Jan 26, 2012

Life in the Warrens of the Leper Queens

Inhabitants:

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

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

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

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

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

Schedules:

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

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

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

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

The latrines are cleaned and loose garbage removed once a day. It is taken above ground at night and buried, usually around midnight. Cultists use the first aboveground entrance to carry it out.