JAMM1 -- Jet Black (v2)

D&D Module for Characters Level 3-7
by Jenni A. M. Merrifield
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Level 1

Map

Level 1

1. Outside the Manor

You see a stately manor, made of carefully hewn granite. There are several multi-paned windows in view. There is a pathway made of some type of black, crushed stone which leads up to a short set of stairs that are 10' wide. The stairs lead up to a five-foot deep recess in the middle of the building's facade. There is a set of double doors at the back. To your left, as you face the house, there is a 15' high, rough stone wall with nasty looking spikes along the top that surrounds a rather large region - possibly a private garden.

The elaborate double doors are made of oak and there is an ornate brass doorknocker in the middle of each door. The doors are well locked and trapped. Anyone attempting to pick the locks without proper precautions will trigger a needle trap for 1d6+1 hp damage and set off a mechanical alarm. Matrissa can hear the alarm throughout level 1 and the front part of level 2. If someone uses the doorknockers, Matrissa will hear them only if she is somewhere on level 1. If she hears them from anywhere but her bath, she will answer the door after three rounds (30 sec). If she is in her bath she will ignore any knocks unless they are extremely persistent - after four distinct knocking sessions she will grab her robe and storm to the door. She will NOT be very pleasant, and will REFUSE to talk with the PC's at this or any later time.

If the rocks of the path are examined closely, it will be discovered that it is, in fact, made of bits of jet. (Well, what else was she going to do with all that leftover waste material???)

1a. West of the Manor

Tell the following to anyone who searches the outside of the grounds to the W of the house:

Close to the ground you see a 7' long, 2' high wooden door on the W wall, near the SW corner of the building. It has a thick rusted chain and a large, rusty padlock attached to the front.

This is the opening into the log chute into the Wood Storage (area 14). The padlock is very simple and there are no traps on it, but because of the rust it is difficult to unlock, even with the key - subtract 5% from a thief's chance of picking it. If the characters try to break it by force, they may do so by hitting it with a blunt weapon (i.e. mace, hammer) and rolling to hit AC 7. Note that the noise they make has a 5% cumulative chance per blow of attracting Matrissa's attention if she is in the Bedroom (area 9). They may also try to break the chain with leverage by inserting an object between the chain and the door and then rolling successfully against strength. If the roll fails by more than 5, check to see if the stick/staff breaks instead by rolling Percentile dice. There is a 50% chance of breaking a thin lever (i.e. sticks, broom handles, etc.) and a 15% chance of breaking a thick lever (i.e. a staff, the handle of a war hammer, etc.).

1b. East of the Manor

Tell the following to anyone who searches the outside of the grounds to the E of the house:

:Here, up against the spike-topped wall, there is a small, stable, which could hold two horses. The stable roof is slightly slanted out from the wall, being about 8' from the ground against the wall and 7' from the ground at the opposite side. The stable looks to be a bit on the ramshackle side, in distinct contrast to the immaculate appearance of rest of the manor.

The stable doors are not currently barred, although there is a sturdy wooden bar lying outside on the ground. There is currently only one horse inside, housed in the stall farthest from the door, who appears to be a bit on the mangy side. A perceptive PC might conclude that only exactly the minimum level of maintenance has been done in this area in order to keep the horse alive, sheltered, fed and capable of carrying a passenger. The horse, if examined, is healthy if not well groomed, and will travel at regular rates. She is an incredibly docile steed who is black, with a white star on her forehead and a white 'sock' on her front left leg.

The PC's may try to use this structure as an aid to climbing up over the garden wall. (See the Garden (area 5) for more info about climbing the wall)

2. Foyer and Hallway

:The foyer is ornate and quite spacious and there are examples of Matrissa's work on granite pedestals scattered about the room. There is a very nice crystal chandelier in this room, which appears to be lit without candles. There is also a rather nice abstract tapestry hanging on the W wall. Through an opening in the N wall, a hallway can be seen which has a burgundy rug down the centre.

Matrissa will usually invite visitors into her foyer if she answers a knock on the door and will ask them their business. If they say they are seeking to purchase artwork, she will ask them into the Lounge (area 4).

The art in this area is as tasteful as that which she offered for sale. Against the West wall, there are two busts, flanking the entrance to the Lounge. On the N side of the entrance the bust is of a very young, beautiful female human (about 13 or 14 years old) who appears to have just dropped off to sleep. On the S side, there is a handsome human male with a calm and mellow look. Against the E wall, to the N of the tapestry, there is an "intricately carved" gruff and craggy faced dwarf.

The tapestry (50gp, 600cn) is 6'x9' in size and is from the Emirates of Ylaruam.

The hallway provides access to all the other rooms of the top floor and to the stairs that lead down to the "public basement" - the front section of level 2. Anyone in the hallway at night will notice that light always spills into the hallway from the Foyer and the Dinning Room (area 6).

3. Cloak Cupboard

:There are hooks on the back wall with two cloaks hanging from them. There are two pairs of boots on the floor to the left of the door. A sturdy oak staff leans against the back wall.

The cloaks are both of good quality and in good repair, and would fetch a fair price if sold. One is a long, heavy, winter cloak (1gp, 15cn if not worn), the other is a shorter, lighter, summer cloak (5sp, 10cn if not worn). One pair of boots is a plain pair of soft leather boots (1gp, 10cn if not worn) and the other is a pair of calf-high hard leather boots (5gp, 15cn if not worn). The staff is a Staff +2. If confronted and forced into hand to hand nearby, Matrissa will attempt to get and use this staff against the party.

4. Lounge

:This is a well-appointed lounge, with one couch, a low table, several chairs, a side table, and a luxurious rug in the centre. There is a tiger skin on the floor across from the couch. Opposite from the main entrance into the room there is a deep fireplace. The S wall is mostly a large, paned glass window, but just beneath that there is a row of shelves with a variety of artistic trinkets and nick-knacks on it. Against the N wall there is a cabinet with a roll-up top and two doors on the bottom. In the corner to the S of the fireplace there stands a beautiful full size harp and in the corner to the N there are two pedestals upon which sit examples of Matrissa's work. There is also a large oil painting on the W wall, just to the N of the main entrance into this room.

Matrissa will be a kind and charming hostess, offering her visitors a drink while she listens to their proposition. If asked to do a commissioned work she will be adamantly against it, instead offering to sell some of her existing work to the players. She should be a hard sell - players should have to bargain hard to get any sort of "deal" from her. If asked, she will take the visitors down to the Art Room (area 16) to show them her current "work in progress".

The two busts in the corner are just a bit disturbing. Both are human and female, and in each case there is a definite, look of pain or anguish in the expression. In fact, one even appears to be crying (on close inspection a PC will notice that Matrissa has actually managed to "carve" thin rivulets of tears down her face. If questioned, Matrissa will comment on how art has become so plain and stagnant these days, everyone always re-doing the same old emotions - joy, happiness, love, etc. - over and over again. She will then say that she wanted to try "shaking up the art world" a little, and so she decided to try portraying pain and sadness. She will then make a point of staring directly into the eyes of whoever brought up the subject, and ask him or her how he or she feels when looking at these pieces of art.

There are two bottles of wine (15sp, 35cn each), and three half-quart crystal decanters (15sp, 10cn each) of flavoured liqueurs (20sp, 15cn per half-quart) under the roll-top part of the cabinet. There are eight crystal wine goblets (30sp, 5cn each) and eight crystal liqueur glasses (20sp, 3cn each) behind the lower doors of the cabinet. The trinkets and nick-knacks collectively come to 150gp, and should have approximately 100cn encumbrance (the DM may pick specific items). The rug (300gp, 5500cn) is 18'x27' in size and is hand knotted wool from the Kingdom of Sind. The tiger skin (10gp, 120cn) is quite old and only in fair shape. The harp (80gp, 500cn) is a luxurious, hand carved instrument with touches of gold filigree and is in excellent condition - Matrissa has taken very good care of it, and it may be possible to sell it for considerably more than its "worth" to the right buyer. The framed oil painting (200gp, 200cn) depicts a rather nasty looking Black Dragon in flight and is 5'x3' in size.

There is a trap door that leads into the Unfinished Room (area 17) under the NE corner of the rug. The door will be obvious to anyone if the corner of the rug is lifted.

5. Garden

This is a private garden surrounded by a 15' high wall that is topped with nasty looking spikes. The paths seem to be covered with the same sort of crushed stone that the front path is made of. The garden appears quite lovely and well maintained and there are bushes, flowers, and trees scattered throughout. There is even a small herb and vegetable patch to the N of the stairway into the manor. There are a few benches in sight, and several examples of Matrissa's work can be seen on pedestals at various places along the edge of the paths.

The walls surrounding the garden are actually quite easy to climb, since the style of construction has left many foot and hand holds that even a non-thief characters to exploit. However, the spikes at the top of the wall are actually extremely sharp and anyone attempting to climb over the wall has a 75% chance that they will cut themselves, taking 1 hp of damage, as they pass over the top. This chance drops to 50% if a PC says he is taking 'extreme caution' while climbing over. Note that once over the top, the PC's must still climb down the inside of the 15' wall.

The door into the house is normally locked but not trapped.

The benches are made of wood, and the pedestals for all the statues appear to be made of granite. The place appears quite idyllic unless the PC's take a closer look at some of the busts. Each bust is, of course, made of the purest jet, and there is a brass plaque on each occupied pedestal that names the bust in question. The busts are identified below by the letter shown on the map of level 1.

  1. Timid: This bust is that of a female Elf, with very short, straight hair. She is glancing downward in a shy, demure manner. It is no more or less remarkable than the specimens that were sold in Darokin.
  2. The Sheriff: This bust is that of an older male Hin, with a mop of curly hair and an intricately carved pipe between his teeth. It is only more remarkable than the specimens that were sold in Darokin in that his general appearance seems so completely plain, ordinary, and unassuming.
  3. This pedestal is empty
  4. Young Fear: This bust is that of a very "pretty" young male human - he would seem to be no more than 12 or 13 years old. The look in his face would be best described as mortal fear.
  5. This pedestal is empty
  6. This pedestal is empty
  7. The Scream: This bust depicts the face of a beautiful young human female, who is quite obviously screaming at the top of her lungs. It is difficult to tell if the scream is from fear or from pain.
  8. Determination: This bust depicts the face of an older, battle scared, but still attractive, human with a finely chiselled face, and a look of raw, hate filled determination. It tends to remind one of the old adage "if looks could kill, you'd be dead five times over."
  9. The Lovers: This bust is quite unique in that it is actually a dual bust of two lovers. In fact, it is even more atypical of ordinary single busts, as the arms of both participant are there, wrapped about each other, as they stare deeply into each other's eyes. Upon close inspection, it will be noticed that each figure appears to be carved from a separate block, yet the way their arms are wrapped about each other, would seem to suggest that they must have been carved from one block, not two.

6. Dining Room

This is a gorgeous Dinning room lit by a beautiful crystal chandelier that glows without candles. The chandelier hangs above a massive oak table that currently has eleven straight-backed chairs around it. A twelfth chair can be seen in the NE corner of the room, against the N wall. A large, paned glass window dominates the N wall. There is a deep a fireplace against the E wall and beside it, to the N, there is a large, framed oil painting. On the S wall, between the entrances from the hallway, there is a tall cabinet with paned glass doors at the top and drawers along the bottom. There is also a 15' long shelf along the W wall, and what appears to be a folding wooden screen above it that separates this room and the next one.

The cabinet displays a set of eight china place settings (75sp, 50cn each place) behind the glass. The first drawer holds a set of eight silverware place settings (50sp, 5cn each place) to go with the dishes, and the second drawer holds a table cloth (1gp, 5cn), eight napkins (1sp, 1cn each), and eight cloth place mats (2sp, 1cn each). The framed oil painting (150gp, 200cn) is 5'x3' in size and is a picture of a hydra attacking a sailing ship during a heavy storm.

7. Kitchen

This appears to be a large, well-stocked kitchen. There is a long counter along the W and part of the S wall, with pots and pans and other utensils on it or hanging on the wall above it, and a basin in the middle of it. There is also a 15' long shelf along the E wall, with what appears to be a folding wooden screen above it that separates this room and the next one. In the centre of the room, there is a large, thick, well used, wooden "butchers table", that has a block containing several sharp knives sitting on it. In the centre of the N wall there is a deep fireplace. A table and 4 chairs sit in front of the fireplace. Oddly, there appear to be two metal pipes extending between the W side of the fireplace and the W wall.

Nothing of any real interest here. If the PC's are interested in the pots, pans, cutlery and stoneware, tell them they find very several examples of plain, serviceable but very ordinary kitchen items. They could probably find just about anything you'd expect in a standard kitchen here.

The two pipes are part of Matrissa's bath water heating system. A PC who investigates the fireplace will see that the two pipes extend across its back and join on the E side to form a U-shape. There is a shut-off valve just outside the fireplace on the back-most pipe. See the Kitchen Pantry (area 8) for more details.

The basin in the counter has a drain that eventually exits, along with other basins in the manor, into the underground river of level 4.

8. Kitchen Pantry

This 10'x10' room appears to be a kitchen pantry, with a water pump near the N wall and several shelves on the S wall. Various foodstuffs can be seen on most flat surfaces. What is particularly unusual is a series of metal pipes and basins connected to the water pump. First, the pump is somewhat taller than usual, standing about 3-½' above the ground instead of the normal 2'. A circular basin surrounds the main upright pipe at about the 3' level. The basin is currently stopped and is also full of water, although it has a drain with a pipe extending from it and through the kitchen wall. This pipe is just slightly off of horizontal, so that any drained water would flow towards the kitchen. There is another pipe that enters from the kitchen just behind and slightly lower than the drainpipe, which also slopes down, but this time towards the W wall. This second pipe extends right across the N wall and then turns S at the NW corner and ends at a small metal cistern in the SW corner.

Contains standard "everyday" pantry items, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, dried herbs and spices, a couple of eggs, a loaf of bread, etc. There is a bundle of garlic in here with three unused buds still on it.

In the basin around the water pump, there is some fresh meat wrapped in waxed butchers paper and string, and a small earthenware jug containing fresh milk.

The pump produces a fairly fast stream of water, filling the basin in under a minute. However, it takes a full turns of slow pumping to fill the cistern which Matrissa accesses via a spigot in her Bathroom (area 11). The cistern is permanently attached to the S wall.

The pipe set-up through the kitchen fireplace can be used to heat the water going into the cistern by closing the shut off valve for a short time and letting the water heat before letting it continue to the cistern. To get a full tank of hot water takes two turns because of the need to start and stop the flow for heating purposes. Of course, the presence of heated pipes in a cool kitchen pantry defeats part of its purpose - keeping food from spoiling - but that fact didn't occur to Matrissa when she designed the set-up.

9. Bedroom

This is a well-appointed bedroom. A paned glass window dominates the S wall. On the W wall is a deep fireplace, and in the SW corner is a roughly L-shaped boudoir with a chair sitting in front of it and a double hinged mirror across the back of it. There is a woven cloth rug on the floor, and a large, comfortable bed against the E wall. There are side tables with one drawer each on either side of the bed. Also, in the middle of the ceiling, there is an ornate circle of engraved brass about 2' in diameter.

The brass circle (indicated on the map with dotted lines) appears to be flush to the ceiling but is actually a gong that is hanging from four supports about ½ an inch below it. Both doors to this room are automatically trapped when locked such that if the trap has not been correctly disarmed/removed before the lock is opened, a striker will begin to hit the gong. The sound will not stop unless the trap is first re-armed with the key and then properly disarmed. Note that the gong is more than 15' away from both doors so that an active silence 15' radius at the doors will NOT stop it from going off.

There is a trap door that leads into the Meditation Room (area 19) under the NW corner of the rug. The door will be obvious to anyone if the corner of the rug is lifted.

The bedside tables have a "pendant like" metal handle that dangles from a small vertical metal ring that is attached to a 1" diameter metal disk in the centre of the drawer. The drawers are not locked but are both trapped with a needle trap that does 1d6 damage and the victim must save vs. poison or fall unconscious for 1d4+2 turns. Such a victim can only be woken before this time is up by a neutralize poison spell (or other similar effect). The traps can be avoided by twisting the pendant 90° to left or right before opening the drawer. The drawer of the bedside table on the left of the bed (the W side) contains two daggers +1. The drawer to right of the bed (the E side) contains a belt pouch with 3pp, 7gp, 18sp and 11cp in it.

If Matrissa is in her bath, there is a set of fine clothes and a large key ring tossed on her bed (see Matrissa's description for more information on the key ring). If she is was in bed, the key ring will be in the same drawer as the belt pouch.

If Matrissa is disturbed while sleeping one of her first instincts will be to get her daggers from the drawer (she will never be caught by her own trap)

The drawer of the boudoir contains 10 sheets of blank parchment (1gp, 5cn each), 2 unused quill pens (5sp, 1cn each), a fresh vial of ink (1gp, 20cn when full) {there is enough ink to write 50 pages of simple text} and an empty 50 page journal (20gp, 30cn). There is a silver and ivory comb & brush set (10gp, 5cn) on top of the desk.

10. Bedroom Cupboard

There are bars along the W and E walls, carrying several articles of clothing on hangers. There are also some shelves up the S wall with some folded clothing on them. Several pairs of shoes and slippers are also on the floor underneath the shelves.

There is nothing of much interest here, except that the clothing is all either very nice quality or very sturdy in make. Most of the clothing is black although two or three items are rich colours such as burgundy and emerald green. There are 9 full sets of fine clothes (20gp, 20cn if not worn), 1 bathrobe (2gp, 10cn if not worn), 1 night-gown (2gp, 5cn if not worn), 4 extravagant silk dresses (50+gp, 30cn if not worn), 1 pair of sturdy shoes (5sp, 8cn if not worn), 2 pairs of fancy shoes (1gp, 8cn each if not worn), and 1 pair of soft slippers (2sp, 4cn if not worn). A female PC of approximately the same height and weight as Matrissa could wear any of these items. All are in good condition and it would be possible to sell them for a fair price.

If Matrissa is in her bath, the bathrobe and slippers will not be in the cupboard. If Matrissa was in her bed, there will be another set of fine clothes and another pair of sturdy shoes in the cupboard and the nightgown will not be in the cupboard.

11. Bathroom

This appears to be a bathing room. On the E wall is an indoor latrine, N of it is a small counter with a basin in it. The basin has a hole in the centre of it that can be stopped. The small counter has a drainpipe that goes into the E wall. Against the W wall, in the SW corner is a counter with two cupboard doors underneath it and a mirror on the wall above it. At the N end of the room there is a raised region with three steps leading up to it and a 5'x10' bathing tub sunk into the middle of it. A spigot comes out of N wall over the bathing tub. There are three wooden pegs on the W wall between the counter and the bathing area.

There are 3 thick, fluffy towels (2sp, 5cn each) in the cupboards under the counter, unless Matrissa is in here, when there will be two in the cupboard and one hanging on one of the wooden pegs, or if Matrissa has gone to bed, when there will be one dropped on the floor somewhere.

The metal basin sunk can be lifted out without difficulty. It can be filled from the spigot, if water has been let into the cistern (see the Kitchen Pantry (area 8) for more details). Water from the basin must be used to rinse out the indoor latrine.

The tub is 3' deep but has 1-½' high, 1' wide shelf along the S side (i.e. a place to sit). At the bottom, near the SE edge of the tub there is a drain with a stopper in it blocked. How full the tub is depends on when the PC's enter this room. If it is empty and the cistern is full, it will fill the tub up to about 2" from the top. This takes about 1-½ turns (15 minutes). It will (obviously) be full if Matrissa is having her bath. Matrissa partially fills the cistern with cold water in the early morning, so that she has water for the basin and latrine. In the late afternoon she drains it and then starts to fill it with hot water, so that it will be ready for her evening bath. Once it is filled, Matrissa will light a fire underneath it to heat the water.

The drains from the basin, the latrine and the bathing tub all eventually exit into the underground river of level 4.

If Matrissa is in her bath, there will be a pair of slippers on the floor and a bathrobe hanging on one of the wooden pegs (see Bedroom Cupboard (area 10) for details on this clothing). If Matrissa has not met the PC's before she will begin by acting indignant and requesting that the interlopers tell her just exactly what they are doing in her bathroom. She will also use a telekinesis spell to grab her bathrobe off the wall. If the PC's don't have some plausible and reasonable explanation she will immediately cast hold person, and then act accordingly. If the PC's manage to escape from this situation and Matrissa is still alive, be assured that she will not quickly forgive them their impudence.

12. Library

This room appears to be a cosy library with bookcases lining most of the walls, a big fireplace on the W wall, and a low table with two soft reading chairs.

This is Matrissa's library for regular books. The bookcases are not full, although there are a fair number of volumes in here. None of them particularly stand out and each should be worth somewhere between 40 and 200gp to the right buyer. It is left to the DM's discretion what particular books the PC's might find here.

Pushing sharply on the E part of the corner bookcase will open the secret door in the NE corner. This will release the catch and cause it to pop into the room, pivoting about the W end of the N side. Pushing it back in and releasing it slowly will cause the catch to fasten, closing it again. It opens into the Secret Stairs (area 13).

13. Secret Stairs

These stairs go down 20' to the Dungeon Landing (area 22) on level 2. The door at the top of the stairs is not secret on this side as it has a metal handle on it. To open the door a person must pull it sharply towards them, releasing the catch, and then allow the door to pop open away from them.


continued

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