Ok, based on the title alone... this dungeon should focus on the queen and her slimy green concubines.
Hello. Confused? Start here.
FYI, I'm about to go off on a tangent. At any point, we should feel ok about abandoning a certain aspect of our project if it moves us towards the end goal. And what's that pray-tell?
When this is all said and done, we going to have a finished dungeon that excites us to run, and will be fun to play.
So, if during the middle of this project, I decide to change the adventure's title to Mauve Something Or Other, that's ok. If I feel the need to make it an 8 or 10-room dungeon, that's also fine. However, I'm going to try my best not to alter what I've already come up with. If I have to work a little harder to make ideas cohesive, so be it.
Alright, where were we? Ah yes, the queen and her concubines!
What's the queen's name? How about Tresillda until I come up with something better? What's she the queen of? Probably just this little dungeon inside a Great Old One. Although, she could have been queen of some other place, too, before she was banished. Banished? Yes, banished.
Banished along with her concubines that are perpetually bathed in green slime because... it's sexy to those who both A) worship the Old Ones, and B) are quite mad.
Maybe the slime does other stuff, too. Perhaps it's zoth or some kind of zoth / green slime hybrid that's transforming the concubines into... creatures? No. A gestalt entity that could be a conduit or lifeline for the Great Old One Tsuma'al, in order to reawaken it so Queen Tresillda can extend her rule to various realms, such as Cha'alt? Yes, perhaps...
Why is Queen Tresillda splattered with blood? Is she just some kind of sadist, are people trying to kill her, both? I'm thinking some freaky Hellraiser shit, but don't have anything pinned down yet. Let's keep that on the back-burner.
PRO TIP: Sometimes when I'm trying to get a handle on who an NPC is, I use a familiar character or combination of characters to help visualize what that new NPC is all about.
In this case, I'm going with "the mad queen" Daenerys after she snapped. Queen Tresillda's thoughts are consumed with revenge against... uh, the priests who exiled her to the dead husk of Tsuma'al. Maybe they were her own priests? She's some kind of High Priestess with royal blood (also blood-splattered high priestess is too much of a mouthful). They turned against her once the priesthood realized she was power mad in a narcissistic and destructive way... and maybe her brother's a more legitimate heir and beat her to the throne while she was off torturing and killing infidels in the wasteland.
When the PCs arrive, what's going on? What's about to happen that makes interfering or intervening fun, exciting, or at least interesting and entertaining for the players and their characters?
- The Queen has just acquired the missing ingredient to shape her concubines into that aforementioned entity.
- It's some kind of artifact or relic (a reason for the PCs to venture into the dungeon) of great power... manifested by the Queen's sorcerer Xa'algex.
- Some dude (is he an alien priest; another species who worships a foreign god?) was brought back along with the magic item. The PCs can overhear him and the Queen discussing the whole thing.
- Before she can use it, the PCs are able to interrupt her.
- If the PCs fail, she will awaken Tsuma'al and wreak havoc on countless worlds.
Ok, there's lots that I'm still missing; half the puzzle pieces are still scattered before me, waiting to be fit into place. That's perfectly fine, normal even. Who has a finished draft of an adventure sitting inside their head, ready to spill out?
Not me. Steps must be taken. These are the steps. Incremental progress!
p.s. Happy Father's Day!