The Adventures of FATVOE
Nexus (A.K.A The Vents)
Location: SoBW is not too specific on the location other then it is located underground and accessible via The Vents (see the map). The term Nexus implies that it is sort of the center of the tunnel system running under the Stonehome mountains. The only issue with this is that The Vents are a good 10 miles from the mountains and about 20-25 miles from the ranges center. So either the PCs travel the 20+ miles underground to reach the complex that holds the Nexus or you may consider moving the Vents (at least the entrance used by the PCs) a bit closer to the mountains. Even the description in the skill challenge mentioned “entrances on the mountainside”. Also the Nexus has an escape hatch that the PCs use to escape the boiling water, but there is no indication on where this hatch leads, but presumably it’s somewhere in the mountains.
Details: As mentioned the Nexus is implied to be the center of “old network of excavated passages and chambers” or at least where all those passages come together. The complex with the Nexus has a few rooms, including a shrine to Moradin. There is also “The Gauntlet” which is a long corridor with a bunch of traps, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since this is facing towards the “dwarven” side of the mountain and doesn’t protect the Nexus from the “Orcish” side of the mountain in anyway. This same system of passages leads to both the Monastery of the Sundered Chain and Bordrin’s Watch.
The Vents are a complex series of tunnels that leak out a sulfurous steam and the occasional burst of noxious smoke. Navigating the Vents is dangerous because it’s easy to get turned around and hidden dangers lurk in the dark. The vents include the following encounter areas.
V1. Entering the Vents-Beyond the mazelike Vents is the buried passage, a hidden route through the mountains beneath Bordrin’s Watch far above. Opening onto the rest of the complex is a simple antechamber, shrouded in mist. Here a band of orcs, having survived a gauntlet of traps, argue about their next course of action.
V2. The Gauntlet-To safeguard the deep passage, the dwarf architects constructed a nasty trap and placed construct guardians in this long corridor. Evidence of its lethality can be seen in the orc corpses littering the floor.
V3. The Boiler Room-Central to protecting the subterranean route is the ability to close off the Nexus (see V6) by filling that room with water. This chamber houses the water reservoirs, which are kept at boiling temperatures to scald as well as drown intruders. Currently, Tusk’s agents explore this chamber to ascertain its purpose and function.
V4. Shrine to Moradin-The dwarves that built this place were devout followers of Moradin and in between shifts of guarding and expanding the tunnels, they congregated here to receive the blessings and protections of their priests. Now, the site is the lair of a ravenous cave troll and its handlers.
V5. Dwarf Quarters-These chambers once billeted the dwarf miners, warriors, and priests, but little of their presence remains with the orc infestation. Orc soldiers explore these rooms in search of plunder and grow frustrated by the spartan rooms.
V6. The Nexus-When the tunnels are compromised by enemy forces, the dwarves can seal off access by activating a complex trap that causes the doors to seal shut and the room to fill with water. However, with the dwarves largely wiped out, the orcs control this room and they intend to use it to breach Bordrin’s Watch above.