Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Obelisk, The Graveyard


The Graveyard
Furter, The Rememberator - Deity
Collectively Areas 4 -6 make up the graveyard portion of the Obelisk Grounds, they represent only a tiny part of a much larger graveyard that originally surrounded the Obelisk, or even the graveyard that existed during Torpo's day. Generations of neglect have allowed the thick cane choked forest to subsume the majority of the graveyard.

Visibility in the graveyard is poor with blankets of fog that rise from the ground every dawn and obscure the entire graveyard until dusk. This fog is of a magical nature, the result of the Obelisk Grounds long history of tragedy and the influence of the frustrated funeral gods. It limits visibility to about 30' and makes it quite easy to suddenly bump into a wandering encounter. Areas showing forest are difficult to move through and require a a high level of wilderness skill or a check against Dexterity to move more than 10' a turn due to the tangled brambles and thickets.  Encounters should be rolled as a 1 in 6 chance every few turns, or whenever the players make a great deal of noise.

The graves may be looted, but doing so requires tools and considerable effort, and most will contain nothing of value. Most importantly digging up graves will result in attack by corpse fleas who protect grave goods and burials. More detailed rules for plundering graves are included with the tables describing grave contents.

4. The Sinkhole
 The location of another cult setback and the locus of Bone-Chewer Jackal-Mask's power. The party will suddenly emerge form the trees to the ghoulish vista of a 30' x 30' section of graveyard that has been excavated into a 20' deep sinkhole. There are tools scattered about, and a stack of broken coffins and bones off to the side. These coffins have been looted and no offerings or burial goods remain.

The Sinkhole is where the grave robbing activities of Furter's Reanimators encountered the growing colony of corpse fleas that Jackal-Mask hatched beneath the graveyard to protect it. The fleas erupted in force from the ground and a fierce melee occurred approximately eight weeks before the PCs arrive on the scene. Many cultists and fleas were killed, but in the end the fleas' numbers and ferocity drove the cultists back into the Mausoleum (Area 7). The corpse fleas have enlarged the hole and it now provides no obstacle to the fleas' movement between the hive in area 10 and the graveyard above. The fleas hunt cultists and any other humanoid day and night in small random groups or undermine the graveyard and dig into old tombs from below looking for food. The fleas have been largely able to replace their dead by laying eggs in the fresh corpses of the dead cultists they killed in the first attack or who they have caught unaware since.

Anyone examining the sinkhole for more than one turn will be attacked by 2D8 corpse fleas from area 10. These fleas will be sluggish and territorial and only have a 20% chance of chasing fleeing victims.

5. The Pool
A 4' deep, dank pool bisects the grave yard. The pool is tiled with blue ceramicrete, and dates from the earliest days of the memorial. It has been repeatedly cleared since it was built and the chipped tiles have the names of ancient war heroes inscribed on them. If the players ask about the names, “Lt. Ripley” should be worth a chuckle.

The pool has 189 copper pieces and 74 silver pieces at the bottom of it, thrown as offerings (though not grave goods protected by Jackal-Mask), but the coins are shrouded in silt and rotted leaves. A determined diver may recover 2D20 copper and 1D20 silver per turn, however every turn spent in this location requires a wandering monster roll at +1 for every turn after the first due to the exposed and highly visible nature of the pond area.

6. The Shrine
This 15' tall square building is constructed of pale green marble shot through with darker green and blackish streaks. It mirrors the highly decorative style of the larger Masoleum, encrusted in carvings of fanged skulls, mourners, spirals and birds.  The rear of the structure has a massive dome, rising a 30' above the roof level.  The dome have open skylights that are big enough to enter, but the building is somewhat difficult to climb (climbing checks of under Str+Dex on 1D20 + 12 with appropriate class/equipment modifiers) due to the small overhangs and slickness of the dome.
The front of the Shrine has a large set of steps leading up to a set of bronze double doors.  The doors are decorated with a relief of a heavily muscled, befanged man in a robe and crown resting contemplatively beside a stream.  Statutes of Bezonaught and Delphina flank the doors, while the frieze about depicts a thin top hat wearing, skull faced man with his arms outstretched (the 'baron' guise of Jackal-Mask).  The doors are well oiled and open inward easily, but with a loud grating noise that will alert anyone inside the Shrine.
Within the Shrine there is a large 5' chancel with two sets of marble steps leading up to it.  Flanking the doors are copies of the statutes outside, while the frieze repeats above the doors as well. On the chancel platform is a marble altar carved with skulls topped by a protonium and silver god's eye and a marble lectern.

During the daylight hours and some evenings (20%) the Shrine is used by a group of Furter's cultists to communicate with their god.  This group consists of 3 cultists and two stitched together, neck bolt outfitted, galvanism animated guard zombies.  The Shrine's cultists are led by a venial but experienced cleric named Vicar Molari who wears fancy Denethix style dress, including a top hat, over finely crafted copper scale armor. If the cult has been recently attacked, or is aware that a dangerous group of interlopers is in the graveyard, the number of zombies will be increased to six (extra zombies pulled from areas 7 and 8). Molari is likely to attack but may allow a party that convincingly claims to be his ally to leave unmolested or use the godseye, especially if they give him a 'tithing' of at least 50GP.

'Frankenstein' Zombie AC 7, HD 2 (hp 8,12), #AT 1, D 1D6, MV ('30), Save F1, ML 12.

Cult Acolyte AC 6, HD 1 (hp 5,6,3) #AT 1, D 1D6, MV ('40) Save CL1, ML 8. Mace, Copper Scale-mail. Spells: Cure Light Wounds (x 2) Protection from Good (x1)1D6 GP

Vicar Molari AC 5, HD 3 (hp15), #AT 1, D 1D6, MV ('40) Save CL3, ML 10. Mace, Fine Scale-mail, Fancy Top Hat (12GP), Frock Coat (30GP), 23 EP, 4 GP Spells: Cure Light Wounds (x 1) Command (x1), Spiritual Weapon (x1) 
The Godseye
The Godseye is an old, but not ancient piece of work, made primarily of silver, with protonium wires  embedded for decorative purposes.  The silver is worth 500GP, but looting it will destroy the godseye and greatly anger all the orbital gods.  Anyone who is party to such a desecration will immediately be cursed with -2 to all rolls and clerics will additionally be deprived permanently of the ability to cast spells.
Because of the nature of the obelisk, the godseye can easily be activated by any cleric, and will only show the following Gods on the following schedule.

Deity in Godseye
5AM - Midnight
Midnight - 1AM
Vacant, a gray blur.
1 AM - 2AM
Delphina (50% chance only), otherwise vacant
2AM - 3AM
Bone-Chewer Jackal-Mask
3AM - 4 AM
Bezonaught the Boogeyking
4AM - 5 AM
Vacant, a gray blur

Each deity can be bargained with for more or less advantage, depending on the party's prior actions.

Furter - Furter, appearing as a giant, top hat clad undead hand, acts haughtily, and will encourage adventurers to assist him.  If they have killed his worshipers he will initially act angry, but he will quickly come around to a recruiting pitch emphasizing the funeral gods lack of interest in the Obelisk, the uncanny nature of Bezonaught's and Jackal-Mask's followers and need to restore the obelisk to a place of peace and worship.  Furter will add guilt to this inducement if the party has been killing cult members.  He will imply that the ghouls and corpse fleas are hoarding the Obelisk's treasures but make no specific reward offers.

Delphina - Delphina is distant and distracted.  She has no interest in the obelisk and finds Furter and Bezonaught very unpleasant.  If the party gets a good reaction, such as by informing her the fate of her priest (Area 9), she may bless them giving +1 to turning attempts for 1D4 days, and/or refer them to Jackal-Mask.
Jackal-Mask - Is actively angry about the state of the Obelisk Grounds and is interested in allying with any group that can assist his fleas.  The fleas can't really communicate beyond chittering and nudging, but they won't attack allies and will attack cult members if near them, such as if the party opens all the doors in area 7.   Under no circumstance will he work with anyone who has exhumed a grave and will remain hostile to grave robbers regardless of the situation.  If the party acts quickly and decisively to destroy the cult Jackal-Mask may have his insects show them the 'secret door' to the Tomb of the Rocket Men.

Bezonaught - If the PC's have slain any of his creatures (Bone Dogs or Ghouls) he will threaten them and bluster, but otherwise ignore them.  The only exception being a character who openly display's his priestesses holy golden symbol, in which case he will threaten and cajole to have the party immediately return it to his priest in Denethix.  If the party is actively exterminating cult members, promises to keep doings so, and also offers to slay fleas, Bezonaught will discourage his ghouls from attacking them - all of his creatures will only attack if they pass a moral check, rather than immediately.  The party will also gain +1 to saves vs. ghoul paralysis.


  1. Good stuff! The Furter is a bit of demented genius and I love the idea of the Tomb of the Rocket Man.

  2. Furter, demented? He's a fully legitimate deity, he'll tell you himself. Furter is all about cherishing the memories of your deceased loved ones, and reanimating their corpses with the power of Galvanism!

    I kind of wish I'd done more with the tomb of the rocket men, it's an evocative name. Problem is it just doesn't seem like a 1st level dungeon (a larger version). As is, I worry that +2 leather armor, 1500GP in Gems and a +1 sword are a bit much treasure (though proceeding hive encounter outside is a nasty one - my players are luckier than they know)and there is a secret door.

  3. I mean the mind that invented Furter. ;)

  4. I blame Irish Whiskey for Furter.