Before I get to the rooms I want to say that I am pleased those who have taken up the sample dungeon challenge continue to stick with it (and surpass me in number of rooms accomplished). We had a new entry this week, so go check out the Sample Dungeon Home for the links to the other blogs playing along.
A passageway extends straight into the shadows beyond your vision. Heavy, oaken doors set with bars from the outside line the walls on either side. The air smells faintly of urine and of blood.
The 10’ square rooms adjoining this passageway are cells. Each is barred from the passageway side and has a 6-inch square window secured with a small, iron door at about eye-level for an average human. Looking into the cells will reveal their contents: iron chains set into the back wall (waist-height), small wooden benches and scattered straw. Entering any of the cells characters may find broken pottery and graffiti scratched into the walls. Most of the latter are obscene or darkly humorous pictures of one kind or another, but a few cells had occupants that could write and some passages include:
“Here I sit in a pile of shit with no drink and no girl for to wrassle; I eat magotty bread and pray to be dead and gone from the cells ‘neath the castle”
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.”
“I renounce all arrogance, self-sufficiency and pride, which was the downfall of the Enemy.
I have nothing and am nothing, except in You
I confess all my sins, I confess all my omissions, I confess the sins of my anc-“
“I will go in Your name,
In likeness of deer, in likeness of horse,
In likeness of serpent, in likeness of king,
Stronger am I than all persons.”
Characters that search will find nothing of value in the cells. As they approach area 11, the smell of blood will become stronger and stronger.
The smell of slaughter is thick in the air here. Iron manacles are set into the walls at left and right and situated to bind hands and feet of standing humans on short, rusted chains. The south wall of this square room has a great, wooden table set against it. A cloud of flies buzzes above a gruesome pile of flesh, blood and bone set upon it. Blood also covers the table and nearby floor.
The pile is what remains of a hapless villager caught by the ghouls occupying the crypt area. Most of the organs have been consumed and many of the bones cracked and the marrow withdrawn. What remains is mostly skin, fat, broken bones and of course blood. This has sat here for a day or so.
Bite marks upon the bones are obvious upon any close inspection, and a successful Intelligence check made by an examining character will indicate the bones were likely cracked open by force and then gnawed upon, not bitten in two. All of this can be ascertained with careful observation of the pile. Any character touching the pile has a cumulative 25% chance each round they do so of contacting one of the 8 rot grubs currently inhabiting this bloody mess.
A pile of bloody rags in the corner are what remain of the peasant’s garb
Room 12 & 13
Each of these rooms (12 & 13) are identical. Characters may not enter until they make a save vs. spell as described below.
A dull, hellish glow emits from the chambers beyond this passageway.
Peering into the room you see a large, stone altar set against the back wall. Six white candles set before it are lit and emit the strange, red light that fills the room entire. A cold hand seizes your heart as you lay your eyes upon this and you are compelled to look away. But not before a sparkle of light catches your eye from one of the carved skulls of the altar.
Any character wanting to actually enter either of rooms 12 or 13 must save vs. spell or be under the effects of a Cause Fear spell. They will flee the area at full movement for 20 rounds and may not attempt to enter the room again for 24 hours. Those successfully making the save may enter and approach the altar.
The altar candles are of wax but magical and emit a faint aura of the same. They will remain “lit” forever, emitting their strange, red light (but not heat) as a torch and will never melt or change in any way unless intentionally damaged or broken.
Each of the eye sockets of the carved skull images on the altar are fit with a perfectly cut and smoothed high-quality onyx. Bright, silver bands in the stones reflect light and sparkle. These are ornamental stones, but quite unique in composition and cut. Each stone (4 per altar) will be worth 100 gp to the soul brave enough to pry them loose.
Any character attempting to take the candles or pry the ornamental stones loose will be filled with foreboding and dread, regardless of having made the save vs. spell, but is free to act in any way they see fit.