d6 Random Encounters on the way to the Cavern
1. The robbers from area 2 (entrance)
2. The dangerous animal from area 4 (mountaintop)
3. Cloud of locusts. No damage, but will eat food or fabric
4. 1d4 cows, guarded by a bull with a deceased rider hanging off it
5. 1dNumeri Cut Riders: 3 hp, stats 11/11/10/8. Bleed wherever they go, charging into foes. 3-in-4 have a spear and smallknife, the remainder have a halberd and cruciform sword. No armor, but 1-in-4 mounts have barding (expend to negate a bladed weapon attack). They ride draft and flight horses.
6. Plague Squire: 4 hp, stats 12/11/9/13. Breaths a poisonous miasma. Fire deals +1 damage against them. 1-in-4 rides a horse and wields a spear. The remainder wield a cruciform sword and ideology (Inoculationism: IF you see a healthy person, THEN afflict them)
Cavern of the Beloved Prophets
1. Gatehouse surrounded by rows of barren earth. Full of immaculate farming tools and a single dose of incense hidden on top of the doorframe.
2. Entrance, a mouth in the earth through which the smoke of robbers’ fires waft. There are four, and they know very little about the deeper cavern, since they are not virtuous enough to enter. The camp has five slots of beans, one of cassava, two of wild rice, an axe, some firewood, and a couple tents.
Robber: 3 HP, stats 10/12/10/8. Prefers to strike form hiding.
- Nick-Veins: sling and snare. Avuncular leader. Afraid of holy people. Has a hollow gold ring in case he needs to trap a demon.
- Do-Not-Assassinate: fire and fauchard. Paranoid cambion, codependent friendship with Nick.
- Dek-Preemptively-Dishonors: flail and poison (red mercury). Dreams of joining the sorority to learn the meaning of names.
- Exceed-In-Ingenuity: cruciform sword. Suspects there is a great treasury in the cavern.
3. Trash heap full of ash, soiled bandages, compost, and shattered pottery. Evidence of frequent fire. Conceals a short tunnel lending to area 10 (mushroom farm). Significantly interacting with the trash is a test of skill to avoid touching anything contaminated with leprosy. Those who resist plague only have a 1-in-4 chance of infection.
Leprosy: if they can help it, NPCs will not get within 30 feet of you. Life expectancy 1d20 years.
4. Mountaintop desecrated by graven wooden poles. A dangerous animal stalks the area.
Bull with the head of a yaffingale, skin of tinder, and the voice of a dragon: 7, stats 15/8/13/13. Prefers to roar before dashing downhill at its prey. Resists fire. Quick climber, and clever. If slain, it can be salvaged for the equivalent of a point of charcoal, three of soot, and three of fabric. Scholars will play 50 fragments for its innards, and know how to make an unguent of non-flammability from it.
- Roar: this calumny sets someone on fire and fills the area with smoke
- Charge: cannot be parried. When charging downhill, may harm multiple foes in a line.
- Terribly Writhe: can take the attack action twice in a round, targeting multiple foes.
5. Arcade, a long room of many arches, overlooked by area 7 (balcony) Covering most surfaces is a colony of resting flies. When aroused, they swarm and inflict plague damage. They flee fire, smoke, and incense, or can be bypassed with a test of skill.
6. Spokesman’s Room, the office of the head of the prophets. On the desk is writing supplies, as well as scrolls describing the location of the tomb of an ancient virtuous man, Vision-Of-Dek. The door to area 7 has no handle but rather a radiant bronze face, its open mouth covered in dried blood. Sticking a hand in the mouth unlocks the door, but has a 1-in-3 chance of triggering a blade that slices that hand off, provided it’s attached to an arm. Behind the door is an innocuous doorstop, easily overlooked. Elsewhere in the room is an ark containing a point of fabric and a point of scrap metal.
7. Balcony from which imperial relic hunter Szudzo-Ab-Dur looks over area 5 (arcade). He may interrogate trespassers, or simply retreat to a part of the room they cannot see. The room also contains two doses of incense, a phylactery, two points of squash, and a point of wine.
Relic Hunter: 5 HP, stats 13/12/13/12. Lingers near narrow places to fight foes one at a time. Cruciform sword and kukri. Resists swords.
- Spring-loaded gauntlet (2) expend to negate harm after a failed parry. Repair with scrap metal, a hammer, and an hour.
- Scarab charm (1) expend to negate calumnies or curses. Repair with resin, fine tools, and two hours.
- Riposte: successful parry deals 2 harm.
8. Well: walls covered in frescoes of birds clutching fruits. Simple shadoof lowered into a hole in the floor that leads to a basin in area 13 (altar), empty and dry. Also, a random spooky merchant.
9. Larder containing spoiled wine, ruined jams, and cranberry and curd stains on the floor. A pack of hateful capuchin monkeys lair here, and will spill out into the arcade if they attack. (They are not immune to plague.) The number there currently varies (see the numeri)
Capuchin: 3 hp, stats 6/12/9/4. Prefer to form vicious swarms, stealing items if it seems like they’re winning. Not clever, but moved by ideology and music. If reduced to half their number, they will flee.
- Swarm: when one monkey fails to harm a target that hasn’t been harmed by a monkey this round, other monkeys get +2 to do so.
10. Mushroom farm, only a single point of fungus remaining. The cavern’s back entrance is filled with garbage from area 3 (trash heap).
11. Stairwell, dense with miasma. The plague is literally visible in this warm, damp, mold-covered connection between area 10 (mushroom farm) and area 12 (reliquary). Passing through without holding one’s breath inflicts plague damage. Three candelabrum torches are ensconced along the wall at regular intervals, but they are stuck in their frames and require a test of size to free.
12. Reliquary. The odd pillar and plinth. Objects are obviously missing from their places. As well, there are a small swarm of dog-sized locusts lairing here, though they are not aggressive and would have a hard time harming someone if they tried. The densest pile of them conceals a gold-hilted cruciform sword and a pot of honey.
13. Altar, still-burning lamps arrayed around it. Most will go out as soon as they are touched, save for one which is a lamp of holding (can hold up to 8 points, liquid only) Here also reside the spectres of sword-saints, one for every member of the party. They accept obeisance, but are angered by strange things outside the party’s knowledge. They are familiar with every part of the cavern.
Sword-Spectre: 2 hp, stats 12/12/12/12. Prefer to fight mano-a-mano. Cruciform sword and ideology. Only hurt by swords, curses, and calumnies.
- Spookum: their calumnies cause ghosts and minions to flee.
- Reform: returns to haunt after 1dnumeri days.
- Reactionism (1) IF you are attacked, THEN draw your sword and parry in a single motion.
14. Infirmary, each table occupied by a deceased leper. Touching one risks leprosy as described in area 3 (trash heap). One wears a gold necklace, another a lucky woven bracelet. Stored under the tables are three doses of incense, two points of medicine, a waterskin, some chalk, a lamp, and two points of lamp oil.
15. Meditation Room: A bare cell containing a lioness who ate (and in some ways is) a good woman. She will likely hear the party approach and if they are careless she will take them by surprise when they open the door.
Lioness: HP 7, stats 14/11/10/5. Prefers to jump on one target and rip them apart before dragging them into a hiding place. Also, from her stomach can be heard an apologetic laywoman.
- Pounce: after a successful charge, make a free attack against the same target.
- Names: from her meal, the lioness has a woman’s understanding of names.
16. Back room: Sixteen dead prophets, slain by various means. They are thin and long-suffering. The only consolation is the relics they carry, though many do not seem valuable.
- Salamander Robe (4) immune to fire
- Third of the Blade of Barn (1)
- Candle that, so long as it is still, never goes out (1)
- Lead that tames any animal it lassos (1)
- Just a really good pepper (1)
- Pile of donations equal to 200 gold fragments
- and the collected accounts of over a hundred common people