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Yaqub's Lair

The lair where the zilant Yaqub supposedly lives is apparently a series of underground passages underneath what is informally called Yaqub's Hill. It is located next to the Chwee Hill, and at a place where the Udena River turns to the west. It is roughly 10 versts upstream from the city of Udyn.   The entryway to the lair is a large, apparently natural cave. The 10-15 foot wide entryway is hidden by an illusion made to appear as part of the tree-covered hillside. Outside the cave, the grass and fallen nettles bear sings of having been singed, probably due to the slitherings' outings on the hillside.   The cave is dark and filled with bones, filth, and items belonging to victims. One ring was taken off a corpse, and some coins were seen glinting through the gloom.   In the back of the cave, there was a burnmark with a Rakhman inscription saying "Speak my jinn name and enter". When a torch was held up to the inscription, a narrow spiral staircase downward was revealed.   At the bottom of the staircase was a long, artificial passage laid out in cobblestones. It ended in a wooden door. The passage is trapped by a large concealed scythe that swings pendulum-fashion in front of the door. The triggering of the scythe also triggers a bell somewhere behind the door, likely indicating the arrival of intruders.   On the other side of the scythe trap and the door, there was a short shooters platform, where Yaqub's dogheaded guardians were set up to waylay any intruders with missiles. Behind the shooter's platform were the dogheads' quarters, and nearby a hallway with a large statue that the dogheads used as their training yard. At the end of the hallway, there was a curious triangular room with a wooden statue and an unsteady floor. It later turned out that the statue animated and attacked people who came close to it, while the whole assembly was part of an elaborate clockwork that rotated throughout the day. Each alcove had its own statue that embodied one of the Seven Deadly Sins. The clockwork made noise each time it rotated.   At a right angle to the training yard, there were other rooms, most of which were locked. Next door was a carpeted library that also had a chessboard and several volumes in different languages dedicated to technical matters. The chessboard triggered a secret door that led down to a kitchen.   At the end of the hallway to the library there was a latrine with a deep and foul-smelling pit.   Around the corner from that there were several more locked chambers - one containing a mill resembling that of Vladykino, and one, at the end of the hall, with curious cauldrons made of silver and copper, some atop firepits, and barrels of liquid nearby.   Between this room and the mill, there was an empty room with a ceiling trap near a door leading to another locked chamber. The trap released a panel that fell down next to the door, spikes first. Lead weights fell from the ceiling, intending to deal further injury to anyone trapped underneath the spiked panel.   Behind the door there was another room with another contraption in the corner. It had levers that could be pulled down that made noise form a set of pipes along the far wall when pulled. However, it also released a noxious gas from these pipes as well.

Architecture

Natural cave linked to artificial cobblestone passages


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