The Shade Isle Campaign
Shade Abbey 2A
The Temple of Holy Mortifications
This level sits more or less directly underneath the Temple of Devotions, at a depth of about 200 feet below ground-level. All of the passageways here are hewn from a gray, smooth-polished stone, but the only light-sources are those that visitors bring with them. It’s chilly and dank in these passages, but not misty or excessively clammy.
Wandering monsters that the company has encountered here include both abbey monks and goblinoids. However, unlike the Devotions-level above, these chambers are only sparsely peopled. True to its name, the abbey’s Temple of Mortifications seems to be dedicated to self-inflicted pain. Most of the monks occupying rooms on this level are busied with torturing themselves in the name of their horrible god of pain and death.
1. Guardian Chamber. At the bottom of the stairs down from 1B.44, the Hall of the Most Faithful, is this irregular antechamber. There are six stone statues here, all depicting priests maiming themselves in grotesque fashion. There were also three kalidahs prowling around in this room, whose purpose was to maim, maul, and ideally eat any unworthy penitents seeking to begin the process of mortifying themselves in the torture-chambers beyond. The adventuring company slugged it out with the beasts, slew them after a pitched fight, and discovered that areas 1a and 1b were the creatures’ lairs, filled with filth and viscera and a bit of scattered coin, but nothing else.
2. East Hallway. The party decided to begin exploring this level by going north. They passed the alcove at 2a, where stands a statue of a man screaming in pain.
11. Riddle of the Wells. After an entire level dedicated to puzzles one floor up, this was an easy chestnut. There are four wells in this area, at 11a, b, c, and d, all of them with water about 20’ down. At each of the four spots marked with an “S” is the seam of a door with no visible opening-mechanism and the words jace pecuniam (“throw money”) carved into the stone at eye-level. Throwing a coin into one of the wells produced a resonant hum that hung in the air for a good long while, plenty of time for the adventurers to figure out that they needed to throw coins into each of the other three wells too. This turned the four harmonious hums into a distinctive chime as the fours secret doors opened, revealing four narrow passages to a fifth well at 11e. This well proved to be dry, and at the bottom of a shaft 30’ deep was a narrow tunnel pointing west. The tunnel in fact goes straight west for half a mile, gradually widening into a passageway that ends at area 2B.1.
12. Strange Altar and Stairs Down. This room contains, from north to south, (1) a stone altar against the north wall with some iron manacles and knives nearby and a mirror positioned directly overhead on the ceiling, (2), a stone statue in the middle of the room of a headless man, and (3) stairs down (to an area which the company has not yet explored).
13. Black Knight’s Chamber. A spartan bedroom decorated only with a sword-sharpening wheel, this was the chamber of the Black Knight of Acrefatum, a formidable old coot in black full-plate armor and wielding a couple of daggers of life-drinking +2. He attacked the party on sight, and it was quite the battle to put him down. The secret room to the north contained some spell-books and scrolls, a few healing potions, and a chest of silver.
14. Vomitorium. Literally. The floor here is caked with dried puke.
15. Drowning-Pool. A continual light spell cast upon the floor of the 15’ deep pool here gives the water an eerie glow. There are several lead weights at the bottom of the pool, which are studded with loops for affixing a rope or chain. In the alcove to the southeast is a statue depicting a drowning woman.
16. Popcorn from Hell. The floor here is scattered with caltrops. There were four monks in here, taking turns swallowing the caltrops. The company came into this room, saw what was going on, reacted with a collective “eww!”, and then brutally murdered the monks.
17. Creative Dentistry. This room contains an inclined slab with straps, a table with several small hammers and shears, and lots and lots and lots of bloody teeth all over the floor.
18. Storeroom. Found here were many chests and crates, filled with either worthless junk or some bulk equipment: cloth, kindling, coal, iron ore, rope, and torches. One small box among the stores contained four poison antidotes.
19. The stone double-doors at this location are warded with a powerful abjuration that prevents passage. The company was not able to open these doors with any means they possessed during their first expedition onto this level. In fact, when Deliah attempted to use an orb of knocking to defeat the ward, the magic upon the door rejected the orb with extreme prejudice, shooting it across the hall with enough force to bury it halfway into the stone wall on the opposite side. A wandering great goblin informed the adventurers that he’d heard from other goblins that monks would “read from a ”/wikis/domstag-codex" class=“wiki-page-link”> book" to get past these doors, although he hadn’t witnessed such a thing firsthand. The company has also received conflicting reports regarding what lies beyond the doors: the great goblin though it was “stairs down to the salt mines”, but the priestess from room 24 (below) said that that was wrong, the stairs at 12 go down to the mines, while the stairs here at 19 go to someplace called the “Augury Fane”.
20. Not Exactly a Mani-Pedi. Like room 17, this room contains another inclined slab with straps for holding a vict… I mean, devotee. The floor is scattered with bloody finger- and toenails, whole down to the roots.
21… North Hallway. The circular chamber at 21 contains one feature, a statue of a weeping angel that actually weeps real tears. The party discovered with some experimentation that the tears flowing from the right eye are deadly poisonous, while the tears flowing from the left eye can heal damage. Connor took some of each.
Down the hall, proceeding east, are shallow alcoves with frescoes painted in the alcoves. These depict (a) devils warring with angels and winning, (b) a high priest directing slaves to carve a tunnel, and (c) the party hasn’t walked past yet.
22. Indoor Desert. The floor of this large chamber is a great sand-pit, while the ceiling overhead shines with bright, hot light, like the desert sun at midday. This room was occupied by several shirtless and badly sunburned monks, standing in the middle of the chamber and soaking rays. The company put a quick end to them, but the fight did draw the attention of some wandering mountain trolls, who watched the battle with more confusion than amusement before they too were draw into the fracas.
23. Lounge. This chamber has walls draped with banners and a small ring of chairs and sofas near the center of the room, around a couple of coal-braziers and an incense burner. There were six more priests in here, quite high on the purple incense that the monks of Acrefatum seem to enjoy huffing so much.
The secret room at 23a was found to contain a small alchemy lab, some weapons-grade purple lotus dust, and a few raw purple lotus petals in a bowl.
24. Dust Dispensery. There were a priest and a priestess waiting in this room to hand out samples of the purple powder, but the party just attacked them on sight, killing the priest in one go and then capturing and questioning the priestess. Actually, it was more of an experimentation and torture session, with several of the adventurers dosing the poor priestess with shots of the purple dust and seeing what would happen. The priestess went form having prophetic visions to healing some damage to suddenly (if temporarily) acquiring a genius-level intellect.
25. Fungus Garden. This room was filled with molds and slimes, although the only hostile creatures in here were shriekers. The door to the west was locked (its key in the possession of the Black Knight in room 13), but the company used knock to bypass it.
26. Landscape in Relief. This room was empty, but the walls here were chiseled into a beautiful and highly detailed bas-relief of a springtime mountain landscape.
27. Glowing Crypt. The walls here are covered in shallow niches, each of which contains a skull. All but five of the skulls are glowing with an eerie green werelight which disappears if the skull is removed from the niche. The five not-glowy-skulls proved to be stoppered over with clay and contained liquid—or, as the players put it, the “most metal potion-bottles ever”. One skull contained potion of animal control, while the other four contained poison.
28. Slime Room. The walls here were thick with black slime (with lots of snails and centipedes-of-unusual-size feeding on the slime). Connor took a magical flame-thrower to this place before the party passed through.
29. Exit Shaft. At the end of the long hallway here is an empty, 30’ square room with a round shaft in the ceiling near the north wall. Into that wall, rusty iron bars have been pounded at 1’ intervals to make a crude ladder. As it turns out, the top of the shaft is a small hole at the foot of the Thunder Table cliffs, only 200’ north of the main entrance to Shade Abbey.