The sewers of many cities serve as a de facto underground highway replete with services, hideouts, and in some cases, permanent establishments built over decades or even centuries—this is not the case for the sewers of Drak’kal in the Klavek Kingdom’s Three Sisters.
Originally built as a means to dispose of the settlement’s waste, much of the sewers changed during the last flood cycle. As the river rose, party of the rudimentary tunnels and passages were destroyed, inundating sections of the city with river water, raw sewage, debris, and rats. Other things were unearthed by the heightening tide, however; gems, coins, and even some minor magical items, spirited away from secret hiding places. Now that the waters have receded, treasure hunters descend into the sewers daily, hoping to locate the goods from the stashes of the various shady organizations that called these places home.
Abandoned Cache: There is a 20% chance that an abandoned cache has not yet been pilfered by other treasure hunters. These hidden locations require a DC 20 Perception check to spot and when they have not yet been purloined, contain a random minor wondrous item, 10d20 gold coins, or 20d20 gold worth of gems. Flooded Passageway: These tunnels are not entirely filled with water, but they are knee-high with it. Creatures without a swim speed treat flooded passageways as difficult terrain, and Small-sized creatures must succeed on DC 10 Acrobatics checks to stay balanced each turn they move more than their base speed. Rubble Passageway: Construction always requires the moving about of materials and these tunnels are the on-site location to dump unwanted stone. All creatures treat rubble passageway as difficult terrain. Submerged Passageway: Far and away the most hazardous of the passageways underneath Drak’kal, these tunnels are filled with both water and debris. Simultaneous DC 18 Escape Artist and Swim checks are required for a creature to move its speed through a submerged passageway and while swimming through these squares, creatures can only hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution modifier as stones and rocks push against them.
The destroyed sections are being rebuilt and steps are being taken to prevent future flooding by building diversions and flow control mechanisms around the sewer’s exits into the Serpent’s Tail River. Unfortunately, while these improvements have considerably lessened the effects of flooding, they have—in some cases—created navigational hazards on the waterway.
Keen to their use as a refuge for illicit or stolen goods, Tatiana the Moon Priestess has ensured that any new construction is devoid of exploitable nooks and crannies. When the ne’er-do-wells returned to the sewers, they found that to secure a hiding place now requires delving deeper into the subterranean tunnels beneath Drak’kal. While more efficient at preventing floods, newly constructed sections have become useless for subterfuge as they are large and somewhat easy to traverse. In response, other avenues to and from the river have been created to foster illicit activity, and the wide passages nearest the river are now all but abandoned.
Even though the waters around these outlets from the sewers are often treacherous with eddies, back currents, and debris, they generally are not too dangerous for moderately experienced crews in non-inclement weather. However, one such outlet from the sewers has recently claimed two barges loaded with expensive goods.
The experienced crews that manned those two barges did so last on a bright, sunny, and almost windless day. No one is quite sure what happened to them—all of the crew, to a man, drowned in the river after the vessels struck an unexpected something in the water and sank. There were a few witnesses who saw the sailors take on a dazed look, leaving their ships to drift into the stone archways leading into the sewers where they quickly sank. Some of the wilder reports claim that just before going down, rats overran the barges seemingly at the behest of a strangely attired monkey, though conveniently, both the rodents and their primate ringmaster quickly disappeared back beneath Drak’kal not long after.
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