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SCAP Chapter 11 Descriptive Text

Page history last edited by Shimrath 10 years, 10 months ago

SHATTERHORN

 

THE RUINED KEEP

A two-hundred-foot-tall spire of jagged rock stands in a rough clearing, dwarfing the surrounding trees. Some great force has split the rock into three sections, forming deep clefts. Around the base of the cleft spire, someone has built a one-story stone keep. Many of the keep’s walls have collapsed, and a thick shroud of fog envelops the structure. The lone, shrill cry of a baboon echoes in the desolation of this dreary place.

 

UNDER SHATTERHORN

 

1. TEMPLE OF FANGS

Ten thick pillars support the ten-foot-high ceiling of this large, unlit room. Deep alcoves are recessed into the west and east walls. A few snakes slither across the floor, and a distant rattling noise emanates from the deeper darkness. A sculpted stone altar rests in the middle of the room, its surfaces stained with dried blood and carved with serpentine motifs. One end of the altar curls up to form the head of a great snake with stony fangs and gems for eyes.

 

2. HIDDEN VAULT

The walls of this room are painted with plaster murals depicting eleven golden serpents, one per five-foot section of wall. Each serpent holds a painted, unfurled scroll in its mouth, and arcane runes adorn each scroll. Some of the plaster has chipped or fallen away, marring the images.

 

3. PLASTER PILLARS

Thick pillars support the ten-foot-high ceiling of this hall. Four alcoves hold heaps of dust and bone intermingled with shards of painted ceramic. A stone arm - the remains of a shattered statue, perhaps - rests on the floor between the pillars. The arm looks human-sized and is broken at the shoulder. One of its stony fingers bears an iron ring.

 

4. PIT TRAPS

This is a four-way intersection of fifteen-foot-wide passages illuminated by torches in sconces. Like other areas of the dungeon, the walls are adorned with faded murals depicting yuan-ti rituals and great serpents. The passage to the north has collapsed.

 

5. SERPENTINE URNS

The walls of this catacomb are filled with five-foot-deep alcoves. Within each alcove stands an ornate, four-foot-tall, varnished ceramic urn. The urns are painted with images of serpents, scimitars, and yuan-ti dressed in ceremonial armor.

 

6. BROKEN URNS

This unlit passage contains ten five-foot-deep alcoves. Large ceramic urns occupy eight of the alcoves, and the two remaining alcoves contain shattered urns and sawdust. To the north, the tunnel has collapsed.

 

7. EMPTY ROOMS

 

8. PREPARATORY CHAMBER

This torchlit chamber contains two oval stone tables with built-in shelves beneath them. The shelves are lined with clay jars and tattered funereal vestments and wrappings. The murals on the walls depict yuan-ti burial rituals: the removal of vital organs, the placement of the organs in clay canopic jars, the mummification of the body, the placement of the remains in a large ceramic urn, and the ritual sealing of the urn.

 

9. SERPENTINE HALL

The four innermost pillars of this chamber bear lit torches in serpentine sconces, and the flickering light casts sinister shadows upon the walls, ceiling, and floor. Some of the pillars are cracked and crumbling, revealing slick black stone beneath the plaster murals. The murals depict masses of writhing snakes and yuan-ti clad in black robes and golden armor.

 

10. SUNKEN VAULT

This unlit fifteen-foot-square room contains four statues in alcoves. The statues depict halfblood yuan-ti warriors with humanoid bodies and serpentine heads. Each statue holds a stone chest in its claws, and the front of each chest is carved with a demonic face.

 

11. STATUE OF SSYTHAR VASSHA

A six-foot-tall black marble statue stands at the end of this fifteen-foot-wide hall, facing west. It depicts a humanoid creature with subtle snakelike features clad in a black robe and wearing a coronet. In one outstretched hand it grasps a viper, and its other outstretched hand has an unblinking eye set into its palm, staring blindly down the passageway. Behind the statue is a five-foot-deep empty alcove.

 

12. ALURADS CHAMBER

This large chamber has slimy black walls with bits of painted plaster clinging to them. Around the base of the walls lie the broken fragments of murals. Four pieces of furniture rest in the middle of the room: a wooden cot, a monstrous wooden chest with clawlike feet, a table covered with clay jars and lit candles, and a wooden chair draped with skin.

 

13. TOMB OF SSYTHAR-VASSHA

The walls of this secret vault are painted with murals depicting yuan-ti warriors in golden armor marching toward the east end of the room. Some of the plaster has cracked and fallen away, revealing wet black walls underneath. Two thick pillars support the twenty-foot-high ceiling. Serpentine sconces built into the pillars hold flaming torches.

 

14. ILLUSORY PILLARS

 

15. SECRET MANSION

The north and south walls of this room are carved with two-foot-high niches, two per wall. A one-foot-tall gold statuette of a yuan-ti abomination stands in each niche. An eight-foot-diameter, semicircular stone basin emerges from the eastern wall opposite the doorway, its sides carved with serpentine engravings. Water pours out of a stone snake’s head carved above the basin, filling it.

 

16. SERPENT SENTINEL

This room is empty except for the serpentine wall murals, pieces of netting in the corners, and iron hooks jutting from the ceiling. A sinister, serpent-like hissing begins as soon as a living creature approaches within twenty feet of this room. This room apparently once served as sleeping quarters for the yuan-ti priests. They used to hang hammock nets from the ceiling hooks, and a few traces of their old hammocks lie strewn in the corners. 

 

17. SLITHERING HALL

This fifteen-foot-wide hall stretches from east to west. The plaster wall murals have broken away in places, revealing slimy black stone beyond. Most of the murals show yuan-ti engaging in morbid rituals or hunting humans in the forest. One particularly graphic mural along the southern wall depicts a twenty-five-foot-long serpent with maroon scales, a pair of arms, and the vague shape of a human torso. In place of a head, six long serpents project from the top of its torso. Yuan-ti priests wearing black robes and golden masks genuflect before the horrid abomination. Wrapped in the creature’s coils are several human sacrifices. 

 

18. CAGEWRIGHTS’ QUARTERS

This torchlit room contains four beds draped with blankets and furs. The west, north, and east walls each bear a mural depicting a loathsome serpent with a black body banded in swaths of bright crimson, its head vaguely human, with stringy hair and yellow fangs.

19. PORTCULLISES

 

20. TEMPLE OF MERRSHAULK

This is some sort of temple, its walls covered with murals of gigantic, entwined black and gold snakes, its ceiling thirty feet high. A ten-foot-high stone balcony clings to the north wall and overlooks the rest of the chamber. Flanking the balcony are two stone braziers carved with serpentine motifs. To the south, between several thick pillars, rests a six-foot-wide, nine-foot-tall black stone egg carved with strange runes. The egg rests atop a two-foot-high stone base shaped like a claw, holding the egg in place. 

 

21. EMBRILS JAR

The murals that adorn the walls of this irregularly shaped room depict scenes of yuan-ti engaging in carnal pleasures and offering sacrifices to an aspect of their dread god, who appears as an enormous serpent with multiple heads - some vaguely humanoid, others snakelike. A human woman lies atop a black crystal slab in the middle of the room. An enigmatic figure looms above her - a scrawny white-skinned humanoid dressed in black robes, with a vaguely birdlike face, large dark eyes, a long neck, and six spindly arms. It waves its arms over the woman, as though unleashing some invocation. 

 

22. CRUSHING WALLS

No decorative murals adorn this narrow tunnel, which wends through the black rock and curves off into darkness.

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