Sorrowsong Island

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Sorrowsong Island
Type Dungeon
Status Explored October 907 TA
Location Sorrowsong Island
Hex 7608
Campaign Voyage of the Wanton Wench
Adventure # 126
Map-sorrowsong.jpg
Sorrowsong Castle

Overview

Sorrowsong Island is approximately 1/2 mile in diameter and heavily covered in towering trees. The shoreline is a modest cliff-face with trees growing to the island's edges. There is a natural cove on the island's north side providing shelter and protection from the elements. A single sandy beach in the cove provides easy access to the island. A number of ruined wooded buildings near the beach attest to habitation in the past, although these are now merely rotting piles of wood with few clues as to their original use.

A path winds up from the shore to a castle that stands upon the lone hill on the island. The castle, now mostly ruins, consists of a courtyard wall surrounding a two-story main hall and attached three-story round tower.

The island is beautiful in its tranquility. The wind is almost always blowing through the trees - which makes a peaceful, serene moaning as the leave rustle and the branches sway. Glimpses of deer, rabbits and other woodland creatures show an abundance of animal life. There are several streams and a small fresh water lake.

This is described in Henry Hyde's Log Book.

Secrets to Sorrowsong Island

The island is home to Mourntune, an ent of staggering age - having been planted on the island in the Second Age. The island is a paradise in many ways, and Mourntune has been able to create a number of animated guardian trees to keep the forest pristine. He is typically found near the lake.

But, Mourntune seeks companionship and will use any means possible to find and keep those who will tell him stories or sing sounds of the outside world. He has never seen another ent, and knows nothing of his heritage. His size - 30 feet tall and almost 5000 pounds - makes leaving the island impossible. Mourntune and his guardians cannot move into the salt water. Above all things, they fear fire.

The castle was built on the island in the early 7th century of the Second Age, and Mourntune recalls the "happy times" when a company of rangers founded the castle under the direction of Woodward Oakenshield. It was primarily to be used as a training outpost for their order. Woodward would later become the first Ranger King of Teufeldorf.

Mourntune is now quite insistent that any who land on the island never leave. He uses his "song" to lull characters into wanting to stay. He also drops apples - which have the same effect to keep visitors from departing.

The castle is home to Darksong, a harpy of subtle and cunning power. She regards Mourntune as an annoyance, but she uses him to keep humans (her food) on the island - lest she have to eat more damn deer. She has several harpy servants, but her cupboard is currently very low. She has a few orcs left from a small boat that landed on the island about two weeks ago. She will use song or force to put the party in the cellar prison of her castle.

She will use the pennant of cloaking to make it appear as if the Wanton Wench has sailed without the party!

Map of Sorrowsong Island

Sorrowsong-Island-Environs.JPG

Sorrowsong Cove

Exploring the cove provides the following clues:

  • What first appeared to be wooden houses are actually the decayed remnants of a number of small boats and water craft. They are of different origins and seem to have been here for varying amounts of time. At least one larger ship is broken down in the wreckage is identified by a name plate - The Rebel. (A ship of the Sea Barons now lost for 10 years).
  • A small boat with a capacity of 12 looks fairly fresh - hidden under a pile of vines. Orcish in nature. The crew are currently captives in the castle.

Sorrowsong Castle - Ground Level

Sorrowsong Castle - Ground Level

The thick walls of this castle are made of slate grey stone clearly mined from the stony hill upon which it sits. The weathering of the castle and its design point to an ancient ancestry - perhaps as early as the middle of the Second Age.

The outer wall has two entrances - a main entrance through the keep guarded by a stone door and a postern gate, also made of stone, on the western wall. Both gates are closed and locked and seem to be in good repair.

The features of the inner courtyard are a well (in good repair), ruined buildings along the southern and eastern walls, a set of exterior stone steps leading into the western main keep, and a set of stone steps leading into the northern main keep. A number of rooms on the ground level of the keep are still intact.

You see no movement around the castle.

Room 1: Main Gate

This dark passage leads some 40 feet from the main gate into the courtyard. A number of murder holes along the walls make an unannounced visit difficult. This area smells strongly of dung.

If the party makes noises, the sounds of humanoid moaning can be heard coming from somewhere in the castle.

Room 2: Western Guardroom

The outer room is currently empty, although this was clearly a guard's room in the past. At the back of the room is a cell - complete with iron gate. In the cell is an orc. He is naked except for a leather wristband with a small red stone. He is clearly weak from a lack of food and water. An empty pewter plate and cup sit just outside the cell.

DC 20 to unlock the large iron padlock.

The orc is Glush the Blue. He was a rigger on an orc vessel - The Keelhaul. They stumbled upon the island and needed fresh water and food. He remembers finding a pile of apples and taking them to the beach - where he discovered that the ship had left. He ate a few apples and woke up in a cellar in this castle with is 12 companions. Every few days one of them is brought upstairs by a winged hag. Some screams and then nothing. Six more of his companions were in the jail when he was brought here.

No food downstairs. Brought up here to fatten up. Told not to remove the bracelet or will die from poison already injected into their system.

Room 3: Eastern Guardroom

The stone door leading into this room is locked. DC 20 to open.

This room is clearly the eastern guardroom of the castle. From the dust on the floor, it is clear that nobody has been in this room for a long time. Several arrowslits on the west wall look out to the darkened main gate entrance. An old wooden table and several chairs are all that in this room. A single candle sits on the table, half burned.

An open passageway to the north leads into a room beyond.

Room 4: Ranger's Riddle

This room has a single arrow slit in the west wall. An eastern window has long ago been mortared over. The area would be dark except for a faintly glowing golden machine in the eastern part of the room - seemingly guarding a set of spiral stone steps leading up. The machine consists of a central shaft of metal from which are six mechanical "arms" each holding a weapon - dagger, two long swords, two maces, and a throwing star. The device is clearly magical, ancient and probably of gnomish design.

Entering the room causes a loud audible click and the low glow of the machine increases to fill the room with golden light. Four of the arms retract, leaving two arms with maces. A man's voice - low and commanding - states "Step forward for your test, ranger. Remember, the mind's might can avoid the fight."

Sorrowsong puzzle 01.jpg

DC 30 Notice roll - You notice a small oddly shaped panel on the back of the column. At first glance, it appears to be part of the machine. But, upon careful examination, it is actually a button.

This will turn the machine off - no glow. Fights as a Cryptguard.

Room 5: Cellar Entrance

This room is clearly an old storeroom. Crates and barrels have been torn open, their contents dumped and long ago rotted. A single stairway leads down into a subterranean room below.

DC 15: A number of fresh footprints lead into and out of this room.

There is usually one harpy here on guard.

Room 6: Meat Room

This room is clearly a storeroom of sorts, although it is now mostly filled with rubble - stacked crates, boxes, and the like. The center of the room has been cleared, however, six large metal meat hooks hang from the ceiling. Blood stains on the floor are dried.

Room 7: Ranger Forge

This room was clearly a workshop in the distant past. Workbenches are piled with scraps of iron and steel. Hammers, tongs and several anvils identify the place as a weaponsmith's domain. Some masterwork tools can be found here.

Careful examination shows that there is a can that contains 3 adamantine (slightly green) arrowheads. A number of old arrow shafts are available. Bypass hardness of 20.

Room 8: Game Room

A round stone table sits in the center of this strangely shaped room. Permanently mounted on the table is a marble model of Sorrowsong Island - complete with the castle showing the buildings now in ruins.

Magically, five red lights are bob above the castle - each glowing mysteriously.

The contents at the back of the room look unused - dusty and discarded. Near the table is a box of leather bracelets with red, green and blue stones.

Among the rubble: DC20: Several trays of counters, books on strategy and tactics, etc. DC25: One of the books is actually been "cut out". It contains an ancient-looking key to the secret Ranger's Entrance to Teufeldorf. It is dated 672 SA.

Ranger key.jpg

NOTE: This room was used for training by the rangers. Bracelets taken from the island will reappear in the box.

History of the Rangers

Your research garners the following information:

Sorrowsong Castle was built on this remote island in the Inner Sea during the early 7th century of the Second Age, just as the organization of Rangers of the Wilderlands was being formalized. It was an ideal location for "wilderness training" as it had fresh water, abundant game and trees, and yet was harsh enough to simulate the northern Orcish border environment.

The early journals tell of the first captain of Sorrowsong Castle, Woodward Oakenshield, who would later become the first Ranger King of Teufeldorf. Woodward is described as serious and just. It also tells of Woodward bringing two small ent saplings with him as guardians of the island when the rangers were abroad.

The castle features facilitate teaching military strategy and tactics (the game table being used by the commanders to determine the location of their pupils during training), swordplay (trainees were not found of the metal training automaton), and "orc hunts" which apparently released orcs from the basement prison into the forest for training. It is clear that the training at Sorrowsong formed the basis for the modern-day test, The Trek, which ranger candidates must undertake before joining the order.

Life at Sorrowsong was described as hard but fair (for the rangers, at least). There was no staff at the castle, and the rangers were tasked with all duties pertaining to maintenance, cooking, etc. There is no mention of the castle being used in the Third Age. It is possible that its location was lost.

While much of the information in the books is mundane, there are several mentions of Woodward and successor captains undertaking ventures to both Vendredi Hall deep in the Evenwild and to Teufeldorf in the Western Reaches. These missions involved delivering artifacts into the Ranger Vaults - securing them from exploitation by greedy and power-hungry men and women.

In particular, you find a mention of a key being passed from captain to captain. The key is described as opening the Ranger Gate in Teufeldorf - a hidden entrance that was used exclusively by the order and connected to an underground labyrinth of storerooms and holding chambers.

Vendredi Hall is still in use by the rangers today. The Ranger Gate and Vaults in Teufeldorf are thought to be myths.

Room 9: Empty Barracks

At one point, this room appears to be a barracks of sorts. A number of beds are lined against the walls - most not more than heaps of wood, straw and tattered blankets. Several tables near the door are haphazardly pushed aside, their chairs now kindling.

Room 10: Captain Tim-Tom's Room

This room is dark and smells of decay. A scattering of furniture shows it to have been an officer's bedroom at some point in the distant past. Now it is home to Tim-Tom, an ettin who is used for defending the castle - when needed. Not smart. The harpies call him captain to make him feel important. One of the harpies is trying to mate with him.

This lumbering, filthy, two-headed giant wears tattered remnants of leather armor and clutches a large flail in each fist.

Sorrowsong Castle - Upper Level

Sorrowsong Castle - Upper Level

Room 11: Old Kitchen - Nest #1

This room was once a kitchen for the castle. A rusted oven, large pots and a cookstove attest to its history. However, none of these have been used in decades, and they are falling apart or already piles of scrap. In the four corners of the room are nests, clearly recently inhabited.

Harpy Pod #1 - Pelena, Volola, Uviris, Nyrera,

Treasure: Sweetest Perfume, 400 gold

Room 12: Hallway

This hallway has rubble at the eastern end which has left several large holes in the ceiling.

Room 13: Great Hall

The great hall of Sorrowsong Castle must have been magnificent in the its prime. Two large fireplaces along the southern wall are cold, although the would carvings of a woodland scene in the mantle is still visible. Tattered banners of an eagle on a green field are recognizable but beyond repair.

A large dining table dominates the center of the room. Ten chairs are pulled up around the table, although the one at the western end is twice the size of a normal chair. All have tattered green leather cushions. Several bent silver candlesticks present the mockery of fine dining.

At the ten place settings are find silver dishes and platters. However, they are piled with grisly, bloody bones. Another large pile of bones is in the center of the north wall. The bones look somewhat fresh and recently gnawed.

NOTE: The candles are lit at night to attract anyone who might be passing close to the island.

Room 14: Lord's Hall

This oddly-shaped room has two piles of straw, twigs and branches forming nests in the two alcoves in the eastern wall. A fine canopy bed has collapsed and been pushed against the west wall. A writing desk, chair and bookcase are all covered in layers of dust.

Two small rooms to the south each contain a nest as well. In the B room, a baby harpy is sleeping (Aro's child).

Harpy Pod #2 - Nellophis, Desiene, Cylone, Aro

Treasure: Feathered Dagger, 400 gold

Sorrowsong Castle - Level 3 & Lower Level

Sorrowsong Castle - Lower Level

Room 15: Storeroom

Stairs lead down into the dark, dank room. The room has been cleared of its original contents - probably foodstuffs for the castle. A large barrel of rank water and a small table of rancid food are pushed against the western wall.

A set of iron bars with a large iron padlock lead to a prison cell in the west wall.

Room 16: Prison

Six orcs huddle near the eastern set of bars. The room beyond is dark and reeks of dung and death. The room is mostly empty save for some piles of offal and other unidentified materials.

Leaning against the bars leading to a back room is a naked orc, his head and arms missing. He has been gnawed into pieces, although the job appears incomplete.

These are the other orcs from the Keelhaul. They are all awaiting their death. Their companion Glush was taken earlier in the day. See Room 2.

Dul, Lurbuk, Jugag, Matuk, Zog

Room 17: Prison Back Room

The back room of the prison is sealed with an iron gate, the lock of which is rusted shut and completely unusable. Trash inside the room has been piled against the gate with only a small area about chest-height through which items could be passed.

You hear a scrabbling in the room, the sound of gnashing teeth. There is a smell of death coming from the area.

Skulking towards you is what appears to be a freshly skinned and cleaned corpse. It is a bloody, skeletal creature with bits of flesh and muscle still clinging to its wet bones. Its entrails and organs hang loosely in its torso, sometimes even dropping out entirely. Its eyes roll about in its eye sockets as it seeks its prey.

If Rawbones is defeated, the following treasure is in his room: Grim Lantern, 40 gold.

The lantern is disguised as a human skull dangling from a short length of chain.

Room 18: Darksong's Lair

Darksong

This circular room was once finely appointed. Sturdy oak tables and a large oaken canopy bed - although well worn - are still serviceable.

There are two exits from this room - one through a trapdoor in the floor leading down a set of spiral stairs. The other is through a well-hidden door in the west leading out to the ramparts of the front wall.

On a table near the secret door are two large locked chest. One is marked as belonging to Elias Haggelthorn. The other is of heavy iron bound with a puzzle lock.

Sorrowsong puzzle 02.jpg

It contains the following treasure: Pennant of Cloaking (unless used on WW), Brine's Sting, Folding Boat, 2000 gold

Darksong has the body and face of a statuesque woman, although her face is spoiled by the presence of the beak of a raptor in place of her nose and mouth. Her long legs are feathered, and they end in cruel talons. Her back sports four large wings, and a scorpion tail whips about behind her. Her eyes glow a fearful red.

Sea Encounter: Will-O'-The-Wisp

Off the ship's bow, several lights can be seen. They are close together and near the surface of the sea. From this distance, they might be a ship in the distance or lights on a distant atoll.

If the party moves towards the lights, the wisps will lead them towards a sandbar a quarter mile from a small "invisible" island.

The Wanton Wench comes to a grinding halt on a sandbar just below the surface of the water. Several waves push the ship further onto the bar as it settles into the sand.

The first person off the ship will have a crossbow fired into the Wench nearby as seven pirates suddenly appear on the sandbar.

NOTICE: An invisible creature is standing in the water nearby - you can sense him there by the fact that the water is flowing about its invisible form. The robed figure is "the devil".

Bone-devil.jpg

A man dressed in leather armor with tattered clothes and a crossbow raises his hand for parlay. He is wearing a pair of brass and crystal goggles. Otherwise, he appears to be ragtag. As the leader, he hails the party which includes five more men dressed similarly.

  • I am Stingy Jack. Welcome to my island. And a small rocky island appears behind the sandbar.
  • A campfire has been set up in an alcove of rocks. Scraggly bushes cling to the meager soil. The island is only a hundred yards in diameter - hardly able to sustain life. The wreckage of a ship can be seen floating nearby, and several crates have been piled near the campfire.
  • My ship (the Will-O-The-Wisp) found this accursed island in the same manner as this fine vessel. The storm shredded her, sadly, and I find myself in need of a new ship. Any chance we can negotiate helping you off this sandbar for passage to your next port of call?

The Pirates

  • Stingy Jack carries a gold coin stuck to a small gold crucifix. This is what controls "the Devil" who was on the island when Jack arrived and tricked him. Stingy Jack also wears the Lenses of Fogcutting.
  • Mad Eyes Artemis, Iron Chest Reed, Pieces of Seven Wheeler, Blackmane, The Bear, and Grisly Beetlebob.

The pirates have 600 gold in the chests on the island. Mostly, they are full of rum and salted pork.