The Shade Isle Campaign
Shade Abbey 0A
The Acrefatum Rectory
Situated immediately above the ground-floor Palatial Fortress level of Shade Abbey, the Rectory is hewn through the solid rock of Thunder Table approximately halfway up the table-mountain’s height. The passages here are well-lit and well-traveled, with frequent patrols by guards and monks.
1. Foyer. The stairs here come up from area 1A.35. Beyond the magically-warded doors is a broad landing, where the stairs turn west and ascend to a foyer with three sets of stone double-doors and a stone basin (part of the same rock as the floor) filled with unholy water.
2. Bedrooms. Areas (a) through (f) here are bedrooms, mostly empty of both occupants and treasure. The party found some monks praying in one room and a small cache of gold in another.
3. Armory. Racks filled with all kinds of bludgeons: clubs, staffs, cudgels, maces, and mauls; and also monk’s spades.
4. Training Gym. When the PCs explored this room (and by now, both Deliah and Connor were wearing Acrefatum high priests’ robes that they’d found), they discovered several guards and monks boxing here. Upon seeing the “high priests” entering the chamber, the training athletes stood at attention, awaiting inspection; until the PCs attacked.
5. Defiled Statue. This is a statue of Alfader which has been suspended upside-down from rusty iron chains and brackets hammered into the wall here.
6. Sculptor’s Studio. Here the PCs found a number of half-finished sculptures and plaster casts and a couple of monks quietly working away. The monks didn’t attack or acknowledge the PCs beyond respectful nods to the “high priests” among them, and so the PCs quietly left them to their work.
7. Art Gallery. This huge chamber is filled with dark and disturbing examples of statuary, portraiture, and tapestries. It was occupied by a single, contemplative monk who never uttered a spoken word, only communicating by gesture. The PCs communicated back by beheading him suddenly.
Gibli the rogue searched one of the paintings—an abstract splash-painting of disjointed and clashing colors—only to discover that it was actually a paint spectre, which snatched Gibli’s hand and then arm and tried to draw him inside the painting. The rest of the party all grabbed on to Gibli and pulled him free, but in the ensuing fight, the rogue was energy-drained from 12 down to 2 maximum hit points. On the other hand, the canvas under the Paint Spectre turned out to be a shimmering, rainbowy cloak of protection +2.
8. Painter’s Studio. This room was occupied by a very irate monk who became angered when the party interrupted his work. He threw his paintbrush and hit Connor in the face; and so Connor body-tackled him. They wrestled for a bit, with the angry monk pile-driving the gnome; and then Connor answering back by beheading this guy too (after which he doused the painter’s head in some paint-remover and field-goal-kicked it into the canvas until the painting was ruined). Petty? Sure. Hilarious? You-betcha.
9. Patriarch’s Bedroom. This opulent bedroom sports a lavish canopy bed and fine writing-desk. A safe above the desk had a pile of silver and some healing potions, as well as Patriarch Pallidech’s personal journal. The journal described how the plans for building the Soul-Still came to Pallidech in a vision from Domstag; and how Abbot Mokor devised a plan to produce mana stones as quickly as possible, trading them to Dolheim in exchange for a constant supply of potential slaves and converts. Many pages in the journal also imply that Mokor has grown rather power-mad, and Pallidech finds him more and more annoying with time.
The PCs tore out some relevant pages from the journal, and then they carefully stuck a cursed scroll of blinding that they’d found into the book in their place.
10. Patriarch’s Sitting-Room. Lots of very fine furniture in this room; a few disturbing art-objects of unspeakable nature. A secret door behind a violent image on the north wall leads to a smaller chamber (10a) where Pallidech indulges in his more unmentionable appetites.
11. Secret Passages. There’s a subtle draft in here that whistles quietly past the secret door to the south, which opens up to a 40’ long and high staircase.
12. Murder Holes. Two stone plugs look down over 1A.1, the dungeon entrance; a few discarded arrows, a fire pit, and a cauldron with oil residue indicate the purpose of these chutes. The third hole in the middle, under a simple wodden trap-door, is wide enough for a person to lower down a rope and actually descend the whole 120’ down to the ground (through 60’ of shaft in solid stone and 60’ more of open air dangling above the main gates).
15. Winery. Casks, several bottles of wine, including one unlabeled bottle of extremely well-aged vintage. (The PCs opened and drank this one on the spot.)
17. Small Kitchen. Here were two scarred chefs, a man and a woman, who attacked the PCs in a frenzy with cutlery when they realized that they were intruders. The PCs bonked the guy and charmed the girl; she revealed that they’d gotten their scars in “the lower temple” as part of a “test of devotion.”
18. Pantry. Stocked with lots of food, ale, and several already-prepared knapsacks full of trail-rations.
19. Trash Room. Two big rubbish-bins and a patch of green slime starting to grow up the far wall.
20. Dining Hall. The PCs stormed this room from both directions while a random encounter happened to bring guards up from the south at the same time. The hall itself was occupied by a priest and half a dozen acolytes waiting for dinner to come from the kitchens. They were destroyed with a well-placed combustion-bomb and an even-better-placed hand-grenade.
21. Stairway Up. A 20’ stairway here goes west and up to a landing, then another 20’ north and up to a landing which meets the secret stair from area 11. Finally, another flight of stairs goes 40’ east and up to the Keep area 0A.1.
22. Arcane Laboratory. This lab was tended to by Clern, a sorcerer working for the abbey. He was carefully overseeing three weird machines, great vats or cauldrons attached to magical forges, which seemed to be distilling elemental fire, frost, and thunder down into three exceptionally powerful mana stones.
This encounter was something of a mess. Deliah decided to try and charm Clern, a tactic which hadn’t failed her yet; but this time it failed spectacularly. Clern, being a sorcerer, recognized the spell, turned to attack, won the initiative, and lightning bolted the whole party, dropping all but three of members of the company down to 0 hp (and thereby kicking most of these up to 3 or 4 wounds). The survivors were able to rush and kill Clern, but this left the party hugely debilitated and stuck resting and recovering and cowering in small rooms and hidey-holes for a while.
Connor was able to go through Clern’s lab-notes and figure out how the vat/cauldron/forge things worked, distilling elemental plasm down into magical crystal. He remained here over the next three days and continued the sorcerer’s work, producing one mana stone from each of the three forges: a fire ball, a lightning bolt, and an ice storm.
23. Compost Chamber. This foul and fœtid room was strewn with compost, out which grew many shrieker mushrooms, and upon which equally many giant bombardier beetles were feeding. The party bombed the room with whole bandoleers of grenades rather than fight these things directly, but not before all the shrieking could also draw the attention of some wandering giant crab spiders.
After getting curb-stomped by Clern, this was where the party decided to hole up and rest. After all, what patrol would find them in a compost heap? Still, it wasn’t the wisest decision to sleep here wounded, with only a layer of cloaks between them and the foul rot; Viktor, Frieda, and Fritzhelm came down with a nasty bacterial disease as a result.
24. Incense Lounge. This room’s walls are painted in psychedelic splashes of color. A number of priests, stoned out of their gourds, sat in here inhaling “incense”. The party killed the priests and took their incense.
25. Pleasure Chamber. This room was occupied by a priest and a priestess in flagrante delicto when the PCs arrived. When Henrik opened the door, both jumped up, grabbed their clothes, and went rushing out past the party, bowing and apologizing for sneaking a turn in the room without observing the proper schedule. The room itself contained a large bed; several jars of… ah… oils, we’ll say; and explicit portraiture frescoed onto the walls.
26. Ossuary. This room contained only a pyramid of dusty human limb-bones, stacked perfectly, 15’ square at the base and almost that high, where a single skull served as the capstone. There was nothing magical about the bones, and grenade from one of the PCs destroyed the careful arrangement in spectacular fashion.
27. Sauna. Walls of cedar, with a coal pit, buckets of water, and ladles.
28. Linen Closet. Towels, robes, etc.
29. Bath Chamber. A large pool, and walls and floors covered in turquoise-tinted tiles.
30. Secret Exit. This tunnel winds down, for hundreds of yards, through the rock of Thunder Table. It emerges some considerable distance south of Shade Abbey, on a ledge about 30’ above the rushing Schönflow River below. A coracle and two paddles, a coil of rope, and some pitons for securing the rope sit just within the tunnel-mouth.