This post will focus on…
The 4 Elemental Towers of City Hall
The seat of government in Feuterre-Eau’air is a quartet of interconnected citadels within an inner bailey of the central District, surrounded on all sides by upper class housing and military security. Each tower represents one of the four classical elements that the ruling class of wizards specialise in. The towers have magical portals that connect to discreet locations known only to those working within, and official entrances guarded by the military. Otherwise, the towers are cut off from the outside world and the only way in without braving a guard checkpoint is by scaling or flying up the tower to reach the bridges. The bridges between the towers are 10 yards long, 5 yards wide and over drops to the ground of at least 100 yards. Each notable area described below can be accessed by stairs from above, below or both. The stairs are always 30 yards of walking up or down. All areas of the Towers are fully lit by magic or torches all the time.
(If the GM wishes, there may be more areas in the Towers than the ones detailed below, since the city hall is so big and well-funded.)
Random Encounters for The Towers
1-2: N Elemental Mages (see previous stats in earlier section) and their escorts N+3 Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43).
3-4: Nx2 Justicars (see previous stats in earlier section) attending to guard duties.
5: N/2 Stone Golems (DF Monsters, page 54) if in Earth Tower OR N Elementals (DF Monsters pages 24-26, all match the elemental theme of the current tower).
6: N-2 Mirror Stalkers (see stats below) hiding in a reflective surface.
Disturbing magical sentries created by Elemental Mages, possibly the result of blasphemous experiments with The Void. They lurk in an Otherworld of reflective surfaces, pretending to be ordinary reflections until they get a chance to ambush their prey from out of the mirror. They like to stalk, harass, spy on and finally strangle people via abusing their ability to jump in and out of the Otherworld through reflections (they can enter or exit any such surface they are close enough to with just one Move manoeuvre). The monster’s fake appearance matches a reflected person with little error, but it does not allow the monster to mimic their abilities or use their gear. Even if the reflected person has a mighty weapon, the monster will still murder with barehanded grappling and choking.
Grapple and Strangle (15): Penalty -3 to target the Neck. Increased ST+2 for high Wrestling skill. Grappled enemy is -4 DX, -2 blocks and parries, -1 to Dodge. On turns after grappling, Quick Contest of ST versus higher of ST or HT (-5 if using only one hand), inflicts crushing damage equal to margin of success (DR protects normally) x1.5, strangled victim loses 1 FP per turn as per suffocation. See DF Exploits pages 40-41, page 70. Victims can try to break free with a Quick Contest of ST (grappler gets +5 if grappling with two hands) on their turn.
Traits: Ambidexterity; Morph (Cosmetic); Jumper (Reflection Otherworld); Unnatural; Dependency (Mana; Constantly); Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; No Blood; No Vitals; No Head; No Neck; No Eyes; Pressure Support; Weakness (Dispel Magic does 3d/casting); Weakness (Destroyed by Dispel Illusion if failed to resist with HT); Callous; Bloodlust (9).
Skills: Acting-10+1d; Shadowing-11+1d; Disguise-10+2d; Tracking-12; Wrestling-15; Observation-12.
Class: Construct or Elder Thing (no-one’s quite sure).
Notes: Truly evil. Unwilling to negotiate except as trickery. Powers are magical in nature. Roll dice for certain skills to decide what each level the monster has, each monster is different. Spellcasting variants of this monster have Power Investiture (Elder) 3 and know various Illusion, Light and Darkness, and Making and Breaking spells at level 15. It takes a Per-based Occultism or Thaumatology roll versus the monster’s highest skill of Shadowing, Acting or Disguise to realise the ruse and identify the monster. Once the monster’s nature is uncovered by this roll, any further attempts to spot a Mirror Stalker in a reflection requires only an Observation roll (if higher than Per-based Occultism or Thaumatology) against the monster’s lowest skill.
The Ground Floor Entrances
At the bottom of every Tower is a fortification (one for each Tower) manned by Nx4 Justicars (the amount is on duty all day, but the actual individual Justicars take shifts and change up every 6 hours) backed up by N Elementals (randomly decide on what mix of Elements), keeping the Towers safe by stopping any would-be visitors and trespassers and demanding they submit to paperwork checks and searches of their persons and luggage. The entrance consists of several mini-areas; a side booth containing the guards’ personal effects (rations, water, loose coins, etc.), side passages with arrow slits for firing upon assaulters, a locker room for storing guardsmen weapons and armour (2d+2 sets of whatever the Justicars are carrying), a lever to raise and lower a portcullis (1 second to lower, 4 seconds to raise), the staircase into a Tower at the back of the checkpoint which is behind one final locked door. Chairs and tables stacked with paperwork and writing implements are off to the side. If an alert is raised or the city is under attack by foreign invaders, a Magelock-20 spell will be cast upon the door to the stairs by a hired wizard.
The walls of these areas are all 2 feet thick (DR 312, HP 118). All the locks on the doors have a -5 Lockpicking penalty. The doors themselves are heavy iron (DR 50, HP 58) with heavy hinges (DR 9, HP 18). The portcullis is heavy (DR 12, HP 23, weight 1000 lbs., ST 25 to make a two-handed lift without assistance or extra effort). The commanding Justicar has a key ring for all the locks.
Once you’re past all the security measures, it is simply a matter of going up stairs (30 yards of walking) to the Tower’s lowest area (Oubliette for Earth Tower, Forge for Fire Tower, Swimming Pool for Water Tower, Library for Air Tower).
1: Sitting Room (Air Tower)
Above the Conference Hall and below the Observatory (stairs up and down), the Sitting Room is a 10 by 10 yards square place in the Air Tower. It’s a quiet and private large room, with ample seating and reclining couches. The first time the party comes to this room, there are 1d Tomes about Alchemy, Hidden Lore (any and all specialties) and Thaumatology (+1 to skill, $500, 12 lbs. each) and a masterwork harp (+2 to skill for playing it, $750, 3 lbs.) lying around.
2: Tea Room (Water Tower)
At the top of the Water Tower, below the Dining Hall (stairs down), and across a bridge to the Observatory, the Tea Room is a warm and cosy 10 by 10 yards square room with fine carpeting (worth $1485, 11 lbs.) and a high quality set of 9 chairs (each chair is $450 and 12 lbs.) and 3 tables (each table is worth $600 and weighs 18 lbs.). The air is filled with dazzling scents. The tea room has a fully stocked pantry of decadent pastries and odd sandwiches. There is a beautiful tea set (worth $300, 4.5 lbs.) along with various wonderful rare teas (2d drinks worth, each worth $150) on the main table.
3: Treasure Vault (Earth Tower)
Below the Greenhouse (stairs up), above the Archives (stairs down), and across a bridge to the Barracks, a massive vault made of solid metal sits recessed into a wall of this 15 by 15 yards room, its surface engraved with images of wealth. The massive treasure hoard inside the safe is guarded by Nx2 Justicars (see stats in previous sections) and N Stone Golems (DF Monsters, page 54) at all times, stationed at a table with chairs. The safe is locked, of course – the penalty to Lockpicking is -5 and the safe is also secured with a Magelock-15 spell. The vault door is DR 150 and HP 84 (the lock/hinge is DR 24 and HP 46).
Inside the vault is a cache of valuables;
- 2 pearls, both worth $490
- 1dx100 silver coins
- An elemental Spellbook ($1100, 12 lbs., teaches the wizardly spells: Seek Water, Purify Air, Seek Earth, Ignite Fire, Create Fire, Create Air, Shape Earth, Earth to Stone, Create Earth, Purify Water, Create Water.)
- 1 Wizard’s Staff of Power ($89120, 4 lbs., can cast Summon Fire Elemental-15, can cast Repel Spirits-20 with Power Reserve 3, always-on Magic Resistance 4 skill-15)
- 1 Very Fine Katana with gilding along the edges ($25350, 5 lbs.)
- 1 Stone of Knowledge [one Dead Language] ($24000, see DF 8: Treasure Tables page 39)
- 1 Very Fine Light Rapier with silver plated edges and dragon bone materials ($16400, 2 lbs)
- 1 very large enchanted gold plug ($66000, 0.80 lbs, casts Explosive Fireball at Skill 20, the enchantment always makes a Thunderclap sound when used)
4: Library (Air Tower)
Near the bottom of Air Tower, below the Conference Hall (stairs up), and across the bridge to the Archives, this 20 by 20 yards sized area is filled from floor to ceiling with packed bookshelves. There are rolling ladders, desks, and 5 busts of historical figures (each worth $430 and weighs 30 lbs.). The desks contain in total; 2 mapping kits, 1d+3 scribe kits, 1d+5 wax tablets, 1d scroll cases and 1d bottles of faerie ink with developer.
The bookshelves contain all matters of scrolls, manuscripts and codices. If the adventurers look for a specific kind of writing, they should roll their Research+2 skill and search for 2d+3 minutes. If they just look around randomly in the shelves for anything that catches their eye, roll 3d once per minute of rummaging.
3-8: A common literature book made well ($50, 3 lbs.).
9-11: A manual for a random IQ-based skill with no default (typically Thaumatology) that has got a pretty cover and nice calligraphy ($300, 6 lbs.).
12: A Tome about Alchemy, Hidden Lore (any and all specialities) or Thaumatology (+1 to skill, $500, 12 lbs. each).
13: An light elemental grimoire that teaches ONE of the following wizardly spells: Seek Water, Purify Air, Seek Earth, Ignite Fire, Create Fire, Create Air, Shape Earth, Earth to Stone, Create Earth, Purify Water, or Create Water ($100, 3 lbs.)
14-15: An uncharged wizardly spell scroll (skill-15, $20 per energy point, 0.05 lbs.)
16-17: A rugged and reliable map ($100, 0.1 lbs.) of somewhere in the city or the surrounding countryside.
18: One of the texts above (GM’s choice) but with an unusual property like Fine (+1 skill bonus, x9 value, x2 weight), Very Fine (+2 skill bonus, x18 value, x2 weight), Dwarven thin engraved metal sheets (x5 value, x2 weight, never burns or suffer water damage), Faerie thin gauzy tiny papers (x15 value, x1/6 weight), written in a rare (x0.8 value) or obscure (x0.6 value) Language, written in code (50% value), hidden text (adds 50%-100% to value once discovered and decoded), or enchanted. Scrolls may be charged ($50 per energy point, total energy points include maintenance costs), skill-20 (x3 value) or universal (x2 value).
5: Kitchen (Water Tower)
Above the Swimming Pool (stairs down), below the Dining Hall (stairs up), and across the bridge to the Barracks, the Kitchen is a 12 by 12 yards square area where chefs prepare food for the rest of the Towers, serving them on plates for couriers and pages to carry elsewhere. It’s cluttered with prep tables, stoves, iceboxes and roaring fires. The kitchen is never empty, with food being prepared at all hours of the day.
Passing through this room is a challenge, due to the frantic energy of the room – any movement or action more upsetting than a slow walk across the room risks causing an accident and raising the alarm.
Carefully stealing food requires a Filch roll against a chef’s Observation-15. Success filches (margin of success) ration’s worth of food and drink. Failing means getting the guards called on you. Critical failure is the same as regular failure, PLUS 1 burning damage to the hand from directly touching a hot meal. Talking to the servants in this area without causing alarm requires a roll against Savoir-Faire, Carousing or Diplomacy. Success can score the adventurer information about the Towers or the government. Critical failure raises the alarm.
6: Dining Hall (Water Tower)
Above the Kitchen (stairs down), below the Team Room (stairs up), and across the bridge to the Archives, this 15 by 15 yards area is an extravagant rectangular room dominated by a massive table with many comfy chairs along it. The tables are filled with extravagant culinary displays and the floor is lightly littered with food scraps in places. Lavish courses in decent quantities are served alongside fine wine and liquor. There is a 3-in-6 chance anytime the player characters enter the room a meal is taking place, with 3d Elemental Mages cackling, chatting, and forcefully scarfing down food and drink.
7: Parlour Room (Fire Tower)
Above the Barracks (elevator) and below the Portal Room (stairs up and elevator), the 10-by-10-yards Parlour Room features a polished wooden counter with a bar (stocked with drinks) behind it, 6 felt-cushioned couches, 7 bar stools along the counter, eight soft armchairs and four coffee tables with casual reading materials stacked on them. Five small oil paintings (each $ 600, 0.75 lbs.) decorate the walls, all of them depicting heroes fighting snake-like monsters. A bartender is working behind the counter and 4 waiters serve the patrons resting here, from 3 PM to 4 AM. Any random encounters here may be relaxing and drinking, or silently standing guard as commanded.
8: Oubliette (Earth Tower)
Below the Archives (stairs up), near the bottom of Earth Tower, the Elemental Mages maintain a dungeon in this 20-by-20-yards area. The area is windowless, cold, wet, and without light. The holding cells at the back of the area have extra-heavy iron doors (DR 75, HP 66), iron bars (DR 8, HP 30) and heavy locks (-5 Lockpicking penalty, DR 12, HP 23).The lockup is reserved for those caught trespassing, stealing, or simply displeasing the government. The room is guarded by 1d+2 City Justicars, each with a key to the cells and a lantern, the only light in the room. There are also 15+1d prisoners, willing and ready to escape if given the opportunity.
9: Conference Hall (Air Tower)
Above the Library (stairs down), below the Sitting Room (stairs up), and across the bridge to the Portal Room, this 20-by-20-yards room has a huge circular conference table in the middle of it, with opulent chairs around for government officials and visitors to sit. Its back wall displays a large (6 feet by 6 feet) landscape watercolour painting in a gilded frame depicting a brutal battle between war-wizards (worth $36000, 4.5 lbs.). Servants are on hand with water jugs, glasses, and sandwiches for the people meeting to discuss business here.
10: Archives (Earth Tower)
Above the Oubliette (stairs down), below the Treasure Vault (stairs up), across bridges to the Library and the Dining Hall, the Archives is a 15-by-15-yards room dedicated to storing government records and paperworks (budgets, treaties, maps, business contracts, civic project outlines, etc.) in securely organised containers. Many desks and writing implements are in the centre of the room, the chairs are sturdy but barebones. The wallpaper of the room is a relaxing but bland shade of light green.
Most of the important government documents are kept in locked containers (-2 Lockpicking penalty, DR 12, HP 23) and are worth $50x1d+2 to shady information brokers and espionage agents (this requires a Streetwise roll to find a buyer).
11: Portal Room (Fire Tower)
At the top of Fire Tower, above the Parlour Room (stairs down and elevator), across the bridge to the Conference Hall, this special 10-by-10-yards area is dedicated to the government’s magical teleportation gates that allow entry into the City Hall Towers.
In the very middle of the room, behind a locked iron door guarded by N City Justicars, there’s an enchanted circle that, when activated, conjures a magical gate to somewhere else (the “other end” of the gate is another government facility located either in the city or in the surrounding countryside) that the government officials and their authorised and escorted visitors use to come and go from the Towers without taking the ground floor stairs. The portal can be set to another “anchor”, and thus destination, of another magical gateway if someone rolls Thaumatology skill and fiddles for 1 hour of work on the control runes. The person changing the portal controls must know the location of the destination portal he wants.
12: Barracks (Fire Tower)
Above the Forge (stairs down), below the Parlour Room (elevator), and across the bridges to Kitchen and Treasure Vault, this 20-by-20-yards room is a big living quarters to the various Justicars and bodyguards on duty in the Towers. It provides furniture for the armed men, including bunk beds and tables. Lines of sight are broken up by the clutter and the guards’ stuff, giving everyone a chance to hide behind or under something. A small row of private toilets are lined up along the far wall.
At any given time, there’s Nx2 City Justicars and Nx2 Basic Warrior (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43) resting inside. Half of them will be sleeping in beds. The rest will be eating, playing cards, writing in their journals, reading, chatting and other leisure activities. If alerted, they will all be awake and weapons ready, watching the doors and maybe hiding in the room.
Tossing the room for loot (which takes 4d minutes of time) earns the party 3dx6 copper coins, six plain paper with leather covers books (primers on common knowledge, worth $25 and weighing 3 lbs each), 7 iron keys that unlock doors in the Towers, a first aid kit, 12 beeswax candles ($60 and 12 lbs. in total), 2d decks of cards, 4 pairs of dice, 4 silver rings (each $230, 0.3 lbs.), 3 pints of spiced brandy in fragile bottles (total of $60, 3 lbs.), 45 rations, 12 wineskins and 4d silver coins.
13: Greenhouse (Earth Tower)
At the top of Earth Tower, above the Treasure Vault (stairs down), the Elemental Mages aligned to the Earth element maintain a beautiful 12-by-12-yards private indoor garden. Every wall of this room is made of frosted glass (the sun streaming in during the day) and the space is filled with beautiful arrangements of plants that stretch to the ceiling. The room is heavy with moisture and the smell of fertiliser.
There are several patches of exotic rare flowers growing here. Adventurers must roll Per-based Naturalist to recognise the plant products as worth $10000 (the haul weighs 20 lbs. in total) and roll DX-based Herb Lore or Pharmacy to gather them carefully enough. Nature’s Strength is +1 here, and The Circle of The Storm has covertly planted certain mutant flora here to spy on the government with the use of Druid spells.
14: Forge (Fire Tower)
Near at the bottom of Fire Tower, below the Barracks (stairs up), this 15-by-15-yards area is where the Fire-aligned government wizards and their servants work blacksmithing for weapons and armour to outfit the local military forces, and build ornate warrior gear for future enchanting. The workspace is a small foundry, cluttered with smelters, anvils and furnaces. The very humid air is thick with clanging and clackering.
Anyone looting this place can find all sorts of metal armour pieces and metal weapons in the “finished” stack. The wizards occasionally (9 or less on 3d chance) work precious metals and make other metal things, too.
15: Swimming Pool (Water Tower)
Near the bottom of Water Tower, below the Kitchen (stairs up), this 20-by-20-yards area is dominated by an in-ground 10-by-15-yards rectangular recession filled with clean temperature-controlled fresh water that’s about 5 yards deep at one end. The walls of the room are decorated with cheerful murals and frescoes depicting country festivals. The government officials and their guests enjoy luxury swimming here, talking about business and gossip in the water. Elemental Mages encountered in this room may be in a state of undress. A staff of servants attend to the towels, snacks and personal belongings of swimmers.
16: Observatory (Air Tower)
At the top of Air Tower, across the bridge to Tea Room, above the Sitting Room (stairs down), the Observatory is a 15-by-15-yards area that is set up for astronomical experiments and records. It contains a huge telescope aimed at the sky and a sextant for taking measurements of celestial bodies. Three nearby long desks are cluttered with records, writing implements, technical books, two clocks, calendars, maps and a small magical laboratory set. The ceiling has a skylight pane that slides open and closed to allow the telescope to gaze upon the stars.
TO BE CONTINUED