|Moonlit Graveyard, William Heine, 1854|
THE OBELISK OF FORGOTTEN MEMORIES - AREA 10
AREA 10 - The Hive
10. The Hive - Beneath the Sinkhole in Area 4, the Corpse Fleas of Jackal-Mask Bonechewer have constructed an underground hive and are slowly undermining must of the graveyard as they dig up remains to devour and seek another means of entrance into the areas of the Mausoleum held by the Cult of Furter.
The Hive consists of a central chamber directly below the graveyard's Sinkhole, and maze of low tunnels (Area 10a). The fleas can easily enter and exit through the sinkhole, and can enter the sealed left side of the Mausoleum by climbing through the pit between Areas 9b and 7e. The hive areas have been dug from the raw earth by the labor of the Corpse Fleas, working with their pick like front limbs, and the dirt from the excavation piled into a ring around the sinkhole. To keep the dirt walls from collapsing the fleas have plastered them with an orange spittle that hardens into a thin glossy layer. The walls are still very rough, in places bones and bits of coffins protrude from them as the fleas have been tunneling under the graveyard. Likewise the floor of the hive areas is carpeted with bone dust and fragments as well a bits of grave clothing, and broken coffins.
There are 78 Corpse Fleas in the hive when the PC's enter the Obelisk grounds. The GM should reduce this number whenever a corpse flea is killed and increase this number if the corpse flea population seems to small for dramatic tension. Also note the fleas reproductive methods, and that their population will jump several days after the colony acquires any considerable number of fresh corpses.
Corpse Fleas are not normally much above animal intelligence, but they are sacred to Jackal-Mask and he has used his divine power to control this hive and relay the fleas simple directions. The majority of the Corpse Fleas gather every night from 2 - 4 AM outside Area 6 to be near Jackal-Mask's presence and receive his instructions telepathically. Jackal-Mask has demanded that the fleas attack and destroy the minions of Furter, and secondarily Bezonaught's ghouls. In service of this effort the fleas mount patrols of the graveyard and there will always be two 2 D12 fleas away from the hive scouting. The fleas have also been conditioned to take violent offense to anyone who digs up graves or otherwise loots coffins underground (with the exception of Area 10b, if the PC's have destroyed Furter's Cult at the bidding of Jackal-Mask). Likewise theft of grave-goods will perturb Jackal-Mask and the hive, though again, items taken from crypts and dead who have not been buried are not included in this prohibition.
When intruders enter the hive, 50% of the Corpse Fleas will be in the central chamber (minus the fleas on patrol), and the remainder will be in Area 10a, or 9b. These missing fleas will arrive in waves of 1D6 per round, after an initial 1D4 rounds as the resident fleas begin chittering their distress.
If the party is in the service of Jackal Mask, the fleas will attempt to lead them to Area 9b, and up the ladder to the chamber above so they can attack the Cult of Furter. If the party has destroyed the cult of Furter and provides the fleas with proof of this (in the form of the Patriarch Chax's body) they will attempt to show the characters the wall to Area 10b.
Corpse Flea (78) AC 7, HD 1-1 (HP 3) #AT 1, D 1D4 + (hit drain), MV '40 ('30/Leap) Save F0, ML8
10a. Hive Tunnels - Winding toward the left ossuary beneath the Mausoleum, Area 9b, these tunnels are narrow and rounded, forcing man sized creatures to walk single file (double file for fleas and two more on the walls and ceiling).
Approximately 50% of the remaining fleas will be in these tunnels at any given time, in small groups of 1D6, shoring up the walls, slowly digging or simply skittering around. If hostile they will attack and begin chittering, causing the remainder of the fleas in the hive to begin arriving at a rate of 1D6 per round after the first 1D4 rounds.
The walls of the tunnels are hardened with flea spittle and broken up by the occasional jutting bone or coffin fragment. The fleas instinctively collect grave goods and push them into dead ends. In each of the dead ends there is one of the following seven caches scattered on the floor amongst shrouds, bits of bone and broken coffins.
Cache 1 - A copper statute of a frog (25 GP), 110 SP, 12 EP.
Cache 2 - 300 GP in hole centered coins strung as a necklace, Antique bronze astrolabe (15GP)
Cache 3 - Six agates (10GP x5, 25 GP), Silver death mask of jackal (100 GP)
Cache 4 - Pewter Stein with lacquered battle scene (25 GP), 36 SP, 18 GP, Gold wedding band (10 GP)
Cache 5 - Diamond Ring (300 GP), Healing Potion in ivory stoppered flask,
Cache 6 - stained shroud, finely embroidered with tiny carnelian beads (50GP), 95 SP
Cache 7 - Broken fine china (0GP), Silver etched , molded bronze chestplate, depicts Torpo (100 GP)
NOTE: This is the last entry of the Obelisk of Forgotten Memories. I will finish a few more pieces of art, do some editing and get it all arranged in a PDF, hopefully next week. The PDF will be available free, and all I ask is that if you run the Obelisk let me know how it went! Also if anyone feels like reviewing it or otherwise promoting it I would be very flattered.
As you may know I have started work on a second location, The Old Brewery, that my home party has also raided (though again they missed many areas). I will be posting bits of that adventure the same way I have the Obelisk, and there is a page already set up.