Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ruins of Soguer - the Central Ruins

Once again we return to the adventure The Ruins of Old Soguer, being posted piece-by-piece here on Tailslap.  Today's post details some of the notable locations in the central area of the vast ruined city.  There, the remains of a great cathedral, the overgrown market square, and a mysterious still-intact tower beckon to brave explorers.

Previous sections of the adventure can be found here:
The Ruins of Soguer - Introduction
The Ruins of Soguer - Start of the Adventure in Aguies Town & Castle
The Ruins of Soguer - River Journey to the Ruins
The Ruins of Soguer - The Western Ruins

3 - The Broken Cathedral - The following can be seen from the streets of the ruins.

An iron fence, twisted and flattened in several places, surrounds the grounds of a large cathedral here.  The south face of the cathedral is tumbled down into rubble that chokes the steps leading up to its open doors.  The windows of the cathedral still hold a few shards of stained glass.  The wind makes a low moaning sounds as it blows through the empty openings.  A cemetery occupies he northwestern portion of the grounds, and low stone walls - all that remain of several smaller buildings stand to the west and north of the cathedral.  Carvings on the cornerstones of buildings at the intersection indicate that the large road heading east-west is Market Road, and the road leading north is Gods Road.

A search of the grounds and the remains of the rectory and other buildings with a successful DC 10 Perception check reveals old and weathered personal belongings such as combs, bits of wooden dishes, and even some human bones.  A successful DC 21 Perception check uncovers a dirt-encrusted golden holy symbol of Pelor worth 150 gold.

Should the players enter the cathedral they see the following:

Climbing up the steps over piles of stone blocks and rubble, you enter through the open doorways, through a entryway with two side passages, both filled with rubble, and into the large chapelWild birds, disturbed by your entrance, screech in alarm and fly up and out of the chapel. Large stone pillars rise up to support what remains of the ceiling above.  Much of the southern part of the roof is missing, revealing the sky above.  Before you, wooden pews are smashed beneath more stone rubble.  At the far end of the chapel is a raised dais upon which a bare stone altar stands, carved with a relief of a sunburst, an eight-pointed star, and a gauntlet holding a sword.  Detritus lies on the ground around the altar, and three large windows stand open to the sky on the far wall.

A DC 10 Religion check allows a character to recognize the carvings on the altar as the holy symbols of Pelor, Kord, and Heironeous.

If the players investigate the north side of the chapel they see the following:

The floor of the dais, like the rest of the chapel, is covered with dirt, some leaves, and bits of broken stained glass.  There, behind the altar, lies a gruesome sight: the dessicated corpse of a priest in age-browned robes.  His face is twisted in a horrible rictus of fear, and his outstretched arm points to the rear face of the altar.  Following his dead gesture, you read the single word that is written there in long-dried blood: DOOM.

Searching the rest of the cathedral reveals side passages which lead to a staircase leading down.  Beneath are long-ago-ransacked offices and catacombs with cardinal's and bishop's sepulchers there, opened up and looted. 

Treasure - A search of the side chambers and offices can yield the following treasure with the corresponding Perception skill checks; DC 10: 5 gold worth of Sanctified Incense, DC 16: 50 gold worth of Sanctified Incense, DC 21: 100 gold worth of Sanctified Incense and 100 gold worth of Residuum.

4 - Overgrown Market Square - Traveling east down Market Road leads to the overgrown remains of the market square.

A grove of trees hundreds of feet across fills this large open area between the ruins.  The roots of the trees have pushed aside the cobblestones and their branches spread out above the walls of the empty buildings surrounding the grove.  Walking through the woods briefly, you come upon the remains of a large fountain in the center.  The large round stone basin contains some muddy dirt and chunks of stone, and in the center, upon a pedestal a set of stone legs stand broken off at the knees.

A DC 16 History check brings to mind the tale of the statue of the King of Soguer that once stood in the vast market square of this city.  During the height of Soguer's power goods from all corners of the known world were traded here.  Over them stood a statue of the Lidwen Staledo, King of Soguer 70 years ago, carved holding aloft the scales of justice and a sword.  A DC 21 History check reminds the observer that the statue was depicted wielding the royal family's sword The Judge's Tongue, the family's symbol of the supremacy of law.

5 - The Mage's Guild Tower, A reclusive old mage named Alidol lives within this tower, trapped by a curse.

Standing here among the ruins of the city is a tall square tower with smooth, windowless, slightly tapered sides.  The once-fine facade is cracked and crumbling and vines crawl up the walls.  A single wide doorway stands open, the door long gone. 

Details of what can be found within the tower coming in the next installment of The Ruins of Old Soguer....

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