About this Resource
This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.
These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventuring parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.
When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.
Not many people visit Harrakan. There is not much to see or experience in the underground gnome city. But the few people who do all come back with the same tale. A tale about the great pyramid and the strange shape of the great tower, and how both edifices feature a brilliant crystalline structure at their tops. The crystals glow with a violet-tinted light that bathes the whole settlement. If it were not for those two lighthouses and the many other small sources of artificial light in the city, Harrakan would be in complete darkness. Not that it would bother the residents, most of them are gnomes and can see in the dark. But they have their violet lights because they love them. At least that is what the tales say.
Harrakan is a strange settlement even for gnomes in general. They often partake in strange architecture and odd cultural heritage but Harrakan goes far enough to alienate even those of their own kind. The gnomes of Harrakan share a common purpose and most of them work for that common goal or perform activities designed to support those who do. Their objective is to research psychic abilities and forms to implement them. After generations of careful study of psionic manifestations, many gnomes in Harrakan have reached a state of enlightenment. At least half the population of the settlement has achieved a level of psionic proficiency that allows them to share thoughts and speech with telepathy. But that is not the only thing they can do. They have created a form of neural network that links all psionic-able gnomes. The network is formed from the psyches of hundreds of them. Each of them retains their individuality, but collectively, the network has sentience of its own. It is believed to be the sum of all the individual parts but there is no way to prove that. The sentient combination of minds calls itself Harrakan.
Foreign researchers first thought they had created a form of hive mind but that is not an accurate description of it. Each individual can share their experiences with the other members or with the overarching sentient network, but the exchange remains voluntary and limited in distance. An idea shared with the network, Harrakan, could potentially be shared with all the minds in the network but Harrakan has never done such a thing. Instead, it communicates directly with all the different parts. Also, the gnomes in the network do not work in perfect unison as if they were part of a cog machine. They remain their individual selves but take the form of a small fraction of Harrakan, the sentient network.
Twenty years ago, the gnomes of Harrakan decided to build Harrakan Tower. The gigantic crystal near the top of the tower is a kind of psionic amplifier. It glows all day and looks beautiful but its function is to amplify the reach of Harrakan’s neural influence.
Harrakan, the ethereal sentience, is a strange being. It is not a gnome, nor does it considers itself one of them. It has transcended its earthly origin to become something so alien that it cannot be defined by its own “creators”. It is not evil whatsoever. Harrakan cares for the gnomes and likes them, even. It understands that its own existence depends on the hundreds of gnomes that form part of the network. Harrakan faced a terrible problem at the beginning of its existence. It could only communicate with psionic-abled gnomes. The rest of the settlement’s population had no way of interacting with Harrakan. This is why Harrakan tower is so important. There is an audience chamber near the top of the tower, next to the violet glowing crystal. In this location, so close to the psychic amplification device, Harrakan can project its mental prowess to make the air vibrate. These vibrations are heard in the form of a low-pitched rumbling voice. Since then, it can communicate verbally with anyone, as long as they are in the audience chamber.
Since more than half of Harrakan’s settlers take part in the mental connection to the sentient overlord. It became the de facto leader of the settlement. Harrakan represents the sum of thoughts of more than half the population.
Visitors to the city will ignore most of this nonsense about an overarching overlord when in town. People refer to their leader simply as “The Great Harrakan”, or “The Lord in the Tower” without explaining much more about it.
- Temple of Immortals
The pyramid-shaped building serves two functions. The middle upper half of the pyramid features several internal audience chambers, halls, and a temple to the immortal lord of gnomes. This religious figure is exclusive to this settlement and its people. There is an effigy in the temple that appears to be a gnome with grandiose metal wings. The lower half of the pyramid goes down into the earth in a maze of tunnels and chambers very few people know how to navigate. This is a cemetery of sorts. Gnomes in Harrakan cremate the dead and place the ashes in a niche in the pyramid.
- Harrakan Tower
The great tower is the tallest building in the city by a long shot. The crystal near the top protrudes from the tower on both sides of it, providing light to both the north and south sides of the tower. Harrakan’s audience chamber is located next to the crystal. It can communicate verbally in this location only. Should any visitor or adventurer request an audience with the settlement’s leader, they are brought to this chamber after a few days of red tape bureaucracy. The lower levels of the tower feature several labs and experiment rooms where gnome scientists strive to push the boundaries of psionic prowess.
- Ditarin Facility
This square building is the source of most psionic breakthroughs in Harrakan. The person in charge is Dr. Fameus Hari. He is the person behind the weaponization of psionic abilities. He focuses his work on telekinetic and pyromantic representations of the psyche. Dr. Hari also came up with an invasive method that influences a newborn’s ability to develop the brain over its current limit. These experiments yielded successful but terrible results. The babies treated by Dr. Hari became powerful psionic individuals but they lost any ability to express feelings and personality. They became living automatons with no motivations other than to please their creator/trainer, Dr. Hari. These mentally-challenged gnomes are everywhere in town in uniform, keeping the peace. They are known as the Psy Patrol. The people of Harrakan have no idea of their terrible origins. Dr. Hari is a ruthless person but most of these ideas are not of his own authoring. The overseer sentience of Harrakan has dictated the way to perform these experiments over the last 10 years.
- Lowland Quarter
This neighborhood is the poorest quarter in town. People living here work long hours in terrible jobs. All people in the Lowland Quarter are disconnected from the neural network. Their brains lack the particular properties that make the connection possible. Should a baby be born in Lowland with the capacity for psionic abilities, the Psy Patrol promptly snatches the kid and brings them to Dr. Hari.
- Psy Crematory
Harrakan’s burial tradition requires the bodies to be cremated. The psy crematory performs this service but it also has a different purpose. It was discovered that the cremation of a psionic-abled gnome produced a strange slime-like substance imbued with psychic energy. This substance was lost during the standard cremation process. The gnomes then devised a new cremation process which secured said substance before destroying the body completely.
The strange viscous liquid was part of many experiments in the Ditarin Facility. Dr. Hari himself came up with a way to distill and purify the substance even further. It was Dr. Hari too who came up with the distasteful idea of injecting the liquid into the head of a newborn baby to boost probabilities of creating a psionic-abled person.
- Halls of Time
The Halls of Time is just a fancy name for the city’s library. The five-story building features an enormous collection of books, scrolls, and pictures. The library is vast enough that researchers visit Harrakan only to consult the volumes therein. There is a careful recording of all the things and facts that lead to the creation of Harrakan, the sentience. There is a section of the library which is not available to the public. The forbidden section contains Dr. Fameus Hari’s research and in-depth documentation of all his experiments and the results. This documentation is accurate and it is updated once every six months.
- Military Incubator
Dr. Vitamir is the person in charge of the incubator. It is a complicated building-sized device capable of producing hollow soldiers to protect the city against outside forces. These soldiers are made of stone and wood and roughly look like a gnome. The automatons have no personality, motivations, or creativity. Dr. Vitamir can give them simple instructions and they work just fine. It is only under complex situations or if a two-step instruction is given, that the automatons falter and paralyze under stress. Dr. Vitamir is about to make an important breakthrough. The distilled slime that Dr. Hari uses on newborns appears to produce a similar effect in the mindless puppets the incubator creates. If they work properly, the automatons may become agile and semi-intelligent.
- Quarantine Camp
Mental experimentation comes at a terrible cost. Many gnomes have lost their minds in the process. The poor mentally crippled results of experiments live in this section of Harrakan. The blight atmosphere of this part of Harrakan is enough to bring tears to any visitor. There are only a couple of charitable people who come every day to the camp to tend to the mindless. The deranged people in the camp are seldom dangerous but a person looking for answers might find it useful to come here asking. The mindless will not rat them out, and they may even spit out a terrible truth about Harrakan from time to time. Whether the adventurers believe them is up to them.
- Sunset Park
The park is directly in front of Harrakan Tower. There are no trees or vegetation but the eight pillars and the tiled floor give the place an air of peace. Sometimes the settlers come together here to hear a message from a representative of Harrakan, the sentience.
These are the general features of the Harrakan settlement. It is located in a large cave underground relatively close to the surface, under a mountain range.
Terrain. The soil in and around Harrakan consists of packed earth and rocky soil. The area has been flattened by the settlement’s people over a large period of time. The roads are in better condition and well kept.
Gates. Harrakan has three main gatehouses. Each gatehouse has a small garrison of five guards. Entrance to the city proper requires either an invitation from a Psy member or a payment of ten gp per person.
Light. The underground chamber is in complete darkness. The city features many sources of artificial light, fortunately. The main ones are the glowing crystals on the Temple of Immortals and Harrakan Tower. Despite this, the city is considered to be in low-light conditions.
Population. The majority of people in Harrakan are gnomes. The few permanent residents of different races are permitted to stay only if their work or field of work helps the gnomes with their psychic studies.