In the Empire of the Petal Throne setting, there is an ancient planetary transit system dug deep underground that links into the underworlds of many major cities and to some places unknown except to those who have ridden within the tube cars that travel this system. As these were built over sixty thousand years ago, many elements of the system have been destroyed or rebuilt in the styles of more current societies.
This is the surface access point to such a link into the system. The double-octagon structure was built in stone around the platform at the end of the smaller structure. That platform is an elevator that leads down to a maintenance level and then further to the tube car station itself. The surface structure itself is made of stone and is decorated as one would expect a society that loves murals and pictographs would decorate an airport or bus terminal – with bas-reliefs and pictographs of people travelling.
Of course, this particular structure was abandoned ages past when the region’s economy and ecology collapsed. Sealed into the main chamber is some strange demonic entity, but the side doors have been breached by the elements, leading past the main chamber and into the darker interior structures and finally to the elevator itself. Activating the elevator is a much harder task for a group of medieval technology adventurers, as the whole structure is without power and who knows if the hardware would even work if powered up.
This location was actually the set of a game of Empire of the Petal Throne that I was a player in last month, run by James Maliszewski (who publishes an excellent Tekumel fanzine – The Excellent Travelling Volume). The upper map just above this is the map I drew as the party mapper during the two sessions we spent in the structure and beneath it (I’m working on the maps that go beneath it, and will probably post them next month). The map below is a representation of the full structure drawn after the session was over…
However, neither actually represents the original floorplan of the location. You see… James was working from another map of an octagonal structure with a few modifications, and I misunderstood his descriptions. Here’s the original map he was working from – except for the addition of the connecting passage between the main structure and the pagoda structure behind it.
That’s right, we were adventuring in one of my own maps. More comical was that after I discovered this, James admitted that this wasn’t the first time in the campaign that we had, and that this was at least the third such occasion.
Of course, the map can be used for any number of functions beyond the entry level to a tube car station – the back room can easily be an inner sactum to a temple with the public worship space being in the central room.