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The Shardis Gaols
Locations  (City)   (Underground)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-27 09:15 PM


The Solitary Wing (Lower)



Before the Eclipse: Compared to the constant sounds of life in all the other wings, the silence in this wing is unnerving. Unlike the other cells in the complex, these all have solid wood doors to keep their inhabitants from communicating with those outside.



Inside the cell is an empty room with a hole in the floor, an oubliette. The interior of the oubliette is empty. With the doors closed, the prisoners are stuck in pitch black, a sensory deprivation that turns most into residents of the Mental Ward.



Anyone here is either a serious troublemaker within the complex, or has secrets of some kind that the Powers That Be don't want spreading. Getting an actual audience with someone in solitary is nearly impossible.



After the Eclipse: The darkness filling the cells has grown to encase the entire wing, seeming almost alive and malicious. Torches are shattered to uselessness, and constant skittering can be heard all around. Anyone who comes here will quickly find themselves assaulted by dozens of the shadowborn insects. The presence of light will only further enflame the swarm, some sacrificing themselves to bodily snuff out torches and shatter lamps.



The central 4 solitary cells are the most interesting part of this wing, and the part that every beetle in the complex will defend to the death. Each of the cells is packed full (oubliette included) of the shredded remains of the bodies the beetles have been collecting. Buried within that shredded nesting material is the multitude of eggs from which voracious larvae will soon hatch and begin feeding on their gathered nesting material.



A few have already done so, and the quick larval stage means that within a week of unchecked activity, the beetles will swarm through the rest of the complex, annihilating everyone left before tearing apart the entrance door and emerging into the tunnels beneath Shardis.


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The Shardis Gaols
Locations  (City)   (Underground)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-28 12:36 PM
Hellgate definitely has it's own appeal; while this is much more of a structured, organized prison, suitable for inclusion in a city environment, Hellgate is much more suited for a long-term dungeon delve campaign.

Also, this is more of a sidenote for the overall Shardis City (forthcoming) and Bringers of Midnight plotline than something that could be a true campaign. A few sessions, perhaps. But there just isn't enough content for it to be anything more than a side-adventure; in contrast, Hellgate is a gigantic open system. You can have ANYTHING in there. Go to Comment
The Shardis Gaols
Locations  (City)   (Underground)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-12-19 08:20 AM
The main reason is rather simple: I wrote this to be a stopover point for the PCs as part of a wider plot that I'm still finishing up, instead of someplace where the day-to-day life truly matters. It grew from a minor location into a full write-up, but the purpose of the location remained the same; this is a place the PCs would visit, not live.

Also, I didn't really think it was necessary. This isn't a modern incarceration facility, with legally mandated exercise yards and amenities. Prisoners live in their cells, and are rather spoiled that the city provides them with two (extremely simple) meals per day if they don't have someone from the outside who will bring them better. Almost all other prisons simply say, "Not our problem, you're lucky we didn't execute you. Get your friends to feed you." The really rich prisoners get a desk with a lamp, and a more comfortable mattress. Everything else is brought in by their friends, relatives, and acquaintances. There really isn't a "prison life" to speak of. You sit in your cell, twiddling your thumbs. Go to Comment
The Shardis Gaols
Locations  (City)   (Underground)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-12-19 09:01 AM
Too much detail makes it harder for a potential GM to pick up the location and use it. Those sorts of things simply don't add enough value to the submission as-generally-used to be worth including (in my opinion). Go to Comment
The Shardis Gaols
Locations  (City)   (Underground)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-12-22 11:51 AM
As I said before, the purpose of this prison isn't as a place that the players would be incarcerated in, it's a stopover point that they interact with as part of a larger set of goals. I think it'll make a bit more sense when the overall plot that it's a part of is finished.
You can honestly think of this more as a mini-dungeon, since they're more likely to be interacting with it after the Eclipse than before.
With that in mind, the details you're requesting simply do not fit with the purpose of the submission. Remember, we want "relevant details", and as relevant as day-to-day life and the path to imprisonment-and-escape might be to a normal prison that will be standing for a long time, this isn't one. The players would see little parts of the daily routine in the course of their visit, which can be left to the GM for maximum sense-making within the context of the session they're running.
If a GM wants to use the Gaols as a normal prison (for PCs or non), they're certainly welcome to. But since that isn't the original purpose I had in mind while writing it, that means they'll have to fill in the details that I didn't include themselves.
If I included every detail that a GM might possibly want, the sub would lose coherency, triple in length, and be much harder to use, since too many details can prevent usage just as effectively as not enough.
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Chelonians
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Swamp)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-27 08:51 PM


I, also, like the archetypes. They add a bit more flavor to how the race pans out in their interactions with the galaxy.


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The Devoted Children of Midnight
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Local)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-04-13 10:33 AM
The submission is In-Work Private. You can't access it. It'll work once I make the sub public. (I don't have it that way currently because I don't like spamming the main page with edit notifications, which is what happens to In Work Public submissions.) Go to Comment
The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-29 10:49 PM
One winds up here the same way they end up in any hell: They kick the bucket and are sentenced to eternal doom, or someone opens a portal and they walk/fly/are thrown through..

It's place in the greater cosmos is as a repository for damned souls. My concept of the geographic region of hyper-reality generally referred to as "the Hells" is that it also functions as a prison for the demons and dark gods that seem to inevitably reside therein. Which also explains nicely their constant desire to escape and wreck havoc on the mortal plane. Go to Comment
The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-07-12 08:44 PM
For those wanting a bit more combat information, click here. Go to Comment
The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-12-15 04:56 PM

Aphotic Worms

Every ecosystem has its parasites; the Hell of Primal Shadows is no different.

Living, writhing shadows, Aphotic Worms clump together and swarm unsuspecting creatures, wriggling and sliding their way into any orifice they can. Once they've infested their target, they take full control over its actions, using their new host to hunt and kill prey. Non-sentient, the worms will flee a host when it has been rendered unconscious, immobile, or dead.

Their danger lies in numbers and hosts. The worms themselves are easily killed with the smallest of lights.

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The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2013-09-21 10:12 PM
An excellent point. Some visual description was needed, because PCs will presumably have light and thus they'll see bits and pieces of these demons. However, since darkness is intricately bound to how these should be presented, perhaps the addition of a "lightless" description for each would be in order. Go to Comment
The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-18 02:09 AM


Ink Lizards

 

Dog-sized creatures with thick, scaly skin, long claws and double-rows of razor teeth. They charge to bring down their prey, biting through calf or thigh with their terrifyingly strong jaws, though occasionally they'll hammer a large creature with their long tail to knock them over. Once their victims are downed, the creatures claw and bite without mercy, tearing out large chunks of sweet, delicious flesh to devour. Their bite is poisonous, quickly leading to paralysis and sepsis, presuming the prey lives that long.

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The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-18 01:36 AM


The Ebony Octopus

 

It creeps from shadow to shadow, finding entry through the smallest of openings. Shadowy tendrils snake from around corners and beneath grates, grabbing ankles and dragging victims screaming into the darkness. What happens next is best left unsaid.



Notably, these tendrils seem immune to the normal corrosive effect of light upon the denizens of the Primal Shadows, retaining their form and power despite direct illumination. This makes them a huge threat against the unwary, who naturally assume that being in the light protects them from the dangers lurking in the lightless reaches. Only the core body itself is vulnerable to radiance, though trapping it long enough to fully destroy it is quite difficult; much like it's waterborn compatriot, the Ebony Octopus is hard to pin down.

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The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-18 12:57 AM

Shadowbeasts


Fell creatures near the top of the food chain, shadowbeasts are a hairsbreadth away from being shadow incarnate. Their form is extremely fluid, shifting and changing as actual shadows do, becoming larger or smaller as needed. If seen with dim light (full daylight would annihilate it), it will appear as an amorphous mass of shadows, clinging to and creeping along the ground.


Cunning predators, they prefer to ambush their prey and drag it off into the darkness, enshrouding it with their caustic shadows before tearing it apart to release the essence of life within.


Like all creatures of this plane, light is a potent weapon against a shadowbeast. Enough light will kill it, as will sufficient application of magical damage. Physical weaponry, however, is next to useless in fending one off. Torchbearers should be cautious, however, for a shadowbeast will make it's first priority the removal of light and any who carry it.

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The Hell of Primal Shadows
Locations  (World)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-18 01:25 AM


The Onyx Serpent

 

A great creature of black, stony skin, whose slithering across the ground sounds like the grinding of mill stones. It has piercing eyes of gold and teeth that glow with a ghostly pale light, with a hiss that sounds like crumbling mountainsides. It's size belies it's speed, however, and this snake eshews venom, preferring instead to crush and swallow prey whole.



The hide is an organic obsidian composite harder than any known rock, easily capable of deflecting both blade and spell. Of the various fauna that exist in the Hell of Primal Shadows, this is the one that all others fear. You do not confront it, you sidestep it and pray it finds something tastier to go after.

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30 Genies
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-18 08:56 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
Generating Fear: Disappearing Pursuit
Articles  (At Table)   (Gaming - Genre)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-08 05:49 PM
Because it's long moved past it's origins in Cryptography. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AliceAndBob) Go to Comment
Altar of Grilling
Items  (Tools)   (Villanous)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-04 10:28 AM


This is the perfect Garage Sale From Hell item. It captures the ideals of the codex perfectly, and is itself a unique and useable item.



Well done.


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A Treatise on the Styles of Casting
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-02-25 09:49 PM


I'd like to note that, while not required, it should be extremely hard, if not impossible, for a mage to use more than one style at once. Otherwise it opens the field to powergaming of a nasty type. Perhaps the shape of the energy used in each style interferes with that of the others, or some similar reason.


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A Treatise on the Styles of Casting
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Chaosmark's comment on 2012-03-06 11:17 PM
I laughed pretty hard at #4. Go to Comment
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