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Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon] 
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Post Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Warren of the Leper Queens: A Dungeon for Moragnian Adventurers Using the Mongoose Runequest 2 Ruleset

Setting: The adventure is set at and underneath the great Leprosarium in the region of Axrew. The Leprosarium is a collection of villages built close to one another in the middle of a rocky plain broken up by flats of dried mud. Its population is approximately 5000, almost all of whom are lepers (there are some children of lepers as well). The centre of the community is a fortified three-story abbey built of stone and used by the Dombatian Brotherhood, a monastic order devoted to caring for the lepers.

Underneath the various villages, Brides of Acephax and their followers have dug extensive tunnels over the course of several hundred years. The oldest and most important is extremely close to the Dombatian monastery. The maps below detail the tunnels closest to the monastery. This warren houses the statue in which the demon Acephax is imprisoned. Other villages have other warrens underneath them, the DM is encouraged to generate them as needed, and may find Isomage's Cave Generator useful for this purpose. Many of the lepers are unaware of their existence until they are inducted into the cult, but almost all of them have heard rumours of a secret group of leper women who work on their behalf.


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Last edited by Pseudoephedrine on Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wed May 26, 2010 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Important Dombatians:

Abbot Guillaume of Clairvaux - A Lacallian immigrant sent by the Dombatian Order to oversee their work in the Leprosarium. He speaks Moragnian, Thernish, and Lacallian, and can both read and write in those tongues as well as the runic script of the Church of the Hidden God. He is a member of the lower gentry, both by office and by birth, and retains his armour, weapons and horse though he has not used any in about twenty years. He has been initiated to be a Sanctified Brother of the Dombatian Order, and is therefore one of only two persons in the Leprosarium who can magically cure leprosy. He is willing to believe that there are gangs of thieves in Leprosarium, but not that actual demon-worshippers exist unless shown proof. He has the keys to the abbey on him at all times. His main concern is the welfare of the lepers themselves, and he actively tours the various villages to initiate various public works projects using the Order's wealth.

Oblate Curran - The senior secular officer of the abbey. He is the head librarian, the Abbot's secretary, the chief accountant and the order's disciplinarian. He speaks Moragnian, Thernish, Velling and Einer. He is the bastard of a knight, and he is keenly conscious of rank, both his own and others. He owns the second set of the abbey's keys. Oblate Curran is initiated to the level of a Novice.

Brother Morris Hamhox of Earlingshire - The fattest monk in the abbey, and the second most senior religious figure. He is the bastard of Baron Edrick of Earlingshire, which places him higher than Oblate Curran in authority. He is an sagacious fellow who is well-taught in medicine, law and natural philosophy. He is initiated to the level of a Sanctified Brother. He is literate and can speak almost every language known in Moragne. He suspects that heretics are operating in the Leprosarium, and has discovered one entrance to their warrens, though he has not yet explored it.

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Wed May 26, 2010 6:39 pm
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Area Map Key

A - The Refuge of St. Dombatius (pop 13)

The abbey out of which the Dombatian Order operates. Abbot Guillaume and Brother Morris are the only two fully ordained monks. There are ten young men (12-16) overseen by Oblate Curran who are preparing for holy orders. None are lepers, though a few are the children of local lepers that Guillaume and Morris have cured. The abbey is a three-story stone structure built atop a shallow hill. It has two entrances, on to the north and one to the south, and both can be locked and barred. There are several smaller outbuildings where animals and sundries are stored. The library, treasury and living quarters are all within the main building. The Dombation Order owns almost the entirety of the Leprosarium's land.

B - Sherwater Market (pop ~1500)

Sherwater is not a town, just a particularly dense pattern of rural village settlement around the Sherwater itself, a small lake. It houses the local market where lepers from across the Leprosarium come to trade and stretches up around the abbey as well as further south. The east end of Sherwater is planted with orchards and vinyards, and many of the better-off lepers live there in well built, spacious housing. Sherwater Market, close by the abbey, is flanked by two inns, a brothel and Make Row, a collection of craftsmen's shops. Generally, the poorest live out along the southerly paths and must walk the furthest to their fields. One architectural quirk is that there are long ropes stretched between many points so that those with more advanced leprosy can pull themselves along and support themselves from falling. Unwary travelers may trip, especially at night.

C - Saffork (pop ~1000)

Saffork is a true town, with a chest-high wall made of unmortared brick and stone. It is the part of the Leprosarium that sees the most travelers and merchants, as it has the fewest lepers. Its inhabitants were originally the healthy family members of lepers sent on to Sherwater, and the tradition has remained that anyone without leprosy who wishes to remain nearby stays in Saffork. It also serves as the point of export for all the goods the Leprosarium makes, and the point of import for everything from outside. The road between the two is the only paved and graded road in the Leprosarium, and is called the Mother's Road or the Lovers' Road, depending upon which variant of local legend one wishes to follow. There is a church, but no priest. The Servants of Acephax have many agents here, spotting ideal candidates for the Brides to infect before they go on their way.

D - The Warren of the Leper Queens

The main entrance and tunnel-cave complex used by the Servants of Acephax. See maps 1 and 2. This area is known as "Sandy Ridge" by ordinary people and is unsettled.

E - New Farm (pop ~200)

Abbot Guillaume is often away from the abbey supervising this newly cleared and watered area. It is intended to eventually be a self-sustaining hospital for the worst cases of leprosy or for other diseases in case of an epidemic, but the hospital buildings are under construction. When complete it will be a spectacular fortified compound built on the side of a ridge surrounded by green fields. In the mean time, it is a brickyard and barracks with a few flocks of sheep to keep the workmen and the Abbot company.

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Last edited by Pseudoephedrine on Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:12 pm
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
This is neato.


Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:53 am
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Thanks!

The plan is to establish the setting, throw up a ton of adventure ideas, and put up stats so that you can run it however you want. If I get it done in a timely way, I might even be willing to run some folks here through it.

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Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:55 am
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
I would be all over it.

Hmmmm...I'm now tasked with running something on Thursday night at Gencon (the original DM, our friend francisca had to drop out due to truck problems), perhaps this will fit the bill...

...of course, with some modifications :lol:


what?

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Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:12 am
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Awesome. Go ahead mate, change anything you like. Just to warn you, I'll be writing up the stats in MRQ2, but the write-ups and such will work under any system.

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Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:17 am
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Area Map Key (cont.)

F - Mercy Green (pop. 500)

Mercy Green is the northernmost village in the Leprosarium, a collection of ramshackle buildings inhabited by some of the poorest lepers. It is considered a libertine settlement, with few laws enforced. As a result, it produces much of the beer and ale consumed in the Leprosarium, and several craftsmen have moved here to set up shops that produce cheap goods after finding themselves unwelcome in Saffork or Sherwater. Sir William Herrod of Drydale, the northern neighbour of the Leprosarium, has complained to the monks that several gangs of robbers operate from Mercy Green, but the brothers have not yet been able to find them. At least one of the robber gangs is run by the Servants of Acephax. The grassland between Sherwater and Mercy Green is pasturage more thickly settled with cows, sheep and goats than people.

G - Greengate Road

A wagon track fenced on its southern side, Greengate Road is the border with the lands of Drydale Manor. The actual manor is several kilometres away, but the road is patrolled by militia twice a day. Sir William Herrod of Drydale has forbidden any leper from crossing the fence on pain of death, and his militia roughly treats anyone even merely suspected of being a leper.

H - Natewater (pop. 1000)

Named after the Abbot who first secured the lands that would become the Leprosarium from the Moragnian crown, Natewater is the oldest settlement in the Leprosarium. It is economically depressed compared to the other settlements because many of the sickest lepers live here, as the warm mineral waters are believed to retard the progress of the disease. Natewater has a blacksmith and a drinking hall, but most finished goods must be bought in Sherwater Market.

I - The Oldwood

Once a thriving forest, the deciduous trees here are long dead. A thick mass of brush, shrubs, and dwarf desert trees has grown up between them and created a near impenetrable wall frequented by wild dogs, boars and a family of large brown bears. It is a popular place for those escaping pursuit to flee to, as few others are desperate enough to follow them. Legend has it that is cursed, and the family of bears are the descendants of famous sinners.

J - Hampton Bailey

Once the fortified manor of a cadet branch of the Hampton family, now long destroyed in their self-annihilating feud with the Catherfaxes. Hampton Bailey still has two three-story stone towers mostly intact connected by two low walls that are all that remain of the manor house. It is widely believed to be haunted by the spirits of the Hamptons.

K - Jack Arrow's Camp (pop. 11)

Jack Arrow is the chief of a bandit gang with ten other members, all hardened killers and former soldiers. He avoids the Leprosarium itself and raids out south on the trade caravans heading for Velthern. The gang relies on the unwillingness of guards to get too close to the Leprosarium and the desolation of the terrain to the southwest (sand dunes and dried out mud flats) to avoid being caught.

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Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:46 am
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Prominent Local Persons

Nick the Knocker - Nicholas Penny is the tax farmer who handles the collection of tithes, rents and fees for the monks throughout the territory. He is a yeoman by birth, and is the beadle of Sherwater Market. He is so nicknamed because of the large club he carries while performing his duties (which include supervising market days and breaking up affrays). He is usually accompanied by four fellow yeomen as guards and assistants. He and his guards are all former lepers cured by the monks. Nick's position has made him a wealthy, if not popular, man, and he lives in Penny Manor at the east end of Sherwater, which serves as a secondary storehouse for the monks when needs be. He has a close relationship with Oblate Curran, and the two can often be found in one another's company.

Walter the Knight - Walter is a yeoman by birth, and another cured leper. The Leprosarium has a reduced fee to the king of merely one horseman for 40 days each year (reduced ever since the monks cured King Randolph's sister sixty years ago), and Walter is that horseman. He lives in Mercy Green, and spends most of the time he is not soldiering causing merry hell despite holding the office of bailiff there for the monks. Sir William Herrod has a personal dislike of him, and suspects he is the leader of one of the bands of robbers troubling southern Drydale. Sir William is correct, though Walter's main goals are to vandalise and torment, rather than to pilfer. Walter continues to hold his position mainly because everyone is afraid of what would happen if he were to be removed.

Simon LeFikker - Simon owns the brothel ("The Green Twist"), one of the two inns ("The Drunk Carter") and several other useful businesses in Sherwater. He is a leper who was once an emancipated villein. His last name is fake-Lacallian nonsense, though he does speak a few words of the language. Perhaps unexpectedly for a brothel owner, he has a good relationship with the monks, as he is capable of drumming up a lot of cheap labour for whatever project Abbot Guillaume has in mind. He also ensures that the whores regularly visit Brother Morris for "health inspections" and prayer sessions. He is also one of the two men, along with Nick the Knocker, who decides which peddlers, farmers and craftsmen are allowed to sell in Sherwater Market. He has no patience for swindlers, and is known to drub the occasional man from Mercy Green who attempts to conduct unlawful trade in Sherwater. He can almost always be found lounging in the market sunning himself on

Holy Tom - Holy Tom is not ordained, but he serves as the itinerant preacher for the various communities in the Leprosarium. He is a madman, but his literacy and obvious education set him apart from the common lunatic. He is a leper of unknown origin. Though he is poor, local villeins and cottars feed and shelter him for a few nights at a time as he travels the Leprosarium. He is a popular, if pitied, figure. He is aware of the Servants of Acephax, though he does not know much useful about them. He does tell others about the Servants, but in such allegorical and overdeveloped language that most assume he is speaking figuratively about moral corruption.

Jack Arrow - A bandit of villein birth, Jack Arrow is originally from just outside of Carlaw. He leads a band of ten former soldiers, men he served with in an abortive campaign in the Northern Marches. He stays away from the lepers, and they from him, though he has been known to send a man or two into Saffork to buy supplies. He has a permanent camp south of the Oldwood. Lately, he has been given to dreaming of grander schemes, such as taking over Saffork and installing himself as lord, or perhaps simply robbing the abbey in Sherwater.

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Last edited by Pseudoephedrine on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:20 pm
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Post Re: Warren of the Leper Queens [A Moragne / MRQ2 Dungeon]
Life in the Warrens

Inhabitants:

The warrens are inhabited by between 50 and 150 Servants of Acephax at any given time. The lower number is typical, but the population swells during the high holy days of the cult, which occur four times a year (the two solstices and the two equinoxes). The total population of the cult from Cultist to Bride is ~165.

Of that number, there are 6 Brides of Acephax, the inner circle. Only 1-2 are aboveground at any time, usually coordinating the devotee's spread of leprosy in Saffork and Sherwater Market or performing some quest for their demonic master.

There are ~40 devotees. ~20 are the sons of Acephax of varying age, with the other half being women who aspire to be Brides. Almost all the sons of Acephax are underground at any give time due to their demonic appearance. A few are let loose to escort the Brides or for other nefarious purposes, but the Brides keep tight control over their sons. The women-leper devotees are just the opposite. Most are aboveground, with a circle of 5 in each major settlement of the Leprosarium controlling the intelligence network of the Servants. The few who are not part of these circles either assist the Brides underground or are cooking up some scheme to elevate them to the rank of Bride.

The remainder of the cult are mere cultists. Typically, there are ~30 underground, with the remainder dispersed through the settlements and farms of the Leprosarium in groups of 10-20. They are extremely discreet about their status as Servants, and they have infiltrated every level of society in the Leprosarium other than the abbey. Cultists who are underground split their time between relaxing and doing light work for the cult. This includes manufacturing weapons (mainly arrows, spears, and other weapons whose pieces can be forged aboveground and assembled in the warren), sharing information, and teaching one another valuable skills individual members know.

PCs attempting to infiltrate the warrens will typically face a force of about 4 Brides, 22 Devotees (mainly their sons), and 30 Cultists unless they have raised an alarm or alerted the cult, in which case the number of cultists will double to 60.

Schedules:

About half the population of the warrens will be asleep or drowsing at any given time unless the alarm has been raised. The Brides rarely sleep due to Acephax's influence.

At any given time, the Servants of Acephax have 5-10 prisoners they will sacrifice to Acephax by drowning in the demon's spume. A sacrifice happens at least once a fortnight, usually on the night of a new moon.

The Servants of Acephax bring in supplies once a month, during the nights of the new moon when it is easier to conceal this activity. The supplies are four cartloads brought in from Saffork, spread over two nights so that two carts go each night. 6 cultists from the local Saffork cell load the carts and drive them to a lay member's farm about 1km north of Saffork. They then abandon the carts and return home. The carts are retrieved by 6 cultists from the warrens, who return the carts to the farm once they are offloaded. The Saffork cell retrieves all four carts on the day after.

Cultists typically spend a fortnight underground before rotating back to the surface. They are paid by the cult for their time underground and claim to have been working as day labourers or carters to those who ask.

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Last edited by Pseudoephedrine on Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:59 pm
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