Being the third part of the Castle Grimgrannog Series.
Area B of the Castle Grimgrannog & Environs map.
Beneath the portentously crumbling ruins of Castle Grimgrannog lies a basement full of skeletons, some of them belonging to the Grannog family, others, well, belonging to others. Currently, the necro-focused Sons of Azthrax are converting the catacombs into their new digs (think of it as dungeon gentrification from the POV of the original dungeon monster stock), mostly as a sort of forward operating base for further exploration of the dungeon below, but they’re not exactly the most organized of undeath worshippers. As such, they can be found either sort of just wandering about in the catacombs, renovating alcoves for habitation (or cohabitation, in a few “lucky” cases). The cult has become quite decentralized, emulating the entropic functions of decay, if we have to be pedantic, or really just behaving like siblings, if we don’t. This means, though, that they offer very little in the way of a unified front against intrusion, beyond stationing an orc here or there above and below. Additionally, necromantic runoff has led to a real problem in the underground lake and river nearby.
(Included below with this map is a “Dynamic” random encounter tables, inspired by Chris Kutalik’s Hill Cantons. I’m using this instead of actually fully stocking the dungeon for ease of writing but also ease of use. This should make the castle adaptably vague for anyone who might need a quick castle for their campaigns.)
Castle Grimgrannog Catacombs (roll d6)
1 – 2: Personality
3 – 4: Creature
5 – 6: Event
1. Brother Doffmir, necromancer third class, and he smells like it, too. PCs only surprised by him on a 1 (or whatever). Deeply disliked by the other, younger “siblings” and most likely encountered in a secluded alcove plotting to kill one of the other necromancers, or all of them.
2. Little Brother Karkus, necromantic cook, who is just thankful for the opportunity. Plates of twitching, squiggling, yet often burned, meats and unripe vegetable matter common. 65 years old. Six foot eight, slumped. Dumb.
3. Benny, floating skull, who, while having been “alive” for nearly six thousand years, isn’t completely telling the truth when he claims to be an all powerful being of an ancient, more advanced race of human beings. Really, while living during a great prehistoric technological age, Benny is a scumbag. Don’t lend him any gold. Fires eyebeams from empty skull sockets. Ends 65% of all statements with “…bruh.”
4. Sister Aloysius, necromancer fourth class, is very concerned with the quality of glyph writing commanded by fellow Children of Azthrax. Uses cudgel as corrective measure. Currently overseeing ritual summoning of ectoplasm elementals during “free time.” Believes Father Forgath to be corrupt, not true to the art of necromancy in his enjoyment of bardic tales.
5. Father Fogath, necromancer fifth class, is the man in charge. Very nervous. Woody Allen-like but a completely horrible, evil bastard (kind of like Woody Allen). Believes the being known as Azthrax lies in repose below, corruptively (?) believes this being can be bent to his will. Not a true believer.
6. Brother Spennezi, necromancer with no class, will do what’s needed, no job is beneath him. He’s the cult go-to man for digging up graves, or if need be, making new corpses. Spends way, way too much time with the orcs, affecting slumpish, pig-ape walk. Wears his blood-clotted furs in orc fashion, doesn’t understand underlying meaning in styling of blood splatters where horde dominance hierarchy is concerned. Orcs get real kick out of it.
1. Skeletons. So many skeletons.
2. Fresh-ish corpse infected with sentient neural fungus on a walkabout. Questioning own existence, nature of newly found meatspace. Currently getting pangs of glandular urges from revivified cadaver host. Can blend in with zombies on a 4 in 6.
3. Zombie chain gang (3d4). Probably carrying excavation tools to lower levels, or returning with dismembered compatriots for stitching.
4. Fussy necrophidius in tattered fineries. Skull and vertebrae components not fully scoured of neural material, provided rudimentary gestalt intelligence upon reanimation, primary source being a fashion conscious bard. Hums off tune versions of popular ballads. Unclear if tone deafness side-effect of undeath or not.
5. Revenant of Brother Arko, necromancer second class, who was murdered by Brother Spennezi for getting “uppity” with Father Fogath. Lurks and peers from the dark at potential target, tapping faingertips together in sleazy, contemplative manner. Pretty low energy, not a go-getter.
6. Lesser Necromancers, first class, who are doing the cult’s dirty work. (13 total)
Creature (Underground River/Lake)
1 – 2. School of cartoonish fish skeletons. Piranha-like despite species inclination in life.
3 – 4. Undead leather boot of the sort you catch on days nothing else is biting, animated by necromantic runoff from the catacombs.
5 – 6. Giant mudbug who has had it up to here (picture claw at antennae level) with zombies. She’s taken to marauding, slinking along the shoreline of the underground lake.
1 – 2. Catacomb tunnel collapse. Sunlight! Skeletons clatter toward light like moths.
3. Someone’s mother is calling.
4. Necromancers get into large spat, separate into warring parties.
5 – 6. Floodwaters cause underground river and lake to rise.