Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Catacombs of Ptolemides - III

9a). At both of these spots marked in the corridor there is a large pool of dried blood. Between these marked spots on the map and location 9b there are smears and drops of blood streaked across the stone floor in the direction of area 9b.

9b). This area is layered with debris; wood that has been splintered, cloth torn into strips, even vegetation such as roots and wild vines. The debris is spread across the room and several feet thick. At a point near the center of the room a man's foot and lower leg is half buried under this mess.

If anyone pulls at this foot it will resist slightly then pull away revealing a foot with a leg severed a few inches above the knee. If the leg is pulled free or if anyone searches or disturbs the debris 2 swarms of baby giant ticks will erupt from their layered nest and attack. There are a total of 5 baby tick swarms within this room. After the initial 2 that attack, another 1 will form and attack whenever anyone disturbs the debris or tries to search.

If the debris is searched carefully, a long, messy and disgusting job, they will discover the upper body of a man in chainmail, a severed hand with a gold ring with ruby chips worth 10gp, a chipped and dulled longsword that radiates magic, which is -1 to hit but +2 to damage, and 32gp, 15sp and a small bag containing 5 uncut diamonds which appear to be cloudy crystals but are worth 50gp each.

New Monster:
Tick, Giant (Baby Swarm)
No. Encountered: 1d6
Size: S
Movement: 25
Dexterity: 12
Armour Class: 9
Hit Dice: 5
No. Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d4
Saving Throw: 10
Morale: -
Experience Points: 50
Treasure Class: -

A swarm of baby giant ticks represents 40 of these little monsters. Each is about 3 inches long and has 1hp. Any damage to the swarm represents the actual number killed in the attack.

Fire will keep them at bay
Piercing weapons do only 1hp damage per attack
If reduced below 16 in number the swarm will dissolve and the surviving baby giant ticks attempt  to skitter away.

10). This circular niche off the west side of the corridor contains a fountain and a small pool that is about 2ft high and the diameter of the niche. The water pours from a pitcher in the hands of a statue of a voluptuous naked woman. The water is collected in the circular pool at the statues feet. Followers of Lunaqqua will receive a blessing following their first drink of this water. This blessing will give them a +1 advantage in all dice rolls for the next 6 game turns. Subsequent drinking at this fountain will be refreshing but does nothing but dispel thirst.

Anyone desecrating this fountain (which includes attempts to damage it) will receive a curse of lycanthropy unless a save versus magic succeeds.

An overturned wooden bucket is at the edge of the stone pool.

11a). The door to this room is ajar. It can be barred from inside the room but no crosspiece is in evidence. It can be locked but the key is nowhere to be found.

11b). Three long tables are set side by side toward the center of this area. On each table is a nude body, two men and one woman. An overturned metal tripod and metal basin is near the west-most of the tables and half-burnt coals, now long cooled, have spilled from it. (The coals can be gathered and will burn for an hour, giving off a good deal of heat but very little light). Under the coals is a dagger made from a chunk of obsidian and wrapped with leather. It radiates magic if detected.

New Item: This is a Dagger of Mordezzan. It is a +1 magic weapon, but its main use is in the creation of animated skeletons and the production of Skins of Mordezzan. The dagger can make incisions in dead flesh that when complete will animate up to 3 skeletons per day. These skeletons will be at the command of their creator, except they will take no actions against a follower of Mordezzan who wears a Skin or bears the symbol of Mordezzan. A follower of Mordezzan who is a cleric or necromancer may wrest the command of these skeletons if they are of higher level.

New Item: The Skin of Mordezzan is the specially prepared skin of a sacrificial victim. It radiates evil and is worn by a follower of Mordezzan granting him the same armour class as that of leather armour, provides +1 to saving throws, and protection against paralysis, cold based and charm spells and abilities. Arcane markings are placed on the victim's skin, then they are submerged in a vat of enchanted liquid, then a Dagger of Mordezzan is used to remove the skin. Anyone trying to wear a Skin of Mordezzan who is not a follower  must save versus poison of suffer 1d6 hp damage per combat round (save for half damage) and will suffer 1d6 hp damage per combat round until such a save is made even after the suit is removed. (Only 1 saving throw is necessary once the Skin is removed, but a save must be rolled each turn the Skin is worn.

A giant tick sits on top of the man's body on the center table. It has been poisoned while trying to drain the body. The tick is at half-hp and -1 to hit and damage. The bodies of 4 dead giant ticks are scattered around the floor north of the tables.

If anyone examines the bodies they will find arcane markings on the flesh that a necromancer will recognize as part of a ritual to animate the dead. Each body has bone deep incisions and it would take little effort to remove the skeletons from the surrounding flesh.

11b). A set of spikes on the east wall holds 7 human skins. These are completed Skins of Mordezzan. No trace of internal organs or bones are in evidence.

11c). The drained and dry body of a man in a dark blue robe is crumpled here. If searched it is revealed that he wears a Skin of Mordezzan beneath his robe, but it is damaged beyond repair showing many knife wounds in the back and head of the Skin and the man almost completely severed, hanging together only by the skin at the back of the neck.

12). The west wall of this room is lined with skeletons who stand motionless until someone approaches within 20ft, opens the northern doors or who attacks them from a distance. There are 9 skeletons lined up in two rows facing the west wall. In each of their hands is a human thigh-bone, one end spiked with nails, which they use like a spiked mace, damage 1d6. A stack of boxes three high is on the north wall and the south. Each box contains 2 skeletons. These will attack if the crate is open. These skeletons will obey the commands of anyone in a Skin of Mordezzan and will not attack anyone showing a symbol of Mordezzan.

12a). This door is shut but not locked. It can be barred from inside the room. The wooden crosspiece is on the floor near the door.

12b). This door is shut but not locked. It can be barred but no crosspiece is in evidence.

13). There is a large vat in the center of this room 5ft high and 10ft in diameter. The walls of this room are set with iron spikes and the bodies of 12 men are hanging upside down from the spikes. Each has been marked with arcane symbols and the sign of Mordezzan. Their bodies show lines of deep incisions head to toe.

An iron chain hangs from a pulley above the vat. Inside the vat is a thick, dark liquid that radiates magic if anyone detects such. The liquid is a primary ingredient in creating a Skin of Mordezzan, and a flask of it would be worth 5gp to an alchemist, Necromancer or seller of spell components. There is enough liquid in the vat to fill 1,000 flasks.

If anyone peers into the vat an Undead Minion of Mordezzan will reach out from the liquid and try to first grapple with the character then drag them into the vat. If this is successful the character will be attacked by 5 Undead Minions of Mordezzan

If the attempt to grapple the character fails, all 5 Minions will burst from the vat, pulling themselves over its edge and attack.

At the same time the Minions attack the bodies on the wall will begin to writhe and shake. In 2 combat rounds 5 of the bodies of the wall will have had their skeletons pull free of the flesh that surrounds them. They will drop to the floor and attack. 2 combat rounds after that 5 more will pull themselves free and 2 rounds later 5 more till a total of 15 skeletons have left their skins hanging on the walls. The empty skins are not yet enchanted and are merely dead flesh.

New Monster: Minion of Mordezzan Undead Type 3
No. Encountered: 1d6
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Size: M
Movement: 40
Dexterity: 10
Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
No. Attacks 3(Claw/Claw/Bite)
Damage: 1d3/1d3/1d6
Saving Throw: 15
Morale: 10
Experience Points: 41
Treasure Class: S,T

Minions of Mordezzan are similar to ghouls but lack the ability to paralyze their prey. At one time they were loyal members of the Mordazzen cult and wore sacred Skins of Mordezzan. Upon the death of the cultist this Skin bonds with their own flesh and they rise after a short time as an undead Minion of Mordazzen.

Immune to poison, paralysis, fear and cold-based attacks
Protection from evil holds them at bay

14). This chamber has walls covered in torn, blood spattered and shredded tapestry. 2 of these hangings have gold thread woven into them and are worth 25gp each, even in their mangled condition. In the south-west corner is a pile of broken wood made up mainly of chairs but some larger furniture of unknown type as well. Along the north wall there is a table, swept clear but covered in dried blood, as is the floor around the table. Against the east wall there is an overturned and smashed cabinet. Mixed in with the cabinet are torn books and scrolls and broken glass.

If the cabinet is searched there is a 50% chance that a hidden drawer at the bottom of a splintered shelf will be found. The drawer is locked and a thief can attempt to pick it. If the secret drawer is smashed open the two glass vials in will be smashed.

The drawer contains 2 potion vials and a small spell book.
Potion #1 is of Healing
Potion #2 is of Fire Resistance

The small book holds 3 spells; Animate Carrion, Extermination, and Skeleton Servant.

14a). A bench runs along the south wall of this alcove. Huddled against the east wall on the bench are two figures in blue robes. If approached closer than 10ft these 2 Undead Minions of Mordezzan will attack. If attacked from a distance they will also attack.

14b). This alcove at the south end of the main room is hidden from casual view by a torn tapestry. There are pegs running down the west wall and 5 dark blue robes are scattered beneath them on the floor.

Most noticeable is the Undead Minion of Mordezzan, stripped of its blue robe and nailed to the south wall with iron spikes. The creature is at only 5hp but is still animated and struggles to free itself.

15). This door is locked and barred shut from the east side of the door. A glyph has been carved into the wood of the door. If shown around the city above it will be found out that it is the mark of Ptolemides Thieve's Guild, but such questions will be noted and the Thieve's Guild will be informed. 


  1. Really liking this set of posts. Hope you pull it together into one big PDF at some point. :) Thanks for sharing!


  2. Thanks very much! I haven't had a chance to playtest this yet or do much editing. It is tremendous fun to design a big dungeon and I have ideas for where it is going. Just need to flesh it out a small section at a time. I am hoping that when it is done it will be a pretty big dungeon adventure.