Tuesday, July 24, 2018

30 Minute Dungeon Delve 9: Ghoul Warrens

Idea: Tunnels underneath a graveyard with ghouls, giant rats, and a big worm.

Hook: Graves have been found emptied… from below. The local church has asked you to investigate what is going on, having found a secret passage in an old mausoleum. They say that their god will turn a blind eye if any burial treasure happens to “disappear”.


1. There are piles of bones, some arranged into towers and structures like building blocks. (Many of the bones have bite marks on them.)

2. A handful of giant rats gnaw on some bones, they appear to be starving and diseased. (The rats are very easily distracted by meat of any kind, and while they would attack a party normally, if they are given food they will either ignore the party or become friendly.)

3. Childrens’ dolls of all shapes and sizes are arranged carefully around the room, some showing signs of recent repair. (One of the dolls is porcelain, and very high quality. It could be sold to a collector for a decent amount of money.)

4. The floor is extremely muddy, a mixture of grave mold and damp earth. It stinks of death, and one can see some bones floating in the quasi-liquid. (Beneath the muck lie some small holes, easy for a leg to fall into, potentially causing bone breaking injuries.)

5. The floor is still very muddy, and there is visible movement in the muck. There seems to be more bones floating around than in room 4. (A giant worm lurks in the mud. It normally feeds on rotting flesh, but since the ghouls have started taking bodies, it now will attack the living. The worm is not brave, however, and will flee if the fight starts to go badly, though it may attempt to exit the dungeon and head into town...)

6. Completely out of place with its surroundings is a magnificent dining room with a table. The table is laid out for a feast, with delicious food and lit candles. (If eaten, in about 2 minutes the illusion wears off, revealing the food to be rotten and decaying human flesh. Anyone has partaken in the flesh is now infected with ghoul fever and will become a ghoul in 1d6 days unless cured by magical or alchemical means.)

7. There is a closed coffin amid several open ones. The closed coffin is significantly better quality than the others, and bears an image of a fanged serpent. (The coffin is trapped with a poison needle. If opened, however, the coffin contains the mummified corpse of a very rich man, covered in expensive jewelry.)

8. A ghoul sits among a pile of holy books, perusing through them while gnawing on a rotting ear. (The ghoul calls herself Antonia, and she is deeply fascinated with the differences between religions and religious texts. She is trying to find the common ground between all known religions and sects. She loves to discuss theology, but will attack if she is treated too rudely or treated like a fool. Her previous hobby was repairing dolls that were buried with children, her handiwork can be seen in room 3. She knows many things about the graveyard, and can answer questions about the rooms if she feels that the party is friendly and worthy of help.)

9. In the walls are a multitude of grave niches, all of which are empty, except for one, containing a rusty old shield, a helmet, and a sword. (This shield is magical, and any damage dealt to someone wielding the shield is partially reflected onto the attacker. A name is written on the inside of the shield; Hruthgerd the Brave. The other two items are not magical, but similarly bear Hruthgerd’s name. The grave niches appear to have been recently emptied, dust seems to have been cleared away and there are drag marks leading away from the niches.)

10. A group of rubbery, loathsome ghouls are feasting in a defiled shrine, sorting through corpses to find the ripest morsels and making monstrous glibbering noises. (If they notice the party, they will attack, scared of being revealed to the church, though they are open to parley if the battle ends or they surrender. Scattered among the corpses are coins and jewelry.)

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