ceiling, sometimes the walls. Centuries of snow melting and refreezing has filled this area with ice and dirt. The old stairway provides cover but not great cover.   Guldur has mixed in some caltrops amongst the floor, especially deeper among the tower. Guldur poisons the spikes but the poison gets eroded by the elements so not all of them are poisoned.   There are random ice patches that provide a tripping hazard, especially in a fight. The wendigo knows where the spikes are and never slips on ice patches. It is clever enough to lure, goad, or push enemies onto spikes or ice slicks. Or at least it was before it was slain.    

Top Floor

  This used to be where the ancient dragon lord laired. Any of the original dragon’s treasure is long gone. The wall murals are eroded away. Any sculptures is rubble. There be some stone remnants of dragon sized couches and beds minus the cushion. The large windows have just let mud and sediment creep in.   The Wendigo lairs here. Any gnawed on bones that Guldur cannot use is left here. In fact there are lots of gnawed on bones of tiny animals here.   The varied rubble provides great cover for those familiar with it.   Guldur hid a treasure chest in one of the dirt piles barely sticking out. A tiny spring activated traps will shoot poisoned needles near the locking mechanism. The chest will explode if it’s opened by guile or force for ten dice at the source. To add insult to injury, it holds one copper piece. Guldur reuses this exact style of trap many times.  

Second Floor

  In the First Age, this area was a guard house/servants’ quarters for giants and other thurakel. There aren’t really any relics from this era surviving as nothing made for the thurekal was built to last.   It gets colder underground. A lot of water, and its ice roughly 11 months of the year. Less dirt was able to poor in, but dust is prevalent in any dry area. Guldur put in an elaborate trap door with poisoned spikes, but unfortunately for him it’s relatively obvious. There is a rectangle on the floor that is ice and water free with less dust than the rest of the dungeon. Even in poor light it’s pretty easy to spot.   A giant pile of refuse is along the wall. It’s made up corpse parts, wood scraps, parts of dead adventurers, destroyed skeleton servants (most undead can only be reanimated once), and anything else Guldur opts to throw away. The refuse pile was seeded with poisonous spikes and fake treasure chests rigged with traps like the first one.  

Third Floor (Guldur’s Vestibule)

  In the First Age, this area was the rough equivalent of a commons area and banquet hall though no recognizable remnants of the First Age artifact remains unless a would-be archaeologist was very thorough.   There is a very obvious painted line on the floor. Also obvious. Beyond the line is perfectly dust free. This is where Guldur orders his janitors to start and end their cleaning. Crossing the line triggers a magical alarm unless would be intruders spot and dispel the alarm spell. This spell can only be detected by divination magic but the painted line and suspicious cleanliness should get the guard up of any seasoned adventurer.   The alarm spell is only triggered by the living, undead can enter and leave the warded area without issue.   If the adventurers were noisy, Guldur will have his best minions here read to intercept them. If not they will encounter about 20% or Guldur’s undead minions. Guldur repurposed the stonework to give his skeleton archers medium cover.   Either way there are undead janitors waiting in the wings. Regardless of who wins, when the fighting stops, the undead janitors will clean up the aftermath. Assuming the PCs leave the janitors alone, they will paw through the fallen, separate out the metal, corpse, and other remains into three large boxes that are labeled as such.   If the adventurers are really patient and subtle and stake the area out for hours, Guldur might come to check his boxes, but it’s extremely unlikely they would get this far without alerting him.  

Fourth Floor (Guilder’s Workshop)

  Along the walls are a wide variety of mathematical figures and equations including pi calculated to three hundred digits.   A separate alarm spell is here. This area has been repurposed into a work space. The walls are painted over with common mathematical and alchemical formulas. There is both a full well-kept blacksmith forge here and a decent alchemical lab. Along one wall there are hundreds of books. Mostly fakes rigged to explode but if a player figures out the Pi riddle (3.1415etc, they can grab the real books and leave the traps behind. Three fake books, one real book, one fake book, one real book, four fake books, one real book, one fake book…   There are a bunch of bins of valuables. Though fewer of them are trapped, three good ones, one fake one, one good one, one fake one, four good ones, one fake one. Etc.   Any useful weapons Guldur collects from dead adventurers or unlucky Dirty Crow tribe orcs are stored in bins. Scrap metal is repurposed into bars to be reshaped into stuff later. Any gold, silver, and copper coins Guldur found were also melted down and reshaped into five pound ingots. Also included are regents used for necromancy and abjuration spells.   There’s a secret compartment with a copy of Guldur’s spell book with every trap Guldur could muster. Redundant Explosive Runes spells, poisoned needles, ans a trap to smash hands that reach for it.   If the invaders were really subtle they might surprise Guldur in his workshop here along 30% of his combat capable minions. If they were not very subtle, Guldur will probably throw everything he has left at them here. If the adventurrs utterly crushed Guldur’s advance guards in dramatic fashion, cowardly Guldur will throw up token minions here and fall back between to his defensive line in the fifth floor.    

Fifth Floor (Guldur's Inner Lair)

  Guldur slumbers here and keeps gems, magic items, rarest regents, poison stores, and reserve corpses, (complete with armor and poisoned weapons). A necromancer of Guldur’s can only maintain about a hundred health levels worth of combat capable undead minions at any given time. Guldur keeps a few corpses primed and ready to go to replace losses at a moment's notice.   He has hidden a copy of his spell book, heavily trapped and warded like the first one. There is a THIRD hidden copy in the wilderness outside the dungeon but it’s unlikely anyone would think to look for it.   There is also lots of cover for shooting from Guldur’s end, pits traps, and Guldur can trigger blocks to fall from the ceiling by flipping switches.   Behind all this is an underground passageway into Scarnoctis leading to a large underground lake. Also, Guldur excavated a secret tunnel headiing above ground so he could have an emergency exit to the surface.


Guldur relies primarily on exploding box traps and poisoned caltrops, but he also has pit traps in the floor throughout the complex and boulders falling from the ceiling as his last line of dense.   The main defense is the wendigo prowling at the entrance (which will ignore undead) and Guldur's dozens of skeleton warriors.


In the FIrst Age, this was a four story watchtower on the edge of the frontier. Note, "four story watch tower" is relative, this was a watch tower for giants and dragons so it would be the equivalent to a ten story tower constructed by humans.   Never particularly important. The tower was mostly used by giants with the top floor reserved mostly for the draconic lord or lady in charge. Usually the tower housed one or two dragons and about twenty giants.   At the onset of the First Unmaking, the tower was abandoned because it was guarding the border of an ancient nation which was on the verge of collapsing and therefore did not need to guard it's frontier. The elemental chaos of the Unmaking knocked down the tower with a combination of earthquakes, floods, and/or high winds.   The tower fell over and then was covered with millinea of sediment.
First Unmaking
Founding Date
Parent Location
Related Report (Primary Locations)

Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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