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Hexcrawl Series No. 13 – Prison of Petals

This adventure is part of the Brukesian Duchy Hexcrawl. Find more about it here!

The Prison of Petals was built a hundred years ago by Duke Albert Crane’s great-grandfather. At the time, little was known of the Dewborn race that inhabited the Misty Forests. The court wizard informed the duke that the elf-like people carried inside them a magical spark. The wizard claimed he could extract that magic to empower all kinds of devices and spells. The former duke approved the construction of a containment unit for his wizard to perform experiments.

Lore

Magus Fidelio was the court wizard that came up with the idea of using the Dewborn as arcane batteries for his research. He argued that the war between Crimsonwall and the Dewborn in the Misty Forests would yield countless prisoners of war who had little to no utility outside the harsh forced-labor camps. Magus Fidelio devised a way to extract raw arcane power from Dewborn prisoners in small quantities so as to keep them alive. Thus, the place known as the Prison of Petals came to existence.

The prison is an underground complex built just beyond the Misty Forest’s edge, two days north from Crimsonwall. It was built within the forest to also absorb the verdant energy of the fey-infused plant life in the area. The prison functions as an energy container that subtracts the life force of anyone within the cells.

The cells’ walls are engraved with intricate necromantic runes and glyphs that glow dark blue when the cell is occupied.

Many captive Dewborn ended up captive in the Prison of Petals. Being immortal, many of them just decided to wait it out; they can easily outlive their captors. Unfortunately, the constant draining effect within the cells slowly drove some of them insane. The prison project was discontinued after the device malfunctioned; it couldn’t keep the arcane force. It all went to waste.

The prison was abandoned. The remaining Dewborn stayed in their cells to rot. Some took their own lives before succumbing to the madness. The rest are still in their cells, alone and insane.

The draining effect on the forest prevails to this day. The weakened plant life attracts pixie gardeners who have cared for it for decades. Pixies don’t know why the plants here wither faster if uncared for.

General Features

The prison’s entrance is located by a shallow hill. It is boarded up and covered in soil and grass. The exact location can be found in maps stored in the Crimsonwall Library and Gadrifort’s records. Pixies avoid the place. They think it is cursed.

Unless otherwise noted, the Prison of Petals has the following features:

Granite flooring (cracked and eroded). Arcane disruption (all spells have a 1-in- 6 chance of failing). Dewborn laments (insane prisoners wail continually). Bright light (magical sconces).

D8 Random Encounters

1

1 predatory myconid who roams the place trying to find easy food

2

2d4 undead shadows, their vague features are Dewborn-like

3

1 black pudding filters through a crack and attacks

4

1 swarm of sentient hive-mind spiders

5

2 spider swarms, 3-in-6 chance rallied by 2 giant spiders

6

1 Dewborn ghost, it asks that its bodily remains be returned to the Jade Palace for proper burial

7

1d6 giant beetles roam the complex looking for easy food

8

2d4 Dewborn rangers find the complex and attempt to free their kin

D8 Random Events

1

A gust of wind blows suddenly and extinguishes exposed light sources

2

Dense mist covers the prison for 1d4 hours, the floor is not visible

3

An arcane malfunction impedes all magic in the area for 1d4 hours

4

A malfunction causes a random cell to open, 2-in-6 chance it is occupied

5

A piercing scream comes from the bottom of the prison shaft

6

Medicinal herbs naturally growing may be harvested for one potion

7

Acidic brine falls from the ceiling. It spoils rations in a random bag pack

8

The laments from prisoners cause dark thoughts of death and loneliness

1. Upper Landing

Shaft (80’ fall to the bottom). Engraved ceiling (intricate depiction of Magus Fidelio and Duke Crane).

  • Magical Elevator. The floating disk at the bottom of the shaft was Magus Fidelio’s pride as it used the Dewborn’s arcane force to function. The elevator was the only means for moving from one level to another. It is broken now and no longer levitates. Descending to the middle and bottom landings is now impossible without climbing gear and ropes.

2. North Cell

Inactive runes (necromancy magic suspended). Complex engravings (spiral-shaped, on the ceiling’s surface).

  • Dewborn Remains. The locked cell contains only a single Dewborn skeleton by the southwest corner. The prisoner took their own life more than fifty years ago after listening to their kin succumb to the device’s influence one by one.
  • Treasure. Three of the Dewborn’s teeth have gold casings worth 15 gp.

3. South Cell

Glowing runes (active necromancy magic). Complex engravings (spiral-shaped on the ceiling).

  • Hair strands. The floor is littered with numerous strands of white hair.
Bald Dewborn

Insane (amnesiac and aggressive).

  • Reaction. The Dewborn attacks in a fit of savage rage if freed. It remains motionless and untalkative otherwise.

4. Middle Landing

Glowing runes (active necromancy magic). Dewborn remains (scattered on some cells). Acrid smell (sulfur and salt).

  • Cells. There are eight cells in this landing. Six of them are occupied. Two contain the remains of Dewborn who took their own lives.
  • Prisoners. There is a 4-in-6 chance any of the Dewborn are insane. Sane ones will do anything to convince visitors to let them be free. They mention that the levers that open the cells are below.

5. Lower Landing

Glowing runes (active necromancy magic). Dewborn remains (scattered on some cells). Acrid smell (sulfur and salt).

  • Elevator Disk. The disk is broken and cannot be repaired without fixing the whole complex first. Magus Fidelius draining device is hidden under the disk.
  • Cells. There are four cells here. Each meant to contain two prisoners. There are five living prisoners, the rest of them killed themselves.
  • Prisoners. Due to the device’s proximity, there’s a 5-in-6 chance any of the Dewborn are insane. Sane ones behave similarly to those in area 4. They know that the levers are down the hallway.
Unexpected Ambush

Madness (incapable of thought). Savage (Cannot be reasoned with).

  • Dewborn Attack. The doors to the south and east enclosures are open. Any insane Dewborn inside wait for the right moment to attack. They carry rocks or bones as weapons. 3-in-6 chance they attempt to reach area 9 to pull all levers.

6. Prison’s Archive

Magic works (no disruption of spells). Magic silence (from wails and laments).

  • Files. The books contain accurate descriptions of the prisoners and of Magus Fidelio’s draining magic device.
  • Secret Door. Pulling a book from the east bookcase reveals the entrance.

7. Hidden Vault

No lights (pitch-black darkness).Stone furnishings (eroded and cracked).

  • Treasure. Two stone chests contain valuable effects removed from Dewborn prisoners when brought into the Prison of Petals. The hoard contains 250 gp, 1230 sp, an onyx necklace with delicate engravings (120 gp), a leather belt with embedded jade stones (50 gp), a silk cape (25 sp), and a ceremonial dagger with a bronze hilt and bone blade (100 gp).

8. Poisoned Spikes Trap

Dim-light (no sconces nearby). Small holes (2” wide and spaced every foot).

  • Trap Trigger. A pressure-sensitive plate by the intersection triggers the trap when 40 pounds of weight are applied.
  • Trap Effect. Numerous poisoned spikes emerge from the hallway’s floor at high speed and target creatures. The trap resets after 30 minutes.

9. Cells Control Room

Magical safety (no disruption of spells). Magic silence (from wails and laments).

  • Levers. There are five levers, they operate as follows (left to right):
  1. Opens the north cell (area 2)
  2. Opens the south cell (area 3)
  3. Opens the eight cells in area 4
  4. Opens the four cells in area 5
  5. Opens the cell in area 11
  • Malfunction. The levers’ mechanism is old and requires maintenance. There is a 2-in-6 chance that any lever breaks during operation.

10. Antechamber

Engraved walls (images of theoretical devices powered by Dewborn prisoners). Evil aura (feelings of despair and abandonment invade the mind).

  • Swarm of Moths. Moths, flies, and other small flying insects are naturally attracted by the regal scent of the Dewborn in area 11. The insects are harmless.

11. The Last Cell

Glowing runes (active necromancy magic). Flowery smell (lilacs and roses).

  • High-Security Cell. This is a special type of cell designed to drain energy twice as fast as the rest in the Prison of Petals. It is meant to contain powerful beings such as the Dewborn Princes.
The Forgotten Prince

Delicate shape (tall and slim). No gender (androgynous face and body). Waist-long hair (white like snow).

  • Prince Viarimei. A member of the Court of the Dewborn Princes, Viarimei was captured in one of the earliest battles in the Misty Forests. They have already been replaced in the Jade Palace; they are presumed dead by their kin.
  • Reaction. There is a 1-in-6 chance Viarimei has gone irreparably insane. Otherwise, the clever prince offers riches and gratitude among the Dewborn for escorting them back to the Jade Palace.

The post Hexcrawl Series No. 13 – Prison of Petals appeared first on Elven Tower Adventures.


Hexcrawl Series No. 13 – Prison of Petals was first posted on January 14, 2021 at 12:48 am.
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Hexcrawl Series No. 13 – Prison of Petals

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