Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cathedral of Tittivilla Tricephalous, Mother of the Caring Flesh.

In my instance of Vornheim, there was a cathedral dedicated to Tittivilla as the three headed mother of the caring flesh. In this aspect Tittivilla nurture all living things and the cathedral have become of refuge for abandoned and wounded humans and animals. 

The cathedral's architecture feature a lot of round or organic shapes. (Like the Gaudi Cathedral). 

The cult of the caring flesh is a cult of healing, but it also have it share of secrets and unsettling mysteries.
Some of those secrets can turn the cathedral into a dungeon. 

"Care for the Flesh and the Flesh will care for you." 

  1. Gateway: gigantic animal statues frame the main gateway. The words "Care for the Flesh and the Flesh will care for you" is engraved at the base of one of the statues. 
  2. Aisle (a pair of walkways that are parallel to the primary public spaces in the church): helped by his son, a mute stone mason is doing repair work. His face and neck have been torn out by animals bites and claws, his scars are not easy to look on. The stonemason and his son know many architectural secrets. 
  3. Ambulatory (curved aisle around the choir): some people waiting to pray at the radiating chapels sleep here. A young woman who camp there craft fertility charms. She sell her charms and pray all day for her mother. She is quite enterprening and can offer to craft (make up) adventuring charms if she understand that the PCs are adventurers. (She may join the group as a torchbearer if the group promise to cure her mother) (Her mother hate churches and don't want to come here).   
  4. Apse (the end of the building opposite the main entry): Multiple statues of martyred animals pierced by arrows and swords. Small offerings are tied to the arrows & blades. 
  5. Buttress (Large stone pier holding the roof vaults in place): the stone pier is decorated with horned and animal headed sculptures. Many birds have made their nest there. Something glint in one of the nests.  
  6. Cathedra (the healing mother chapel): the cathedra have been turned into a infirmary and into a operating room. A engraved operation table that look like altar replace the bishop chair. The floor is tainted with blood but seem to drink it after a while. A statue of Tittivilla weep healing tears when the moon is full.   
  7. Choir (the part of the church beyond the transept): the choir is decorated with images of animals singing with humans. One of the images show a strange crow-headed man singing in a sinister location. Sometime a fat painter come to paint new images. But he is often too drunk to do so and hang out it the nave. His work of late is becoming darker and tormented, he drink to forget the nightmares that inspire them. (He receive nightmare from the crow in room 37).   
  8. Nave (the primary area of public observance of the Mass): the nave is busy with animals and sick or homeless people. There is always some nuns or other followers of Tittivilla working here. 
  9. Radiating Chapels (located around the Apse of the church, accessible from the Ambulatory): 3 small chapels, each one is dedicatet to a head of Tittivilla Tricephalous. Praying 3 days at each chapels grant a minor blessing. 
  10. Transept (sometimes called the ‘Crossing’, the transept forms wings at right angles to the nave): round stained glass windows decorate the transept. Blue gynosphynx and other women-headed animals are depicted. Some are reading scriptures and others are having sex.  
  11. Cloister (a open space surrounded by covered walks): the cloister is round shaped and covered by a open dome. Plants and flowers grow wildly and many animals like to hang out here. A youth noble tightly holding a box often come there alone. The box is locked and contain the relics of his devoted sisters and her dog.   
  12. Fountains: three small fountains with donation coins in them. The animals often come to drink here. Once in a while a novice come to collect the coins. The halfling nun of room #17 steal a coin each time she pass there.  
  13. Refectory: the refectory is reserved for the nuns but some animals come there. The animals sit at the table like people. 
  14. Kitchen:  the cook is a travelling & adventuring nun who settled down for some time. She have a foreigner accent and she is very healthy and her energy is quite contagious. She is a low level cleric with a high constitution. If the party ask her to join them, she will be very tempted to go. 
  15. Nuns' cells: the simple bedroom for the nuns. The nuns are very busy, there is 1 chance on a d6 to find one in her cell. Some of the nuns are having strange nightmares that leave them angry for unknown reasons. One nun is fearing for her safety and have hidden her brother's swords in her cell (her brother is in the city guard). 
  16. The Mother Superior Room: The healing mother is a tireless and headstrong woman. She is also a talented healer. She managed to trap the crow headed demon that haunt Vornheim into a living crow hold in room #37. But she fear that the demon will be able to escape when the raven will die of old age. She hope to find the location of the Immortal Zoo of Ping Feng to move the raven there to forever trap the demon in the body of the crow. The mother superior keep a locked personal journal (with a curse of animal tongue in it). 
  17. The halfling nun's cell: this friendly halfling nun is a talented nurse and a cultist of the Crow headed demon. She is scheming to find a way to break the spell that hold her master in the room #37. She hope to find a way that would let her release her maser without releasing it beastly raging curse. (Maybe she is starting to care about the cathedral or maybe she fear she won't be able to ask a favor if her master become a savage wave of rage.) She hide a hooked dagger and a vial of poison in her cell. 
  18. Storehouses: lot of stuff, plenty of food for both humans and animals. a failed rat catcher apprentice work here. He stole a rats charming flute before being throw out of the rat catcher guild. He like to carve small wood boats and dream of leaving the city through the under river (with one of the stables nuns). He tried to craft his own rats charming flutes, but failed. 
  19. Stables: horses and some unusual riding animals rest here. 3 joyful novices nuns take care of the riding animals and often talk with them. 
  20. Towers: animal shaped towers that connect with the upper levels of the cathedral. Each tower is dedicated to a donor family who paid for the construction of the cathedral. (Each family have a patron animal).   
  21. Bridges: bridge link some of the towers and some of the upper rooms together. One bridge have a observatory alcove. The alcove is decorated with engraved birds holding roses in their beak. Recovering granary cats like to hang out here. On the ground there is a mosaic representing a bird decorated map of the city.  
  22. Library: the library is in fact a snake shelter. Snakes freely move through 3 snake readers. Transcriptions of scriptures, medicinal books, bestiary and monsters compendiums can be found here. One of the scriptures is about the unsettling aspects of the caring flesh cult. 
  23. First aid room: a secondary first aid room. One of the patient is a wounded squire who lost his job after being trampled by his master's horse. He have a good dexterity score and he is looking for a new master to serve (if he recover). One of the nun sometime have sex with the patients here.   
  24. Garden: a roof garden sheltered under a open dome. Medicinal herbs are grown here. A holy rod is locked in a alcove. The rod is made of 3 snakes that end in a crown of 3 horns tainted with animal and human blood. The rod is believe to enhance the healing proprieties of the medicinal plants.     
  25. Bath: communal baths for the nuns. The place is eerily quiet. Some recovering animals like to rest here. There is a 1 on a d6 chance that one or two nuns are bathing here. Some nuns have weird animal telltales (like small patches of animal anatomy). 
  26. Animal shelter: this area once had other functions, now animals rest here. (d6: 1 a giant snow bat, 2 a flock of puffins, 3 a lone anteater, 4 a couple of giant badgers, 5 a three legged but curious deer, 6 a tired old fighting bear.
  27. Slow animals refuge: a refuge for a abandoned slow animals. The new resident is a (d6: 1 lobster, 2 tortoise, 3 snail, 4 sloth, 5 loris, 6 blue boa constrictor). A exiled (but low born) snow elf maiden take care of the animals. She know rumors about the nobles that abandoned their slow pets. 
  28. Granary cat refuge: a old white haired woman take care of the wounded granary cats. She make cat milk potions and craft cat charms & cursed items. Each items are both charmed and cursed. Charms d10: 1 cat's senses, 2 climbing, 3 good fortune, 4 love potion, 5 danger sense, 6 cold resistance, 7 feather fall (land on your feet), 8 speak with cats, 9 fertility, 10 stealth. Curses d10: 1 cleanliness addiction, 2 sex addiction & over fertility, 3 always hungry, 4 always sleepy, 5 super nervous danger sense, 7 vomiting undead mouses, 8 cats speak, but cats hate you, 9 bad luck, 10 hard to hide cat traits.   
  29. Retired fighting dogs refuge: a middle aged ex-gladiator and his gentle sighthound-headed assistant take care of the wounded (& retired) fighting dogs. Those dogs are really badly wounded. Many won't make it. A old one eyed ex-champion dog take a liking of the group and follow them around. 
  30. Shelter for the victims of the animal's head curse: some people in Vornheim wake up with a animal head. This started with the fighting dog arena cursing the people who din't pay their debt with a dog head. But the curse have taken a life on it own and is now striking random people with random animal's head. Those cursed can't speak any human languages and are shunned by society. Some people fear that they are contagious and they are often treated like lepers. A two headed cursed victim may be willing to follow the adventurers as a henchman.   
  31. Guess rooms: some possible guess d6: 1 the trouble making adventuring brother of one of the senior nun, 2 a noble who is a follower of Tittivilla from a distant city, 3 priestess from a other Tittivilla or animal cult, 4 a knight who want to adopt one of the strange riding animals, 5 a rich man who believe he is hosting salamanders in his body, 6 a troupe of travelling entertainers whit their animals.       
  32. The wild woman's room: after the last Day of Wolves festival, the nuns have found a amnesiac wild women in the streets near the cathedral. She is not mute, but she don't like to talk with people. Her moods influence the animals around her. If she join the group, she will slowly recover memories that will lead her to the lair of Thorn, the witch who rule over wild animals (one of the three witches). 
  33. Shrine of Tittivilla Tricephalous: a impressive idol of Tittivilla Tricephalous throne in this chapel. Two well crafted chains are fixed at the base of the giant statue. Those chains serve during some rituals that bind animals and humans with the caring flesh. A staff of control animals rest in the open hands of the idol. This staff is quite powerful but also very dangerous to use and can break the mind and the body of it wielder. The staf his decorated with many animals paws and human hands holding each other. 
  34. Oracle of the caring flesh: a humble chapel that remind a natural cave hold a small divining pool. Blood dripping from the ceiling turn into the fleshy translucent oil that fill the pool. The nuns use this pool to communicate with the caring flesh here. The flesh don't speak in words. There is 1 chance on a d6 that the oracle of the caring flesh is present. She is the nun who take care of the caring flesh pool. She have fleshy translucent eyes. She is dreamy but friendly and like to talk about the mysteries of the flesh. She also take care of the pet cemetery crypt in #38. The oil in the pool grant visions and grant sometime clerical spells. It can also be drank and have the effect of a potent but very unstable potion of regeneration (you must be very desperate to try this).
  35. Bleeding house: special praying cells for the nuns having their periods. Each cell contain a different praying statue. There is 2 chances on a d6 that a nun is praying or meditating in one of the cells.
  36. Charms workshop: a small workshop were charms and scrolls of protections are crafted. The workshop contain animal components, a charm against were creatures and some random scrolls of protection in a locked tabernacle. A work in progress charm of protection is twisted in a bad way and risk of transforming some body parts of the user. There is a unfinished bird cage on the same working table. There is also a book about how flesh bodies are cages for souls, a book about warding bad spirits and a scroll about crafting a cages of virtue. There is 1 chance of a d6 that charm crafting nun is present. She is sick and is coughing dark bile, the demon traped in the crow is slowly killing her. 
  37. Warded room: situated in the upper level of the cathedral, this locked windowless room contain only three candles made of the oracle pool's oil and a brass & copper bird cage holding a large crow. The gem is quite precious (a adventure worthy treasure) but removing it will free the demon contained in the crow. If the cage is open a crow-headed man shadow wearing a hooded cape and wielding a hooked sword will escape from the crow. The shadow will then explode into a torrent of misshapen shadow crows that will flood the cathedral. The shadows possess anyone they touch and turn them into beastly frenzied murderers. As a reward for freeing it, the thankful demon will spare the PCs (or anyone one else freeing it).  
  38. Pet cemetery crypt: set under the cathedral, the pet cemetery hold the remains of the animals that the nuns fail to save. Many of them are not quite dead as their flesh still try to take care of them. Since the flesh is failing to heal the dead animals, she is quite touchy and angry, but she never leave the crypt. On a good reaction roll the flesh wont attack friendly visitors. Followers of Tittivilla get a bonus to their reaction test. A second demon container crow rest in the crypt. But this crow died and the flesh is still trying to repair it. If the demon is set free, maybe there is a way to trap the raging demonic wave in it. Also on a other note, it is possible that after some traumatic events, that the flesh want to take care of everyone (this is probably not a good thing). 
Note: the 1 chance on a d6 to encounter nuns in some locations is for the busy hours. Depending of the time or of the day you can augment the chances or make a automatic encounter.

Random encounters: 
  1. Group of nuns or a random character of the cathedral. 
  2. A lone nun.
  3. Wandering animals (size d6: 1-2 smalls, 3-5 medium, 6 large) (can be nervous because of the dark influence of the crow demon). 
  4. A cursed head victim (can be in crisis because of their condition).
  5. Spy, thief or a trouble maker (looking for something or someone). 
  6. The wild girl (she often wander around, but she can be in crisis if troubled by her memories). 
Random characters:
  1. The stonemason.
  2. The stonemason's son.
  3. The fertility charms selling girl. 
  4. The fat painter. 
  5. The young noble with his box.
  6. The trampled squire. 
  7. The sex loving nurse. 
  8. The halfling cultist nurse.
  9. The old granaries cats lady.
  10. The snow elf who take care of the slow pets.
  11. The ex-gladiator who take care of the fighting dogs.
  12. The sighthound assistant.
  13. The old one eyed fighting dog champion.
  14. The failed ratcatcher apprentice.
  15. One of the stables nuns. 
  16. A guess of the guess rooms.
  17. The two headed curse victim. 
  18. The sick charms crafting nun.
  19. The oracle of the caring flesh.  
  20. The Mother Superior.
Random encounter after the wave of shadow crows is release: 
  1. Pack of frenzied murdering nuns or a frenzied character of the cathedral.
  2. Lone & scared nun (spared by the wave). 
  3. Raging & flesh hungry animals. (size d6: 1-2 smalls, 3-5 medium, 6 large)
  4. Cursed head victim going mad and sprouting new heads.
  5. Possessed victim turned into a beaked demon with hooked claws. 
  6. Werewolf (maybe this is the possessed wild girl). 
(Note: the Cathedral is not exactly constructed like this)

1 comment:

  1. The classic trick is to let the players freely visit the cathedral to let them get to know the various NPC, then to unleash the demonic wave of rage to turn the know NPC into monsters. Naturally it better if the PCs doom the cathedral, but it ok if other forces do it for them while they are visiting.