A hardwood coffin, ornately decorated, lies on top of a stone table or altar.
Type: magical; Perception DC 34; Disable Device 34
Trigger touch; Reset None
Anyone opening this coffin instantly teleports to the middle of a nearby room, which is filled with barbed spikes and a few skeletons, and is physically inaccessible by means other than digging through 50 feet of solid rock. The teleported victim falls into the barbed spikes upon entry. The spiked room has no other defenses, magical or otherwise. Dimensional Coffin (Instantly teleported to room, DC 28 Reflex Save or become impaled* on a 10′ long barbed spike) Impaled (d6 bleed damage each round and slide down 1 foot. A DC 30 Climb check each round halts the sliding, while a DC 30 Climb check will move ther PC one foot up. At the top of the spike, a DC 30 Climb check is required to leave the spike, but the barb will deal an additional 1d8 damage (non-bleed) and require a DC 25 Fortitude Save to avoid losing consciousness for 1d4+1 rounds. PCs that lose consciousness take 1d6 damage falling to the floor. Alternatively, a character may forego climbing and tear himself free. This requires a DC 35 Strength check and deals damage equal to 1/2 the character’s max hit points. The character them must make a DC 15 Fortitude Save or die, and a DC 25 Fortitude Save to remain conscious. Note that any bleed damage inflicted is still in effect) After the trap it sprung, it takes 10 minutes to reset.
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Weight 5 lbs.
This small stone chalice is inscribed with strange markings of a creature breathing forth some kind of creature breathing forth a red mist. When filled with any kind of liquid (a full-round action), the contents change to what appears to be a potion of cure critical wounds and heals 4d8+9 hit points to any creature that drinks it before making a DC 20 Will save. Creatures that fail this save are cursed until they receive a regeneration spell; any time that they are made fatigued or eat food that is not bloody (a very rare stake qualifies) they must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or vomit forth blood, taking 1d4 Constitution damage.
Dhampir, vampire and vampire spawn that drink from a sanguine chalice treat its contents as a potion of inflict critical wounds and heal 4d8+9 hit points.
Magic Items any cup or chalice suitable for drinking from
A character that makes a Knowledge (religion) check to learn about the sanguine chalice identifies the following fragments of lore:
DC 15 This cup was the second calling card of Valthior the Valorous—every tavern he drank in fell silent when this cup appeared at the bar. None but he was ever seen to drink from it and after witnessing its healing properties, countless brawls were said to have broken out because of it.
DC 20 The etchings and style of carvings indicate that the item is no less than 700 years old, though they are otherworldly and difficult to discern easily.
DC 25 Last seen somewhere in the Klavek Kingdom, the thief Gallro’rk the Reckless made off with the sanguine chalice to parts unknown—the rogue was last seen entering the Underworld over a decade ago.
DC 30 An ancient horror, the Exsanguinator, is depicted on this cup. It once belonged to a noble in the terrifying daemon’s bloody court.
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Aura moderate necromancy; CL 6th
Slot none; Price 28,600 gp; Weight 10 lbs.
The head of this regal mace is covered in flowing, floral designs wrought from silver. Crimson metal caps the weapon and is wrapped around the upper haft in more noble designs and a gravitas seems to emanate from it, as though it hungers for combat.
This +1 silver heavy mace is normally just that, but in the hands of a wielder with the the undeath domain its true properties come to the fore—on a successful critical hit, the head of the weapon opens into vicious spikes that automatically succeed with a bite attack that deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The wielder gains 5 temporary hit points per point of Constitution damage dealt this way.
In the hands of a dhampir, vampire or vampire spawn, a sanguine mace automatically confirms critical hits.
A character that makes a Knowledge (religion) check to learn more about the sanguine mace reveals some of the unique weapon’s lore:
DC 10 Valthior the Valorous was a fighter of the undead and is still celebrated widely across the land. His mace felled beasts of the night and countless monsters that threatened smaller communities in the wilds.
DC 15 While a hero of the people, holy knights and paladins chased Valthior everywhere he went and this mace quickly became his calling card. It is still sought by their orders and they’ll pay a finder’s fee to anyone that locates it.
DC 20 It’s said that the sanguine mace originally belonged to a vampire king that Valthior slain singlehandedly, though the warrior is said to have disappeared decades ago in the same keep the undead lord once occupied.
DC 25 Valthior the Valorous was in fact a dhampir and is said to live still—he is believed to exist in the keep, kept there by the slain vampire king’s spirit to save the surrounding communities from tyrrany.
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, vampiric touch; Cost 14,300 gp 572 xp
Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the submission rules and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‘Armory of Adventures submission’ to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:
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When the battle is coming to a close (after 50 HD of creatures have perished and either Krev Ragata or Countess Veresovich are no more) and the floors of the chamber are bathed in the blood of the dying or fallen, the Exsanguinator finally appears! Read the following when it seems the battle against Cultus Sanguineus has reached an end:
The deranged cultists are falling before you, their corpses piling up as the floor itself becomes coated with the blood of the newly dead. As the battle begins to wain, you notice that the sloshing crimson has risen to cover your feet and is beginning to steam. Booming laughter echoes from the walls of the chamber as the blood flooding the room generates waves from nowhere before forming into an enormous creature in the center of the room.
It floats in the air with its legs crossed, instantly scrutinizing you from behind calculating, immortal eyes. Two curious horns sprout from the red flesh of its head and it wears nothing save a simple, torn yellow loincloth. You can sense its hunger immediately—whatever it is, it instinctively yearns for blood. In an instant, the gallons of it that occupied the chamber are sucked away entirely as the creature fully forms and the maniacal laughter turns into an angry battle roar!
[A Myler/Wiborg Projekt]
The paranoia and chaos reaches a fevered pitch as midnight nears before Countess Veresovich enacts the final portion of her plan—the large floor of the ballroom suddenly drops out from under the attendees of the masquerade, dumping all of them onto a steep slope that slides each into an unremarkable hewn stone chamber hundreds of feet below.
The nobles are all too cowardly to venture farther down the cavern until the party arrives, at which point all of them assure the PCs that they are clearly better suited for danger. A good thing too; the only exit from the chamber is a narrow, 200 foot long hallway that leads down a small motley of miniature bluffs inside of a larger chamber and at its end are a dozen of the Countesses’ most fanatical acolytes. They lie in ambush, waiting to massacre anyone that’s fallen into their master’s trap, filling the sloping rooms with blood that pool in the final area.
After the cultists have been bested, Countess Veresovich makes her second attack: she orders her corpse companion and a second squad of 8 acolytes to assault the party.
With the blood of the fallen acolytes spilling onto the floor, you notice this entire cavern slopes towards another chamber. Inside of the next area you can clearly see Countess Darah Veresovich—her dress gown is gone, replaced by a set of vicious looking full-plate armor. She gestures at you and screams, “Kraujas, loyal followers, attack the interlopers! Coat the walls in blood! Sate your hunger for the crimson wine and drink your fill from the fallen!”
Once the battle seems to be going the adventurers’ way, the Countess decides to use one of her last cards: she enacts the binding rituals placed to affect the Items Sanguineus, conjuring forth whomever wore the vampiric amulet, mask and cloak (under her mental control, although it is not complete).
Countess Darah takes a brief instant to survey the battle and makes a split decision, screaming, “MORTUUS VIVENS!” Wards and spiritual markings flare along the walls and roof of the ceiling in spurts that become more and more frequent before they all pop with darkness that coalesces in the center of the main cavern. In the matter of a moment, a pallid, familiar figure emerges from the inky black cloud, prominent fangs jutting from their mouth…
As the vampire appears and some of the wards around the chamber fizzle away, a second wave of acolytes pours in from behind the nobles and a true slaughter commences as the PCs fight against the leader of Cultus Sanguineus and her vampire thrall: either a fiendish Krev Ragata now with the vampire template, a Sanguineus Acolyte (use their statblock above) with the vampire template or a turned member of the party!
Blood Sucking Leech Pits
Each of the pools in the main chamber is only a few feet deep but hides a greater danger than slipping down; a DC 20 Perception check reveals that leech swarms occupy the blood ponds. These creatures have been specially prepared by Countess Veresovich and are a rare breed from exotic lands that instantly latch on to anyone that steps into one of the slough—traveling through these squares requires a DC 15 Reflex save for each 5 ft.-square entered. On a failed save, creatures are subjected to one swarm attack from the vermin as they eat their fill. Otherwise the creatures are content to stay in their confines and lap up the wave of crimson nourishment sure to pour their way.
The Battle Behind Them!
The Countesses’ grand plan has led both the nobles and the acolytes (of which, there are about 50 each) to fall into states of adrenaline borne of bloodlust, fear, magic and exotic spices. During this side encounter (which occurs in the cavern the adventurers were fist ambushed in), both sorties receive the advanced template though once the PCs engage them and their master is gone, the cultists lose their fervor and cease to be a unified force (if they were an army, they aren’t anymore and disperse: see below for details).
With Countess Darah defeated, the acolytes broken and perhaps with a few nobles left alive to tell of their deeds, the party might feel victorious as the conflict draws to a close—their moment of triumph is brief, however, as the pooled blood that now fills the main chamber begins to steam….
[Stay tuned to the AaWBlog for the FINALE of Cultus Sanguineus as the prime evil behind this debacle in Mohkba is revealed in tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday!]
Also, today’s beautiful cartography is brought to us today by Justin Andrew Mason! We cannot thank him enough and are absolutely beside ourselves to add yet another new contributor to the AaWBlog crew!
Countess Darah Veresovich first heard of the Items Sanguineus while traveling abroad—where none can say (and anyone that might have died long ago). She has since devoted her entire family’s fortune and interests to acquiring the items and has already seen the trio of items lost twice; this time she’s prepared for the contingencies and has riders ready to chase after the dispersed wondrous items as soon as she can divine their location again.
Characters who have ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (nobility) can research the Cultus Sanguineus to learn more about these individual items. When a character succeeds on a Knowledge check to do so, some of its lore is revealed (including information from the lower DC checks). The facts below are the “true” lore—the GM is free to generate false lore to tease players into searching for the items (examples of misleading histories for these items are included in each of their individual entries).
Formerly an aspiring scion to a noble family, Kasigern excelled in the politics of the clamouring royal houses, eventually eliminating his father and two older brothers to claim his ducal birthright. However, exposure to the darkest elements of magic had taken its toll on his once-fine features, leading to a very public humiliation at a grand ball.
The debacle pushed Kasigern over the edge and fully into the hands of his dark master, shunning the noble families that had cruelly mocked him at the grand event. He sought to create items that would bend every member of the social elite to his will in permanent service for eternity. However, over time, many of these items have served their fell purpose and have either been discarded or lost.
Success at DC 30 or higher reveals 1d3 credible rumours to the location of other parts of this set.
Once all three items (the amulet of the sundered heart, the cloak of the dark servant and the mask of the thirst) are assembled and worn together, a magic mouth effect speaks a spell completion phrase that activates the wearer’s transformation into a vampire.
Possession and wearing two parts of this set grants the abilities of both pieces and the use of comprehend languages as a spell-like ability three times per day and cause fear as a spell-like ability once per day. The wearer is also subjected to the Sanguine Avarice haunt.
Once the three items have been found, reunited and worn together, the final curse sets in. The enchanted items collectively discharge all of their individual powers in a swirl of necromantic energy—a necromantic version of the baleful polymorph spell, long since lost to the knowledge of mere mortals—that destroys the wearer and all he carries. At midnight, the unfortunate subject reforms into a free-willed vampire with all the knowledge, equipment and abilities of their previous life.
The actual process forces a DC 22 Fortitude save to resist the necromantic force flowing through the subject’s body, followed by a DC 22 Will save for the subject to retain their mind and skills intact. If either save is failed, the individual is permanently slain, their soul offered up to the god of undeath.
Regardless of the result of the baleful polymorph attempt, the three items immediately disperse into shadow and reappear across a region that includes one or more cities with well-established noble families.
Wherever the mask of the thirst appears a blood thirst box trap is conjured around it, the amulet of the sundered heart is found near a sanguineus mirror trap, and blood sconces manifest wherever the cloak of the dark servant travels to.
[Submitted by Jonathan Ely]
[Edited by Mike Myler]