Sunday, October 08, 2006

Location: Castle Stieglitz - 2nd and 3rd floors and Cellar

2nd floor:

1 Hallway
The light makes a shifting patchwork on the floor as the party passes through the broad halls.

2-7 Quarters
The quarters are full of eight slashed beds. It appears that anything of value has already been removed from these walls.

8 Petry's Room
A single small window looks out to the grounds at the back of the Steiglitz property. Like all the other areas inside this castle, the room has been completely looted. The mattress of the bed has been slashed open and its innards lie strewn across the floor. A chair lies on its side and the desk has several deep gashes as if struck by a handaxe or other small chopping tool.

9 Yevgeny's Room
This room contains a large bed which has been turned on its side. Dusty hay and down litter the corners of the room, which without exterior windows is cast in a deep earthen shadow.

10 Karl's Room
This room contains a thrashed bed and some broken furniture. The small window has been smashed. A breeze blows into the room, bringing with it the smell of grass and cedar.

11 Anna's Room
This windowless room has a single bed that has been gutted like the rest. A vanity and wardrobe shows signs of vandalism. Their contents have long since been looted. Someone with the initials “K.U.” has carved crude remarks about a woman named Anna and her questionable heritage into the wood grain of the furniture.

12 Baron's Suite
The room has a distinctly foul odor to it. In the shadowy light that streams through the windows, a humanoid form with withered and whitened hair slithers from a throne, shakes his fists defiantly and charges up the iron spiral staircase at the far end of the room. A sitting table flanked by two chairs fills the north end of the room under the window, atop it an unlit candelabra. Three chests line the south wall, upon the center one rests a notebook and a silver pitcher.

When the party enters the baron's suite, he will flee up the spiral staircase.

3rd floor:

1 Baron von Stieglitz' Bedchambers
In this round chamber high above the valley, bright spotlights from the five circular windows illuminate silver cobwebs draped like tule about the five-poster bed in the center of the chamber. A small table leans against the west curved wall, and a dresser against the east curve. A spiral staicase at the south end of the room leads down into the darkness.

Beneath the cobwebs in the bed is a long-dead servant girl, the object of desire that drove the Baron into madness. (more description here, probably a read-aloud, something to the effect of)

Sinewy strands of flesh bind the woman's mouth, and a festered and rotten slit is visible under her chin.

The windows offer views of the surrounding valley, making the tower a perfect lookout spot and the castle well-defended.

Creatures: Baron von Stieglitz, wight (CR12) who has likely fled to this location from the room below. In addition, many bats (20-40) live in the rafters beneath the tall ceilings of this tower. They will fight on the baron's side.

If the party survives the fight, the Baron's parting words:

I have failed you Katherine! I have failed you father, grandfather, uncle Jakob! I now know in death what you thought of me in life.

Soon after, the Stieglitz ghosts arrive and carry his body down to the mausoleum for burial. Then they sink back into their sarcophagi and disappear from sight.

An alternate ending is that the party parlays with the Baron and works with him to restore his name and honor.


Development: If the party heads down into the trapdoor, and they haven't met the servants, the servants close the trapdoor and drag the table back atop it, trapping the party in the cellar. Cries for help will eventually bring the remaining servants to investigate. They will not open the trapdoor until they verify the party means them no harm, which may require the party disposing of the undead.

The party must succeed at a DC 25 strength check to lift the trap door open (5 round action) if the servants do not help. They can also cajole the servants to open the trap door. This requires a DC 25 Diplomacy check (10 round action) to change their initial attitude from Unfriendly to Friendly.

1 Food Storage
This 5’ x 10’ room is musty and ridden with cobwebs. Shelves that look as if they once held dry goods now only display rat droppings.

2 Equipment Storage
This is another 5’ x 10’ room that contains mops, brooms, balls of rags, buckets, feather dusters, and other custodial equipment. They have not seen use in quite some time.

A DC 5 Search check will allow to party to find 5 large bars of soap.

3 Wine Cellar (EL 8)
This unlit earthen room is filled with narrow rows of shelves, stocked with bottles of wine. Several dead men in mail lie on the ground amongst broken bottles of wine in the tight spaces between the shelves, weapons still in their rotting hands.

The spaces marked on the map as having broken glass should be treated as being laced with caltrops. Characters moving into or fighting in such areas receive and "attack" from the broken glass. This attack is at +0 attack bonus and is against the character's touch AC (+2 if the character is wearing boots of other footwear). A successful attack deals 1 point of damage and reduces the character's movement by half.

Most of the areas in this cellar are 2 1/2 feet wide, which means that medium sized creatures will have to squeeze to move through these areas. Squeezing characters move at half speed and receive -4 to their attack rolls and AC.

Violent activity while squeezing adjacent to the wine racks has a 50% chance of sending wine bottles crashing to the ground. This fills the space the character is in with glass-caltrops as above.

Creatures: Mohrg, HP: 85 and Zombies (3) HP: 15, 18, 15 AC: 16

Several months ago the kennel master, a cruel and coarse man, was caught by a servant girl getting drunk on the Baron's wine here. Enraged, he slit her throat and drunkenly violated her. Shortly afterwards the Baron leapt upon him and slew him. The taint of his evil has lingered and now his body stalks the cellar as a Mohrg.

Afterwards, during the looting of the castle by the Baron's factious underlings, several men-at-arms came to the basement to steal the wine. The mohrg slew them and they now serve him as zombies. The zombies will lie still on the ground until the mohrg begins it's attack, at which point they will rise up and join the fray.

All of the undead, being dead and suffering no pain, are unaffected by the wine-caltrop effect.

Tactics: The Mohrg will attempt to hide until it can attack one of the party from such a position that they must face it one-on-one. The zombies will rise up to sew confusion once the attack has begun, grappling and slamming. The mohrg will tenaciously attack one foe until it is dead or paralyzed, then move on to the next, until it is slain or has slain everyone. If defeated it expels vile curses with it's grotesque tongue as it falls, calling it's defeaters mongrels and dogs in Wyndm.

Treasure: The three zombies are wearing serviceable suits of chain mail and their heavy maces lie on the ground. In addition, there is a large sack of loot they had taken before meeting their fate here. It contains 500 gold worth of accouterments including a candelabrum worth 100 gp, most of a 8 seating set of silverware worth 80gp and various other valuables. Finally, the wine on the racks amounts to 80 bottles of various quality and vintage. Their values range from 2 sp to 10 gp each, and average at 4 gp each. A DC 20 search check along with a DC 15 appraise check will allow characters to discover a 50 year old bottle of fine brandy worth 100 gold.

Development: If anyone moves the obstacles and enters the cellars without speaking with the remaining servants first, they will come and replace the obstacles at the first sound of battle, or before if they happen upon the open hatch. As noted above, opening the hatch with the table and rubble piled on it requires a DC 25 strength check, or convincing of the former servants that the trapped people mean them no harm via diplomacy or bluff.

Ad Hoc XP Adjustment: +10% XP for difficult terrain and zombies.

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