These things are all over the place! Take a look at the map of Canus. Anything labeled orange is an aberrant ruin.
Much like the tribes in Verda, I want to make all of Exploration Age’s various ruins of its first inhabitants variable and easy to use on the fly. This means that everyone playing an Exploration Age game will have a slightly different experience which makes every campaign fun and unique. Take a look at this excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Setting and let me know what you think!
Though much of their culture and history remains mysterious, there is evidence abound that Canus was once ruled by aberrants. Even remote Glacius was once home to these bizarre creatures. Various ruined cities and settlements are now home to dangerous creatures, mind-bending dungeons, and fantastic technology. Items discovered exploring aberrant ruins led to the creation of airships, siege weapons, firearms, and the Jackrabbit.
Aberrant ruins make perfect homes for wild animals and monsters which has helped earn them a dangerous reputation. The well-designed architecture of the aberrants means many of their walls, ceilings, and tunnels are still standing millennia later, providing shelter for these creatures and bandits on the run. Certain types of aberrant ruins, such as military installations, research facilities, and prisons have traps which are still active or may even be home to millennia-old beasts waiting to be discovered. Despite the danger, strange and wonderful items found amongst the ruins attract archaeological digs, cultists, and adventurers both good and evil.
One interesting feature all aberrant ruins share is that their structures are built down into the ground, rather than high into the air. Since the aberrants main enemies were high-flying dragons, it was better for their defense to burrow into the ground, rather than build structures that towered into the sky. Sometimes the complexes could be many stories deep, like the apartment complexes that occur in ruined aberrant cities.
Below is a list of known aberrant ruins on the map of Canus.
- Alcar’ach – Mine
- Dul’karash – Roll to determine function
- Kalusare – Roll to determine function
- Xal’tith – Roll to determine function
- Bearick Tur – City
- Jaxinoth – Roll to determine function
- Vayvixtus – Roll to determine function
- Xi’khu’litar – Roll to determine function
- Cara’maynor – Roll to determine function
- Fera Dun – Prison
- Hildar Mynktor – Roll to determine function
- Xarut’ketch – Roll to determine function
- Belnogasth – Military Installation
- Tela’machra – Roll to determine function
- Zaru’tor – Roll to determine function
- Illfibratas – Roll to determine function
- Olhydana – Research Facility
- Allut’bru – Roll to determine function
- Dul Gata – Roll to determine function
- Feltabul – Roll to determine function
- Hur’nura – Roll to determine function
- Nara Goon – Roll to determine function
- Viatur – Roll to determine function
- Yulush – Roll to determine function
- New Aeranore
- Hul’zal – Roll to determine function
- Shuzal – Roll to determine function
- New Bragonay
- Konda’con – Roll to determine function
- Numor’ask – Roll to determine function
- Orrathok – Roll to determine function
- Wolturak – Roll to determine function
- New Marrial
- Gullal – Roll to determine function
- Hivit’okur – Roll to determine function
- Rosta’la – Roll to determine function
- Vigun’kil – Roll to determine function
- Xittar – Roll to determine function
- New Parian
- Arat’zhur – Roll to determine function
- Cagre’mach – Roll to determine function
- Eldkazhul – Roll to determine function
- Noonishtar – Roll to determine function
- Tunish’ibul – Roll to determine function
- Xaxa’tactac – Roll to determine function
- New Taliana
- Kum’tar – Roll to determine function
- Lurarara’gush – Roll to determine function
- Murgadur – Roll to determine function
- Tarongal – Roll to determine function
- Uvalor-Merrith – Roll to determine function
- New Aeranore
PCs may come across unlisted aberrant ruins while exploring blank spots on the map of Canus, or they may come across one of the “Roll to determine function” ruins listed above. GMs may roll 1d20 on the table below to determine the function of the aberrant ruin or choose whatever makes the best story for their campaign.
|1 – 9||Town|
|10 – 14||Military Installation|
|15 – 16||City|
|17 – 18||Mine|
- Town These ruins were once small settlements of less than a thousand aberrants. It is mostly ruined dwellings and farms, though there could be a temple, shop, small laboratory, library, or inn here and there amongst the destroyed homes.
- Military Installation The second most common structure the aberrants left behind. Since their war with the dragons lasted thousands of years, the aberrants built many, many forts, barracks, keeps, towers, castles, etc. The exact nature of the ruin is up to the GM. A military installation may have remnants of sleeping quarters, training rooms, guard posts, mess halls, holding cells, and even stables for more humanoid aberrants which might ride a mount (such as illithids). Unique aberrant weapon and defense technology can sometimes be found in these ruins, but beware the traps and constructs that may still be active here.
- City Like the towns, aberrant cities are mainly dwellings. However, these dwellings go much deeper into the ground, as city aberrants had buildings similar to our real world apartment complexes. In addition, most aberrant cities were divided into neighborhoods based on race (e.g. beholders in one area, ettercaps in another). A city will usually have several shops, inns, guard houses, political structures, monuments, libraries, labs, temples, or anything else one might find in a place where huge groups of individuals live together.
- Mine Aberrants mined iron for weapons, gems for magic and psionics, and precious metals for magic items and currency. The exact nature of the mine is up to the GM, but in the tunnels of one of these structures adventurers may find strange mining equipment, a vein of untapped ore, a passage to The Underdark, or things uncovered by the aberrants even they weren’t expecting. Aberrant mines are extremely dangerous and could be crawling with all sorts of monsters from dark mantles to undead aberrant miners.
- Research Facility Aberrants spent thousands of years creating new technologies to fight the dragons. Their labs are amongst the most dangerous sites in all of Canus. Full of strange blueprints, prototype weapons, and bizarre defenses, these are the complexes many scholars and mages dream of seeing… and die within. Traps, dangerous living experiments, crazed constructs, and unstable inventions are just a few of the hazards that await those who trespass.
- Prison During their thousands-of-years-long war with the dragons, the aberrants created a few massive structures to hold these beasts and their minions. Within these walls are smaller holding cells for the dragons’ shardmind and teifling allies, devious traps, dragon-sized torture devices, and enormous holding cells with enormous chains, enchanted to prevent those locked in them from using magic and breath weapon attacks. Today these ruins hold evidence of the ugliest parts of The Aberrant-Dragon War. As the aberrants began losing the war and pulled back from their prisons to defend their settlements, they killed the dragons and their allies who were imprisoned. Their remains can be found throughout the complexes. Undead beasts could roam the halls of these complexes, or perhaps, since they are immortal, a dragon or shardmind could have survived a prison’s purge and has been waiting for freedom for hundreds of thousands of years.
If you like what you’re reading please consider supporting me on Patreon, supporting me on Ko-fi, follow me on Twitter, like World Builder Blog on Facebook, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!
April 17, 2014 @ 9:00 am
Did I miss something? What is “the Jackrabbit”?
April 17, 2014 @ 9:10 am
It’s the train in Bragonay. Check it out in the post before.
April 21, 2014 @ 3:04 pm
I guess I just missed the name of it. Apologies, comrade! I’m normally much more careful than that.
April 17, 2014 @ 11:06 am
Oh man, I love the idea of finding a dragon that survive the purge but has been imprisoned for all those thousands of years. Would its mind be shattered? Could it potentially be a great ally? And imagine how different the world they might be released into would be. Fascinating.
April 21, 2014 @ 3:04 pm
Hell yeah. I am guessing that they would just be crazy, but a boy can dream.
April 21, 2014 @ 3:07 pm
Crazy…. A crazy, powerful thousands of years old dragon. Would I do that to you, my friends and PCs?
April 18, 2014 @ 12:51 am
Yeah the jackrabbit is cool. When I read that thing in the previous post it totally took me back to the steampunk arcane-trams I ended up putting in my reverse d20 modern UA world, which I still give qpop the credit for – awesome suggestion. 🙂
April 21, 2014 @ 3:08 pm
Yeah, qpop is the man!
The Aberrant Alliance – World Builder Blog
April 24, 2019 @ 8:17 pm
[…] of Exploration Age’s main baddies. Just check out my previous posts about The Sleeping Ones, aberrant ruins, and The Underdark to get an idea of integrated these creatures are into the world of Canus. Well, […]