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SCAP Chapter 5 Descriptive Text

Page history last edited by Shimrath 10 years, 3 months ago

EVENT 17: THE CAULDRON TAX RIOT 

The streets around City Hall are packed tight with loud citizens rallying against the recent tax increases in Cauldron. Several guards stand in a ring around the building and use the hafts of their halberds to keep people out. Presently, a small group of dignitaries, easily recognizable as the town tax collectors, make their way to the entrance. The citizens boo and scream insults at the tax collectors as they scuttle inside the building.

 

The words of the fervor-filled merchant continue to imbue the citizens with a mounting rage. The people’s anger culminates when Maavu points out the fact that a group of armed half-orcs is already harassing the town: “Skellerang is feeding a band of filthy half-orc thugs a large share of our bread!” he screams. Then, wading in the crowd of people, a human watch sergeant escorted by several half-orc mercenaries approaches the dais to arrest the merchant. “In the name of Terseon Skellerang, Captain of the Town Guard, I must arrest you!” he declares, addressing Maavu. Suddenly, from within the angered crowd, an unassuming youth draws a hidden dagger and screams out, “Let’s kill these half-orc brigands!” As his voice is drowned out by the roar of a hundred other people, the lad lunges at the nearest half-orc. In seconds, the mob erupts into a full-fledged riot. 

 

EVENT 23: THE HEADLESS DEMON

A large beach runs along the northern bank of the Red River here. A badly weathered stone statue of some sort of humanoid creature stands at the edge of the jungle, overlooking the beach. The statue's neck ends in a stump, and its expressive canine head lies in the sand a few feet away. Patches of mold and moss grow on the statue, but the vegetation around it seems to have been cleared away recently. A narrow trail winds off to the northwest and into the jungle just beyond the statue. 

 

EVENT 25: WINGS OF JUSTICE

Powerful forces of chaos and evil are afoot. I dare not remain here long lest my presence attract the attention of those forces. Yet I could not sit by and watch you march into danger without warning you. The Lord of the Demonskar knows of your approach, and even now his minions prepare for your arrival. They shall use deceit and treachery against you, just as they have done with Alex Tercival before you. You must remain resolute; Alek Tercival must be saved. 

 

I have no aid to offer you but knowledge. In ages past, I provided to Surabar Spellmason a powerful weapon to assist him in his conflict with the Lord of the Demonskar. This was Alakast , a quarterstaff infused with an undying hatred of the fiends of the outer rifts. Unfortunately, Alakast was stolen centuries ago, ripped from Spellmason's tomb by a grave robber. Yet do not despair, for it is fated that Alakast should be wielded again against the Lord of the Demonskar. It has found its way to you, and all that needs be done is for you to claim it. 

 

Seek Alakast in the lair of my false sisters, beyond the watchful eyes of the north. That is all I am at liberty to say. . .I wish you well in your travails, heroes, and never lose sight of your goals. 

 

EVENT 26: THE ROUND CAVERN

The hunting trail ends abruptly here and the trees thin out considerably to the north, granting a clear view of the sky. To the north, roiling yellow and brown clouds boil above a jagged, barren horizon. The jagged line of the Demonskar’s rim broods at the base of these clouds. The ground itself between here and the rim is strewn with razorsharp ridges of volcanic glass and jagged stone. Ruined strips of what can only be the metal framework of ancient structures protrude from the ground like broken fingers from a shallow grave. One particularly large structure juts from the ground only 20 feet from the end of the trail. The ruin appears like nothing more than a massive pipe protruding from the ground, its twenty-foot-wide, two-foot-thick frame sloping down into the tortured ground at a gentle slope. 

 

VOICE OF THE DESTROYER

  

V1. LANDING

Out of the dark passage, sharp and jagged rocks hang over a small ledge in the southeast part of a wide pit. The pit, roughly one hundred and fifty feet in diameter, is set at the bottom of a large fissure among the arid, crystalline hills that border the Demonskar. Puffs of eye-watering smoke seep from a pool at the bottom of the chasm, about fifty feet below. On the other side of the chasm, a pair of gigantic metal tubes protrudes from the rock, extending nearly fifty feet and out of the fissure. The burning stink of sulfur and acid is everywhere, and the ground and walls are wet with foul-smelling condensation. A ramp of roughly hewn stone steps winds down into the pit. As the wind rises and sweeps through the fissure, the two looming metal chimneys issue a thundering, deep bellow that echoes across the landscape.

 

V2. MEPHITIC POOL

The water in the shallow pool at the bottom of the chasm bubbles constantly, stirred by acrid vapors escaping from deep underground. A whistling puff of smoke erupts sporadically from the water’s surface, spraying the surrounding rocks with warm, whitish droplets. On the west wall of the chasm, a twenty-foot-tall, massive iron gate blocks the way to a passage dug into the rock. Over the blocked passage, a second cave mouth opens on the rocky wall, much like the balcony of a giant gatehouse.

  

V3. STEEL GATE

The end of this narrow canyon contains a large cave opening in the side of the rift. A massive fifteen-foot-wide, twenty-foot-tall, spiked iron portcullis blocks this entrance. About fifteen feet above the gate is a much smaller cave mouth; this one barely two feet in diameter.

 

V4. BALCONY

A wide balcony looms over the north face of this passageway. An enormous winch system on the balcony above connects to a pair chains and pulleys attached to the portcullis. A giant-sized stool sits behind a three-foot-tall wooden platform that runs along the balcony. Several spherical rocks are heaped near the balcony’s edge.

  

V5. GIANT ENTRANCE

A fifteen-foot-wide, fifteen-foot-tall cave mouth opens on the rocky wall here, obstructed by a crude wall of logs and boards bound together with rope and huge iron nails. From the cave, a winding path leads downhill toward the misty, blighted heart of the Demonskar itself.

  

V6. MEETING HALL

The walls of this circular, domed chamber are carved and polished with exceptional precision and skill to look like cascades of petrified liquid. Several metal disks on the ceiling sixty feet above provide a pearly illumination as bright as torchlight. The center of the room is occupied by a bizarre, thirty-foot-wide, seven-foot-tall metal and stone sculpture made of truncated pillars, short ramps, suspended slabs of stone, and a total of twenty chairs with triple arm-rests.

 

V7. HILL GIANT CAVE

This place reeks of sweaty, unwashed brutes and scorched meat. Four twelve-foot-long stone beds covered with filthy animal skins lie near the walls. A huge firepit dominates the middle of the cave, under a chimney hole in the forty-foot-high ceiling above. The charred, dismembered skeleton of a huge ape lies over the bed of ashes. A pile of one-foot-diameter polished rock spheres is stacked neatly against the south wall, with a hammer, a chisel, and an emery nearby. Four large burlap sacks sit against the west wall.

  

V8. HALLWAY

This huge, twenty-foot-wide, twenty-five-foot-high corridor is blocked by a cave-in at its northern end. A bluish gleam emanates from a side corridor near the cave-in, shifting and dancing on the walls nearby. Several magic plates on the ceiling fill the corridor with a soft, gray light.

  

V9. ETTIN BARRACKS

Five nasty-looking piles of animal skins occupy this filthy cave. Several sacks, clay lamps and vases, cookware, and crude tools are scattered here and there, and six torches have been jammed into cracks in the walls.

 

V10. SMITHY

This huge rectangular room has a prism-shaped, fifty-foot-high ceiling. A shiny, metal furnace stands against the north wall, with rumbling, vertical blue flames inside. A large mound of broken anvils is stacked against the side of the furnace, and several more anvil fragments lie heaped inside the furnace, glowing blue-hot. An enormous hammer lies on a big iron anvil in the middle of the room, beyond which several more anvils are stacked haphazardly. A great chair sits in the southwestern corner aside a huge metal chest. A seven-foot-wide cubic cage of silver and platinum, its bars etched with mystical symbols, lies nearby, propped up against a pile of metal scrap.

 

V11. FOUNTAIN

Four white pillars with capitals shaped like slender hands support a twenty-foot-tall ceiling in this rectangular room. A three-foot-diameter crystal globe is embedded ten feet up on each pillar. These hollow globes are half-filled with bubbling, transparent liquid that seems to replenish itself as quickly as it drains out of a hole in each globe's base. At the base of each pillar, a silver spigot allows this liquid to drain out of the pillar and down a narrow gutter to collect in a basin in the floor in the room's center. There, the liquid turns a deep purple color that evaporates as quickly as it is filled. A golden chalice sits on the basin's rim near the southeastern pillar.

 

V12. EXPLOSIVE VAPORS

 

V13. THRONE ROOM

The north portion of this square room contains a seven-foot-high platform connected to an L-shaped ramp. A strip of bas-reliefs depicting gaunt, magic-wielding, six-armed creatures decorates the base of the platform. Each creature holds a disk in its lowest set of arms, which is represented like a shining sun. The rays emanating from the disks, engraved in the stone as straight lines, form the background of the composition. A white marble throne with triple armrests sits on the platform itself.

  

V14. HAG COVEY'S LAIR

Three large beds sit in this room. Along the north wall hangs a set of golden baboon masks. The smooth stone walls and the floor are covered by colorful and bizarre tapestries and carpets. An elaborate weaver's loom occupies the southwest corner. Various skeins of wool of many different colors are piled near the loom, next to a basket of sewing tools. A wooden chest sits in the southeast corner.

 

V15. STARRY MIRROR

The ceiling in this room forms a four-sided dome. The apex of the dome is thirty feet off the ground. An odd, ten-foot-wide pentagonal mirror hangs on the west wall, from where it casts a dark reflection of the room. This reflection is distorted in an unsettling way, and dotted with shimmering, star-like pinpoints of white light. A single chair of white stone with triple armrests sits in the middle of the room, facing the mirror. A colorful hexagonal diagram is engraved in the floor surrounding the mirror.

 

THE ANCIENT VAULT

  

A1: UNDERGROUND CHAMBER

A pentagonal, five-foot-wide mirror is set into a wall of this square room. Twelve seven-foot-tall clay urns stand against the walls to either side, and an iron door, its face covered with countless scratches and chips, blocks an eight-foot-tall archway in the wall opposite the mirror.

 

A2: ENTRANCE ROOM

Four pillars support the ceiling of this square room. Along one wall an arcade allows access to the outside, its opening partially choked by sand. The sand has spread into the room, covering half of the floor. A human skeleton juts out of the heap of sand in the middle of the room, an iron pickaxe lying on the ground near its outstretched arm.

  

CONCLUDING THE CHAPTER 

“There is naught left for you in Cauldron, heroes! To return is to enter your own graves and to bring doom upon all you love! Trust the sign of the Smoking Eye if you wish to save them all!”

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