On Venatia – Part Eleven

4718 Sacellum of Mitra: Nomer, a powerful priest of Mitra has established a fortified abbey in a pleasant valley ringed by wooded ridges and sparkling rills. Nomer’s abbey is constructed in the Roman style prevalent in the grand city-state of Nomo, the place of Nomer’s nativity. The principal stone used in construction is limestone, supplemented with marble columns and lintels and gleaming brass ornaments. The abbey houses ten lesser clerics and their warhorses. The abbey sits atop a small rise next to the stream that flows through the valley. It consists of a large chapel to Mitra in which services for the priests and villagers are held each Sunday, storage rooms and simple living cells for the priests, including Nomer. The abbey also has a man-made grotto constructed beneath it in which private rituals are held for the priests. The ultimate goal of the Mitra-ites is to clear the woodlands of monsters and bring Mitra’s light to the villagers of the coast.

The abbey is surrounded by a village of 400 pious yeomen farmers, all free men and women which is defended by a wooden palisade with a moat and three wooden towers. The yeomen farmers live in timber longhouses built atop columns of bricks, for the valley is prone to violent weather and the stream often floods. They raise crops of barley and turnips, and the clerics maintain a vineyard and produce a middling wine. The village is protected by a force of 60 archers (leather armor, short bow, spear) commanded by 4 sergeants and 20 horsemen (chainmail, shield, horseman’s mace, light lance) commanded by 3 sergeants.

A treasure of 3,015 cp, 239 sp, 250 ep, 486 gp and 198 pounds of barley corn (worth 1 gp/lb) is kept in the village. The priests possess 1,147 sp, 2,061 gp, two hyacinths (gemstones worth 1,250 gp each) and ten coconuts given to them by a South Seas trader who sought curative magic. The coconuts are worth 10 gp each.

• Nomer, Cleric Lvl 12: HP 45; AC 1 [18]; Save 4; Special: Spells (6th); Platemail, shield, mace, holy symbol. Muscular and bitter, his love was spurned by a highborn lady of Nomo – this rejection spurred him to become an adventurer, and though he is dedicated to Mitra, his feelings sometimes bubble to the surface, especially around petit brunettes.

• Cleric of Mitra: HD 2; AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 weapon (1d6); Move 9; Save 15; CL/XP 3/60; Special: One 1st level cleric spell; Platemail, shield, mace, holy symbol, blue mantle, white surcoat emblazoned with a blue bull.

4909 Bear Totem: A very shallow cave in the side of a mountain overlooking a rushing stream of white water holds the skeleton of a large cave bear. The skeleton is a mere pile of bones with the skull sitting atop the pile, and it has been decorated with smears of blue paint and eagle feathers. The walls of the cave are decorated with cave paintings of bears and hunters. The skeleton is an idol of Arcturus, the Lord of Bears, and must be propiated with offerings of meat. If such offerings are not made, adventurers passing through the mountains have a 1 in 6 chance each hour of encountering 1d3 cave bears, who will attempt to kill one person and drag their remains back to the idol as an offering.

4921 Rotting Circus: A caravan of brightly colored wagons is circled on a pleasant meadow overlooking a rushing stream. As one approaches, it becomes evident that the wagons are in terrible disrepair and that there doesn’t seem to be any movement around the wagons, although there is a flickering fire. The traveling entertainers, some months back, took a fortune teller named Morcerth into their ranks. Unfortunately, Morcerth turned out to be a necromancer, and in short order the entertainers had been murdered and raised as leper zombies. Morcerth is using them as his guardians while he searches for an entrance to the Netherworld that he believes lies hidden in the Forest of Dread. Morcerth’s treasure consists of 6,219 gp, 29 pp, a terracotta lamp he claims once held a genie and a cursed -1 dagger that he will offer in exchange for his safety, if hard pressed.

• Leper Zombies (19): HD 1; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 claw or bite (1d6); Move 9; Save 17; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Disease, those slain animate as leper zombies.

• Morcerth, Magic-User Lvl 7: HP 22; AC 9 [10]; Save 9; Special: Spells (4th); Velvet robes of crimson, mauve and saffron, over-large golden turban with pearls (fake) and ostrich plumes, gnarled black wand.

5109 Azure Road: The hills here are divided by a winding avenue of gleaming blue stone that almost looks like a river. Large burrows at the start of the road are home to five giant owls who, if communicated with, will warn people to stay away from the road, for it leads only to their doom. The road extends into the center of the hex, so for about 3 miles as the crow flies, though its winding way actually totals about 5 miles. While walking on the road, there is a 1 in 6 chance each mile of an encounter with 2d6 blue flagstone spiders. The road eventually leads to a dark, wet cave choked with grey moss and hanging vines of a sickly yellow (a yellow musk creeper). The creepers control ten yellow musk zombies. The caverns beyond are said to lead, eventually, to the gates of the Underworld.

• Flagstone Spider: HD 1d4 hp, AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claws (1d2), bite (0 hp + poison); Move 15; Save 18; CL/XP 1/15; Special: Poison (+4 save or die), surprise on 1-3 on 1d6.

• Yellow Musk Creeper: HD 3; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 dust burst (2d6 + hypnosis); Move 0; Save 14; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Hypnotic dust, intelligence drain.

• Yellow Musk Zombies: HD 2 (12, 12, 12, 11, 11, 10, 9, 8, 8, 7 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 slam (1d6); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: Immune to mind affects.

5112 Poisonous Meadow: Towards the center of this hex the hills flatten and become a large meadow. The meadow is lousy with deadly nightshade and holds the lair of seven chaotic pixies with poisonous personalities. Encounters with the pixies are a certainty, for they love to harass travelers. Encounters with giant centipedes occur on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6, night and day.

• Pixie: HD 1 (7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 3); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 dagger (1d4 + poison) or arrow; Move 6 (Fly 15); Save 17; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Arrows (cause amnesia), magic resistance 25%, spells (polymorph self, invisibility, dancing lights, dispel magic 1/day, permanent confusion 1/day with successful hit and negated by a saving throw).

5317 Retired Veteran: A craggy old borc (a centaur that is half orc and half boar) has retired in this hex to a cave overlooking a stream that flows into a pond. The area has ample game, and the borc has set the surrounding area with a variety of traps. The borc is still rowdy in his old age, and is willing to train fighting-men (especially barbarians) for a jug of wine, ale or spirits and a chance to tell war stories. His treasure, buried in a terracotta pot, consists of 9,814 cp, 1,265 ep, 405 gp, a terracotta statuette of Orcus worth 4 gp and 16 golden wolf skins worth 8 gp each.

• Borc: HD 4 (21 hp); AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 halberd (1d10) or 1 longbow (1d8); Move 15; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Berserker (+2 to hit), can fight to -6 hit points.

5503 Boiling Pool: A boiling pool of water sits amidst the ruins of an ancient temple built by the lizard kings to what appears to have been a six-legged crocodilian creature with a single giant, saucer-like eye. The pool is inhabited by vapor cranes, 4 large adults, 8 small adults and 4 fledglings. The bird’s boiling bodies can be deadly to touch. One standing wall of the temple has a secret cache that holds a golden face mask of the crocodilian god worth 100 gp.

• Large Adult Vapor Crane: HD 5; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d4+5); Move 5 (Fly 12); Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Scalding to touch, steam cloud (1d6+5) in cone or 15-ft radius.

• Small Adult Vapor Crane: HD 2; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d4+2); Move 5 (Fly 12); Save 16; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Scalding to touch, steam cloud (1d6+2) in cone or 15-ft radius.

• Fledgling Crane: HD 1; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d4+1); Move 5 (Fly 12); Save 12; CL/XP 2/30; Special: Scalding to touch, steam cloud (1d6+1) in cone or 15-ft radius.

2 thoughts on “On Venatia – Part Eleven

  1. “4921 Rotting Circus: A caravan of brightly colored wagons … murdered and raised as leper zombies.”

    Leper Zombies! Cool to see someone using them. I first wrote up Leper Zombies in the early-mid 80's and released them to torment the OSR in BFRPG and S&W (there could be a C&C version flatting about somewhere also but I can't recall).

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  2. I cast my net wide when it comes to monsters, and any monster that is a dangerous variant on a monster that veteran players have become used to is always a favorite of mine.

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