Monday, January 26, 2009

Dindle Keep - Level 2

On level 2, most of the entrances to the rooms need to be approached through the hallways that line the outer walls. This means that the keep is dark on the inside, except when the torches are lit. These are found in the center of each of the hallways and hanging at the top of each stairwell. This floor is full of secrets, passageways leading to caches of items and information.

T1-T7 Towers: Each of the towers contains a small, wooden sitting chair at the top of a circular flight of stairs. The chairs face small windows through which guards keep watch on the surrounding countryside.

Hallways: The hallways between the towers are empty save torches in sconces which provide moderate light and decorative crossed swords behind wooden shields hastily painted with the logo of Dindle Keep. Spent torches are propped up against the wall. The exception is the hallway between T1 and T2, which features two guard chairs, one on each side of the door leading to 6, where the daughters are being kept under Silas' orders, who fears that goblins will otherwise take them.

1 Master Chambers

The plushness of this room has faded with time. It appears the master has not kept up with recent trends which have swept the Jæruel, as the hardware is decades old. An unmade bed lies in the center of the room, the concave mattress showing signs of heavy use. On the floor in front of the bed is a brown bear rug. Under a colorful woven fabric, a wide armoire fills the eastern wall. An old dresser lines the southwest wall, its mirror rimmed with a black smudge.

The armoire is filled with dirty clothes. At the bottom are a leather belt with a fancy belt buckle and a pair of fur riding boots.

In the drawers of the dresser are an ornate dagger, a pouch of gold dust, and a small key. The key fits in a small, invisible keyhole in the west wall hidden by the dresser, which the party will find on a successful DC 30 search check combined with a detect invisibility spell. An 8'x5' door opens inward once the key is placed in the keyhole and turned.

1a Secret Walk-in Closet

Chests line the walls, two deep. Hanging above the chests are ornate outfits from various events in a man's life. Across from those are a set of outfits befitting a lady, from age eight to twenty-eight.

Creature: Babau (See MM page 40) Living here is Silas Dindle's demon, Nadas Baran, or if you have the need to make this a more powerful encounter, substitute this demon for a marilith or other, more powerful demon. This demon will occasionally masquerade as a merchant, bringing ill news from the surrounding forests, and driving Silas into his fearful state. Nadas Baran's minions bring plunder from surrounding lands, and this is traded for writs and other powerful pieces of paper. Nadas Baran's ultimate goal is to lure Silas into conflict with the goblins on their terms, in their lands, or at least to convince him to send his guard out and leave the keep alone, so that he may acquire the keep.

Two of Silas' seven guards work for Nadas Baran as do countless other merchants who operate both inside and outside the Jæruel merchant collective. Nadas Baran's men are very loyal, and will fight on his side if he is challenged.

Silas knows nothing of this demon; Nadas Baran has been able to successfully hide from him and his men for months now, patiently running the operation of influencing Silas from the shadows.

Nadas Baran will only attack if the party has already explored much of the second floor of the keep. Otherwise, he will remain hidden until the dramatically-appropriate moment.

Treasure: various coins, gems, and jewelry totalling 2,500gp.

2 Interior Hall

This dimly-lit hall is lined with small paintings of rustic objects - a hoe, a still-life of fruit and a loaf of bread, and the portrit of a multi-generational family dressed to work the land. Sturdy-looking wooden doors lead in various directions and a man-sized mirror at the east end of the hall makes this room feel like it is larger than it is.

If the party studies the mirror in great detail, they will notice that along the frame is a latch. Flipping the latch, they are able to remove the mirror from the wall, where whoever removes it will need to make a DC 15 Balance or Strength check, due to the topheaviness of the mirror, or drop it and have it shatter. If it shatters, the various pieces attack the party as mirror shards (to follow in a future post).

In the space behind the mirror is a small archway hiding a makeshift closet.

2a Secret Hall Closet

A pile of papers fills this closet. Among them are many unsigned writs of passage and recommendations filled out in Silas' name, as well as personal letters.

Treasure: scrolls full of information and unsigned writs. These can be sold or used to curry favor with other merchants and landowners. They would need to be signed and stamped with the Dindle seal to be made official.

The letters tell the story of Silas Dindle as a series of personal communiques. If the players read through these papers in depth, they will find out that Lady Dindle was the true keeper of the fortune, and that Silas took her surname in marriage. He once considered leaving her, but feared the wrath of her father. Then, when she took ill, he felt guilty for having considered divorce, and began to see his twin daughters as her, and thinkinghe was seeing double, began turning mad. The latest letters are written in an illegible hand.

It turns out these last letters have been written under the influence of his demon. They have, luckily, not been sent, but Nadas Baran is trying to get him to send them through legitimate channels to legitimize his claim to Dindle Keep.

3 Small Nursery

The walls are a pleasant color resembling a robin’s egg, which is slightly faded. Off to one side is one crib, and off in the room's corner is another. The musty smell mixed with the stench of rotten eggs and the large amount of dust and cobwebs throughout the room indicates this room has not been used in years.

If the cribs are searched, down below the cobwebs which hang over them, they each contain a shiny, black egg with brown speckles. These are Babau eggs. Nadas Baran is already acting as if he owns the keep, turning this room into his nest.

4 Large Room

This room is set aside for children's studies, with two desks facing opposite walls stacked with books.

Reading the books on local history and geography will improve the characters' knowledge skills. If the party searches the desks closely enough, they will discover a small latch behind one of them. The latch opens a child-sized door leading to a secret cache.

4a Secret Cache

A bookcase is nestled into the corner, and a chest lies on the other end of this secret cache.

Treasure: Among the children's books on the shelf is a minor tome of ensnarement. In the chest are various toys and dolls.

5 Long Room

This bedroom contains a bed, a chest of drawers, and a small chest serving as a footlocker at the end of the bed. A pile of rugs occupies the far end of the room.

One of the rugs contains a pack of rug rats (see future post), which rise up from the rug if anyone pulls the rug from the pile and steps upon it. The bed is normal. The chest of drawers is full of female young adult clothes.

6 Long Room

This chamber is sparsely decorated with a pair of cots, a small lantern on a wooden table. Two tomes lie open in the light.

This is where the daughters have been kept behind lock and key. They are still here, unless some other event has caused them to be moved. As the DM, use your judgment here. The books are fantasy novels that the daughters have been reading, something like Wuthering Heights but backdated to match your campaign world.

If the party is able to enter this room, they will have to have convinced Silas to let them speak with them (difficult), occupied or disabled the guards (moderate challenge), or used some form of magic or sneakery to accomplish the task (less difficult).

The daughters both know the story of what has transpired, but are unaware of much of the secret information found in 2a. They are both ready to escape the keep; living as captives in their home is unacceptable. However, because of their love for their father, they will want to help him first. Once he is freed of his demon, they will leave, Emmaigne with Lieutenant Hass and Antaigne with Captain Danus.

7 Bedroom

This bedroom contains a fine bed, a dresser, and an old rocking horse.

The bedpost farthest from the center of the room contains a small, hidden compartment, visible with a DC 30 Search check. Within the bedpost is a small scroll. Upon the scroll is a love note written in a finely-printed male hand.

The note is from the lieutenant, who is in love with one of the daughters. If pressed, he will admit this and beg the party to help him free her so they can leave this haunted place, even issue an order to the guards to let the party see the girls. He will help in the battle against the Babau if the party agrees to let the lovers leave.

The dresser contains a woman's clothes, mostly dresses and floral tunics. The rocking horse is masterwork, built by one of the master wood workers of the Jæruel at his shop in Tannen.

7a Secret Cache

The dresser slides away, revealing a wood-paneled room. Weapons are stockpiled in this triangular room, stuffed haphazardly into the corners of the room.

Treasure:Among the weapons are a long sword +1 and a masterwork dagger. Both belong to the Dindle household.

8 Lieutenant's Quarters

This neat room is sparsely decorated. The white sheets on the bed are clean and pressed. The keeper of this room is very organized. A lone armoire stands at the other end of the room.

Inside the armoire are two tunics and a jerkin, folded neatly. Hanging above them is a canvas uniform with multiple honors pinned upon the lapels. In the bottom of the armoire is a pair of leather sandals.

This is where Lieutenant Hass sleeps.

9 Captain of the Guard's Quarters

The elements in this room are slightly dissheveled. Apparently the room is not regularly cared for as its 15'x15' size deserves. The room is filled with wall-to-wall shelves, some open, some closed, some half-open, half-closed.

The open shelves reveal trophies from past battles, including chalices, small figurines, and other trinkets taken from the battlefield or potentially traded for. The closed shelves contain items considered more personal to the captain - clothing, a small, jade figurine, and various writs of passage and commendations from nobles across the Jæruel.

This is where Captain Danus sleeps. He has been troubled of late by needing to follow his liege's orders to imprison his love, Antaigne in 6.

10 Head Archer's Quarters

This room is decorated with a collection of feathers from various flying and non-flying avians. Used bows are hung on the wall, trophies of battles past. Leather straps and bowstrings are scattered atop the desk which serves as a workbench for a bowyer.

The head archer keeps watch not far from this room (hallway between T3 and T4), where he can see down over the south-facing cliff that faces the road below, so if the party spends much time here, he will come and watch them as they peruse his items. He also has a few uncommon items for trade if the barter is right.

Pernice is one of the more accurate archers in the Jæruel, and has worked for their organization for some time. He secretly works for the Jæruel administration in Tannen and has been stationed in Dindle Keep to keep watch on Silas. The Jæruel seeks an excuse to have him arrested so that they may take control of the keep. In this, Pernice is not evil, he is merely serving his true master. For this, he is well paid. he carries an official writ from the Jæruel which grants him the authority to make arrests in their name.

This will lead to a tense moment that the party gets to involve themselves in. Once the action reaches the climax, where Nadas Baran is exposed, Pernice will attempt to haul Silas off to Tannen, citing treacherous behavior. Of course, he has committed no crime, so this is a false accusation. The discussion will be handled in the follow-up post, The Story of Silas Dindle (part two), coming soon!

(To reiterate, the conclusion of Silas Dindle's story is to follow in a later post!)

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