The Shade Isle Campaign
Shade Abbey 0B
The Keep of the Soul-Still
This relatively small sub-level sits directly above the Rectory. It originally consisted of two guard-towers (to the northwest and southeast), two vaults (to the southwest and northeast), and a great central chamber with a domed ceiling.
1. Watchtower South. See key entry 1A.3b.
2. Watchtower North. See key entry 1A.8b.
3. Approach. The stone double-doors into the center-chamber are all locked, but pickable.
4. Central Keep. When the PCs entered this room, they found Patriarch Pallidech and four adepts waiting to greet them. The great stone statue of Domstag in the center of the dome-roofed hall was animated into a stone golem with a word from the Patriarch.
5. The Soul-Still. The hexagonal room east of the Keep’s center chamber contained the Soul-Still, a huge vat with glass walls set into a sturdy and artistically wrought bronze frame. Within the vat, glowing green ectoplasmic muck and ghostly human faces, stricken with pain and moaning horrifically, float and slosh about. A series of pipes and tubes run to the control-panels and forges, from which the PCs were able to recover four finished mana stones, these containing spells of charm person, magic missile, cause fear, and command.
At last, the adventuring company realized that the mana stones which had been powering the DDF guns that Henrik had invented were actually grown from distilled human souls—their ammo was people. And so Connor and Henrik started rewiring the Soul-Still, while the rest of the party made a beeline for the escape tunnel at 0A.30.
The party was half-way down the escape tunnel, and Connor and Henrik were just reaching the secret door at 0A.30, when the Soul-Still went up, taking the entire southeast guard tower (areas 10 and 11) with it.
6. Treasure Vault. This triangular room was trapped with a timer and a mechanism that shut and locked the door automatically after several minutes, followed by spigots that dispensed sleeping-gas into the chamber. Nothing deadly, just a means of discovering would-be robbers and capturing them alive. The adventuring company still managed to loot this chamber of 2,000 silver, 140 gold, 3 potions of extra healing, several armaments of finely-wrought elfsteel (a coat of brigandine, a shield, and a longbow), and one broadsword made of orichalcum.
7. The Domstag Codex. In the southwesterly vault sat the unholy scripture of the Church of Acrefatum: the Domstag Codex. It was guarded by a pair of phantoms who attacked the party and slew Naeyl by energy-drain.
Deliah and Connor examined the Codex and found that the first few pages contained a set of strange door-opening incantations, nothing too sinister; but most of the rest of the book was twisted Lovecraftian madness. Connor tied up the book in leather and chucked it into the bag of holding to deal with later.
8 and 9. Guard Tower Northwest. These chambers are connected by steep staircases that ascend straight up to the very top of Thunder Table. When the PCs explored this area, they fought with a detachment of nine guards and a lieutenant, most of whom surrendered once the fight was clearly not going to go in their favor.
The PCs turned the guards loose, on the condition that the guards would go to the southeast tower and try to convince any guards stationed there to leave the abbey. Whether the guards actually attempted to do this in good faith, or whether they joined up with another detachment there and remained to make a final stand, is unknown; it’s probable that they all perished when the Soul-Still went up.
10 and 11. Guard Tower Southeast. This area was destroyed along with the Soul-Still, completely collapsed before the PCs could ever visit here.