[VotE] A Cave of Bones & Coins

What goes up, must come down. Everything you drop will hit some surface at some point, even if it does so FAR out of sight. People tend to throw things they do not want ever see again down large holds. Every whole has a ground. The Veins of the Earth are pretty close to rock bottom. Welcome to the Cave of Bones and Coins.

CrosssectionThe cave is about 20 to 22 feet in diameter at its widest point, something close to 12 or 14 feet at its bottom, and it is something more than 30 feet from ground to ceiling. The walls decline sharply towards the bottom, and curve up to the ceiling

The entry and the largest exit are close to another and roughly at the same height, located at two and three on a clock. Said exist is about 7 feet in height, a wide enough for a man to walk through comfortable, but not wide enough to stretch out the arms completely. Small irregular ledge, not wide enough to walk on safely, leads along the cave wall at its widest point, and provides a good foot hold to get from the entry to the largest exist.TopviewHalfway down to the bottom, there is another exit about eight a clock , a crawl  that is between 3 and 4 feet across. A wide hole gabs roughly in the center of the ceiling, about 5 feet in diameter.

The bottom of the cave is littered with decaying bones and the rotting remains of clothes. There is not one intact skeleton to be seen, the bones are all scattered.

Climbing: Going around the ledge is not easy. No matter how long a character studies the route, the difficulty will not drop below 4 in 6. Climbing down the slope between widest point and the bottom or up the wall to the hole in the ceiling are slope, hard or very hard climbs respectively, according to the rules found on p. 212 ff. found in VotE.

Characters that Search the bottom will find mummified or rotten, non-skeletal human body parts or pieces. Nothing of this counts as food (but for the few worms, centipedes and mold found down there). With a successful test, the characters will discover run up and strangely bend silver coins among the detritus. A total of 1d4 x12 sp may be gathered here, 3d6 will be found with every successful Search test.

This Veins cave became the bottom of dried-out well, at the edge of a small community in the world above. The well is there known as the witch well. As it wend dry, the by-then village first hunted down the witch responsible for this blight before they dug up a new well. They threw her down the well, along with two pieces of silver “for the ferryman” (in accordance to an old, heathen practice), so that her soul could not return to trouble them. To this day, the bodies of murders, accused witches, feared-to-be-vampires, plaque victims etc. are thrown down the well, together with two pieces of silver, so that they may not rise from their graves to plague them again. Would the characters manage to climb up to the whole in the ceiling and then master the feat of climbing up about 1,000 feet (which is the distance of the unnatural link of this place in the Veins to the world above), they would climb out at the witch-well, at the fringe of community. If they would be spotted doing so, a panicked mob would soon try to hunt them down, shove them back from where they came from, and seal the well with a millstone.

 

Possible Encounters:

#1: The restless ghost of a witch that is willing to teach them a spell if they pick up -her- bones, grind them to flakes and throw them into the next underground river, so that her spirit has a chance to be carried out of here at some day before Gehenna. The ghost may also threaten to curse the characters if they do not comply.

#2: A lingering smell of blood leads to a corpse that is only a day old and thereby rather edible if prepared with fire. It is not complete, as it did burst open and came apart on intact. Still, edible limbs and chunks may be found in the pit.

#3: A Fossil Vampire may be hiding under all the other bones, waiting patiently for years for the next corpse to be dropped.

#4: A lone Cambriman sits in the pit and fumbles around with the bones. It forgot how to climb out of it, but will remember how to do so when it sees the characters climb up or down. It will then follow the group (roll for a random reaction).

#5: One of the desiccated is rather intact… and turns out to be a Panic Attack Jack.

#6: The remains at the bottom are possessed by the souls of the dead. They will only animate when a character that came down to them tries to get out of the pit again. They will not attack (and become dormant again) when the character stops any attempt to leave the pit. Taking ALL the silver coins out of the pit will have the ghastly remains animate as well… but they will not care for the characters (unless they attack them), but crawl up the walls, all the way up to the hole in the ceiling, all the way up community above…

 

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