17.17 Desecrated Monastery
From Wolves Upon the Coast Grand Campaign
Within the woods an L-shaped ruin which has not been allowed to fall. Stones, cracked, filled with roots and seeking tendrils - ivy choked. Beneath the heavy cloak of green a monastery stands, yellow and black flowers blooming on the roof and tower. Nailed to the front door is a skeleton, a sunflower blooming from the left eye-socket. Ivy tumbles out of its mouth.
Within, pollen swirls year round - motes clustered and visible to the naked eye. The coat of vegetation reduces light to a distant glow. Between mouldering heaps of debris, many somethings crawl - disembodied tongues, turned to leather over the years. If presented the opportunity, they will seek a new mouth, piling in one after the other. First, the jaw breaks - the tongue is the strongest muscle, pound for pound - and then the victim suffocates, the tongues crawling and seeking.
Those spending more than a minute inside must make a Physique save - the pollen is a soporific. Those failing stumble, crushed by the need to sleep. A fine cloth mask is enough to stop the pollen’s effect. Those succeeding are drowsy, but otherwise unaffected.
Stepping through the ruin, the devastation is total - the building should have collapsed. Huge amounts of damage to the walls is obvious. All furniture is ruined, and no religious icons are left unspoiled.
Around the bend of the structure, the devastation intensifies - huge gouges are carved out of the stone. Atop an altar, a body, naked, still robed in flesh - untouched by time. They have been covered in brands of the cross. A circlet of gold set with rubies rests upon their brow, carved in Ghom. It reads:
“THE HAND TURNS TO STRIKE ITSELF
IT CAN ONLY BE SAID WE HAVE WAITED
WHILST ALBANN IS CAST IN A NET OF ROADS
AND CROSSES. THE FIRST TAKEN, THE LAST
AND THE MARTYR OF ONTHLOUG HENCEFORTH.”
It is worth 3000sp. If removed, the eyes of the body open, as does the mouth - revealing eight tongues. Muscle and bone audibly warp, the figure tripling in size as it stands, the eight tongues hanging ever longer. The arms and legs elongate yet further as it runs upon all fours, a dire mimicry of a hound at hunt. Its left eye burns with a dire yellow light. It will pursue until all who have touched the crown are dead, then returning to the ruin. It will not leave Moerheb Weald in this hunt, but will patrol the forest thereafter.
HD 8* / AC as Chain / Damage 1d6+1+Special
Any strike with a rolled result of 16+ indicates a successful grapple with a tongue. All strikes against entangled targets are automatically successful. A tongue takes 4 damage to sever - damage dealt to tongues does not count against the creature. Tongues regrow over days.