Main Hall of the Forgotten Academy Building / Landmark in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Main Hall of the Forgotten Academy

The two spires seen from a distant mark the corners of a large, impressive, castle-like structure at the center of the complex of buildings and ruins hidden by and encroached upon by the forest. To either side, other stone buildings can be seen - connected to this one by covered stone bridges at an upper level. The only entrance visible anywhere appears to be the massive iron-bound wooden doors into this central building.

Main Hall Entry Door

The arched doorway before you is 8' (2.4m) wide and 12' (3.6m) tall at its highest point. A pair of heavy wooden doors fill the space. Four thick, horizontal bands of iron reinforced each, but this iron is now badly rusted. A bronze blazon, blackened with age, is affixed to the each of the two doors - one bears the three heads of a chimera, the other the image of a sphynx. The left door - the one with the chimera - is slightly ajar. There's enough space to squeeze through, though the way is blocked by a tangled mass of cobwebs.
Disturbing the cobwebs will attract the attention of a Tangleweb Spider, which will attack from above the first person to attempt entry. It will pursue.

Entry Hall

This space can be entered three four ways: via the front door, breaking through the large stained-glass window, descending the observatory tower steps, or descending the wide stairs from the balcony. The first three trigger a potential surprise attack from 3 Tangleweb Spiders. The wided stair may still require this encounter, but surprise should not be involved.

Twin grand staircases circle to an upper level balcony that surrounds the space. Stone floor, with a channel of sorts worn into it from years of foot traffic; some very shallow pools of water in these channels. Occasional drips of water from the roof high above is the source of these. Some moss growing out of stone cracks. Two doors and two arched passages leading elsewhere in addition to the stairs. Decorations include rusted suits of armor (useless) interspersed with stone statues of various Folk - most, but not all dressed in robes. Some hold tomes (stone; parts of the statues). One has arms crossed over chest with two wands in hands; another leans on a staff topped with some ornate decoration.

Along one wall, almost completely obscured by sheets of webbing, is a discarded leather backpack that has been partially torn apart. It is old, but clearly not as old as the rest of this place. It contains a Flint & Steel, 6 pieces of chalk, a small, slightly rusted grappling hook, 6 candles bound with twine, and a Perpetual Torch. There are also many glass shards, as if a flask had broken; an oily film covers the items in the pack; this may have helped preserve the metal items.

Visitor's Reception

This is a three-quarter circular roo at the base of the rookery turret. The walls were once paneled in polished hardwood, but these are now cracked and rotting. Moss and vines have invaded the cracks. Parts of the panels have rotted away completely, showing the stone walls behind them. There is a wooden desk near the far wall that seems to be more or less intact at first glance, but it is badly rotted. Behind the desk is a pile of dirt that is now home to a colony of moss and mushrooms that used to be the desk chair. A stuck drawer in the desk contains eight Visitors' Talismans and small placards with the instruction: "To visit Headmaster, step into entry and announce yourself."

Turret Stairway

The doorway in the south wall leads to the base of the observatory turret and the stairway that circles around till it reaches the top, with stops at every floor. The door itself is open; the stairs can be seen.

Master Spangrove's Lecturing Room

[aloud] Stepping through the near door on the right side of the Entry Hall, you are at the back of a room that appears to have been designed for lecturing. An unobstructed path of the stone floor slopes downward from the door, dropping about six feet until it levels out about 30 feet from you. On either side of this slope, there are stepped platforms that hold the remnants of stools and desks. A simple stone podium stands facing you; a visibly rotting desk stands behind that. The large wall behind the desk is smooth, flat, and has the black color of slate.

There is a door in the right corner of the back wall.

If a person stands at the podium and speaks while touching it, a lingering enchantment in the room will trigger. A small white stick of chalk will appear and begin scratching out whatever is being spoken - complete with the frequent and agonizing squeaks and scratches of chalk-on-slate writing. The writing itself is enchanted so that every person seeing the writing will see it in their native language (or at least the first language they learned to read and write.) True Sight reveals that the writing is an unknown magical runic language.

Master Spangrove's Quarters

The iron-bound wooden door in the corner of the lecturing room to the left of the desk and podium is stuck fast; it was locked from inside long ago, and the lock mechanism is frozen with rust. Fortunately for adventurers, this door, like many others in the Academy, has been rotting and rusting for centuries, so applying enough force to it will cause it to fail (spectactularly).

After getting the door open, you step into a room that appears to have been living and working quarters for a teacher at the Academy. A once-stout wooden desk dominates the room, though two of its short legs have collapsed, leaving it tilted precariously. Stacks of books and papers apparently tumbled to the floor when this happened, and since then, these have started to crumble and decay. There are a few volumes and rolled parchments that at least appear to be intact in the dusty debris on the floor.

Another doorway stands open; this leads to the teacher's bedroom. The bed has collapsed, and the sheets and blankets are badly decayed. But lying atop the bedcovers, a skeleton covered in the rotted tatters of what was once a robe lies peacefully. It's hard to be sure, but it looks like a section of the robe over the heart is completely missing. The skeleton's arms are folded over its chest; and a glass vial can be seen in the clutched finger bones of one hand. Around the skull is a headband of silk with a silver talisman affixed to it. Neither silk nor silver show any signs of decay or tarnish, though they are covered with the same thick layer of dust that envelops everything else in this room.

A dressing table with three drawers stands near the foot of the bed. There is a piece of parchment lying atop the dresser; the writing is archaic, but readable; the note simply says, "I cannot depart, and I will not join. This is the only way." It is signed "Donovar Spangrove".

The silk and silver talisman is a Peaceful Repose Talisman. When placed upon a body (either before or after death), it prevents the corpse from being resurrected into any sort of undead state. If placed on a dead body, or if the body wearing it becomes dead, it is magically held fast to the remains. It can be removed with a sufficiently powerful Dispel Magic, or by reducing the remains to a state that is not capable of reanimation.

The vial once held a powerful poison, though no traces remain after the centuries. This was the suicide poison used by the teacher long ago.

Attempting to pull open any of the drawers in the dressing table will result in the front panel of the drawer coming free in the adventurer's hands. Piles of rotted cloth that once were articles of clothing are all that remain inside, though a cracked leather pouch containing 17 gold coins, 27 silver coins, and 8 copper coins is hidden beneath one pile. The gold coins are in good shape. The silver coins are badly tarnished, and the copper is so badly corroded that it has effectively fused the coins into a single mass.

Master Snertblevin's Lecturing Room

The doors to this room stand open, giving access to another lecturing hall. A stone floor descends from the back of the room to the lecturer's podium; the desks and seats for attendees are nothing more than scraps of rotted wood and piles of compost arrayed on a series of tiers to either side of the sloped walkway. The wall behind the lecturer's podium is black slate. A stone block with three shallow steps carved into it is immediately behind the podium, suggesting that the lecturer was rather short. The floor against the base of the slate wall is littered with rotted wood debris and the glint of large quantities of broken glass. Closer inspection reveals that this used to be all sorts of flasks, vials, and other strangely shaped glassware. A few chunks of badly eroded copper shaped like tubes or vessels of some sort are also visible. Some flasks and vials are intact, and a few of these have a powdery residue clinging to the inside glass surface.

This was the introductory-level alchemy lecturing hall. The glassware is what remains of the display full of distillers, retorts, condensers, flasks, and other exotic equipment of the alchemist. The slate wall and podium are magically linked in the same manner as in Master Spangrove's Lecturing Room - magical chalk will transcribe the speech of anyone touching the podium.

Master Snertblevin's Quarters

The wood and iron door behind the lecturer's desk and podium is, not surprisingly, stuck fast. Once open, it provides access to a room that looks like it was once part living quarters and part laboratory. A low stone table is filled with intact flasks, vials, jars, and oddly shaped bits of glassware. What was once an easy chair stands facing the cold fireplace. The chair is oddly small, though. In fact, everything that you see suggests the occupant of this room was tinier than the average human.

Another door leads into a bedchamber room. Here you find the remains of bed no more than 4ft (1.25m) long. Tendrils of rotted linens adorn the bed, which seems to have collapsed in its center. Moving into the room a bit, you can see why: a figure of a gnome lies amid the debris - a figure made of solid stone, but more detailed than any sculpture you have ever seen. It is clothed with the tatters of a robe that has rotted with time. A piece of the robe over the gnome's heart appears to have been ripped away. A silk headband holds a silver talisman on the gnome figure's forehead - seemingly held fast. A wooden night table stands - barely - next to the bed, and on it is the stump of a candle in a brass holder, and an empty glass flask. Beneath the flask is a sheet of parchment bearing the words, "And so I fade as my folk do, though faster than most thanks to my art. I can only pray that the art of Master Adoniel will ensure my lasting peace -- Billwillikin Snertblevin, Master of Alchemy

These are the living quarters of Billwillikin Snertblevin, the Academy's gnomish Master of Alchemy. As with most other doors encountered here, the hinges are frozen with rust, and rot has swelled the wood. It will, however, be broken down relatively easily due to that rust and rot.

None of the vials or flasks have any liquid in them, though many have a powdery residue coating their insides. All of the furniture in the two rooms was sized for a Gnome - or perhaps a four or five year old human child. The silk and silver talisman is a Peaceful Repose Talisman that cannot be removed unless the stone head of the petrified gnome is shattered.

Gathering Hall

At the top of the stairs from the main entrance, there is an open balcony or gathering area that overhangs the entry hall. There is a huge set of iron-strapped double doors in the wall opposite the stairs leading into the Gathering Hall. The doors are not locked or barred, but their hinges are quite rusty. It will take some effort to get one or both pushed open, and there is a small chance that the hinges will fail if strained, allowing one or both doors to crash to the ground loudly. If this happens, the rusted banding on the doors will rupture and the doors will splinter. The echo of the falling door will resound throughout the area.

You push open the huge, heavy wooden doors as their rusted hinges resist and complain loudly. Before you is a large hall, about 40ft wide and 60 feet long. The stone tile floor is cracked and worn. A few tattered remnants hanging from the walls suggest that banners or tapestries once hung there, but these have long ago rotted away. About 45ft from you, six steps lead up to the last section of floor, which is about 3' above the level of the main room. Along the walls are the remains of long wooden tables and benches. Many have rotted apart and lie as rubble. Some have partially collapsed. A handful still at least look like tables and benches.

Up on the dais, though, there is a long table - more ornate than the simple ones along the walls, and apparently in better shape as well. Four golden candlestands, each holding the waxy stubs of three candles. Though covered with cobwebs that seem to be binding them to the table, the glitter of untarnished gold is unmistakeable.

There are doors in the corners of the dais area.

The candle stands are heavy and bulky, but when cleaned up a bit they could bring as much as 50gp each if sold.

Custodian's Closet

Forcing open the door, you enter a round room about 20ft (6m) in diameter. The walls of this room are the unadorned stone walls of the structure itself. Rusted metal brackets show where shelves were set into the walls around the room, but the wood of these shelves has rotted and fallen to decompose on the floor. The space all around the room is littered with rusted and rotting remnants of buckets, and custodial implements like brooms and mops. Shards of pottery and glass lie amid the debris from the fallen shelves. Also amid the debris is a small wooden chest that appears to be intact. The chest has a brass lock mechanism that, while tarnished, does not seem to be destroyed by the ravages of time.
This is the circular space in the turret directly above the Visitor's Reception room. It was the Custodian's Closet, housing the various cleaning and repair implements that were required of that profession. The small chest contains a number of keys made of an alloy of metals that apparently resisted tarrnish or rust; the keys seem to be in good shape. The chest itself is locked, and the lock may be picked. Alternatively, a solid blow to the chest will cause it to splinter into rotted fragments.

There are three keys in the chest:
  • The Master Key has a stamped image of the Academy main building on its head (the part you hold when using the key). It unlocks any of the doors to residential spaces in this buildiing or the Dormitory building, as well as the workspaces in the Laboratory building.
  • The Library Key has a stamped image of an open book on its head. It unlocks the gate that separates the Restricted Section of the Library from the Common Section.
  • The Storeroom Key has a stamped image of an eight-pointed star on its head. It unlocks the section in the basement where odd (and/or dangerous) magical artifacts were studied or locked away for safekeeping.

  • Headmaster's Entrance

    Set into the wall of the corridor is a circular alcove covered in wood paneling that appears to be untouched by rot. A brass plate on the wall reads "Headmaster's Office". A circular mosaic tile pattern covers the floor of this space - which is only large enough for one person.

    If a person steps into the circular space while wearing a visitor badge and speaks their name, the space will spin 180 degrees and open into the Headmaster's Office. Anyone outside the space will see this entryway spin. The wooden wall that appears will have another brass plaque that reads, "Knock for access".

    Headmaster's Office

    You've stepped into a spacious room that is covered by centuries of dust - dust that was kicked up into a cloud by the spinning of the entryway. A large desk dominates the center of the room, the dust and cobweb covered remains of two rotting chairs face the desk; another large padded chair that appears to be covered in some sort of scaled hide is behind it. The walls are covered with portraits of various Folk - all middle-aged or elderly, and all wearing silk robes covered with intricate embroidered designs and patterns. There are 14 such portraits, including one that appears identical to the one that hung in the visitor's reception area. Two glass globes sitting atop brass stands are on either corner of the desk; these flicker and glow with a very faint light. There are two skulls on the desk - one Human and one Taxlatl - that appear to have been converted into bowls of some sort. A pen-and-ink stand with three quills can also be seen.

    The globes contain a pebble that had Continual Light cast upon it centuries ago. The magic is fading, but not gone completely. The skulls are unremarkable. The inkwell contains nothing but solid residue (beneath the dust), and the three quill pens practically disssolve into dust when disturbed. The portraits are of past headmasters and present (at the time of the downfall) instructors at the Academy; each has a nameplate. The desk contains a drawer in which 12 Student Talismans can be found.

    Headmaster's Study

    You've entered a room whose walls are lined floor-to-ceiling with bookshelves. A desk sits in the center of the room; apart from the thick layer of dust and cobwebs covering its surface, it appears to be in a remarkable state of preservation. There are no signs of rot or decay on the desk itself. Something resembling a brass candlestand about 18in (45cm) tall stands on one corner of the desk. Atop it, a small globe of frosted glass appears to be flickering and glowing faintly with light from within - at least from its bottom as the top is blanketed with dust.

    There are countless books of all shapes and sizes on the shelves; they too are covered with dust and cobwebs. The books don't fill the shelves, though; there are clusters of books separated by random gaps. Most show signs of age and decay so advanced you're sure they'll simply fall apart if you disturb them. Besides the door you entered, there is another on the far side of the room behind the desk.

    The gaps between books in the shelves are haphazard; they do not appear to be a decorating decision. It's as if a number of books were removed, leaving others behind on the shelves. A wizard - one with formal training in Arcane Lore - has a chance to notice that there are no books related to necromancy, and very few related to summoning, remaining on any of the shelves.

    Perusing the titles of the books, adventurers will find many in scripts and languages that they do not understand, though some are in commonspeech. Some are in Elvish script, some in Dwarven runes, and a few are in the Dwarf-like lettering of the Awkwana. Many are in a script that is unrecognizable to any that don't have knowledge of ancient Taxlatl. All of the titles suggest they cover some aspect of magic or alchemy.

    There is one book that faintly radiates magic. Its covers are far better preserved than the others, though its layer of dust and cobwebs will conceal this at first. Unfortunately, most of the pages were victims of bookworms long ago. There is, however, one intact section that contains a magic spell Thoughtful Gift (PF2E APG p227). A wizard may be able to make use of this.

    Headmaster's Private Quarters

    This is a spacious room dominated by a large bed against one wall, with small tables on either side, but the thick layer of dust and sheets of cobwebs everywhere make it clear nothing has used this room for many, many years. The nightstands hold badly tarnished silver candle stands; each with a partially burned wax candle. The bed appears to be made up, and there is nothing atop it other than dust. Opposite the bed is a large wooden dressing cabinet, and next to that, a small dressing table with a chair that has partially collapsed due to rot. Shards of broken mirror litter the top of the dressing table and the area around the chair - it appearss the mirror collapsed due to rot and broken when it fell. Carpets appear to cover much of the floor, though it is impossible to see any pattern or design due to the dust.

    There is door on the far wall; it stands ajar. Beyond it is a space no more than 3' square - the private garderobe for the occupant of this suite.
    The wardrobe contains the rotted and tattered remnants of a number of fine silk robes, some with embroideries of gold and silver thread in intricate patterns. None are salvageable, though. The dressing table is bare except for the shards of broken mirror. The blankets and bedsheets were also obviously quite lavish in their time, but are now rotted and riddled with insect holes (only visible if the dust is removed).

    The garderobe (toilet) features a rotting wooden seating platform with a hole in it. The space below the hole radiates magic - attempting to shine a light down it reveals only an unnatural blackness. This is a still-active portal to a pocket dimension that served as the the refuse dump for the academy; anything dropped into it will simply "disappear" without a sound.

    Master Adoniel's Lecturing Room

    The door to this room appears to have been broken down some time in the past. Peering through the opening, you see another classroom built like those on the main floor: descending tiers littered with ruins of wooden desks and stools, a slate wall at the back of the room, and a podium set before that wall. The side walls of this room, however, are decorated differently with all sorts of shields are hung on them. They are large and small, kite-shaped, rectangular and round, wooden and metallic, though the latter show much rust. Some have bits of old paint showing they were emblazoned with shapes and symbols. There are a few gaps where shields may once have hung, but are there no longer. Broken, rusted remains of shields lie beneath some of these gaps, but not all.

    There is one shield high up on the left wall that, though covered with the cobwebs that seem to be everywhere in this place, does not seem to have been affected by the decay of time. Made of metal with no signs of rust, it bears what looks like a family crest painted on it.

    The wooden door on the back wall to the right of the podium seems to have one of its lower corners broken or gnawed away - there is a one-foot (30cm) hole in the door at its base.

    This was the lecture hall for Abjuration magical studies - hence the shields as decorations. Some shields were indeed taken by earlier adventuring parties. Were they magical? Perhaps! The one notable shield left on the wall is magical; it offers an additional point of defense beyond what a typical medium metal shield would offer.

    The podium and slate wall work the same way as those on the ground floor - anyone standing at the podium and touching it will have their words transcribed in chalk on the wall.

    OSR-compatible Shield Description
    The shield takes up one inventory slot and provides two armor points to defenese (the one typically offered by a medium metal shield, and an additional one for its magic.)


    Master Adoniel's Quarters

    Approaching the door, you hear quiet voices coming from the other side. They are rather high pitched, and have the breathy quality of whispers. You cannot understand what they're saying.

    The door itself is closed, but not locked, though like other doors in this place, the hinges show much rust. The door will not open easily.

    If the door is approached with caution, adventurers will hear occasional high-pitched voices whispering in a strange tongue, along with brief rustling interspersed with periods of silence. These are Mitflits, speaking in Gremlish, and It should sound like they are aware of the adventurers' presence, and they're trying to be quiet. If somebody does speak Gremlish in the party, they will hear snippets like, "hide behind there", "be quiet, you turd!"

    Once the party enters, they will be hidden, but as soon as the first one is discovered, all the rest will leap out of their hiding spots. They will take one quick stab/slash at somebody on their way to the door; their objective is to escape and disappear once more within the academy somewhere.

    With the gremlins dispersed or otherwise dealt with, you can now survey the rooms. Laid out like those on the ground floor, there is a front room with what remains of a desk, a chair, a few stools, and a bookcase. The back room has a bed, but it is unoccupied at present. The blankets that once covered this bed are rotted, but they also seem to have been torn up and arranged in several small piles. There is a jumble of bones - elven bones - in the corner of the room behind the bed. These bones are intact, though disarticulated - except for the skull which appears to have been shattered.

    These are the living quarters of Master Caerindrana Adoniel, the Elven Master of Abjuration. There are a number of large flower pots along the walls, some with the long-dead trunks of small trees protruding from them. Some have been tipped, spilling their dirt in a pile. One has been smashed. On the bed, beneath one of the rotted blanket piles, the party will find the Peaceful Repose Talisman that once adorned the elven skull. They will also find a handful of coins - some quite old, and some bearing the recognizable Home Tree marking them as Elven in origin.

    Master Mastrana's Lecturing Room

    The doorway to this room is wide open. Looking in before you enter, you see a room that appears quite out of place. It is clean, the wooden wall panels are polished, and there are four large iron-bound wooden chests along the far wall.

    Wait for the party to enter...

    As soon as you cross the threshold, the view before you changes. Now you see before you a cobwebbed room much like the classrooms you have visited. The polished wood paneling is gone, replaced by the stone walls you've seen everywhere. The far wall is of black slate, and a podium stands before it in the "well" of the lecture room. There is no desk here... just the podium. The expected door in the right corner stands open.

    There is a Permanent Illusion in effect across the doorway of this room - the former Master thought it an interesting way to greet new students. Once passed through, the room can be seen as is. The podium and blackboard wall work as expected in here.

    Master Mastrana's Quarters

    The door opens into another office/sitting room. A rotting desk and remnants of a leather-covered chair can be seen, along with a small emepty bookcase. There is wall hanging - a tapestry - that seems to be intact. It displays a scene of a flower-covered woodland glade - and the flowers and trees depicted are actually swaying as if touched by a slight breeze.

    Beyond is a bedchamber, but it lies empty. The bed is made, though the bedclothes are rotting and cobweb-covered. A small dressing table and stool are also seen, but there is nothing atop the dressing table.

    These are the former living quarters of Master Illusionist Intarian Mastrana. The party should get the impression that this room has been emptied of most, though not all, of the personal effects of the former occupant long ago. The tapestry is magical, and probably worth a fair amount of gold.

    Master Matchatuura Ri Ila Kak's Lecturing Room

    After forcing open the door, yet another lecture room can be seen. A collection of rotted desks and stools face the black slate wall and podium. There is a desk, and sitting on it is a rusted piece of intricate ironwork that looks like it was intended to be a stand for something. But whatever it was is no longer there. The only other thing on the desk is a scattered pile of thin copper sheets. These are badly corroded - so much so that they are fused together in a single mass. Though the corrosion has blurred it, though, it is clear these sheets had been etched or stamped with very intricate designs.

    A Mending cantrip or spell can be used to remove the corrosion on the plates; doing so will reveal a set of 22 etched copper plates. These are non-magical; they are a set of Divination Cards. The etchings depict all sorts of things (essentially the Major Arcana cards of a tarot deck).

    Master Matchatuura Ri Ila Kak's Quarters

    The sitting room/study in this room is quite austere. A desk, a chair, and a bookcase are the only items visible. The desk contains nothing but a dried glass inkwell. The bookcase has several volumes on its shelves, all with similar unadorned covers, but these are badly damaged by time and decay.

    There is a figure lying on the bed. The beaked skull makes it obvious that these are the long-dead skeletal remains of an Awkwana. Moth-eaten silk robes cover the bones and the few feathery remnants. Affixed to the robe is a golden brooch or talisman bearing a white pearl in a setting made to look like it was a mounted upon a base of some sort. Another brooch, this one with a black pearl and much more intricate scrollwork and strange symbols. The silver of this piece is untarnished. A third, familiar talisman is affixed to the silk ribbon that surrounds the skull of the figure.

    If the party disturbs the books, they will crumble. Some tiny scraps of paper with Awkwana script will be revealed, but not enough to discern what the contents were about.

    All of the jewelry on the corpse will respond to an attempt to detect magic. The gold/white pearl is the Academy's identification brooch for members of the Divination school - the party may have seen this before. The silver/black pearl is a Brooch of Secrecy - magical ward against scrying. The piece on the skull is another Talisman of Peaceful Repose.

    Master Sinfariel's Lecturing Room

    The plaque on the doorway has the etched symbol of a simply-styled humanoid head with seven lines radiating outward from its upper half. Peering through the doorway, you see a room that looks like the other class/lecture rooms you've found. As you enter through the slightly ajar doorway, the image of a huge mouth appears in the wall immediately to your left. In an oddly accented Commonspeech, it says, "Welcome, students. Please take a seat and wait for the lecture to begin."
    The Magic Mouth isn't just speaking, it's planting a Subconscious Suggestion. Party members need to make a saving throw or be they'll feel compelled to "take a seat and wait for the lecture" for up to an hour depending on degree of failure. Once this wears off, or if anyone makes the save, they are free to continue exploring.

    Master Sinfariel's Quarters

    The door to the teacher's quarters appears to have been locked, and rust has long ago fused the lock mechanisms. The door will need to be broken down.

    Once the party gets through the door...

    The sitting room/study is decorated with a number of paintings and tapestries; all depicting scenes of natural beauty: majestic mountains, fields of flowers, sun-dappled forests, etc. Everything is covered in dust and cobwebs, but some of the paintings may be salvageable. The tapestry, made of silk, is in terrible shape, though, and appears quite fragile.

    In the bedroom, the skeletal remains of an elf lie on the bed in repose. One bony hand clutches an open, empty vial. The forehead of the skull is adorned with a Talisman of Peaceful Repose. A brooch on the silk robe that covers the bones bears the image of a humanoid head with lines radiating from it.

    Any attempt to touch the tapestry will result in bits of it disintegrating in the players' hands. The brooch is the Enchanters' School symbol, which appeared on the plaque leading into the classroom, and will appear other places as well.

    Master Greywhisker's Lecturing Room

    You've come across a door that looks the same as several you've already encountered, and you suspect it will be another lecture or class room. The symbol on the tarnished etched plate over the door seems to be a pair of concentric circles with runes or characters etched into the space between them. But what strikes you most about this door is the fact that there are two thick planks haphazardly nailed across it; these planks are old, but not nearly as old as the building itself.

    If the plate is cleaned (Mending), anyone with a magical training background will recognize the symbol as being some sort of conjuration circle. Attempts to listen at the door will not reveal any sounds on the other side.

    After removing the planks and pushing open the door, you do indeed find another classroom. The usual remnants of rotted desks and stools, sheets of cobwebs and dust covering things, the black slate far wall and podium standing before it are familiar. What is different, though, is the summoning circle that is inlaid into the floor to the left of the podium. It is glowing with a silvery bluish light, and sitting in the circle with its back to you is some sort of creature, which slowly rises to its feet and starts to turn as you enter. Just inside the circle, you can see a carefully arranged set of bones next to what appears to be a neatly arranged pile of adventurer's gear.
    The creature is a Devil's Advocate. The circle it stands within is a Greater Circle of Conjuring. Nonmagical ranged attack effects cannot pass through it (e.g. common arrows, stones, etc.), though an individual can step into the circle. The creature bound inside cannot attack or otherwise affect anything beyond the circle by any means.

    The gear in the circle includes a set of studded leather armor and a backpack containing a rope, candles, chalk, flint and steel, rations (now rotten), a Potion of Rejuvenation, and a magical scroll. The tube containing the scroll is visible - protruding slightly from under the flap of the backpack.

    Master Greywhisker's Quarters

    The living quarters of the Master that lived here are in disarray. The rotted desk and chair appear to have been broken and overturned - more than the rot of time has clearly affected them. The empty bookshelves have been broken out of the bookcases. Drawers in the desk have been pulled out and smashed.

    In the bedroom, the odd-shaped, small bed has been overturned; its rotting mattress and bedclothes now heaps of debris well on their way to becoming compost. A wooden wardrobe has been smashed as well. There is no sign of any remains of the former occupant of these rooms, however.

    The room has clearly been searched - hurriedly, though thoroughly - before. Perhaps a prior party was desperately looking for a weapon to deal with the Devil's Advocate, or were simply taking out their anger and frustration at having lost a party member. Regardless, there is nothing of value in the private quarters. The odd-shaped bed is recognizable by any Chittiki, or any who are familiar with Chittiki culture. [/aloud]

    Master Grayson's Lecturing Room

    The door to this room is closed and, like others you've encountered, unwilling to open due to rusted hinges and swollen, partially rotted timbers. The plaque on the door bears the image of a skull. After forcing open the door you see yet another classroom, but the first thing you notice is a large, skeletal figure wearing badly rusted armor standing in front of the door that you expect leads to the teacher's quarters at the far end of the room. And as you step in, you become aware of four more skeletons. These are unarmored and unarmed - simply bare skeletons - standing along the back wall of the classroom. They turn their heads toward you and then point to the seating area, as if suggesting you take your places like a student.
    The four skeletons at the back are Human in origin. They are unarmed, and will not attack unless provoked. They simply point to the seating area. Refer to Animated Skeletons, Folk, but they have been magically altered from the norm. Any damage-dealing strike on one of these will cause it to completely disarticulate, the bones falling in a pile. But that pile will immediately begin to shift and reform, and the skeleton will reconstruct itself. Once complete, it will once more simply "stare" at the party members and point to the seating area.

    The Animated Skeleton, Ogre at the front of the room stands before the door to the teachers quarters. This one is holding a large halberd. It will not move from its post - even if the party engages the four skeletons at the back of the room. It will, however, try very hard to keep the party from accessing the teacher's door - but will do so as non-lethally as possible until it takes damage. Until that time, it will block and shove, but not attack violently. Once damaged, however, it will make use of the halberd as well as its natural weaponry.

    Master Grayson's Quarters

    With the door guard dealt with, you now turn your attention to the door itself. It is locked, but the lock and hinges, like others in this place, are rusted beyond use. As you begin forcing the door, you become aware of sounds coming from the other side. Listening carefully, you can make out a very hollow-sounding voice that seems to be repeating, "The Master is not here. Come back again later."

    Let the party decide what to do. If they continue to force the door open, once they succeed...

    You see a room quite unlike the teachers' quarters you've encountered so far. This sitting room/study is spotlessly clean, as is the bedroom you can see beyond through the open doorway. The desk is dust-free. There is not a cobweb to be seen anywhere. The bookcase is empty, and the desk has nothing but an inkwell with ink that long ago dried up, and three quills neatly arranged in a holder next to it. As you look around, the air in front of you seems to shimmer for a moment, and a translucent form appears before you. It is dressed in strange garb, and its height and appearance resemble that of a Halfling, though a very old one. It stands with hands clasped before it, and repeats, "I'm sorry. The Master is not in. Could you come back later?"

    The creature is a Spectral Servant. It was created long ago by Master Grayson to keep his chambers neat and orderly. It is quite polite, and will answer questions that the party may ask to its best ability:
  • its name is Chadbert
  • it is/was indeed a Halfling (bit of history needed)
  • It hasn't seen Master Grayson since the master packed up his books and left some two thousand years ago. (He has lost count of the exact number of years.)
  • He thinks the Master said something about moving them to his study in the lower dungeons.
  • Master Grayson does have a laboratory and another classroom in the lower dungeons - for advanced studies.
  • Chadbert is quite bored, and wouldn't mind being released from service since nobody - including the Master - seems to come here anymore. But he doesn't know how this could be done.

  • The party can explore the rooms as they would like; Chadbert will not interfere other than to fret about any sort of mess the party is making. If they examine the bed carefully, particularly its ornate woodworked footboard, they will discover a small secret compartment. Inside is a crystal that seems to be glowing with a purplish black light. Chadbert will act as if not be able to see it, though, and will blatantly evade any attempts to answer questions about it. He will become more and more visibly nervous as the party handles the crystal. Smashing the crystal will free Chadbert - and before he dissipates, he will, with great relief, thank the party for this boon. If the party takes the crystal with them, Chadbert will eventually appear again - quite confused and wishing he were back in "Master's chambers". The crystal isn't worth much, and there is nothing else of value remaining in these rooms.

    Master Todwinkle's Lecturing Room

    The plaque on the door to this room bears a symbol consisting of a triangle inscribed in a circle, which is inscribed in a square. The door is difficult to open, and as you're working it, you start to hear sounds from the other side. It's mostly cackling, high-pitched laughter, but one voice eventually calls out, "Hurry up, students! You're late for class!" More laughter erupts after this.

    As the door bursts open, you're swarmed by a half-dozen tiny gremlins, each with a small, but sharp and pointy dagger or shortsword. They dart in, jab, and dart away again. Standing at the podium, on a built up pile of debris, is an ugly, hunchbacked creature not more than three feet tall. You're focused on the attacking creatures, of course, but your peripheral vision tells you that the slate wall is covered with chalk writings and images, and the door to the teacher's quarters is wide open.

    The attacking creatures are a mix of Jinkins and Mitflits. The creature standing at the podium is a Nuglub. Once the ensuing fight starts going against them, the creatures will flee rather than fight to the death. The blackboard is covered in crude, obscene drawings, and random swear words in a number of different languages.

    Master Todwinkle's Quarters

    As you enter the teacher's quarters, it immediately becomes obvious that the gremlins had turned this into a lair of some sort. There are relatively few cobwebs, but anything that used to be furniture in this room has been destroyed, and piles of what you imagine used to be the mattress and bedclothes are now small nesting spots for a number of the small creatures. Standing in the center of the sitting room/study is a stone statue of a gnome. It has been "dressed" in scraps of fabric to be as gaudy and laughable as possible; a crude hat sits haphazardly on its head, partially covering its face.

    The "statue" is actually the corpse of Master Todwinkle. If the hat is removed, the party will see a Talisman of Peaceful Repose affixed to the forehead of the statue, and if the scraps of added clothing are removed, the now stone "clothing" of the gnome will have a school brooch embedded into it - one with the triangle/circle/square symbol.

    A damp spot on the floor in the bedroom lets you become aware of a hole about 2 feet across in the ceiling directly above.

    The Attic Storeroom

    Tower Stairway

    As you ascend the winding stair making its way toward the top of the tower, you hear the sounds of birds - crows or perhaps ravens... lots of them. As you climb, the cobwebs dissipate, but the stairs themselves begin to show numerous spots of large bird droppings in various stages of decomposition. The higher you go, this becomes an almost complete layer of dirt (or compost) covering the stairs but still dotted with fresh deposits. Just before you reach the top step, two large black birds - definitely ravens, hop down the steps toward you, cawing loudly and... you believe... angrily.
    These are two Ravens that will croak threateningly at the party. If the party continues forward, they will fly back up into the room above.

    The Rookery

    The space at the top of the tower may once have held cages or organized nests for these birds, but any such embellishments were rotted away or destroyed long ago. There are a number of "natural" nests scattered around the floor of the room that has little else, except for a thick layer of dirt which, you suspect, is decomposed bird droppings. There are also quite a number of very angry black birds croaking loudly at you - and several take flight directly toward you.

    There are 27 Ravens in what used to be the rookery at the top of the tower. Probable descendents of messenger birds used by the Academy long ago, it's been a long time since these creatures have experienced any of the Folk - and they aren't in a mood to start doing so now. The birds will attack in waves, three or four at a time, and their beaks can do nasty damage.


    The spiraling stairway in the left turret continues several turns around the turret until it leads to a large room at the top of the turret. Vines from the forest below which have climbed the turret reach through the open archways that ring the entire room. Were it not for the iinvading foliage. There does not appear to be a roof to the structure - the view of the entire sky is unimpeded. But you distinctly recall that this turret had a roof of stone or slate tiles when you viewed it while approaching the building.
    If something is tossed upward, it will strike the invisible, transparent barrier that exists - and that appears to be an opaque roof from outside. Whatever this magic is, it has survived for centuries.


      Side panel dungeon passage image by Evelyn Chai from Pixabay
    Banner image by kalhh from Pixabay


    Author's Notes

    #Dungeon23 Progress:
    Rooms in this article:
    Jan 2 - Entry Hall
    Jan 5 - Spangrove's Rooms
    Jan 11 - Custodian's Closet
    Jan 14 - Observatory
    Jan 17 - Headmaster's Room
    Jan 3 - Gathering Hall
    Jan 6 - Visitor's Reception
    Jan 12 - Snertblevin's Rooms
    Jan 15 - Headmaster's Office
    Jan 18 - Headmaster's Entry
    Jan 4 - Spangrove's Class
    Jan 10 - Snertblevin's Class
    Jan 13 - Turret Stairway
    Jan 16 - Headmaster's Study

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