Hookhill

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Hookhill
Type Dungeon
Status Explored October 890 TA
Location Hookhill
Hex 1610
Campaign Hookhill Campaign
Adventure # 110
Map-hookhill.jpg

Overview

This lone hill at the northern end of the Misty Woods east of the Cairn Hills is the home of the Horned Society. The hill itself has sheer sides making it easy to defend. Tunnels are said to lead from the stronghold at the hill’s summit into the forest below.

Originally a stronghold of the more organized of the orc tribes, the area came under the rule of a group of evil humans some decades ago. It is speculated that these wicked people were disaffected bandits or were at least aided by one of the bandit barons. In any case, the land between the Cairn Hills and the Forest of Bloodlent is now firmly in the grasp of the Society. It is known that many troops of bandits from the Bandit Kingdoms frequent the walled town of Hookhill.

Hookhill Castle

There are no children in the village.

Hookhill Surroundings.JPG

Hookhill Graveyard - The graveyard at the base of Hookhill runs in all directions, its tendrils probing deep into the murky trees and right up against the cliff face. While incredibly ancient, there are recent signs of grave robbing – although closer inspection shows the graves to be exploded from the inside. There are no mausoleums here, although ornate headstones appear to be popular. The graveyard runs on both sides of the stream here, a testimony to the harsh life of the area.

The Cast

Woebringer

Walford Woebringer, Guildmaster of Horned Society, is typically dressed in ornate green and gold armor with a long green cape. Believed to be a young man, Woebringer has grey-white hair and strange red streaks below his eyes – thought to be the result of a demonic experiment gone wrong. The Guildmaster of the Horned Society is known for ruthlessness, although he is even-tempered and thoughtful in his decisions to murder and torture those that oppose him. It is rumored that Woebringer is immune to pain, although this theory has never been confirmed. A shrewd businessman, the fortunes of the Horned Society have never been greater.

Milliwitt, a mid-level sorcerer of the Horned Society. Deaf and mute, Milliwitt is the perfect companion to Walford – although many do not realize that he is actually a sorcerer. Milliwitt primarily assists Walford with information gathering – scrying, detecting, etc. It is rumored that they have a silent communication between their minds. Milliwitt uses a Wand of Shouting as his primary offensive weapon, although he has learned silent casting to allow him a normal range of spells.

Bentbrood - A mysterious figure, Bentbrood is rumored to have been a druid of the Bloodlent. Now, he resides at Hookhill - although his whereabouts are shrouded in confusion. He is also rumored to be the instigator of strange storms over the Misty Woods. He is currently wanted by the Lord March.

The man was hunched, wearing a faded brown cloak. From his neck hung a glowing purple amulet suspended by a thick silver chain. The man’s staff was made of a black wood, nobbed on top and streaked with silver down its shaft. The silver in the staff glowed brightly in the morning’s sun.

As the man approached, he looked at the boy – purple eyes showing vigor that his old body did not mirror. The man had black lank hair and brownish teeth. Approaching the gate, the man knocked once with his staff and was admitted entrance without challenge or question. As he stepped through, a strange, acrid smell remained.

Jutting out of the earth in an unnatural way is a solid column of grey stone known as Hookhill. A large ledge protrudes from the southern edge of the hill just at the column’s summit. Several long formations of stone hang down from this ledge, giving the hill a vaguely hook-shaped outline when viewed from the east or west. While the terrain at the base of Hookhill is dense forest, a dark canopy of trees, the summit is bare of any vegetation.

On the summit, a castle stands, built on the ruins of earlier structures from the First and Second Ages. The current castle is surrounded by a high stone wall with a single path winding up to the gatehouse on the southern tip of the formation. A narrow wooden bridge connects the gatehouse to the main keep, which is comprised of four towers and a number of ancillary buildings.

The village below is entered via a single path leading from the south. An overgrown graveyard is the first site that visitors encounter, as the path runs between it and a small pond, providing access to the town. The graves run right up to the base of the hill. Hookhill village is a collection of a dozen buildings, mostly providing merchant services for Woebringer and his men.

Secret Entrance: Level 1

The inside of the Eye (of the Needle), the rooms are dark. Most ceilings are 10 feet high. The doors are stone; 4 inches thick; AC 4; hardness 8, 60 hp; break DC 28. Door are unlocked. Secret doors are DC 25 Search check to locate and close 1 minute after they are opened.

The entire Eye radiates a faint aura of evil and enchantment.

Spectral remnants are not undead and cannot take actions – nor can they be harmed. A DC20 Knowledge (religion) check identifies them. Distant cries, Fleeing phantom, Whispers in the dark, Corner of the eye.

Secret-Entrance-1.jpg

Room S1: Entrance

An unlit cavity gapes at the column’s base, apparently providing an opening into the interior of Hookhill. The thick stone doors that once must have secured the entry lie blasted in a pile of gravel and small boulders all around the entrance.

This oddly-shaped room has eight pillars in it. Two are shorter and contain winged statues. The other six seem to be holding up the ceiling.

The two statues are gargoyles. Speak “I HONOR THE HORNED MASTER” to pass freely.

Room S2: Guardian Chamber

A green haze obscures this chamber, giving it a strangely aquatic look. The floor is tiled with slabs the color of bone, and the walls are crowded with what appear to be hundreds of vault doors, each bearing the crude likens of a humanoid. Drifts of grey dust are mounded here and there, but they pile thickly in each corner. A chill radiates from the chamber, oddly penetrating and portending death.

There are scorch marks here as if a number of graves have exploded from the inside. There are no footprints here.

Room S3: Chamber of the Grandmasters

It’s cold here, causing your breath to steam. Shelves along all the walls hold limbless bodies – turned blue-white but preserved by the cold – with their heads still attached.

These are the bodies of the old Grandmasters – preserved so that they can be spoken with – a way to keep a ledger without having to write it down. The area radiates a faint aura of evocation. The party can find out the story of the Crypt of the Three Kings here.

Room S4 and S5: Storerooms

Cobwebbed shelves and nooks line the walls here, storerooms long ago abandoned.

One contains religious items, another foodstuffs, and the final two building supplies and rusted weapons.

Room S6: Quarters

Covered in cobwebs and dust, this room is empty except for rows of blanket-covered beds.

Casual inspection reveals that the doors are designed so they can be locked from either side. The room otherwise contains musty sheets and blankets.

Room S7: Shrine of the Horned One

The doors here are adorned with large etchings of a horned demon.

This large chamber curves outward on the south end. Within that curve is a gradual stair that leads to a large altar of black stone. The statue of a horned demon of huge size, seemingly pieced together from bones and fangs, stands astride the altar. A bowl sits on the pedestal.

The bowl contains small scraps of paper each with a word written on it. Saying the phrase, “THE HORNED MASTER KNOWS ALL” allows a character to pick up a scrap with the password on it.

The two statues are gargoyles. Speak “I HONOR THE HORNED MASTER” to pass freely.

Room S8: Dining Room

Soft illumination lights this chamber from a candelabrum full of black candles sitting in the center of a huge stone table. Ten ironwork chairs, the most of elaborate of which is at the head of the table to the north, surround the slab. All the places are set. Dust and cobwebs cover the whole scene.

The candles have continual flame cast on them, so the radiate a faint evocation Spellcraft DC 17 to determine.

Room S9: Kitchen

This place is a kitchen. A stone counter lines the southern wall, and a leering gargoyle head looks downward, mouth open, into a black sink at the counter end to the east. Worn smooth in places, a long stone table occupies the center of the room. Above it hangs a web of wrought iron, upon which dangle iron pots and utensils. Two huge fireplaces are set into the wall – one to the east and the other in an alcove to the north. Soot and ash are still piled in their bottoms. A panty is in the northwest corner, its shelves still holding a few shiny utensils and dishes. Unlike the musty areas you’ve explored so far, this room smells vaguely of death.

Several exploded bodies can be seen here.

Room S10: Spiral Stairs

A set of wrought iron stairs wind up into the darkness.

Secret Entrance: Level 2

Secret-Entrance-2.jpg

Room S11: Foyer The small stone chamber is almost a perfect cube. Other than the spiral stairs down, two staircases ascend on the south side of the room. At the top of each stairway is a stone door with a heavy iron bar across it. The space between the two flights forms a ledge between the two doors.

Take the path less traveled to avoid the path that all men take.

The other two will fire a Glyph of Warding (Blast): spell; spell trigger; automatic reset; spell effect (5th level cleric); 2d8 sonic, Reflex DC 14 half; multiple targets (all within 5 ft.) Search DC 28; Disable Device DC28.

Room S12: Charnel Pit

The stench of death pours through the door, which opens into a massive chamber. A wide elevated walkway leads west through the room, a deep pit yawning on either side. Heaps of bones form an obscene landscape at the bottom of the pits. A pair of smaller catwalks run around the room’s perimeter, but these are cut out of the wall, not supported by the floor like the central walkway. A figure stands motionless in the middle of the central hallway. Humanoid in form, its back is turned. It is dressed in a long, flowing black cape.

The flesh golem can only be passed by the code word – found on the scrap of paper in Room S7.

Room S13: Golem

A low groan sounds from the figure on the central walkway, as it lurches around to face you. It appears to be made of an assortment of body parts held together by metal bands and leather straps. When it spots you, it clenches its oversized fists and shambles forward. From beneath its cape, the scrabbling of hundreds of little claws come from beneath its cape, and a mass of tiny corpse rat creatures surges onto the central walkway.

Room S14: Landing

The small stone chamber mirrors the one you arrived in on this floor. An iron spiral staircase leads upward. Two staircases descend from the far wall.

The bars are easily removed from one side. A secret door leads to S13. The spiral stairs ascend 40 feet to S15.

The other two will fire a Glyph of Warding (Blast): spell; spell trigger; automatic reset; spell effect (5th level cleric); 2d8 sonic, Reflex DC 14 half; multiple targets (all within 5 ft.) Search DC 28; Disable Device DC28.

Secret Entrance: Level 3

Secret-Entrance-3.jpg

Room S15: Hall of Audience

You arrive in a short hall that widens into a massive chamber. Closest to the stairs you just ascended are stone pews. On the farthest end of the room is stone stage, and just in front of that is a huge stone platform or table that is 10 feet long and darkly stained. It has shackles attached to it. Three smaller stone desks and chairs are arranged between the dais and the pews. Two stone doors, both open, stand near each other on the far wall. A closed door is further down that same wall. A shut stone door is set in the wall not far from where you entered.

Room S16: Study

Near the door is a stone font on a slender stand. Beyond that, a stone desk and chair are set. One wall is dominated by carved bookshelves that stretch from floor to ceiling. Part of one shelf is fashioned into a scroll rack. There are several doors here.

The font is dry. Ample parchment, ink, charcoal, and three blank books sit unused on the desk. The bookshelf is packed with old journals, esoteric texts, stray papers.

One journal contains details on the creation of the magic mirrors in S24. It describes the creation process and the guardians, as well as how to attune the mirrors to other locations, but it doesn’t tell how to avoid the guardians. Another few journals contain ravings about vengeance on King Vince, as well as formulations for creating a new magical disease. DC30 Search check and 1 hour to quickly find this. 8 hours otherwise.

Scrolls – Create Undead
Scroll – Vampiric Touch
Boots of Speed

Room S17: Library

Bookshelves are carved into the eastern wall, and two smaller sets are carved from the western wall. Stone desks also jut from the western wall, each with a stone chair in front of it. A pair of similar chairs faces each other near the center of the room. A small font on a slender stand occupies the northeastern corner. Two doors pierce the eastern wall, and another is set in the northern wall. Just to the west of the door, and iron spiral staircase rises into the ceiling.

This library contains mundane educational texts, and the font here is dry. A secret door opens a bookcase and leads to a corridor that connects this room with S16, S20 and S23. The stairs ascend 50 feet to S24.

Room S18: Graveyard

The smell of rich earth suffuses the area, and stretching out before you is a graveyard. Soft but thick soil, dark beneath your feet, makes up the floor. Rows of graves stand in perfect lines, marked not by tombstones but by simple stakes. A stone building, its walls covered in etched death symbols, stands in the northeast corner. To the north, a stone ledge overlooks the graveyard. A carved stairway, its steps broad and shallow, provides access to it. A rounded, natural looking ceiling looms overhead. Flowstone formations jut from the dirt or hang from the ceiling, one forms a natural column.

Room S19: Mausoleum

Two great stone sarcophagi, their lids carved to resemble a man and woman lying in state, stand atop stone biers on the northern and southern sides of this chamber. The air here is musty and full of dust.

Two great stone sarcophagi swivel open easily, remaining connected to the stone coffins they seal. The sarcophagus with the female figure contains a perfectly preserved body of a breathtakingly beautiful woman covered in a shining burial cloth and dressed in regal finery. The other sarcophagus is empty.

Shroud of Perpetual Beauty.

Room S20 – S22: Cavern

The cavern beyond the graveyard looks natural, containing stalactites and flowstone columns – some of which have been smashed to rubble. The air still smells like dirt here, but the scent of rain is evident in the west. Listening carefully, you can hear the burble of flowing water.

Room S23: Well

This cool and humid room is nothing more than a narrow ledge running around a 20-foot-wide pit that drops into the darkness. Dripping water seems to fall a hundred feet or more before a splash can be heard. Several small natural fissures have small rivulets of water running into the well.

DC20 climb check to scale the well. The top is a magically treated iron grate – hardness 16, hit points 90, break DC40 per 10x10 section. The grate radiates a moderate aura if viewed using detect magic (Spellcraft DC20, Conjuration).

Secret Entrance: Level 4

Secret-Entrance-4.jpg

Room S24: Hall of Mirrors

The south wall of this room steps southward forming an alcove and creating a number of smaller wall surfaces. Embedded in or formed from these smaller walls are large mirrors, six in all.

The mirror grinds as glass extrudes from it. A hulking figure formed of glass emerges quickly. As it emerges, a faint blue luminescence can be seen in its translucent interior.

The mirrors are attuned to different areas (Spellcraft DC20 for divination). Can be attuned using the journal is S16 and Orb in S35. The mirrors are 1 foot thick, AC 4, hardness 2, HP 21, Break DC 38 per 5x5 section. Currently one is attuned to the courtyard.

Mirror 1: You see a courtyard before you and recognize it immediately as the central bailey of Hookhill castle. It is late afternoon and cloudy. Two guards are standing near a central well talking.

Mirror 2: From the dark shadows that fall upon this scene, it appears to daytime – although the dappled light shows the scene to be heavily forested. Your view is that of a stream or lake’s edge up from which a solitary path winds to simple cave. On either side of the cave, two large tree ents with glowing purple eyes stand their massive limbs swaying slightly in the breeze. There is no sign of life about the cave entrance.

Mirror 3: A swampy morass extends in all directions. The slightly undulating ground is dotted periodically with large mounds or small hills – each of which is covered in bright green grass and tangled thickets. A few mounds have collapsed, showing simple one and two room burial crypts. These ruins appear to be ancient with no sign of recent activity. In the center of the clearing, directly in front of you, stands a stone obelisk – the only man-made structure in the area. It is made of a porous black stone, almost worn smooth by ages of rain and exposure. This obelisk has a single door leading into its interior. An opening at the top was clearly for a bell, which now sits in a heap at the bottom of the monument.

Mirror 4: You see the smoldering ruins of the Black Owl Garrison as seen from above the moat house.

Mirror 5: Is currently dark. A close examination shows that it is simply night. The mirror appears to be focused on a stone slab in a small outdoor clearing. A thick jungle of trees surrounds the slab. (Watching long enough, you see a strange monkey-like creature with glowing eyes come into the frame before becoming frightened and scuttling off.)

Mirror 6: A large banquet hall is seen from one end of a long table. Several arrow-slit like windows are along one wall while the other walls each have a single door. A number of chairs have been pulled up around the far end of the table. Bentbrood is sitting in the chair looking directly at you.

S25: Entry Hall

A large set of double doors, banded in silver and stained black dominate the eastern wall of this otherwise empty chamber. Simpler stone doors are set in the northern and southern walls near the western corners.

The silvery metal is steel. This is a preparation chamber.

S26: Vestibule

This rectangular room is bare, except for a low, dry font in its center. A small door is set in the center of the southern wall. Dusty black curtains stretch across a wide archway to the east.

S27: Vestry

This narrow chamber has stone benches carved from the walls, as well as a number of pegs. From several of these dangle dusty black robes.

The five robes are made of black velvet (5gp each).

S28: Shrine of the Horned Society

The evil here is palpable. Complex and entrancing patterns of silvery bones and skulls fill the black walls and floors. Flanking but not far from the doorway, sinister violet flames dance in twisted oversized iron braziers that are covered in thorns and adorned with shining metal skulls. Atop a low, rectangular dais on the far wall squats a basalt altar, covered in layers of dried blood that fail to conceal a shiny pair of ram’s horns. Two statues flanking the altar portray identical corpulent figures with cloven hooves, batlike wings, and a ram’s head. In one fist, each statue clutches a skull-topped rod of black iron. The eye sockets of the rod’s skulls gleam in the light.

The ominous flames in the braziers have dark eyes – creatures! Malefic violet figures of flame crackle as they leap from the braziers, toppling those containers and spreading hot coals on the floor.

An amorphous cloud of darkness broken only by two points of blazing violet rises from the bloody altar. A breeze moves towards you as if it is drawing in the air. It hisses as it flies towards you.

Secret Entrance: Level 4

Secret-Entrance-Sanctum.jpg

S29-S30: Cursed Stairs

This black iron spiral stair shudders and groans as climb onto it. It feels unstable.

If more than 300 pounds is placed on the staircase, it collapses. DC20 Reflex to jump off if at a floor. Otherwise, plummet 30 feet taking 5d6 points of damage. Players can climb the shaft (Climb DC30).

S31: Gallery Hall

Sconces mounted on the wall contain flickering green lights that throw unsettling illumination down this hallway. Alcoves on each side of the passage hold stone sculptures. A thin cry trills consistently from somewhere within one of the western alcoves.

Statues are those of six beautiful dancing girls, arrayed in only the skimpiest of attire. They are all posed as if in mid-twirl.

S32: Museum

Four statues of women dressed in armor are artfully posed in this chamber, each standing in one of the corners. Every wall except the south has a door in its center.

Periodically, the western door will be illuminated with brilliant blue light, each time accompanies by a sound like the discharge of electricity.

S33: Storage

Dust coats a jumble of equipment and furnishing apparently tossed into this chamber carelessly. Desks, chairs, rusted chains, cauldrons, cracked and shattered glass, empty vials of every color, rusted weapons and armor, moldering carpets and more are visible here.

Crystal goblet (20 gp), gold comb (150gp), platinum circlet (450gp) – 1 hour of searching

S34: Lavatory

A narrow shaft pierces the floor. It’s just wide enough to sit atop without falling in, and the whole room reeks of the foulness issuing from it.

Poop.


S35: The Master’s Lair

This wide room contains several statues of women dressed in leather armor in battle poses. Directly across the room, a wide alcove holds two thick iron rods that have a bolt of electricity dancing between them. Due to the statues, it’s hard to see the rest of the space clearly, but it seems like a couple of walls are lined with stone counters on which are scattered various objects, parchments and oddiments. A slightly open curtain covers what must be an alcove in the southwestern corner.

Periodically, the electricity will jump to either door – giving it a brief charge. Anyone who steps between the two iron rods takes 5d6 points of electricity damage each round. The key can be used to shut the gate off for 1 minute either from the outside or the inside.

In the bed is Osa the succubus. She will beguile or attack with the Wand of Petrification. She is the Master’s consort.

In the north is a Field Provision Box.

In a secret niche near the bed, there is a magic chest.

Orb of Mirror Control
Wand of Petrification
Ring of the Gate
Book containing a list of the order of the Horned Society – including spies in Teufeldorf.

“A leader finds battlefield matches which suit the strength of his men. And his timing must be solid. Match each of these warriors in pairs so that only two different distances occur.”

Puzzle-hookhill.jpg

S36: Stairway to Hookhill

An iron stairway circles up from this small room. It appears to be well used. The stairway comes up at the edge of the courtyard in a recessed alcove.