Dungeon Fantasy: Feuterre-Eau’air, Part 3

This post will focus on the sewers and Undercity of Feuterre-Eau’air.

Scale: 1 hex = 5 miles. Numbered circles denote landmarks. Lines are tunnels and passageways.

Below street level, the city’s infrastructure twists and turns, and slowly fills with the forgotten, monstrous and shunned. The people build their own communities in the  safety of the larger nodes and tunnels. Such “safety” is usually relative and communities are stretched far and wide across the many passages of the Undercity. Even then, members of these hamlets and villages are forced to scavenge for resources in their nearby tunnels, braving travel only when absolutely necessary.

When desperation strikes and resources run out, the only option is to travel the network of tunnels and passages that make up the Undercity. Travelling these tunnels is not for the timid or unprepared, as the tunnels crawl with hidden beasts, dangerous hazards, and all manner of strange magics that have felled even the hardiest of adventurers. Merchants and travellers only brave these labyrinthine routes when they are certain of their safety, usually in the form of trustworthy sell-swords.

Entrance to the Undercity is usually done through a cellar in the Pierre-Brisée District, but there are other clandestine ways into the Undercity, albeit harder to find and less safe. If the party wants to find another entrance to the Undercity than the one in the Pierre-Brisée District, one of them must succeed at an Urban Survival -5 roll. Failure means time (1dx5 minutes) is wasted. Success finds a way in (say, a forgotten well buried in the basement of a home or a mysterious chasm found in the sewers), but the GM has permission to introduce traps or obstacles in the way of progress, or rule the entrance is difficult enough to slow down movement speed (half or quarter Move in terms of travel). Critical success means the entrance located is unusually safe and quick. Critical failure gets the party only random danger and wasted time. A similar roll can be tried within The Undercity to find an exit. Taking a passageway “off the map” above is an exit out of the Undercity.

Characters exploring the Undercity do not have access to the goods and services normally available on the surface and will be at constant risk of random encounters unless they find a pocket of safety. The few disparate communities within the Undercity are the only places where commodities and tools are available for characters; however, they are often limited in what they are capable or willing to buy and sell.

Travel in the Undercity is the same as normal above ground city travel except for the treacherous terrain slowing it down – half the usual Move per hour rate.

Random Encounters and Dangers in the Sewers and Undercity

Roll 1d,1d.

1,1-3: N Smugglers (I Smell a Rat, DF Dungeon page 9) running contraband.

1,4-6: Nx2 Giant Rats (DF Monsters pages 30-31)

2,1: N/2 Jellies (DF Monsters pages 38-39)

2,2: N/2 Rock Trolls (Monsters 3: Born of Myth & Magic page 19)

2,3: N/2 Erupting Slimes N Elementals (DF Monsters pages 26)

2,4: N Bronze Spiders (DF Monsters page 17)

2,5-6: N Giant Spiders (DF Monsters pages 31-32)

3,1: N/2 as-Sharak (DF Monsters page 16)

3,2: N/2 Oozes (DF Monsters pages 44-45)

3,3: N/2 Puddings (Roll 1d to determine the type: 1, brown; 2, gray; 3, green; 4, black; 5, red; 6, white. DF Monsters pages 46-47)

3,4: N Slimes (DF Monsters pages 48-49)

3,5: N/2 Spore Clouds (Roll for the type of spore cloud using the table, DF Monsters pages 52-53)

3,6: A splash of septic water hits one of the delvers at random, roll Urban Survival skill to spot it coming and get out of the way, or roll HT to resist disease.

4,1: A team of occultists and their bodyguards are gathering materials to construct golems or summon Elementals.

4,2: A gout of burning sludge erupts from a sewer pipe, roll Dodge or suffer 1d corrosive damage. A roll against Urban Survival or Smell can complement the Dodge roll.

4,3: N Elementals (DF Monsters pages 24-26) OR N/2 Shadow Warriors (Monsters 3: Born of Myth & Magic page 21)

4,4: Outcast people living in the Undercity are guarding this area, demanding the adventurers either submit to questioning or leave the area.

4,5: A team of occultists and their bodyguards are conducting research, looking for supernatural phenomena to study and record.

4,6: A strange cult of masked people are chanting and dancing around an altar or idol.

5,1: A pack of scavengers from an Undercity settlement is searching the area for valuables.

5,2: People living in the Undercity are fortifying this position against monsters.

5,3: A big team of miners are digging up something.

5,4: N+2 Corpse-Eaters (see stats below) OR N/2 Werewolves (DF Monsters page 60)

5,5: Couriers or smugglers are trying to deliver a package somewhere else.

5,6: Undercity settlers going out to hunt monsters.

6,1: N Dark Ones (see stats below).

6,2: Undercity travellers and/or merchants hiding in this area, secretly watching the adventurers to see if they are dangerous or potential allies.

6,3-5: N/2 swarm of rats (DF Monsters pages 54-55).

6,6: 1 Albino Sewer Gator (see stats below)

Enemy: Albino Sewer Gator

THE URBAN LEGENDS WERE RIGHT!

ST:37HP:37Speed:7.00
DX:13Will:10Move:4/8 (Water)
IQ:4Per:13
HT:14FP:14SM:+2
Dodge:11Parry:N/ADR:3

Bite (13): 4d-1 cutting + follow-up grapple, Reach 2.

Grapple: Anyone bitten is two-handed grappled. After grappling, can bite each turn without an attack roll, or attempt a quick contest of ST to pull the victim underwater.

Tail Whip (13): 4d+4 crushing, Reach C-3 (rear) or C-2 (either side) or C (front).

Traits: Amphibious; Bad Sight (Nearsighted); Cold-Blooded (50 degrees); Combat Reflexes; Extra Attack 1 (bite and whip); Nictitating Membrane 2; Night Vision 9; Quadruped; Vibration Sense (Water); Wild Animal.

Skills: Swimming-16.

Class: Dire Animal.

Notes: Eyes and Vitals DR only 2. Vision is -4 in full daylight. The corpse of this monster is worth $5000 to sages and eccentric mystery buffs, if you can manage to haul the giant sack of bloody flesh up to the surface. Double the reward if the players capture the darn thing alive!

Enemy: Corpse-Eaters

Corpse-Eaters are mundane but disturbing devourers of sapient flesh (fresh or not) who resemble bald vampires. Each day, a Corpse-Eater must eat 1.5 lbs of meat and bone from a living sapient creature (humanoids but not animals, slime, undead, plants and so on) instead of ordinary food. In theory, the corpse of an average man could sustain one for 100 days if preserved well enough…but many do not refrain from hunting for long in practice. They often become grave robbers, bandits and dungeon delvers as a result.

ST:14HP:14Speed:5.25
DX:10Will:10Move:4
IQ:10Per:10
HT:13FP:13SM:+0
Dodge:8Parry:9DR:2

Sharp Teeth (12): 1d cut, Reach C.

Axe (12): 2d+2 cut, Reach 1.

Kick (10): 1d+2 cr (includes +1 from boots), Reach C,1.

Punch (12): 1d cr, Reach C.

Crossbow (10): 1d+4 imp, Acc 4, Range 280/350, Shots 1(4), Bulk -6.

Shield Bash (12): 1d cr, Reach 1.

Spear (12): 1d+2 imp, Reach 1.

Traits: Immunity to Disease; Night Vision 5; Reduced Consumption 1 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Silence 1; Sharp Teeth; Brotherhood of Ghouls; Ugly; Restricted Diet (Flesh of sapient beings, fresh or not-so-fresh); Social Stigma (Monster); Outdoorsman 1.

Skills: Camouflage-11; Observation-11; Stealth-11; Tracking-11; Survival (Woodlands)-11; Brawling-12; Axe/Mace-12; Crossbow-10; Shield-12; Spear-12.

Class: Mundane.

Notes: Light (-1) encumbrance already factored in. Brotherhood of Ghouls is a perk that makes Horde zombies and similar unnatural devourers of sapient beings (not ogres, man-eating tigers, etc.) will simply ignore a corpse-eater. They’ll see him, and shove him aside if he gets between them and their prey, but won’t go after him. He could walk right through a zombie army without disturbing them. This benefit ends if the corpse-eater personally takes any offensive action against any ghoul in sight – but his allies’ deeds have no effect. Wearing a heavy leather suit of armour. Carrying one of axe and crossbow with quiver of 12 bolts, medium shield (DB 2, not factored in) and axe, or spear and medium shield (DB 2). DB not factored in. Open to negotiation, especially if promised easily preserved corpse meat. Not Truly Evil or undead.

Enemy: Dark One

These sinister mutants with vertically-slit-pupil eyes and tentacle fingers have aligned themselves with dark forces of the outer planes, and they wield hyper-geometric magics for malevolent purposes.

ST:9HP:9Speed:5.00
DX:10Will:13Move:4
IQ:13Per:13
HT:10FP:10SM:+0
Dodge:7Parry:10DR:1

Missile Spell (13): See below.

Wizard’s Staff (11): 1d+1 cr, Reach 1,2, can channel casted melee spells.

Traits: Power Investiture (Elder) 3; Elder Gift 4; High Manual Dexterity 2; Night Vision 1; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards +3; Better Power Items; Bloodlust (12); Unnatural Features 2; Callous.

Skills: Innate Attack (Projectile)-13; Staff-11; Alchemy-17; Hidden Lore (Elder Things)-17; Occultism-17; Thaumatology-17.

Spells: Conceal-15; Hide-15; Mage-Stealth-15; Perfect Illusion-15; Retch-15; See Secrets-15; Shatter-15; Sickness-15; Blur-15; Dark Vision-15; Deflect Energy-15; Hide Thoughts-15; Resist Fire-15; Resist Lightning-15; Stun-15; Armour-15; Death Vision-15; Detect Magic-15; Extinguish Fire-15; Recover Energy-15; Shield-15.

Class: Mundane.

Notes: Elder Gift 4 gives +4 to Alchemy, Hidden Lore (any), Occultism and Thaumatology skills (+4 Reaction Bonus for Elder Things). Better Power Items gives +50% value of an object for power item purposes but double recharge costs $10 per FP. Wearing a full suit of cloth armour, carrying a wizard’s staff, and using a gemstone worth $227 as a (boosted) 4 FP Power Item. Might negotiate, but untrustworthy and must resist Bloodlust first.

Undercity Landmarks

1: The Drip

An overwhelming smell of burning candles fills the hot air, as wax stalactites the size of watchtowers pour into bubbling ponds of molten tallow and fat.

Few eke out a living among the lumpy tallow-coated terrain, their clothing weighed down by the drying wax and hair almost permanently styled in odd angles. No one is certain where the wax comes from; some claim it is a byproduct of the countless dead of the city being crushed after burial, others claim it is the leaking fat of a titanic corpse buried just beneath the city’s foundation.

Softening wax from underground thermal vents makes it treacherous and slow to cross without proper tools or guidance. The skill Survival (Subterranean) or precautions like stilts can help avoid dangers, which include getting covered in wax (+1 per hex movement costs and -2 DX penalty until cleaned), scalding (as coated in wax AND 1d+1 burn damage), and sinking into wax (as coated in wax AND roll ST to avoid 2d+2 burn damage). Ferries can be found on a 2-on-2d chance, charging $(1d+4) for a safe trip across the area.

There are candle makers working in the area, refining the raw materials in their ramshackle workshops and craft candles in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colours. Such candles are of superior quality (burn for 6 hours as bright as a torch, $5 each).

Locals will be quick to point out patches of discoloured or motley wax. Slick prisons for unfortunate souls who were entombed in the wax. While dredging out corpses is frowned upon, it is not unheard of. Dredging corpses takes 1d-3 (minimum 1) hours and yields 1d random scavenged mundane items each time.

2:  Chandelier Tunnels

The air is heavy with acrid and dangerous fumes, while the tunnel itself is a jagged network of colourful stalactites that seem to thrum with a chaotic energy.

The toxic fumes of the sewer water coming out of the forge district has made crystalline stalactites grow from the ceilings. Glimmering with magic, they are rumoured to do everything from turn cockroaches into dogs and bone into gold.

The Chandelier Tunnels are constantly filled with dangerous and chaotic energy that emanate from the pulsing crystal formations. Every half-hour spent in the tunnels requires everyone to roll HT or Will plus Magic Resistance to resist the equivalent of a random Body Control or Mind Control spell that lasts 1d hours.

The crystals that emanate the powerful magical energy here can be harvested with proper mining gear and a Prospecting or Hazardous Materials roll at a rate of one viable cluster every half hour. The crystal clusters can be sold to alchemists, who will process and distil them into powerful potions, for 1dx$100 per cluster. These crystals will still emit their magical properties unless sealed in a lead-line case or a Hazardous Materials roll is successful.

3: Abandoned Mine

Broken tunnels and mine-shafts echo faintly with the ghosts of miners who dug too deep. Foul water oozes down the sides like tapestries, while gaping ruts in the ground mark the passage of countless mine carts.

Be it ore, gemstones, or the crushed remains of a palace, many a delver and prospector has flocked to this place in hopes of striking it rich.

For each hour spent delving the mine, an adventurer may roll Prospecting skill to roll 1d on the table below;

1: 1d lbs. of raw ore, worth $2d to a forge

2: uncut gems, worth $2dx30 to a jeweller

3: fossilised remains of an unlucky beast or denizen, weighs 10 lbs. and worth $1dx25 to a sage

4: precious metals, weighs 1 lb. and worth $2dx25

5: valuable treasure or relic, worth $1dx50 and weighs 0.25 lbs. per $50 of value

6: random magic item

Around the entrance to the area, there’s the scattered remains of a mining outpost, mysteriously abandoned. There are 2d random tools and an usable furnace scattered about.

Deeper into the area (perhaps requiring navigating hazards or parkour), pockets of tunnel have been sealed off, mysteriously filled with desiccated corpses. Looting the corpses (Search roll to find 5d copper coins and broken rusted equipment) has a 1-in-6 chance of angering the dead, Nx2 Zombies attack.

4: Crooked Palace

Rough stone and brick gives way to a tremendous sight: a beautiful palace lies broken and half-buried in the muck, as if tossed aside like a broken toy by some disgusted giant.

A crumbling, once magnificent, castle has since sunk down into the depths of the Undercity. Sitting at an almost 45-degree angle, many have sought the treasures inside, but few have returned.

The Crooked Palace functions as its own separate dungeon.

A twisted aristocrat has taken up residency in the palace and plans to establish their own feudal colony in the Undercity.

A small village (3+1d buildings) has sprung up around the Crooked Palace, boosted by the economy of delvers and adventurers who frequent the ruins and offer their services as guides. Delver Town freely buys and sells most common goods and has arrangements for lodging.

In the deepest region of the Crooked Palace lies a tremendous vault with a series of intricate and devious safeguards in place. No one knows what lies inside the vault, but whatever it was, it was dangerous enough to justify burying an entire palace.

5: Garbage Sluices

Torrents of roaring waters can be heard echoing down the tunnels. Enormous rusted gates rattle and creak as a flood of sewage rushes down corroded stone channels into the mysterious depths.

Giant metal sluices barely control the flow of constant rushing sewage here. There are 1d channels, each measuring 7 yards across and 14 yards deep: all are filled with a coursing river of effluent. Those who attempt to cross the channel take their lives into their own hands. The water and refuse of the city rush at such a speed they cannot be crossed safely on foot. Tools, magic, or ingenuity are required to pass this area. Those who fall into the river of sewage without a safety line are dragged away, to another random area in the Undercity.

Dozens of decaying ropes and handmade bridges attempt to span the Sluices and bring travellers to the other side; safety is not guaranteed. The bridges or ropes provide a means to cross, but each crossing has a 1-in-6 chance of breaking and sending the victim plummeting into the rushing waters below.

The channels here periodically empty and fill like the tides of an ocean. Each day, at the same time, the channels are empty (save for a thick quagmire of sludge) for 2d hours. However, once the time is up, the sewer tides rush in with a vengeance.

6: Abandoned Mine

Broken tunnels and mine-shafts echo faintly with the ghosts of miners who dug too deep. Foul water oozes down the sides like tapestries, while gaping ruts in the ground mark the passage of countless mine carts.

Be it ore, gemstones, or the crushed remains of a palace, many a delver and prospector has flocked to this place in hopes of striking it rich.

For each hour spent delving the mine, an adventurer may roll Prospecting skill to roll 1d on the table below;

1: 1d lbs. of raw ore, worth $2d per pound to a forge

2: uncut gems, worth $2dx30 to a jeweller

3: fossilised remains of an unlucky beast or denizen, weighs 10 lbs. and worth $1dx25 to a sage

4: precious metals, weighs 1 lb. and worth $2dx25

5: valuable treasure or relic, worth $1dx50 and weighs 0.25 lbs. per $50 of value

6: random magic item

Around the entrance to the area, there’s the scattered remains of a mining outpost, mysteriously abandoned. There are 2d random tools and an usable furnace scattered about.

Deeper into the area (perhaps requiring navigating hazards or parkour), pockets of tunnel have been sealed off, mysteriously filled with desiccated corpses. Looting the corpses (Search roll to find 5d copper coins and broken rusted equipment) has a 1-in-6 chance of angering the dead, Nx2 Zombies attack.

7: The Catch

Millions of blocks stacked in a wall across a yawning chasm. Surging water pours from channels along one side while an eerie and silent reservoir is held on the other.

At first glance the Catch appears to be nothing more than a massive dam meant to hold back excessive water. Yet there is an almost ever present scraping and rumbling felt within the multitude of blocks. Something other than water is held back by stone…

Using the churning and ever-flowing water to their advantage, endeavouring folks have created vast machinery to harness the powerful flow. Mill stones grind whatever is placed between them, forges bellow with an unprecedented fury, and all manner of machines operate with an ease not seen above ground. So sophisticated is the contraption that it is regarded in almost a religious manner. Tools and some services can be found here, and are always of the highest quality.

Legends have surrounded the Catch since its discovery, and while some have been proven false, those who enlist in the Depth Guard know that something lurks in the darkened waters. Huge ballistae, loaded with hooked harpoons, sit and watch the tepid waters, while a rotating system of guards stand vigilant for any disturbance on the water. The Depth Guard buys any weapons and armour for most asking prices.

8: The Vents

Thousands of vents, pipes and tunnels line the walls and ceiling like the inside of a massive beehive. The air is heavy with putrid gas that is heard hissing from the vents above.

A massive honeycomb-like chamber full of tunnels that pump in the putrid vapours of decomposing garbage from above. Roll HT or become nauseated for 1 hour, wearing a face mask or breathing apparatus protects against this. Additionally, open fires have a 1-in-6 chance of detonating for 1d burn damage to anyone within 1 yard.

A series of levers and valves trap the increasing heat from the decomposition and other means and release it on a timed schedule. Each day, at the same time, the tunnels are oppressively hot but passable (see Temperature, DF Exploits page 70, -5 penalty) for 2d hours. However, when the time passes the vents release their scalding and sometimes flammable air, cooking anything that doesn’t get out in time (5d-1 burn damage).

9: Brine Clogs

The smell of salt and surf mixed with rotting chum and wood. Scavenging insects and birds call out from this swamp of bubbling sludge and rotting fish.

A wide and shallow channel of water, perpetually clogged with an island of maritime waste. The smelly clogs are heaps of fish guts, bones, broken boats, and worse. Roll HT or become nauseated for 1 hour, wearing a face mask or breathing apparatus protects against this.

Filled with patchy tents and muddy lanes, there’s a Trapper Camp on the edge of the water, full of fisherfolk and wizened veterans of the briny waters. The anglers and trappers will buy and sell fishing and hunting related food and tools. As well, veterans may be persuaded to give valuable information regarding fishing areas, dangerous locations, or contested areas.

A fresh lump of chum from above has caused a feeding frenzy. Locals flock to this area in hopes of spearing one of the many snapping fish that churn the usually stagnant waters. One hour and a Fishing or Survival (Subterranean) roll gets a delver a 1d roll on the table;

1: chunk of fish, same as 1 ration

2-3: wriggling hag-fish or lamprey, 2 rations

4-5: blind cave catfish, 1d rations

6: huge deep sewer coelacanth, worth $3d and 1d+2 rations

TO BE CONTINUED

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