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.
Part of a whole, but this can be easily run as a one-night game on its own. Good, creepy prison, with the appropriate touches of brutality and hopelessness.
The before-and-after scrolls are pretty long, but remind me of a published adventure, where you get the two gm boxes on how to run it before and after some "great event", for each scene.
Layout is stark and spartan, so that works. Good examples of prisoners and guards, and nicely woven overall.
Paragraph one and two provide us with the authors view of prison and punishment without discussing law. Being that the prison is not going to be a major part of the story do we need this brief and unconcluded pontification of institutional punishment as a function of a complex society. Do we need this to understand the gaols, is the teaser text not enough?Go to Comment
Ok, so here we have this eternal black hell. Interesting. There is no light here and anyone trapped here that has no way of seeing in this blackness is pretty much screwed. Cool. I echo Siren in asking how does one stumble to this Hell or be sent here? Seems like a foolish place to willingly go for sure. A trek to find an item hidden within the realm to stop the ensuing darkness perhaps? Into the Lion's Den for sure.
It is a grand and horrible place brought to life by its unique ecosystem, each one seeming to have a real mind of their own yet to echo Pariah I do not understand the ability to be immune to light if they are blind. No immune persay but not as weak to it as others when "the touch of light is anathema to the natives of this hell, searing flesh and burning away the darkness that comprises their very essence."
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Regardless this is a nifty place and it speaks of dark and ill nightmares should it leak out into the real world. A wonderful forboding place to have a campaign.
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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.
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.
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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.