Ventner's Crag


Level 5 (Map of Level 5)

NOTE: On this level, the players may encounter living Medarian Sun Knights. These were the élite assault troops of the Medarian armies, equipped with the best of everything. Most of them were potent sorcerers as well as mighty warriors. Those who remain in the area of the timestop spell are survivors of a group that teleported into the crag during the battle before the razing of the citadel. They are fanatically determined on the death of all unbelievers, and will fight to the death. They neither give nor expect quarter. Their first priority will always be the destruction of the priests of Ventanach Cruach, but anyone who gets in their way will be attacked. Players who simply try to get out of the way will only be attacked in passing - even after 2 millennia, the Sun knights are still in a hurry.


Stairs up to the Teleportal and 4th level - These stairs are wide and ornate, being carven of marble shot through with gold. The bannisters are made of black granite in the shape of winged warriors standing shoulder to shoulder. At the top of the stairs is an ornate arch surrounding a mirror. This mirror is in fact a teleport which once gave access to the processional outside the great hall in the vanished castle above, so that worshippers could use the great fane without entering the sacred maze below the castle. Touching the mirror will teleport up to 8 linked people to the site of the vanished processional - which since the disappearance of the castle is unfortunately 10 M above the ground! The small passage and stairway to the right give access to the crypts of the 4th level.

Antechamber to the Great Fane - This room has obviously been the scene of fighting. Molten stone has run from great holes in the walls and ruined armour and weapons litter the floor. The flesh that occupied them has long since vanished - except in the area of the timestop spell, where blue robed corpses and a few strangely armoured figures lie in their death embrace - their blood still crimson upon the floor. Also in the area of the timestop spell are heavy hangings still intact, showing the grim figure of Ventanach Cruach flying surrounded by birds of prey.

Antechamber to the Judges hall - This room was once host to a horde of scribes, pages and servants. Now the ruins of desks and seats form a jumble of obstacles. Any passage through this room will raise a cloud of choking dust

The judges Hall - In this room the priests gathered to deliberate on matters affecting their order. The perimeter of the room is girded by three tiers of seats and in the centre of the room is a raised podium for the speaker. Both seats and podium are richly carved with scenes of flying creatures, as well as flying men and even a strange-looking flying castle. The seats are of dark stone, the cushions that once covered them having long since gone to dust.

The great Fane of Ventanach Cruach - The great temple of Ventanach Cruach was a marvel - carven into the heart of a mountain and then gilded and decorated with fragile and precious stonework. The floor is of polished tiles, each bearing the likeness of a raven in gold, the walls decorated with ornate carvings of marble and white jade celebrating the winged lord in his many deeds and 700 battles. The ceiling is a huge mosaic of enamel and precious metals depicting Ventanach Cruach flying above his worshippers. From flagstaffs near the roof hang the flags and pennons of defeated foes. But now, the walls are scarred by battle magic, and outside the timestop spell, the flags have gone to dust. Within the sphere of the spell however, there is a scene of frenzied battle. Three figures in extraordinarily heavy, baroque armour fight with blazing weapons against 10 blue-robed priests. However, to any observer outside the spell, after 3 seconds they jump back to their original positions, and attack again.

Collapsed chamber - This room is filled with rubble from a fault that collapsed under the impact of battle. Any characters who collapsed the floor in room 9, level 3 will end up here - buried in 50-300 (d6) kg of rubble. If unable to lift it, they will be trapped.... The door out of this room into 7 can only be found with a PER roll (at +3 if actively searching). It opens into 7, so can be easily opened, but doing so will precipitate a small rockslide.

Stairs up to Balconies - Overlooking the great fane is a series of stepped balconies that run in a U shape from these stairs down over the main entrance, and up the facing wall to opposite these stairs. The balcony is 4 M wide and has a waist high rail and a series of arches separating it from the body of the hall. It is 5 metres down to the floor of the great hall. The balcony is unadorned and empty apart from 3 archers over the main entrance, trapped within the timestop spell.

Storage room for Musical instruments - Among the ruins of a variety of collapsed musical instruments (many of obscure use) are several in reasonable condition - an upright xylophone - whose tubes are made of platinum (total value/weight 120 GP/3 Kg), a series of small drums on a tarnished metal frame, made from human skulls, and a variety of large metal horns, with varying degrees of corrosion. In one corner is a silver skull (total value/weight 80 GP/4 Kg) with a hole through it. If suspended on a cord and whirled, it emits a moaning roar and acts as a Missile deflection spell (all missiles, 1 hex area effect, requires gestures[swinging] throughout). This instrument protected the other musicians when they went into battle with the order.

Centre of the timestop spell - In the angle of the passage lie the bodies of 5 of the high priests, who, despairing of stopping the defilement of their sanctuary cast the great timestop spell to trap their foes - putting into it all of their remaining life-force. Above their bodies there is a pulsing sphere of light - the centre of the spell. If this is disrupted (by the soul shield, for instance) then all those currently held by the spell will be freed.....

Preparatory rooms - This large room was once divided by folding screens and held costumes and props for the performance of both religious and secular performances. Now the room is filled with smoke, blurring the eyes and cutting at the lungs. The room is filled with shattered detritus, including a number of blue-clad bodies and in places, flames are beginning to lick. In one corner of the room is a badly wounded Sun Knight. He has but two BOD left after his sorcerous duel with the priests, but he is stalking carefully through the wreckage, looking for more victims.

Auditorium - This is where the performances were given. Stone seats rise in semicircles up to the vaulted ceiling, which is carven and painted to resemble a starry vault, making the amphitheatre seem outdoors. On the upper tiers stands a Sun Knight, but close examination (PER at -1) shows a glistening coating of ice all over him. He is quite dead, having been frozen by one of the priests who met his end in room # 10. All his magic is gone, since he was hit with a magic draining spell before his demise.

Priests' preparation room - In this room waits one of the priest's attendants - a sturdy youth who acts as animal handler. He is dressed in a short blue tunic and hawkmask and is armed with a short sword and shield, although his stat.s are only those of a normal. He is waiting for the outcome of the battle outside, but knowing what his chances would be against the Sun Knights has prudently concealed himself among some robes hanging from a rack. Behind a large table are his charges - two Greatfangs. These are made even more dangerous by the addition of coats of plates (DEF 8) which cover their torsos and location 3 on their heads. If anyone other than a priest enters the room, they will attack, and he will remain in hiding until an opportunity to strike from behind occurs. In the room are a dozen sets of ceremonial robes, liberally woven with silver thread, and complete with silver leaf-covered hawkmasks. On the table is a heavy damask table cloth (3 Gp), five fine silver ewers and vessels for ceremonial ablutions (5 Gp each) and an enormous gold-clasped book containing descriptions of various rituals (weighs about 15 Kg). This mainly deals with rituals for attracting the attention or blessing of the winged lord and would be dangerous for any novice to attempt. However the book, brilliantly illuminated, would be worth 100 Gp to an antiquarian - which includes most mages.

Stairs down to Level 6 - Well, what else do you need to know? An INT roll at -4 at this point will note that the stairs are much narrower than those above - as though built for less traffic.

Temple storerooms - There is little of interest here. The materials stored in these rooms was largely perishable and the rooms are filled with irregular mounds comprised of mouldering barrels, boxes and unidentifiable stuff. Each room has a 10 % chance to yield something of 1/2-5 gp value - gold thread from vanished robes, lanterns, alabaster jars (full of dried gunk) etc.