I just visited Krakow, Poland, where I had the pleasure of meeting with some local RPG gamers who deserve a post of their own. This one, however, is about a cave they urged me to visit, called the Dragon’s Den. Here are some of the many awesome things about it:
- It is directly under the early 16th-century Wawel Castle – we entered the cave by descending a very narrow spiral staircase on top of the castle hill.
- Legend has it that the cave used to contain a dragon, Smok Wawelski, who defeated many great warriors before being brought low by an adventurer (with the cobbler background skill) named Skuba Dratewka, who fed it a sheep stuffed with sulfur.
- It used to contain a brothel. The fact that the denizens of the royal palace could nip down the hill to a house of ill repute may have something to do with the fact that at one point 25% of people in Krakow had noble blood (according to these Polish gamers at least).
- The part we walked through is just one part of a larger complex, which was discovered in 1974:
- The part of the cave you can’t go into contains an honest-to-God troglobyte, a rare crustacean from the Tertiary
- The signs in the cave suggest that people were living there in the Stone Age; although the Wiki translation of this page seems to say the oldest traces of man found there date back to the end of the 16th century, people were certainly living on the hill above the cave in the paleolithic era.
Moral of this story: more historical accuracy = more dragons kicked out of their caves to make way for whorehouses conveniently located to castles.