Friday, 27 April 2018

1000 Ghost Falls: landmarks and treasures

Part three of 1000 Ghost Falls. Part one: huge waterfall uncovering and demolishing an ancient city, with raiding parties looking for loot in the ruins. Part two: flying eels hibernating in the mud before they eat your mind and spin a delicious cocoon. In this last post, there's landmarks for the dig and treasures to find.

By the way, here's a great page with real world ancient finds.

LANDMARKS IN THE DIG

The explorers of 1000 Ghost Falls have uncovered a bit of the city's history; thousands of centuries ago, a race of protogiants built one of their first bronze age cities when they were graced by visiting Guests from the stars or another plane. Trade of tools and knowledge started, and the Guests used their arts to uplift certain protogiants. The result was an upper caste of larger, vividly colored protogiants with three eyes and radially symmetric hands (like the gripper of a plushie grabbing machine).

Putting uppity baselines in their place.
(Yoko Tsuno panels - found here)

Once you lift up one group of servants,
they can help and teach the uninitiated.
Original

The green obelisks

Meanwhile, in the spirit world.
(Deviantart / StephenGarrett1019)
Three sided pillars of greenish stone capped with a charcoal metal pyramid found in separate districts of the city. The sides of the pillars are inscribed with glyphs describing the benevolent Advisor to the local population, a tally of gifts rendered unto them, and the deeds performed by uplifted locals in service to the advisor. Each obelisk cries out in the mind the first time light touches it after at least a few hours of darkness. Psions of the Fortunate Peony Blossom can distinguish flavors in the cries and are starting to decypher messages exchanged by the obelisks. The first time a new obelisk comes to light after ages under the falls, the shriek can cause catatonia or even a permanent coma - suffer 5d6 Wisdom damage, -1d6 per 100 yard distance (Will save 20 to halve the damage). Lost Wisdom returns at a rate of 1 point per day.

The Oval


A large oval open space 150 x 250 foot across, surrounded with large basins and the remains of great columns. At the centre a mosaic that depicts a globe with unfamiliar continents and paths between them. Precious stones used to mark the sites of what is thought to have been cities.
Source
Someone who can replace the gem corresponding to the alien Guests' origin on the map finds a mechanism to open up a doorway beneath the mosaic. The gem is not on site any more and was sold to a trader in Stormreach decades ago.


The Bathhouse

A stone and metal dome 150 feet across and 50 high at the top has broken long ago. Inside are large basins connected in a network that extends deep underground. A double helix hallway descends from the center of the structure, one strand a staircase and one strand a smooth tube. Egg-shaped basins connect to the smooth tube, the staircase to flat floored rooms in between the basins, with incredibly hard and thick glass windows between the two sets of rooms. Decorative carvings with an under water theme, mosaics of night skies and continents subtly altered in shape fill the rooms. Water and mud still fills many basins and has seeped into the rooms for air breathers. Many treasures can be found here, and passages to other sites under the city. The theory is that the Bathhouse was an embassy or government centre for the city's water breathing Guests. Lower levels are unexplored due to Ghost infection.

The Bronze King

Found here
In a pentagon building ringed with the remains of fluted minnaret towers is a courtyard. Here kneels a brass statue of a protogiant, arms lowered and spread aside, palms upward in a pose of rest or submission. The head is long missing, but on the back is a platform where a device was mounted once. Glyphs down the statues torso indicate that "to enter the statue end yield the primal" was a high honor bestowed on willing suplicants. The statue is hollow and filled with rocks and mud. Finding the King's head would reveal a hinged mechanism to upen up the entire statue and place someone inside. The head contains a helmet-platform for a juvenile Ghost and allowed the Guests to siphon of the supplicants dreams and distill them into a potent narcotic. Carvings indicate the location was a meeting place for high-ranked Guests to relax.


TREASURES OF THE DIG


Where the thing is found (d20)


Just add water.
Found here
  1. on ancient mummy in a partial collapse. Chance of extra cave in when removed.
  2. behind dizzying mosaic of star creatures communing with locals. Invasion, gift exchange, sacrifice? Sanity check when investigating the scene too closely - ever smaller and more gruesome details emerge from the cracks.
  3. in a mud-filled bath house infested with lampreys.
  4. through a hole in the unstable ceiling.
  5. sweeping past on a river of mud.
  6. in the wreckage of an experimental apparatus.
  7. glinting in a tiny crawl space under toppled pillars.
  8. inside a crushed statue.
  9. under a pile of decayed furniture.
  10. in an alcove, on a pressure plate.
  11. wedged down a narrowing chute.
  12. tossed in a pile of gnawed bones.
  13. in a sealed room filled with rows of glistening eggs.
  14. carried by escaping inhabitants caught by mudslide.
  15. in a hallway where the sophisticated alien stone carvings mix seemlessly with cave paintings.
  16. at the feet of a gigantic primitive stone statue.
  17. beneath a dome of a sky filled with too many/few moons and stars.
  18. at the centre of a metal wireframe pyramid inside a geodesic dome.
  19. in the collecting basin of a sacrificial altar.
  20. in the mouth of a gigantic stone head.
Original


What's weird about the thing (d12)

  1. placed carefully between five bronze mirrors. Reflection will seem to move.
  2. in a 1 foot wide, absolutely spotless circle.
  3. smells of childhood memories.
  4. ruffled by a slight wind.
  5. you can only ever see the same face of the object, even when you walk around it or coordinate with someone.
  6. Source
  7. vibrating softly.
  8. back teeth ache when you come near it.
  9. hypnotic, soothing to look at
  10. weight very different than size suggests.
  11. looks like it is always receding.
  12. sweats a murky amber liquid - creates one random potion per week.
  13. levitates 1" off the surface.

This thing you've found (d30)

  1. 10ft wide stone disk, jade inlays. Floats 10ft/rd, 1ft off the ground on command in unknown tongue (inscribed around edge), carries up to 6000 pounds.
  2. huge metal-strap harness that takes 70% weight off of whatever's inside it. Shaped for a huge fish.
  3. a three-pronged Strength 16 claw prosthetic, designed to be mounted on a tentacle.
  4. 5 ft long skull of an unknown fish/amphibian, three exquisite bronze swords through its dome.
  5. cracked but sealed jar of glass a finger length thick, contains goopy clear liquid with 3 eyes that slowly dilate while they adjust to the light.
  6. a fossilized egg, translucent.
  7. a lens the color of a bruise and the size of your hand with fingers stretched wide. When you look through it, you see glowing paths and unknown stars in the night sky. The user can also see into the spirit world, but without any added protection she will be visible and vulnerable to the spirits. Coupled with the astrolabe below, the lens allows for a definitive pinpointing of the aliens' origin.
  8. foot wide jade bowl designed to be worn as a hat or helmet. The outside is set with spiral ridges the width of your wrist. A dead juvenile Ghost lies in the ridges, its head sticking through a hole in the center.
  9. jade glasses that see into spirit world for 5 rounds per day (can be divided up but all lenses activate simultaneously). Designed for three eyes - two-eyed users choose which lenses to use: ochre lens of seeing into the spirit realm; cobalt lens of protection vs possession, jade lens of seeing the true form. (Example: when you look at a deceitful spirit that posed as someones ancestor to ride them, the ochre lens lets you see a ghostly outline of the ancestor around the victim, the cobalt lens blocks the spirit from flowing into your mind, the jade lens shows the spirit's true form. When you look at a werewolf, the ochre lens would show an aura in turmoil, the cobalt lens would do nothing, the jade lens shows the outline of a wolf around the person.)
  10. barbed stabbing weapon (damage as dagger, inflicts a wound that bleeds for 1 damage for 1d6 rounds unless bound or healed). The handle is fitted for a radially symmetric three-fingered hand - humanoids take -1 to attack rolls.
  11. clear crystal dome on a shoulder rest - like a diving helmet, filled with the smell of brackish water. For reverse divers who cannot breathe air.
  12. set of delicately ornamented drinking cups of an unknown wood, heavier than water. The designs seem to invoke protection by (or from) unknown gods.
  13. golden bust of disfigured or mutated person. Weighs 300 pounds. Will shift form over the course of weeks to match the current owner, who then gains resistance to poison and disease but suffers a minor mutation (permanent even after losing the bust).
  14. astrolabe of interlocking sliding rings and rulers, can be manipulated to form familiar and strange constellations of stars. Immune to rust, green-tinted anthracite metal, inlaid with pearls. When shaped to match the city patterns of the Great Oval, this astrolabe suggests that the cities are in fact known and unknown moons and planets in the night sky. Several possible origins of the city's alien Guests can be uncovered.
  15. gloves of overlapping jade plates with cruel claws at the end, allows an unarmed attack for 1d4 damage. Three fingers + thumb per hand; unwieldy for humanoids with five digits, who attack with a -1 penalty.
  16. set of nested, painted and jade/gold-inlaid wooden boxes; a d4,d6,d8,d10,d13. (Yes.) All sides of a smaller box will touch the sides of its outer box as if they were the same shape. When all boxes are fit inside each other, contents of innermost box (the size of your heart) are frozen in time and do not spoil. Whole set weighs 40 pounds. Do not place into bag of holding.
  17. Go on, read it out loud.
    Found here
  18. five unconnected gems maintaining relative position as if they were fitted in an invisible, intangible holder.
  19. jade helmet with three eye-holes. Can fit the jade glasses of the spirit world and can be closed to provide partial immunity to poison gas (+2 to saving throw).
  20. bucket-sized jars of dried out make-up and perfumes - colors make your eyes hurt and the rotting meat stench will stay with you for d6 days.
  21. angular wireframe pendant of twisted charcoal-colored metal, can capture the sights and sounds in a scene (~1 turn, 30ft range) and replay it afterwards as an illusion; holds 3 scenes maximum, currently holds 1 scene: in an alley, two persons are exchanging a hollow metal cilinder with a map inscribed on the inside. They are a protogiant (female, three eyes, blue skin) and a cloaked warrior with a bronze dagger, and both seem on edge.
  22. amulet of twins standing back to back with weapons out, gold and lapis lazuli
  23. very wide and heavy decayed leather belt with gold thread and huge golden buckle
  24. stone hooks and knives, polished and inscribed with spiral glyphs.
  25. text in curved glyphs engraved in a spiral on a head-sized marble ball, 50 pounds - describes the correct fasting and purification rites to protect the mind against illusions. Malnutrition lowers hit point maximum by 1d6 lower for every day the rite is observed, but the penitant automatically spots and sees through the first illusion encountered that day.
  26. finger-tall statuettes of five unfamiliar deities. When positioned in the correct religious scenes and prayed over, will provide blessings that last a day. If placed incorrectly, will curse the heretic. Can be used multiple times, but each use must be repositioned according to forgotten rules. Roll to see if you got the positioning exactly right: d8: 1 wasting curse, no natural healing and magical healing provides only 1/4 effect; 2 all rations and water carried spoil, vegetable or animal materials (rope, leather) decay; 3 blessed fecundity, 4-in-6 chance of succesful pregnancy after intercourse; 4 good health, +2 bonus against poison/disease; 5 endurance, +2 bonus to checks involving hard physical labor including forced marches; 6 blessed hunter: guaranteed to find prey to feed your entire group, but will only find (d8) dinosaurs (1-2), vermin (3-6) or fungi (7-8).
  27. Found here
  28. set of bronze hammers and chisels that can carve any stone.
  29. bronze spear, vague inscriptions on the blade of a whale hunt scene. +1 attack and damage to attack aberrations, but must attack such creatures on sight or the spear imposes -1 on all attacks and damage for you.
  30. orb of the star song: when fully submerged in water, will vibrate and chime in weird harmonies. Draws aberrations in the water to it; range 1 mile.
  31. cuirass of bronze overlapping plates, each an icon of a religious scene; as breastplate, wearer has +2 bonus on saves versus mutation.
  32. 4 finger rings of tarnished silver connected with bronze chains.