Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Catacombs of Ptolemides - II

2). The center section of this hall is blackened from a recent fire and there are also signs of battle, but one that happened long enough ago for the stink of burning flesh to have faded to a mere memory.

2a). The secret door at this location has been made to look like part of the wall, but it is partially ajar and anyone searching this area will have a +1 chance of noticing it, while any thief passing within 10ft will have the same chance at detecting the secret door as if they had performed a search. If a thief actively searches for a secret door at thus location they will automatically find it.

The door opens inwards away from area 2 but pushing at it will not open the door, It will take a combined strength of 25 to move door and then it will only open wide enough for 1 person to squeeze through at a time. What anyone slipping through the door encounters is described in area 5.

2b). This secret door is fully open. If shut it is undetectable with the wall and will latch itself closed. It opens inward to the small room and can be opened or closed from the inside. The latch can be picked, or magicked open, or forced with a test of strength, or battered down if 300hp damage is inflicted on the door.

2c). In this area there is a wide burnt space centered around a smashed lantern. Within the burned area are the bodies of 3 dogs and a man. They have all been rat-gnawed and what remains of them has been crisped by the fire.

If searched the man's body has a fire-blackened dagger in his fist and a shortsword in a serviceable sheath beneath him. The remains of his belt, again underneath his body, has a set of thieve's picks and tools in a leather case attached.

The pack he wore was burnt by the fire and gnawed apart by rats. If it is touched it can be lifted waist high before coming to pieces and the contents spilling out on the floor. Inside the pack is a congealed pile of twenty lead sling bullets which can be picked apart and reused, a hammer with a charred handle that will snap at the head if used, 12 iron spikes, a knife in a gnawed leather sheath, 12gp, 23sp, 18cp (once in a small pouch but now loose. The entire mess will come cascading down and scatter across the floor. This may, at the DM's discretion, attract the creatures from area 4.

3). The stairs from all 4 entranceways to this area lead down in the direction of the map arrow so that the floor of this chamber is 15ft lower than the surrounding halls and passages. The roof is also higher and angles upward to meet a single, large beam in the ceiling. From floor to roof is a 40ft distance.

Hanging from the ceiling beams are 3 giant ticks. 1 tick will drop upon the first person to pass more than 5ft into the room from any of the sets of stairs. The other 2 giant ticks will leap down the following combat round. All 3 ticks will jump down if attacked.

In the corner along the west wall is a pile of debris which includes the carcases of 2 dogs, sucked dry of fluids by the ticks, as well as the drained bodies of several giant rats. The exoskeletons of 5 giant ticks are also scattered among the debris.

While the ticks possess no treasure their exoskeletons are worth 5gp each if sold to an alchemist or dealer in spell components. Each exoskeleton is 3ft in diameter and weighs several pounds.

4). This room may once have been used for storage and along the west wall can be found the broken staves of barrels as well as their rusted iron bands, broken bottles and glass fragments. If someone sifts through this they will find 1 unbroken bottle of lamp oil.

More recently this room appears to have been used as a campsite. There are half-a-dozen blankets and bed rolls spread out along the south wall and some gear such as armor, cloths and weapons along the east wall. If anyone approaches the south wall they will see that 3 of the occupants are still wrapped in the bedding.  On close examination, within 10ft, it will be apparent that the occupants are long dead, their faces dried and withered.

These 3 adventurers have, at some past time, succumbed to wounds received from zombies and are now zombies themselves. They died while sleeping and were abandoned by their comrades. When inactive they return to their bedrolls and attempt to find the sleep they are now denied.

If anyone comes within arm's reach of any of the bodies the corpse's eyes will flash open and the zombie will attack. If attacked themselves they will awaken and attack. Loud noise may also rouse these zombies and they may proceed into area 2 to investigate.

The zombies themselves are wearing only the clothes they had on when they died. Their gear and weapons, that were unwanted by their comrades, were left piled against the east wall.

In this pile can be found 3 dagger and sheaths, a hand axe, a halberd, scale-mail sized for a large man, chainmail sized for an average man, a helm, a shield, 2 backpacks.

Backpack #1 contains: A skin of spoiled wine, trail rations which are now a hardened rotten lump, a small throwing dagger in a sheath (+1 to hit if thrown due to exceptional craftmanship, non-magical), 50ft of tightly coiled rope, a half-dozen iron spikes and a small mallet.

Backpack #2 contains: A flask of whiskey, rotted trail rations, a set of prayer beads, a pair of thick gloves such as a smith might use (non-magical but helpful when dealing with sharp or hot objects) a polished steel mirror in a soft cloth bag, and at the very bottom, a small gold signet ring worth 15gp, but if asked about in the environs of Ptolemides it will be discovered that the crest is of a local family and a 100gp reward is offered for its return.

5). This good-sized room may once have belonged to watchmen of servants. Its most recent use has been as a nest for giant ticks. A large fire was set in its center and the cracked and worthless exoskeletons of a dozen ticks are scattered among the ashes.

The west door is shut but unlocked. Both this door and the southern secret door can be barred shut, but the crossbeams to both are missing.

5a). The bodies of several dogs are jammed against the southern secret door. These dogs have been dead for some time but were obviously killed by sword or axe. There is even a broken arrow head lodged within one body. If the bodies are removed the door opens and closes without problem.

6). There is a 3d6 chance of encountering 2 giant ticks battling 5 wild dogs when entering this juncture for the first time. These animals will battle each other or any other creature that enters the fray. If 2 of the dogs are killed the remainder will run for the northern passage (and then east if followed). The ticks will battle to the death.

At any future time entering this juncture there will be a 1d6 chance of encountering a single wild dog which will immediately run away up the northern passage or on a roll of '2' or '3' on a d6, the chance of encountering a pack of 6 wild dogs that will attack the party and retreat to the north if half their number are killed. This encounter can happen again and again unless the source of the wild dogs is discovered and actions taken to prevent further attacks.

7). This long hall is filled with long niches cut into either side of the passage. Each niche contained the body or bodies of the dead, but that was long ago and now only the fragmented remnants of those bodies can be found. Fire has scorched this long hall and ash and bone fragments are brushed up against either wall though a clear trail down the center of the floor shows recent use.

This hall has become a resting place for giant ticks.

7a). At each of these points 1d3 giant ticks are located within the niches. These ticks have all filled themselves with the blood and precious bodily fluids of their many victims, rat, dog, human, etc... and are slower to react than their more hungry kin (-1 to surprise rolls). They will still spring out and attack anyone passing in the hall or examining their niche, as will any ticks in an adjacent 10ft section.

7b). Someone dropped a heavy wooden box at this point. The lid has snapped and the box was overturned. If a 30ft area of hall is cleanly sifted 312cp, 31sp and 3gp can be found among the thick ash and bone fragments.

8). 2 giant ticks have taken up residence in this area. The will lurk around the corner near the ceiling opposite whichever way the party is approaching. If undetected they will attack the last person in the group to pass near to them.

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