15 – Dining Room
You enter a large dining room with an antique wooden table, ornately carved. Cabinets of silverware are evident to one side, adjacent to a small dumbwaiter. A wrought-iron chandelier, currently unlit, dangles from the ceiling like some monstrous black spider. The table itself is set with a somewhat shabby grey tablecloth. One wall is given over to a very large painting depicting a fleet of warships sailing on a stormy sea.
The silverware is quite valuable (about 500 gp worth of silver here), but very heavy (about 100 lbs total). If the characters have been escorted here by Delacroix, the table is already set for dinner:
The table is lain for dinner, one place set for each of you, with several bottles of wine on the table as well. The meal consists of a pork roast, cooked rather rarely, with a variety of seasonal vegetables on the side, along with a loaf of bread. Steam wafts from the meal; the smell is extremely appetizing.
“I’m afraid this is the best we could provide on such short notice,” Dr Delacroix says. “You’ll excuse me if I don’t eat myself. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a few matters to attend to. I’ll return shortly to show you to your chambers.”
The suspicions of the characters aside, the meal is actually pork. The wine, however, is poisoned with Oil of Restfulness that has been modified to kick in after about an hour (Fortitude DC 15 or fall unconscious for 1d3 horus).
The characters now have a chance to discuss their plan of action or even to try and slip away and explore the asylum more thoroughly. Outside the dining room doors, however, Delacroix has positioned a pair of Orderlies. However, the characters could attempt to use the dumbwaiter to move down to the kitchen below. The dumbwaiter can carry Small characters easily, but if a Medium character uses it (or any character whose weight plus the weight of their gear exceeds 150 lbs) there is a 10% chance that the dumbwaiter ropes will snap, sending the character hurtling downwards for 3d6 damage (a DC 15 Acrobatics check reduces this to 2d6 damage and 1d6 non-lethal damage). Other characters will have to Climb down (DC 20) or jump down (Acrobatics DC 15 for 1d6 damage and 1d6 non-lethal damage). The noise of the dumbwaiter breaking will instantly attract an Orderly; merely using the dumbwaiter gives the Orderly a Perception check (DC 20) to hear the commotion.
16 – Orderlies’ Quarters
This small chamber has a neatly made bed, a desk, and a chest of drawers. The room is very tidy, but a thick layer of dust lies over everything, and there are cobwebs in the corners.
The Grimlocks don’t like these rooms, preferring to lair underground. As a result the chambers have become disused. While some outfits can be found in the chest of drawers, some of them are moth-eaten or otherwise decayed.
Intensive Treatment Ward
The doors in this ward are locked (Disable Device DC 30, Strength DC 25 to force, or used the Brain Key).
This long, winding hall is lined with reinforced doors, each of which bears a small viewing hatch that can be opened or closed. You can hear noises emanating from behind some of the doors – screams of terror, mad laughter, and the sound of someone praying loudly. As you watch, a door opens and two orderlies drag an inmate in a straitjacket out of one of the chambers and down the hall.
“It wasn’t me!” the man babbles. “It moved on its own! It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me!”
If the players aren’t being stealthy, the orderlies will be alarmed by their appearance; if the alarm has been raised they’ll abandon their victim and attack the players, otherwise, one will approach the players and simply say “Go. Not allowed here.”
The chamber the inmate was being removed from is the Mirror Chamber.
At any given time, it’s likely 1-2 Alienists are here, supervising the treatments.
17 – The Rotary Chair
A strange mechanism dominates this room: a set of wheels and pulleys that turn a large, spinning centrifuge with a niche where someone could sit or lie, complete with restraints.
This rotary chair was actually used by the original alienists in their treatment of patients to try and increase blood-flow to the brain. The Intellect Devourers still use the device sometimes, Grimlocks turning the centrifuge so it rotates at high speeds.
18 – Hydrotherapy Chamber
This spare, ill-lit chamber has a single bathtub, currently brimming with water. Submerged within it and imprisoned in a series of leather restraints is an inmate, muzzled and struggling weakly. Only their head remains above water.
Again, this technique was originally used as a therapy. Now inmates are left in the tub for days or weeks at a time, given enough food and water to survive.
19 – Leeching Chamber
This square chamber has a small bed with metal restraints where someone could be pinioned down. In a large aquarium to one side dozens of fat, black leeches can be seen, a mass of glistening, writhing bodies. The aquarium looks to hold more leeches than it was originally intended to, as they’re packed in tightly. The water they’re sitting in looks filthy.
Again, this was an actual treatment room, but now the Intellect Devourers abuse the treatment thoroughly, putting dozens of leeches on inmates. If the tank is shattered the leeches can form a leech swarm, although with a speed of 5 ft. on land it is easily outrun. These particular leeches can also pass on Mindfire to their victims.
20 – Hallucination Chamber
This seems to be nothing more than a spare, padded cell.
Perception DC 20 to notice the small gas-jets hidden in the corners, and to hear the hiss of gas if the door is closed. The gas is similar to Insanity Mist, but instead of damaging Wisdom, deals 1d3 Sanity damage on a failed Fortitude save (DC 15, 1/round for 6 rounds, 1 save cures). In addition to losing Sanity, characters begin hallucinating for 1d4 minutes after coming under the effects of the gas. Pass around slips of paper describing their individual hallucinations. You can make up as many as you like (personal hallucinations are sometimes the most powerful), but here are a few to get you started:
|1||Your flesh is rotting, putrefying, sloughing off your bones as you watch.|
|2||You hear the sound of someone screaming outside the room and down the corridor.|
|3||The walls are bleeding, streams of blood trickling down and pooling on the floor. If it continues at this rate it’s going to flood the room quickly.|
|4||Something outside the room is breathing loudly. Something big.|
|5||Your skin breaks out with pestilential growths, tumours and buboes that make it bubble and suppurate, leprous sores coursing across your body.|
|6||There is someone in the room with you. Every time you move to look at them they seems to disappear, hovering in your periphery, only visible obliquely, out of the corner of your eye.|
|7||Swarms of vermin are coursing out from holes in the walls, a seething tide of insects writhing towards you.|
|8||Heavy, hoofed footsteps are audible outside the room. A hideous bleating echoes through the asylum, such as might be made by some abominable goat.|
|9||You can smell smoke, and feel the walls begin to warm. The asylum must be on fire!|
|10||Mocking laughter resounds from every corner of the room. It echoes through your skull, in the depths of your mind. It makes you want to laugh too… to laugh long and loud.|
|11||A rumbling overhead is audible, and fragments of the ceiling are dislodged as the whole room begins to collapse.|
|12||Your clothing has somehow become animated and is trying to kill you, constricting your limbs and neck, trying to strangle you.|
|13||Your fingers are becoming webbed, your flesh mottling and secreting slime. You can feel gills opening at your neck. You can no longer breathe air – you need to find water and immerse yourself immediately.|
|14||The floor is covered in venomous snakes!|
|15||You’re being petrified! As you watch your skin begins to turn to stone before your eyes, starting at your fingertips and moving up along your arms, towards your torso.|
|16||Fur bristles from your limbs and your nails elongate, becoming claws. A lupine tail bursts from your back, twitching back and forth. A bestial rage and animalistic hunger fills you. You must have meat!|
|17||Your shadow just moved in a way that it shouldn’t have – like it’s become detached form you somehow, moving of its own accord. What is happening to you?|
|18||The walls of the room are closing in. If you don’t move quickly you’ll all be crushed – but the door to the room has disappeared.|
|19||Something is squirming beneath your skin – you can feel it writhing, trying to burrow its way deeper into your body. You’ve got to get it out!|
|20||Your friends are trying to kill you! They are advancing upon you with evil in their eyes and weapons drawn. Have they been psychically dominated, or replaced with evil duplicates?! Whatever the case, you must defend yourself!|
21 – Mirror Chamber
Three walls of this chamber are padded, but the fourth wall consists entirely of a single, enormous mirror reflecting you and your companions. The room is otherwise completely empty. A hanging lamp provides illumination.
If the characters linger here, the mirror begins to change (Perception DC 15 to notice these changes begin if the characters want to leave immediately):
As you watch, you realize that your reflections are imperfect – they seem to be smirking back at you, smiling slyly. Slowly their smiles widen into unnerving grins. They stare at you, teeth bared.
If they still linger…
The reflections are now moving of their own accord. One begins beating at the silvered glass as if trying to get out. The others draw their weapons and begin carving at one another, hacking off limbs and carving hideous wounds into each other’s flesh, still smiling all the while; in fact, they seem to be thoroughly enjoying the massacre. The carnage is completely silent. As blood spurts, spattering the reflections’ side of the mirror with crimson, you find yourself wondering whether the mirror is actually just a pane of glass, with another room on the other side inhabited by your murderous doppelgangers. Then another thought creeps in: what if the images are in your mind, and you’re imagining the atrocities being acted out in the mirror?
Sanity check (0/1d6).
If the ensorceled mirror is broken, the reflections begin screaming silently as their bodies begin coming apart, skin shattering like glass, bones broken and fragmented. Shards of glass still reflect a twisted version of reality, even if taken from the room.
22 – Personality Transposition Chamber
The walls and floor of this chamber have been tiled in red and black. Two leather chairs – one red, one black – stand in the middle of the room, each equipped with leather restraints and each hooked up to a complicated apparatus that includes a vise-like device that would be clamped around a person’s head. The chairs are positioned back to back and are connected by a series of wires, with a switch set off to one side. A low hum resonates through the room, an ominous drone that makes the walls and floor vibrate very slightly.
This chamber allows for body-switching. Two characters who seat themselves in the chair, hook themselves up to the apparatus, and hit the switch will swap consciousnesses. Class levels and mental stats are transferred while physical stats and racial bonuses and penalties remain the same. This process is mentally taxing, requiring a Sanity check (1/1d6).
23 – Book Chamber
At the centre of this square chamber, illuminated by a single lamp, is a lectern upon which rests a thick tome bound in pale leather.
The book is called the Tome of Nightmares. Anyone who begins reading it must make a Sanity check or compulsively read on (interrupting them forcefully grants a second check). The book is telepathic, capable of discerning the worst fears and phobias of the reader; the text which appears on its pages consists of stories directly featuring such objects of terror. If a character finishes the book, they will be unable to sleep restfully, leaving them fatigued and unable to regain arcane spells for 24 hours. They also lose 1d6 Sanity.
24 – Chamber of the Flickering Shadow
An inmate, Bertrand (Patient 513), is pounding on the door of the room, trying desperately to escape. If the characters open the door he rushes out:
A terrified-looking man rushes out of the room, nearly tripping in his straitjacket. He is blubbering madly, his whole body shaking.
“Don’t go in there!” he shrieks, stumbling down the corridor as best he can.
Inside the room:
This room seems to be nothing more than a padded cell lit by a single lamp. The lamp flickers continuously, plunging the chamber into momentary gloom.
Perception DC 10 to notice:
As the lamp flickers, you realize that in the darkness you can catch a brief glimpse of a tall, faceless figure, a gaunt, spidery thing with a hole where its face should be. With each flicker of the lamp the figure takes a step closer towards you.
If the figure is allowed to reach the characters they must make a Sanity check or take 2d6 Sanity damage and attempt to flee the room at all costs, as if they were suffering from a Fear spell. If their Sanity reaches 0 due to this effect, they die of fright.
The source of the figure is actually the lamp, which can be detatched. A Lamp of Fear, the object can be lit in order to produce an effect similar to the Fear spell (Will DC 18 to resist, or a Sanity check) to all within 10 ft., but the item only functions in conditions of dim light and consumes oil like a normal lamp. If someone is holding the lamp and aware of its abilities they are nonetheless not immune to this effect. The Lamp is worth 12000 gp.
25 – Susurrus Room
The walls of this chamber have been covered in what looks like scraps of human skin, stitched together into macabre wallpaper. On each patch of sallow, leathery flesh is a human mouth. Some of the mouths are old, others young; some bear carious teeth or teeth filed into points. All of them are whispering suggestions – vile obscenities lovingly described, each mouth urging a different act of unspeakable violence and depravity. Crouched in a corner with her hands over her ears trying to block out the susurrus of evil is an inmate, shaking back and forth and praying loudly.
Simply listening to the constant murmuring requires a Sanity check (1/1d6).
Pious Mary is a religious maniac (Patient 766) who was condemned to the asylum after murdering several “sinners” who had “passed beyond redemption.” The susurrus has exacerbated her paranoia so that she believes anyone approaching her is a demon trying to tempt her, whom she will violently attack. She is unarmed but will use her Rage power to make a bite attack.
26 – The Art Gallery
This chamber has one wall dominated by a large painting, with many smaller paintings occupying the other walls. The big painting depicts an enormous, dead oak tree with gnarled boughs. The tree has been used as a gallows: several corpses dangle from its branches. The other paintings all depict individuals being tortured or executed by robed, faceless figures – being broken on a wheel, stretched on a rack, decapitated by axe or guillotine, pulled apart by horses, impaled, crushed, burnt, and otherwise mangled.
Upon closer inspection (or a DC 15 Perception check) the characters will recognize themselves as the victims in the paintings. This realization provokes a Sanity check (0/1d4). Once the paintings have been seen by someone they become “fixed” in that form for them, even if later moved.
The Children’s Ward
The doors in this ward are locked (Disable Device DC 30, Strength DC 25 to force, or used the Brain Key).
The sound of miserable children sniffling, crying, and mumbling in troubled sleep fills this long corridor, which is lined with barred cells.
In total there are 118 children stuffed into the cells in this ward.
27 – Children’s Cell
At least a dozen dirty children, ranging in age from about fix or six to mid adolescence, are packed into the dirty cell visible behind the bars. As you approach they back away hastily.
Most of the children will not believe the characters aren’t Intellect Devourers and will think they’re being tricked. It takes a DC 25 Diplomacy check to convince them of good intent, and even then they don’t fully trust the characters. If released they scatter unless instructed very carefully to remain calm.
28 – The Kid
The child in this cell has been warped through some twisted magic, his body radically altered, grafted with alien flesh: from the waist down the boy’s body has been replaced with that of a goat, giving him the appearance of some miniature hircine centaur. His eyes, likewise, have been replaced with the eerie horizontal-slitted eyes of a goat.
Sanity check (0/1d4) on seeing the Kid.
The Kid’s real name is Abélard, and has lived at the asylum as long as he can remember. He is beginning to lose his humanity, occasional interspersing his words with bleating sounds.