On Venatia – Part Five

Six more sites for the Southeast map – two more installments to go before I begin on the Northeast map.

4348 Fish Men: A community of 112 locathah dwell in a submerged castle. They ride giant eels into battle and carry barbed spears or heavy crossbows or tridents and nets. The locathah are known for their paralyzing poisons, which they harvest from the sea urchins that cover their castle. They are led by Lord Kigl’lot and his bodyguard of twelve elite warriors. The castle is further protected by 11 cave eels and a giant jellyfish. The cave eels live in the catacombs that run underneath the castle and hold Kigl’lot’s vault of treasure. The vault contains 6,100 gp and 110 pp.

• Kigl’lot, Locathah Fighting-Fish Lvl 4: HP 24; AC 4 [15]; Save 13; Shagreen armor, poisoned trident, shield.

• Elites, Fighting-Fish Lvl 3: HD 3d6+6; AC 5 [14]; Save 14; Shagreen armor, poisoned trident, shield.

• Locathah: HD 2; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: None.

4431 Abbey of St. Arachne: This abbey is dedicated to Arachne, a mortal weaver possessing such magnificent skill at her art that she challenged the goddess Minerva and was eventually punished for her hubris. Nevertheless, she has become a patron saint of weavers and dyers and a minor figure in the cult of Minerva. The hillsides surrounding the abbey are grazed on by sheep with especially fine, strong wool. The nuns of the abbey use this wool to produce spectacular tapestries which are valued throughout the Motherlands and a variety of magical vestments.

The abbey itself is situated on a rocky hill overlooking a valley of rolling hills. The abbey is a shell keep, two stories tall, containing workshops, storage areas (mostly bundles of wool (5 tons, worth 20 gp per ton) and dyes of many colors (100 lb each of yellow, red, blue and green, worth about 5 sp per pound), combs, spindles, etc) living quarters for the nuns and their officers, an armory, and vaults carved into the granite hill where the true treasure of the monastery, dozens of enchanted spiders who do the real weaving of the abbey, are kept.

At the foot of the abbey hill there is a village of 30 thatched longhouses surrounded by a stone wall with a moat and three towers. The village is built against the abbey hill, with the town hall constructed right against the wall and offering access through a secret door to the tunnels and vaults carved into the hill. One can also access the abbey from the village by a system of stairs, some wooden and some carved into the living rock. The villager is defended by five men-at-arms in embroidered +1 tunics carrying shields, spears and light crossbows.

Abbey and village are ruled by Xanah, a small, radiant woman who wears sepia robes covered in magnificent embroidery depicting scenes from the life of St. Arachne (worth 200 gp). Xanah has guileless green eyes and fine, white hair in an elegant chignon. Her order is sworn to a vow of silence, and she will not break this vow. She is assisted by ten nuns. Hidden in the vaults beneath the abbey is her former lover, Brear, who has been turned into a drider and now stalks the dark corridor struck with madness. While Xarah has forsworn her love for him, she still does her best to hide and protect him, despite his occasional attacks on the villagers.

The abbey’s treasure consists of 10,000 cp and 4,100 gp and is kept behind a locked door in the subterranean vaults.

• Xanah, Cleric Level 9: HP 30; AC 1 [18]; Save 6 (5 with cloak); Special: Spells (4th); Platemail, shield, mace, cloak of resistance (+1 to saving throws), holy symbol.

• Brear, Drider: HD 7 (30 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 18; Save 9; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Spells, magical abilities.

4433 Ancient Donjon: An ancient, crumbling donjon stands atop a hill, overgrown with pine trees that are gradually tearing the place down. An obscured trap door allows access into the dungeon, which currently houses two hungry ghosts.

• Hungry Ghost: HD 1+1; AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 claw (1d4); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Phantasmal force, invisibility, suffer double damage from cold and fire.

4436 Ancient Computer: An ancient analog computer has been tucked into a small niche in the rocks and hidden by a few pine boughs, now dry as kindling. The computer looks like a large, wooden chest filled with gears and covered with dials on the outside and a crystal sphere on which is etched a map of the world. By turning the dials to match astronomical observations, the sphere turns to show one their location on NOD. Alas, the map is a bit inaccurate, ignoring the existence of the antipodes and misjudging by 1,000 miles the western extent of Antilia. Operating the device requires a check against intelligence, with magic-users modifying their roll by 1 and scientists by 2.

4450 Whirlpool: This hex is almost filled by an enormous whirlpool that will almost certainly drag ships down to be dashed against the rocks. The whirlpool is caused by a glowing sword piercing the sea floor. The short sword, constructed in the ancient Greek style, was placed there by Neptunus for any hero brave and cunning enough to claim it. The sword is a +2 weapon that allows its wielder to breath underwater and swim as swiftly as a dolphin (Move 24). In addition, sea creatures must pass a saving throw to threaten or attack the wielder (unless he attacks first).

4531 Ancient Road: An elevated stone road goes from this hex to [6026], following the curve of the evergreen belt. In hexes [5434] and [5534] is follows along the banks of the lake. The road is of Nomo construction, and was meant to move troops swiftly into the Golden Coast region for an invasion that never took place. Every six miles (i.e. in each hex) there is a statue of Mercurius consisting of a 5-ft tall pillar of porphyry topped by a sculpture of the deity’s head. Where the road is near settlements, it is lined with cenotaphs, tombs and crypts.