Jan 20, 2012

The Warrens of the Leper Queens: Structure and Design

The warren itself is dug under the sand into the clay soil of Axrew. Because of the material they're dug out of (clay-rich dirt), the walls of the warren are sound-absorbing, and give a -10% to any Perception tests that involve listening. Characters making Stealth checks to avoid being overhead may make these checks at +10%.

The ceiling and walls are reinforced with timber struts that form archways, and the ceiling height varies from 2.5m to 5m with an average of 3.5m. The struts have an average AP of 6 and 40 HP. Destroying one will not cause a collapse, but if three adjacent archways are destroyed, there is a 20% chance of immediate collapse in the areas of the destroyed archways. Archways are located at each entrance to an area, and anywhere else that the space is less than 4m across.

About half the archways (50%) have a thick canvas drape covering them. The drape is painted to look like the surrounding earth, giving the appearance of a dead-end. Perception checks (modified for any lack of light) are required to notice that it is not a dead end. Any investigation involving poking, touching or physically interacting with the drape will reveal this as well. Some of the drapes (25%), especially nearer to the statue of Acephax itself, are painted with the Spume of Acephax and characters whose skin touches them will suffer its effects. The drapes have an AP of 3 and 10 HP, and are fastened at the top by rope. They can be pulled aside by hand.

The ground is level but not smooth. It has only been graded in areas 8-10; 16-17; and 19-20. Elsewhere, individuals who are running, overencumbered, carrying someone or otherwise hindered must make Athletics checks at +10% each round they move or fall prone.

Because of the depth, the warrens occasionally accumulate groundwater, especially after one of the infrequent rainfalls. The pits in areas 3, 4, and 12 are drainage pits. They connect to a massive underground aquifer in the bedrock 75m below. PCs with appropriate magical assistance can swim from one to the other without being observed, though this is a painstaking, tortuous process in the dark. The pit in area 4 is used as a well, and has a cover that has a 33% chance of being shut and latched.

The pits in areas 10 and 17 are latrines and dumps. They have wooden platforms that hold benches above the pits. The platforms have an AP of 4 and 25 HP. The smell when they have not been recently cleaned (the cultists try to do so every day) is unbearable. Characters must make a Resilience test or suffer the effects of nausea as if they had been poisoned. The cultists carry the nightsoil aboveground at night and bury it in pits covered with sand.

The secret passages are all similarly constructed and protects. Their entrances and exits are covered with heavy canvas drapes similar to the ones covering archways, but _always_ painted with the Spume of Acephax. Characters must make a Perception test at -30% (plus any modifiers for poor lighting, etc.) to spot the entrances. The drapes are reinforced by planks, so merely prodding them with the tip of a sword or spear will not automatically reveal them to be drapes. They conceal passages that are about 2.5m tall and 1.5m wide. Characters suffer a -30% on all skills requiring them to be able to move freely (GM's call) as well as to their combat skills. Only Servants of Acephax of devotee rank or higher are aware of the secret passages.