Mini-Encounter: The Door of Places

You’re in a cavern deep underground. Your dim torchlight reveals a heavy stone door tucked away in the corner, the surface covered with centuries of cobwebs and dust. It resists all physical attempts to smash it apart or wrench it open. The only other exits are the way you came and some kind of grille in the centre of the cavern floor.

Embossed on the front of the door in time-dulled silver are the names of six ancient cities. It looks like each letter could be pressed:

(Umberto, Nyeprop, Lyasene, Olmason, Cthulem and Khimine).
(Umberto, Nyeprop, Lyasene, Olmason, Cthulem and Khimine).


  • Where is this ancient deep? Is it a tomb, a mine or some unknown cave system?
  • What are you here to claim?
  • The language on the door isn’t common, dwarvish or elvish. What is it? How did you come to learn it?
  • What lies beyond the door?
  • Which one of you lost their way once getting here? What did the group lose because of it? (Whoever answers mark XP.)
  • Who is a native of one of the cities named? What’s it like?
  • Which of the cities no longer exists? Why not?
  • And, as always, What do you do?

If the players press the first button of each city (“unlock”) the grille in the centre of the cavern is unlocked, releasing it’s captive – a great worm!

If the players press the last button of each city (“open me”) the door opens with a blast of stale air, staying open for about a minute. Play to find out what happens next…

Want to use this in your own games?

Go for it! Here’s the PDF for easy reference. If you’ve enjoyed reading or playing and want to help me make more, why not take a look at my Patreon campaign?

(Font used is Rodgauer by Manfred Klein.)