Feb 7, 2012

Warren of the Leper Queens: Area 11

Area 11: Blasphemous Sacristy

This area is not normally lit unless someone is in it. The ceilings are 3m high. The entrance to this area from area 7 is blocked by a drape covered in the Spume of Acephax.

There is a 5% chance of one of Sons of Acephax being present. He will be washing the sacred vessels they use in their black masses.

There is a separate 5% chance that one of the Brides of Acephax will be here, preparing the holy vessels.

Neither will be armed, though they may take up one of the weapons nearby to defend themselves. If they are present, they will have a single lantern with them.

This chamber contains two long, heavy wooden tables opposite from one another. They can be moved with Brawn checks. The tables are covered in thick black velvet coverings that are stained with dried blood, the Spume of Acephax and other foul fluids.

On one table are a six clay cruets. Three contain the Spume of Acephax, and three contain oils and other foul astringents used in preparing the profane host. The bottles of the Spume of Acephax are illegal to sell to private collectors, but interested parties (alchemists, poisoners, the church) would pay 150 silver pieces per cruet for the spume, and 50 sp for the oils and chemicals.

The other table has a paten, a pyx, a chalice, and an aspergilium.

The paten is made of a wondrous black metal with engraved designs picked out in silver. The designs show Acephax rising from the earth, surrounded by a fan of severed fingers that point outwards. Written underneath him in Moragnian is the name "Acephax".

The pyx is silver, and plain, but contains the profane host of the Servants of Acephax. These are small, dried sections of human skin from a leper that have been treated with the Spume of Acephax and the chemicals on the other table. There are four dozen such "wafers" in the pyx.

The chalice is empty, but has a foul smell. It is made of the same black metal as the paten, and is undecorated except for an engraved sentence "ACEPHAX OUR LORD GIVES SUCCOR TO THE FORGOTTEN".

The aspergilium is silver, and has faint bloodstains around the holes where someone has had difficulty cleaning it properly.

Each of these items radiates an aura of evil magic and suffering. Worse yet, they are all cursed. Anyone who steals them from the cult (defined as leaving the caves with them) is cursed and will be attacked by a Magnitude 4 leprosy spirit upon leaving the cave when they next fall asleep. The goal of the spirit will be to infect the person with leprosy, to possess them, and to return the items to the cult, or if the cult has been destroyed, to refound it.

The items are worth about 250 silver pieces each, but no devout Moragnian would purchase them (and many would report the attempt to the nearest priest).

There are also a rack for holding weapons, a washbasin and a large but light chest. These are easily moved by one person.

The washbasin is fine carved wood, and the water has a dark, pinkish quality to it. The rack of weapons holds four clubs with sharp hooks on the end, a falchion, and four knives. The weapons are meant for ritual use, and are decorated with icons of Acephax, severed fingers, and other gruesome decorations. They are used during the religious ceremonies in Area 7 to restrain and dismember victims.

The small chest is tucked under one of the tables. It is locked and can be opened with a Mechanisms +10 check. It contains the sacred vestments of office used by the Brides and by the Sons of Acephax who are serving during cult rituals. These are bloodstained white robes edged with black and red fringe around the collar, cuffs and hem. Wearing them gives a PC a +20 to Disguise rolls for ordinary cultists. Success means they have mistaken the PC for a high member of the cult (devotee rank or higher) and act appropriately.