Inspirational Reading – What Lies Beneath the City

The pair started to follow the passage that had been concealed behind the secret door, Evaleigh carrying the lantern and Gord with dagger in hand.

After a short distance the narrow corridor dead-ended at a broader one that led both left and right. Gord opted for the left, saying that they could try the other direction if this one failed to offer something positive soon.Before long they entered a larger place, pillared and arched, that was the nexus of many tunnels. In addition to the one they had entered from, there were four other passages leading off fro the place, and a spiral flight of stone stairs leading upward as well. Gord disliked the sight of the steps, and after a moment of deliberation, he set off to the right, his female companion in tow.

“What is this place, Gord?”asked Evaleigh.

“Towns and cities are full of surprises like this,” he began. “In addition to sewers, drains, cisterns, caverns, and catacombs, there is a warren of escape tunnels and secret adits– the highways of many who wish not to be seen.”

All cities?” Evaleigh asked incredulously.

“I can’t speak for all of them, only a few. I’ve encountered this sort of passage before. It is part of a hidden means of communication and escape, from its look, and one that hasn’t been neglected, either– so let’s press on!”

– Gary Gygax, Saga of Old City, pp. 192-193.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

5 thoughts on “Inspirational Reading – What Lies Beneath the City

  1. I specifically remember that passage for the Gygaxian word "adit" which I'd never seen before. I'm not as big a fan of Gygax's fiction as you are, but I did slog through most of the Gord novels in the 80's (yea, even unto the Rose Estes ones).

  2. Whenever I read passages like that I lament never having sought out an opportunity to play in one of Gary's games. The fantasy world in his head had a depth and excitement to it rarely seen elsewhere.

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