Chapel of Silence

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Chapel of Silence
Type Dungeon
Status Explored September 831 TA
Location Dream
Hex n/a
Campaign The Third Age of Man (middle)
Adventure # 37
Chapel of Silence

DM's Notes

The Chapel of Silence was another in a continuing line of dream-sequence adventures. In this scenario, young Prince William of Hollow Creek has been sent out to the court of King Tar of Brent (to learn some manners). With William are his tutors, the aging Wilkening the Wistful and the stern Father Bernardo. The party has been joined by three experienced woodsmen, Pergammon Sweetwood, Tallowtree the Druid, and Elmoth the Ranger. William's constant boyhood companion, Fib, rounds out the group. The party is travelling along a seldom used road between Hollow Creek and Brent when they run across the Chapel of Silence sitting perched on a cliff's ledge.

Backstory

The Chapel of Silence was built several centuries ago by Baron Owen the Even-Handed to celebrate his marriage to the lovely Lady Andrea. This noble pair ruled long and well over their little barony. Their reign was, in fact, so benign and prosperous that both were revered as saints during their lives. During that era the Chapel was furnished with beauty and elegance. Burial in its crypts was considered the ultimate honor and was thought to insure an afterlife of eternal bliss.

In due course Owen died of old age, and the grieving Andrea outlived him by only two days. They were entombed in the chapel which Owen raised in gratitude for and tribute to his lovely bride. After their deaths, Owen and Andrea were remembered and worshiped along with the benign gods to whom the chapel was originally dedicated. Eventually, the cult which worshiped the baron and his lady diminished in power but remained a pleasant memory among the people of the barony.

In recent years the cult of Owen and Andrea has been revived in a sinister guise. Following an earthquake which breached the cliff on which the chapel stands, a vampire priest of he Dark God moved into the lower reaches of the tower, taking over the crypts where the good were buried and converting the burial vaults to his own evil purpose.

The vampire has gained the acceptance of the people by pretending to worship Owen and Andrea. To this end he has transported their miraculously preserved bodies from their tombs and enthroned them in the lowest level of their chapel, there to “rule” over the skeletal bodies of his victims. The priest has gradually stripped the chapel of its beauty and hidden the lovely and valuable treasures that used to be part of the worship services.

The true gods of the chapel, devoted to the cause of good, have contrived to keep the upper portion of the chapel relatively free from sacrilege — but only relatively free, since the Dark God continually attempts to wrest more space and power from the good gods, while at the same time the forces of good keep trying to cleanse their chapel. Thus, few areas of the chapel can be said to be wholly good or wholly evil since each force infiltrates the other’s territory. The spirits of Andrea and Owen look on in restless misery, desiring only the comfort of oblivion. Andrea begs travelers for her rescue, but Owen does not wish additional deaths to be suffered on his behalf.

Introduction

Chapel of Silence

Your party is on a journey through a mountainous region distinguished by sheer cliffs and dangerous precipices. Thus everyone is quite grateful when, just at nightfall, they find a small abandoned chapel. It provides a dry shelter from the wind and radiates such an aura of good that there is no hesitation about sheltering within it.

It is a relatively small room, hexagonal in shape with a central altar. It is impossible to determine the deity who was served here, since the chapel has been vandalized. Visible among the wreckage are the remains of a few benches and two stone tombs. Even the tombs have been desecrated, so that the sleeping statues of an ancient lord and his fair lady preside over obviously empty sepulchers.

During the night each member of the party has a dream.

Note to the DM: Following is an accurate description of the important facts of the dream which is designed to help inspire the party members to succeed in their quest. It is possible that not every adventurer will have exactly the same dream, and some of the party members may not have such a dream at all. The DM is encouraged to use judgement in moderating the dream and its after-effects to best suit the abilities and characteristics of the players and their characters.

The Dream

The chapel seems filled with light and a happy throng of people, and it is apparent that a wedding is in progress. Just as the priest pronounces his final blessing upon the betrothed pair, the scene fades. A new scene follows it — a scene as sorrowful as its predecessor was joyful. Again the chapel is full of people, but this time all are weeping. A funeral procession escorts two shrouded bodies to their tombs and tearfully places them within. Once again the priest pronounces a final blessing and the scene fades. A third scene follows; again the chapel is full of light. The adventurers themselves are the only ones in attendance, but suddenly they are struck dumb with surprise as the figure of a lovely woman appears at the altar. Silently she beckons to the party, and each member senses her promise that person (the one who is having the particular dream) boundless reward if he will but follow her. Just as that character steps forward, there is a blinding flash and a stalwart man suddenly stands beside the lady with a sword in his hand. While the lady begins to weep entreatingly, the man steps to prevent anyone from approaching her. He sadly shakes his head in refusal of the lady’s pleas. The scene then gradually fades, and each character awakens. In the gray light of dawn, the party rises somberly and breaks its fast upon rations from the packs. Finally, one member breaks the silence and speaks of his strange dream. A discussion follows during which everyone relates his or her dream and the members decide to further investigate the chapel.

Characters

Prince William of Hollow Creek - Chaotic Good Human Fighter - Prince William is the headstrong son of a rather unimportant king of a small rather insignificant dukedom. He is very demanding and expects all of his subjects to do his every bidding. While William is physically strong and wields a magical sword, he lacks common sense and courtesy. He likes to bully his comrades except Father Bernardo whom he fears.

Father Bernardo the Stern - Lawful Good Human Cleric - Father Bernardo is an elderly cleric of a local god named Maladin. Maladin is said to keep all evil from crossing Hollow Creek. So far, no great evil has ever passed into the sleepy hamlet. He was chosen by the king to lead Prince William, Fib, and Wilkening to the Court of King Tar of Brent. Bernardo is very strict and requires that homage in the form of prayer to be offered at sunrise, noon, and dusk each day.

Wilkening the Wistful - Chaotic Good Human Magic-User - Wilkening the Wistful is an elderly mage. Never great in power, he is like a grandfather to William and Fib. He is fond of telling stories about the good old days when he was at the height of his power. William often makes fun of Wilkening, but the mage takes this as a sign of admiration from the young prince. The Ivory Wand is his last vestage of power, and the mage will use it only in dire circumstances.

Fib - Neutral Good Human Fighter/Thief - Fib is Prince William's constant companion. He was born in the streets of the Teufeldorf. Without any parents, he learned thieving and conning as a necessity. At the age of 11, he was caught trying to steal a silver idol from a holy sister. The sister delivered him to Father Bernardo to be "saved". He is very thankful of his new easy life. He has proven himself to be an excellent fighter, but he still has a tendency to exaggerate and lie.

Pergammon Sweetweed - Neutral Good Hobbit Thief - Pergammon is one of those rare hobbits that likes to adventure. He is a regular companion to Elmoth, but has just met Tallowtree. Pergammon is looking for a clue to the map that he found while burgling a great dragon's lair. He has a magical pipe and weed which is his primary pleasure in life. Pergammon is of a proud old hobbit family and is always happy to tell stories of his adventures.

Tallowtree - Neutral Half-Elven Druid - Tallowtree is a druid of the priestly nature. Several months ago, Tallowtree returned to his grove only to find it burnt to the ground. He had left to see a blind prophet concerning a sickness that was killing the animals of the forest. The blind man told him that the forest itself was dying and that he should seek the Silver Tree where the earth meets the sky and no man's feet have tread. "An acorn from that tree will spring life and hope anew from the fallen ashes of the stricken." Tallowtree and Mistwing search for that tree.

Elmoth - Lawful Good Elven Ranger - Elmoth knows both Pergammon and Tallowtree from his previous adventures. As the second son of an Elven Lord, Elmoth decided to take leave of his home to adventure and further the cause of good. He is proud of his heritage, but he rarely speaks of it. He will always attack evil and will not give up until the job is done.

The Chapel of Silence

Level 1

Levels 1,4,6

A careful search of the chapel will reveal that the altar slides easily to one side, revealing a spiral staircase curving down into the dark. The stairs wind around a central column and eventually emerge in the center of a large shadowy room.

This room, like all other rooms below the level of the chapel itself, has been carved out of the cliff rock. The floor is smooth stone. On this level the ceiling is very high, impossible to see from the floor by lantern or torchlight. The room is roughly hexagonal with six large open chambers around the perimeter. The stone walls have been dressed very smooth and covered with plaster. Along the back wall of each niche is a large picture painted on the wall itself. The pictures are positioned rather high on the walls, so that they cannot be closely inspected without raising a torch or lantern high overhead and approaching to within about 15 feet of the wall.

When the light strikes the eyes of one or more beings depicted in a certain painting, all beings in the picture will be animated and will come out fighting. They will all attack the party (except in the case of Picture 3), doing and taking normal damage. When a painted creature loses half its hit points it will vanish from the battle and reappear as part of the picture again. If the picture is darkened and lighted again, the creature(s) will emerge once more with hit points restored to maximum (except for Picture 3).

The subjects of the pictures are:

  1. The tower as it was first built, revealing to the characters that it stands at the top of a tall, sheer cliff.
  2. An ogre
  3. An armored man fighting three goblins.
  4. Six orcs
  5. A landscape showing local mountains.
  6. A minotaur

As the party exits the bottom of the stairs, they will be facing the wall containing Picture 1. The armored man in Picture 3 is Lawful Good and if not attacked by the party will join it after the goblins are defeated. He will, fight very bravely, actively seeking the forefront of the battle. When he has lost half his hit points he will disappear and reappear in his picture, whence he can be reactivated by a clever character. He cannot speak and is illiterate but is quite good at communicating by signs. A careful examination of the area will reveal the following words engraved in ancient common around the perimeter of the floor at the entrances to the chambers. Numbers correspond to the location of the floor section bearing those words.

1: CLEAN AGAlN WHEN THE LlGHT OF
2: LIFE COMES TO LIFELESS EYES
3: AND MORTAL SWORD SLAYS FLESH
4: IMMORTAL THEN WILL THE DUMB SPEAK
5: THE DEAD DIE THE DARK GOD TOPPLE
6: AND THE CHAPEL OF SILENCE BE

Commas help prophecies immensely. Properly punctuated and ordered, this one reads, “When the light of life comes to lifeless eyes, and mortal sword slays flesh immortal; then will the dumb speak, the dead die, the dark god topple, and the Chapel of Silence be clean again.”

If a character looks for another prophecy on the ceiling, he will only succeed in reanimating one or more pictures. A thorough search of the entire floor will eventually reveal a trap door directly at the bottom of the stairs where the party entered. Another circular stair leads further down.

Level 2

Levels 2,3,5

The second flight of stairs is much shorter than the first, indicating a much lower ceiling (about 10’ in height). On this level the stone walls are smoothly dressed but not plastered partition walls are stone masonry. Doors are wooden, very heavy, and open inward. They are metal-bound and have metal hardware. All floors are smooth stone except for that of the center room.

ROOM 2-0

The flight of stairs exits from the inside of a hexagonal column in the center of a hexagonal room. The room is 20’ on a side with a door in the center of each of the six walls. The floor here is dark and glass-like with no visible seams, The party emerges from the stairway facing the door to Room 2-1. At their feet are several inanimate human skeletons. Examination of the skeletons will show that there were at least nine bodies, since parts of nine different skulls can be identified. There is no treasure, and what remains of the arms and armor of the skeletons has deteriorated beyond use. The floor is so slippery that each character has one chance in six of falling the first time he attempts to walk across it, and one chance in four if he tries to run.

PERIMETER ROOMS

All perimeter rooms are basically the same. Each contains an altar and three kneeling benches upholstered in velvet. The three walls of each room furthest from the door are draped with velvet. Before each drape stands a skeleton with its hands in an attitude of prayer. (The skeletons do not animate if handled gently and respectfully.) Behind the center drape is a smooth wall with no visible masonry joints. It seems to be plastered and is painted a dull white. It is actually a sliding panel and will move (when proper pressure is applied) 5’ to the right, revealing a triangular secret room. The details of the perimeter rooms and the secret rooms are as follows:

ROOM 2-1

The velvet is deep red. The altar is engraved with scenes of battle and the skeletons are wearing armor.

ROOM 2-11

As soon as the door is fully open, a bolt is released from a crossbow in the apex of the triangle. If it hits it will do 1-6 points of damage. A thick layer of dust covers the floor and the articles thereon. The room contains several pieces of armor which look more ceremonial than useful. Two items of evident value are a jeweled helmet and a sword with a golden hilt. (Estimated value: 20gp each) The rest is obviously of little value and less usefulness. At the very back of the room there is a long bundle wrapped in a soldier’s cloak. It contains a very plain, simply crafted sword of excellently forged metal in mint condition.

ROOM 2-2

The draperies and upholstery are dull gold. The altar engraving shows scenes of commerce. The skeletons wear three-piece garments of conservative cut.

ROOM 2-21

When the secret door is opened, a pit taking up the entire floor area of the room is revealed. The sides are smooth and sheer. A character who falls into the pit will be lost without a trace.

ROOM 2-3

Hangings and upholstery are rich green. The altar has hunting scenes; the skeletons are attired as hunters.

ROOM 2-31

The secret room contains ancient, moth-eaten hunting trophies. The dust in the room bears evidence of recent traffic. There is a small ivory hunting horn hanging high over the door in semi-darkness. The party will notice it on a roll of 1 or 2 on d6, or if anyone specifically states that he is looking at the wall over the door.

ROOM 2-4

In this room are two grave robbers, Primo and Gundo, armed with swords. They will be hiding behind the door when it is opened and will then attempt to strike from behind.

Both bags together also contain four combs, three necklaces, and a ruby bracelet. Gundo’s bag contains a gold ring set with three large pearls. The total value of this haul is about 500gp, excluding the ring. It is a Ring of Three Wishes.

The room is decorated in rich brown. The altar shows scenes of planting and reaping, and the skeletons wear the attire of rich peasants.

ROOM 2-41

A large bear trap (1-4) awaits the first unwary foot across the entrance. The trap may be sprung with a pole or similar implement. The dust in this room is deep and undisturbed. In the center of the room is a small table bearing a golden bowl heaped full of grain. To the right of the table is a small golden scythe. To the left is a miniature iron plow. The bowl and scythe are worth about 100gp each.

ROOM 2-5

Drapes and upholstery are deep blue. The altar has scenes of the sea; the skeletons are dressed as mariners.

ROOM 2-51

As the secret door slides open, a large swatch of dusty silk cascades into the room. A full-size silk sail has been stuffed loosely and carelessly into the room. The sail shows its age but is still reasonably strong. If it is all pulled out, the party will find a quantity of gilded rope in the northern corner. If that is moved off or across the floor, they will find a small but very elegant ship model. It is of ivory with silken sails and fine gold rigging. The robbers apparently overlooked it while wrestling with the sail and rope. Its value is hard to assess because of its obviously great artistic merit.

ROOM 2-6

All the cloth in this room is of a delicate rosecolored hue. The skeletons are clothed in women’s robes and the altar is carved with scenes of the home.

ROOM 2-61

The room has evidently been looted. There is a broken clay pot within, and a churn lying on it side. In the churn is a dirty scrap of paper which is actually a Scroll of Healing. Deep in the dust in the corner is a small golden thimble. There is a trap door in the floor which opens to reveal a flight of stairs going down. When the party attempts to leave this level, the skeletons from the perimeter rooms will attack, either one after the other or simultaneously, with each skeleton’s first attack always surprising. If the party is leaving by the trap door in Room 2-6, the skeletons in that room will attack first with the others arriving as reinforcements at the rate of three per round. They will not follow the party down the stairs, and no other skeletons will enter and fight if all skeletons present are killed at the end of any round; however, those which don’t enter will instantly attack (no automatic surprise) when someone re-enters the center room.

If the party is leaving the way they came, so that the battle develops in the central hall, all skeletons will attack at once. All members of the party will strike at a -1 here because of the very slick floor, but the skeletons are unaffected.

If the party attempts to retreat up the stairs back to the chapel, they will find the altar has been moved back over the trap door, and it is impossible to remove from below. When all party members are on the descending stairs (which appear very smooth and solid, the staircase will suddenly turn into a slide and the party will arrive at the floor of the next level tumbled into a heap. The character in the lead on the stairs will take 1-3 points of damage from the slide and the collisions with his followers.

Level 3

The walls are rough-hewn stone and exhibit a large number of cracks as a result of the earthquake some years ago. There are heaps of stone and rubbish everywhere. The rooms are hexagonal, following the same general pattern as on Level 2. Most of the doors hang a bit crazily on their hinges, although two are still wholly functional. The large rooms on this level seem to have been intended as crypts, but no corpses remain in sight. The party lands at the bottom of the slide in Room 3-6.

ROOM 3-0

There is nothing here but dust and rubble. The outside of the central column is still intact but the stairway inside has collapsed, filling the lower part of the column.

ROOM 3-1

The door to this room is intact and closed. When it is opened, the party will see a clean, airy room with an opening to the outside. There is a bed of sorts at one side, a catchbasin for water, and a cooking area near the opening. A man in ragged clerical robes sits with his back to the party looking out through the area where Room 3-11 should be. The man is Shar, the hermit. He subsists on the kindness of the local people, lowering his basket on a long cord to receive their donations. He cannot speak.

If the party offers gold or other valuables to Shar he will smilingly refuse, but if any member shares his food with him, Shar will silently bless that adventurer. The blessing of Shar is a great gift, since it will heal each recipient to within two hit points of original strength and give that character a +2 bonus on all saving throws for the duration of the adventure. If a character holding or carrying the steel sword (from Level 2) receives the blessing, the sword will be felt to leap in its wrappings. Upon examination, it will be seen to display a soft, magical glow. From this moment on it may be used as a +2 magic sword.

If the party attacks Shar, the hermit will simply vanish to the protection of the good gods until the threat is past, at which time he will reappear in his chamber. Shar’s cave is safe from all evil and can provide the party a place to rest and recover. A magic-user can study his spell book while sequestered here if he so desires. Although Shar cannot speak, he can communicate effectively by gestures, pictures, end written words, though his version of the common tongue is archaic by the party members’ standards. He will help the party in any way he can (once he is befriended) but will refuse to go anywhere else in the complex with them.

Shar was the chief priest of the chapel in the days of Owen’s life. He and Bran, Owen’s chief captain, have been called upon by the gods to be the guards of the chapel. Shar came originally from the foreground of the chapel picture on Level 1, where he was “implanted” just like other images were in the other pictures. However, Shar was able to remain out of the picture after being released by light at a much earlier time, and thinks he can better serve as a chapel guard by keeping watch over the breach caused by the earthquake.

Bran is, of course, the armed man from another of the Level 1 pictures.

ROOM 3-11

The ruins of this room form the “porch” of Shar’s cave. The steepness and smoothness of the cliff sides will not permit descent by this route. Shar will not cooperate in any plan by the party to use this as an exit.

ROOM 3-2

This chamber is dimly lit in the daytime by light which seeps in through several cracks in the exterior walls. It contains a nest of four stirges. They will attack any character or creature who enters, but will not pursue any intruder outside the room. The door to this room is slightly out of kilter because of the earthquake and does not close tightly.

ROOM 3-21

Filled with rubble.

ROOM 3-3

The room is pitch dark, and the territory is jealously guarded by a wight. The wight can be hit only by magic weapons. Its touch does no damage in hit points but drains away life energy. When the wight scores a hit, its opponent will drop one experience level, losing the appropriate number of hit points. A character who loses all of his/her levels (down to zero) becomes a wight under the control of the original wight.

If the battle begins to go too badly for the party, the spirit of Owen will intervene. He will appear in a blaze of light, defeat the wight, and toss his +2 magic sword to the party. Owen will also reveal the secret door at the back of the room.

ROOM 3-31

Stairs going down.

ROOM 3-4

Rubble.

ROOM 3-41

Entirely filled with rubble.

ROOM 3-5

A mated pair of trolls have their honeymoon cottage in this room. They come and go through a narrow crack in the roof. They will continue their amorous pursuits unless interrupted, will not attack unless attacked or interrupted first, and will not pursue characters who flee back out the door.

Other party members will see this and possibly be shocked to their senses by the prospect of danger to their comrade. They will now be allowed a saving throw against the Charm spell (with the +2 blessing from Shar, if it applies). If some or all of them break the charm, there will be time to try to combat the vampire priest before the entranced adventurer reaches the altar and the evil priest’s grasp. If no party member makes a saving throw vs. the charming, they will be compelled to watch unresistingly as their comrade meets the same fate as the acolyte. Then the “selection process” will repeat, and the party member with the next lowest Charisma will be sacrificed unless rescued.

ROOM 3-51

A pile of rubble which currently serves as the trolls’ love-nest.

ROOM 3-6

This is the room that party members slide into when they enter this level of the chapel. In so doing they alarm the resident, a cockatrice. The creature is understandably panicked and takes wing, flying wildly about the room and bumping into walls. The priest’s congregation is composed of dazed, unarmed peasants. There are 30 present, but half of them will instantly flee once they see an attack being mounted against them or the priest. The remainder will attack, or at least will serve to obstruct the party if its intention is to get to the priest. They are level 0 characters, armor class 10, and will take only 1 hit point of damage before becoming demoralized and rushing for the stairs which descend to Level 5. If they attack and succeed, each blow struck by one of them does 1 point of damage. The cockatrice will attack only if it is attacked, and even then at a -2 to hit. However, even if it does not consciously attack, the monster can still cause petrification if it accidentally bumps into a party member. There is a 1 in 20 chance that the monster will hit a character in a certain melee round (roll separately for each character once per round) in the course of its thrashing about.

Cracks in the walls and ceiling of the room admit enough light to enable party members to see the cockatrice and attempt to avoid it.

ROOM 3-61

Rubbish.

Level 4

The stairs (leading down from Room 3-31) are dark, but as the party approaches the bottom of the incline, characters become aware of a ruddy glow emanating from floor level below. After descending several feet further, they will exit into a large room similar in size and shape to the chamber on Level 1. The entryway they come through is along the back wall of area 3.

As each character enters, he or she quickly becomes aware that a temple service of some sort is in progress and feels compelled to quietly join those standing at the back of the congregation. (This compulsion is the result of a low-strength Charm spell of short duration and allowing no saving throw upon initial contact.)

The congregation fills the areas marked 2, 3, and 4 on the map. Wide staircases going down are seen in the recessed areas numbered 1 and 5, while the recess which forms area 6 is curtained off from the main chamber with black velvet.

In front of the curtain stand a black-robed priest and his scarlet-clad acolyte. Before them in the center of the room is an elaborately carved hexagonal altar of obsidian, in the place where the center column appears in each of the above levels.

As members of the party watch in fascination, the priest intones a long passage in an unknown tongue while the acolyte chants occasional replies or affirmations. Suddenly the priest seizes the acolyte by hip and shoulder and raises his body high overhead. In another instant, he brings the body down on the altar and buries his fangs in the acolyte’s neck. After taking a long, ceremonial draught for himself, the priest catches the rest of the acolyte’s life blood in a black basin. He then proceeds on a meandering path throughout the congregation, splashing blood on their faces and dipping their hands into the basin. When the supply of blood is used up in about five minutes, the priest will utter a strange cry. Suddenly, the party member with the lowest Charisma rating will begin to walk in a trancelike state toward the altar.

Other party members will see this and possibly be shocked to their senses by the prospect of danger to their comrade. They will now be allowed a saving throw against the Charm spell (with the +2 blessing from Shar, if it applies). If some or all of them break the charm, there will be time to try to combat the vampire priest before the entranced adventurer reaches the altar and the evil priest’s grasp. If no party member makes a saving throw vs. the charming, they will be compelled to watch unresistingly as their comrade meets the same fate as the acolyte. Then the “selection process” will repeat, and the party member with the next lowest Charisma will be sacrificed unless rescued.

The priest’s congregation is composed of dazed, unarmed peasants. There are 30 present, but half of them will instantly flee once they see an attack being mounted against them or the priest. The remainder will attack, or at least will serve to obstruct the party if its intention is to get to the priest. They are level 0 characters, armor class 10, and will take only 1 hit point of damage before becoming demoralized and rushing for the stairs which descend to Level 5. If they attack and succeed, each blow struck by one of them does 1 point of damage.

The priest is a true vampire. He can be conquered by magical means, and an appropriately worded wish (using the ring found on Level 2) can eliminate this threat to the party’s success. The priest will not be on his guard against the party members until an attack is actually begun, since he believes them to all be under the influence of the charm spell.

Those who are charmed will simply stand awaiting their master’s order. If the vampire is destroyed, the charm is broken.

When the party searches the room, they will find nothing of value until they draw back the black curtain. They will then be confronted by a representation of the Dark God which is so lifelike and so horrible that they will be struck dumb by terror. No character will be able to speak or communicate by vocal sound in any way whatsoever for the rest of the adventure.

Just as the characters are struck dumb, so should the players be. For the rest of the adventure, the Dungeon Master should allow no vocal communication between players. In many instances, this will make it necessary for the DM to give descriptions or instructions to players in secret. At other times, a caller for the group may be asked to give information vocally to the DM, out of earshot of other players, so the DM will know precisely what the players are intending to do — or, at least, what-the caller interprets as the plan. No characters or players should be allowed to communicate with each other by any means besides gestures or pictures — except for those characters who are magic-users or clerics, or any other characters with Intelligence of 15 or higher. These characters may give information by means of written messages, but may not receive such messages from a character who does not have those qualities. Players should be given plenty of time to work things out at pivotal points in the adventure from this point on, but they should not be allowed to talk!

Level 5

This level contains the household of the vampire priest. It is designed primarily to give the players and characters a chance to use silent communication.

It is possible for the party to simply proceed through the vestibule in Room 5-5 or Room 5-1 and keep descending into Level 6, or to leave the complex altogether by way of Room 5-61 or Room 5-11. In any of those cases, however, party members will remain speechless forever — or until they re-enter the chapel complex and are successful in completing the entire prophecy.

Level 5 is built of roughly hewn stone. Rooms are constructed as on Levels 2 and 3, except that there is no column in the middle of Room 5-0. Illumination is provided by small torches in wall sconces, Ceilings are 10 feet high.

ROOM 5-0

This is a hexagonal room used as a hall or common room. There is a door in each of the six walls and a trestle table with benches in the center of the room.

ROOM 5-1

A vestibule and landing. A wide staircase comes down from the temple above and continues to the level below. This room is a landing between the two flights of stairs. There is an ordinary door in the eastern wall and a more ornate door in the western wall.

ROOM 5-11

An exit into the outdoors. Double doors set into the face of the cliff swing open easily, opening onto a narrow road which leads away to the north.

ROOM 5-2

This is the kitchen. It has a fireplace on the outside wall, a work table and 8 rough chair. Three iron pots filled with some sort of stew sit bubbling on the hearth. There is a young woman sitting in the chair, She was once pretty, but is now so dirty and frightened-looking that it is hard to perceive her beauty. This is Elna, the vampire priest’s cook, maid, and probable future victim once she outlives her usefulness as a servant. She is not a vampire and will not be hostile. She will not attack or defend herself and will provide no information. She will merely stare silently at the party unless someone gives her an order or makes a request, in which case she will calmly obey if it is in her power to do so. She will follow the party when they leave this room unless she is actively prevented from doing so.

ROOM 5-21

This is the pantry and contains cooking equipment and various unwholesome foodstuffs, none of which is of any use to characters.

ROOM 5-3

This room is part of the living quarters for the four ghoulish warriors of the temple. They traverse the countryside looking for “converts,” and make sure that services are properly attended. (However, they themselves don’t go to church,) The room has doors on opposite sides and rough beds along two of the other walls. Rags and rubbish litter the floor, and the smell is oppressive.

When the party enters the room, two ghouls will be positioned in the center of the room, they will not be surprised, and they will immediately move to attack. If a battle is joined, the two other ghouls (from Room 5-4) will move in to assist their fellow warriors.

ROOM 5-31

This is a storeroom filled with personal effects and possessions stripped from the ghouls’ and the vampire’s victims. A careful search taking at least 1 turn will yield 3-12gp, 4-24sp and 1-100cp. There is a 25% chance of finding a piece of jewelry worth 50gp if party members search for 3 turns or longer.

ROOM 5-4

The contents and occupants of this room are originally the same as those of Room 5-3 — two ghouls and some rough furniture. However, ghouls will never be encountered in both rooms in the same fashion.

If the party enters Room 5-4 before it enters Room 5-3, the events described above will take place in Room 5-4 instead, with the ghouls from Room 5-3 coming to the aid of the others. In either case, the two ghouls with the highest number of hit points will originate from whichever of the two rooms the party enters first.

If the party retreats from either room in an attempt to avoid combat, all four ghouls will issue forth from the two rooms and engage the adventurers in Room 5-0.

ROOM 5-41

The contents of this room are identical to those of Room 5-31, except that there is no chance of finding jewelry. Instead, a bag containing 60gp will be discovered by the first character who searches for longer than 3 turns. ROOM 5-5: A wide staircase comes down from the temple above and ends in this room, which serves as the vestry where the vampire priest robes himself and prepares for services. The walls are adorned with heavily embroidered vestments. While rich-looking, they emanate an aura of evil which may noticeably repulse certain party members. Any good character who tries on a garment or vestment or attempts to carry an article of this sort will receive a “shock” from contact with such concentrated wickedness, losing 2 hit points and being forced to drop the evil item.

Leaning against the wall in one corner of the room is a Wand of Fear with six charges remaining.

ROOM 5-51

This is a closet which contains vessels, basins, and other equipment for the services. Each of the receptacles or other decoratives pieces appears to be worth about 300gp and may be obtained by non-evil characters, but those who carry them will lose 1 hit point per day from contact with the evil object. There is also a Potion of Healing (1-6 points) and a Potion of Delusion, both in stoppered crystal flasks, and a cursed (-2) dagger.

ROOM 5-6

The priest’s living chambers — surprisingly neat and spartan. It holds a bed, two chairs and a chest, which contains nothing but black clothing made of a rich-looking fabric. Like the vestments in Room 5-5, these items may not be tried on or carried by a good character without causing harm.

ROOM 5-61

The priest’s closet. Several black cloaks are hung on pegs on the wall. They, like the other cloths and garments of evil origin in this area, may not be carried or worn. Among them and partially hidden are a brown cloak (non-magical) and a green cloak (which is an Elven Cloak). There is a trap door in the floor, giving access to stairs which lead down to a secret exit from the chapel at the base of the cliff.

DM: Nothing should prevent the party from leaving the chapel to rest and recuperate and then re-entering the complex to take up the quest anew. However, if Bran is with the party, he will try to persuade the adventurers to stay inside the chapel. If the party exits the chapeI, Bran will remain close to the base of the cliff and will not follow the party if it ventures out of his sight. Since neither Bran nor any of the others is capable of speech at this point, it is unlikely that the adventurers would simply depart. Some party members will remember the part of the prophecy Which said the dumb will speak, and this will serve as an inspiration for them to continue the quest.

If (when) party members return to the chapel, everything inside will be as it was the moment they left.

Also note that clerics in the party will still be able to turn undead and to heal despite being unable to speak.

Level 6

This is a large, roughly hexagonal chamber with well-finished walls, similar in shape and size to Levels 1 and 4, but with no central column. The room is entered by one of the two staircases, either from Room 5-5 into area 6-5 (party emerges facing area 2) or from Room 5-1 into area 6-1 (party emerges facing area 4 — but see description of skeletons, below). The entire level is dark and must be illuminated by the adventurers.

The central area of the level is filled with the figures of 20 kneeling skeletons. Each has his bony hands clamped around the hilt of a sword. Ten of them form an aisle leading from the bottom of the stairs in area 6-5 and pointing in the direction of area 6-2 — where the bodies of Owen and Andrea sit enthroned in a regal setting. A similar, gauntlet-style configuration is, formed by the other 10, pointing from the bottom of the staircase in area 6-1 to the adjacent area where Owen and Andrea are. Party members will immediately recognize Owen and Andrea as the couple depicted in the dream they had earlier. The party will not be endangered until at least one member walks all the way down one of the aisles after descending the stairs. When the member(s) leading the way are past the end of the aisle and presumed (by the skeletons) to be approaching the throne area, and all 20 skeletons will come alive and begin to attack. Stepping through the boundary of an aisle or attacking a skeleton while it is inanimate will also cause all the skeletons to begin fighting.

On the wall at the back of area 6 is a painting of a warrior, a merchant and a seaman. On the wall at the back of area 3 is a painting of a farmer, a hunter and a beautiful woman. If a light strikes the eyes of the figures in the paintings, they will become animate. The paintings are placed high enough on the wall so that a figure’s eyes cannot be illuminated by accident. Characters should be able to tell that there is some sort of painting on the wall, but not to tell what the subject is, without directly illuminating the picture. These figures represent the good gods of Owen and Andrea, who placed images of themselves in these “living paintings” to aid and guard the couple. These figures, like the party members and the bodies of Owen and Andrea, cannot speak. The warrior fights with a sword, the seaman with a trident, the farmer with a pitchfork, and the hunter with a spear. The merchant has a leather bag of coins which he uses as a blackjack. None of these weapons can be held or employed by other members of the party.

Each of these figures is treated as a third-level fighter in melee, armor class 2, move 90’. Each does 1-6 points of damage with a successful hit. The woman does not fight, but her touch (as if rolling to hit) will heal 1-6 points of damage. When any of these figures takes 10 hit points of damage, it will return to its place in the painting on the wall. The paintings can be reanimated. The figures may be employed to aid the party in the fight against the skeletons, which will attack mindlessly until destroyed. The talismans from Level 2 can be of help here; if a character kept the ivory horn (hunter), iron plow (farmer), model ship (seaman) or gold thimble (woman), that character will be able to control the actions of that particular figure. Otherwise, the DM will moderate the actions of all the god-figures who come into play.

If the party and its helpers succeed in beating the skeletons, the adventurers will find themselves still without speech, since they have not yet fulfilled the entire prophecy. When the last skeleton falls, the bodies of Owen and Andrea will rise from their thrones and make imploring gestures toward the party members. Both of the bodies must be stabbed with a magic sword, once and for all putting their owners to rest.

When this is done, the bodies will sink to the floor in a relaxed posture—and the characters will discover that they (but not the painted figures) can speak again! The walls and floor of the chamber will quiver and shake momentarily as the dark god’s influence is expelled. In another moment, Shar joins the group. He will provide the prompting, if necessary, to cause the characters to look under the thrones, where a pair of compartments hold the wondrous royal treasures — theirs for the taking. All of the painted figures and party members will form a funeral procession and bear the bodies of Owen and Andrea outside, up the cliff, and in the front door to their proper tombs on the ground level of the chapel. The lids of the sarcophagi will be lifted back into position and closed, whereupon all of the painted figures will vanish and reappear in their places on the walls — although they may stay around long enough to clear up any mysteries that remain.