There is a gouge in the earth south of the Lord's Tits, the two hills which house the Church of the Claw and the Pit of Demise. Here the ground falls away and plunges almost two-hundred feet, down there you can see the ruins of an older city. Tumbled down towers, broken houses of old stone, cracked church spires, and flooded promenades fill the valley. And a swamp fills its center. You can see dense trees spanning the thick purple swamp that stretches almost from the northern cliff-face to the south. Ruins even jut from the water. Also there is a high tooth of land, upon which is crouched a small fortress. This is Two Fang Castle, where lives Malric Godson, Lord of the Lower Citadel, and his family and retinue.
It is said that the holy waters from the Radiant Chalice flow endlessly, but the water that ends up in the Lower Citadel has been poisoned somehow. You cannot drink it or swim in it. Maybe the deathrot curse of Liofnir, Lord of Death, has pooled in the water, for many beings afflicted by deathrot gather in the Lower Citadel. Small crocodiles, blighted frogs hungry for curse, three-legged crows, and other creatures made unrecognizable by the curse dwell here. But also the Tarnished are drawn to the Lower Citadel. At night the screams of the Tarnished can be heard all throughout the empty streets. Uncivilized people dwell in the poisoned swamp too, Poison Nomads, who are hunted by the militiamen of Lord Godson, the cursed beasts, and the mindless witches alike.
There is also a coven here. It is well known that a plague of witches has been spreading in the Lower Citadel since ages past. There are shrieking, laughing, naked women with no civilization or culture. They sleep in the daytime in piles in the ruined rooftops, and fly up in clouds to pull down any mages foolish enough to pass through the skies over the Lower Citadel. They can conjure fire and paralyze with a touch, and when the Golden Order has tried to exterminate them, those slain are reborn by a being called the Many-Mother, who dwells somewhere in the swamp.
Her nature is unknown. Those who have laid eyes on her speak of her budding arms, from which her children drop like fruit. There are older gods that once ruled in this old city, who were slain or driven underground by Vellisex and his Golden Order. It is said that Murgo's corpse wanders in the Shade Sanctum which stretches far underneath the Goldenwood. West of Two Fang Castle, at the furthest west point of the Lower Citadel, is an old cathedral, the Exiled Church, once dedicated to the Flame, which was Beheaded. But the cursed abominations throughout the city whisper the truth -- there are, in fact, two Exiled Churches, and one is buried far below the other, where the poison of the city pools deeply, and it is there that Gut-warp the Abomination holds her heretical mass...
THE POISON WATER
If you swim in the water or fall in or wade in it, make an easy saving throw to resist disease. Every round you remain immersed, the saving throw becomes more difficult. When you fail, you become poisoned. Your speed is halved, and you take two points of damage at the start of each turn.
THE DEATHROT CURSE
The plague spread by Liofnir, Lord of Death.
Those afflicted with the deathrot can spread it like a disease. If you are damaged by a diseased being, or even come into close proximity with one, make a difficult saving throw to resist disease. When you fail, you are afflicted with the deathrot, and take 2d8 damage at the start of each turn until you reach one hitpoint. Those afflicted with the deathrot are also contagious.
Some creatures have adapted to live with the curse. Their breath and touch are cursed, and if they touch or damage you, they may cause you to gain stacks of the deathrot curse, typically one, but sometimes as many as four. An additional saving throw is typically not allowed. These cause no effect until you reach ten stacks of the deathrot curse, at which point you instantly die as your body rots apart.
In either of its forms, it can be removed as either a curse or a disease.
SOME ENCOUNTERS IN THE LOWER CITADEL
1. Team of outriders from Two-Fang Castle in boats made of painted bark with painted eyes that see invisibility. They are hunting for tumorous growths within creatures afflicted with rot (humans too)
2. 3d10 witches, cackling, flying, swooping, their touch causes paralysis, they shoot fireballs, they are resurrected by the power of the Many-Mother, thus they are careless of their lives, basically kamikazes having lots of fun
3. Giant curse-frogs which eat those afflicted with deathrot, they breathe poison/curse combo
- Some cursed try to be eaten by these frogs because they believe it will save their souls from Liofnir
- They remain living in the upper gullets of the frogs, and the frogs use them to lure
4. Rot hunters from Two-Fang castle on foot, more careful and sneaky, wearing hoods with blackened tassles
- “Wax candies” made from refined human fat that inflict a minor poison but greatly improves hearing and vision
- Surgical implements and wax lined bags containing still-wet tumors
- Blowdarts cause sleep and memory loss (if woken up, severe disorientation)
- Tongs, clamps, restraints
5. Curse-laden Idol: A black idol in the shape of a jolly man, worshipped by cursed creatures mangled almost beyond recognition; anyone afflicted with the deathrot can stave off death by worshipping at its breast (it is said to represent Liofnir’s great embrace)
6. A black ram that walks through the air, an undead monkey clings to it, a scout for the witches
7. Lord Agrocot, a nobleman from the upper citadel, escorted by two grafted knights (four arms) and 10 men-at-arms, they are seeking a sacred prostitute who is said to be able to lift a man's sin, and he has with him his wife in a carriage on animated legs.
A ruined church in a pool of clear and pure water. A great tree grows out of its roof. The buildings surrounding the church and the tree have hundreds of curious bark figurines pressed to them. They are flat and plainly cut, but if you approach or disturb the bark figures they rise in a fluttering swarm which make a sound in the air like laughter and plunge into your flesh.
Inside the church is a statue of a woman holding five infant sons. A thick carpet of moss covers the church floor. There is a natural basin of water at the woman's feet, inside is a medallion depicting a naked man embracing a bat. You can use it twice a day to give yourself an extra half-action.
If you pray at the statue, you are healed of your wounds.
From a far distance you can see a pink light shining in the top window of a house. When you get close, you can see it is an unruined house, and its windows are leaden and opaque, but the top window has an image of a belltower incised into it, through which the pink light glows.
If you knock, a great knight in corroded armor answers the door. His name is Ser Caradoc, and he does not speak. You may be able to talk your way in and speak with the lady of the house. She is attractive and perfumed and speaks well and she is expecting the company of Lord Agrocot. Players without morals may be able to trick her into providing them company. She takes the sins of those she sleeps with and sends them to Voyra of the Hidden Ways, but as the way to Voyra is lost, the sins will be lost also.
THE THREE SISTERS
Three bell-towers at the north edge of the district. Crumbled stairs climb their exterior, they are broken in many places. Thick chains lead between the towers, you can climb them if you are careful. It is said that if you ring all three bells at the same time, something happens...
The north tower has a chain that leads to a doorway into the cliff-face. Here is the entrance to the Shade Sanctum, known to some as the Utter Dark.
Deep within the swamp, you may come across an intact stone house. The windows are broken, a cold, damp smell comes from within.
On the first floor is a ruined dining room, a corpse covered in moss lies near the table. His body is mangled. In the kitchen is a silver knife. Stairs lead down to a flooded cellar.
On the second floor, spots of black mold can be seen on the walls. There is liquor in the bedroom. A bathroom has a cracked mirror and an alligator in the bathtub.
The stairs to the third floor have rotted away. But you can see the black mold grows thick like a fur on the walls up there, and there is a rotting stench...
TWO FANG CASTLE
This hasn't been fully explored, but picture an old, old fortress, which predates the family that lives within it. It is decorated with an emblazoned lion, covered with the golden banners of Vellisex. But Malric Godson has no love for Vellisex or the Golden Order.
A lift brings you up from the swamp to the main gate of the castle. Inside, the courtyard is flooded, but this water is pure, and stone walkways lie just under the water and allow the inhabitants to walk. A giant frog monster lives in the water (is it friendly...?). There are docks, where the castle keeps its boats.
House Godson lives in the main keep, which is too big for them. It is squat, ugly, and cold, with narrow, low-ceilinged hallways. Malric Godson is a large, blunt, hairy, hostile man. His wife, Viola Godson, is shrill and untrusting. Their wizard, the Poison Sorcerer Lockley, is reported to be searching for a cure for the deathrot, he is gathering curse-laden tumors from the bodies of the afflicted. They have a young son and a daughter.
They can tell you that they believe the Many-Mother is connected to a gnarled tree-stump to the south of the castle.
In the East Tower is housed the barracks, where the militia-men and rot hunters live, as well as their families. This is a more comfortable and warm tower, there is plenty of food and light. Three young orphans here are brave explorers, and know the way to many secret places in the castle, if you befriend them.
The West Tower is said to be haunted, and is entirely boarded up.
No one is allowed into the castle dungeons, but there is said to be a secret entrance at the base of the castle cliff, hidden behind thick thornbushes.
THE TREE OF THE MANY-MOTHER
A muddy stretch of land amidst the swamp. At its center grows a great tree-stump whose tangled roots form a hollow you can walk into. A white lily grows there in the darkness. If you stand in the hollow and look west, the trees that grow there have the appearance of hands reaching towards the sky.
Ruined buildings jut from the water around the island. If you peek inside, you can see they are full of witches, sleeping in piles.
At nightfall, crowds of frogs, lizards, and small alligators crawl from the swamp and gaze inward toward the stump. Thousands of them and their croaking intensifies into a discordant song. As the sun is pulled down under the western horizon by the trees' reaching hands a the black ram appears from the sky and steps lightly toward the tree stump. From the earth in the hollow crawls out an aged woman, blind, she is covered in dirt, and she pulls herself onto the ram's back. She reaches up, her arms bloom in profusion, a crown can be seen on her trunk where her head had been a moment ago.
Her arms begin to fruit, here is where the witches are born.
THE EXILED CHURCH
From a distance, it appears to be a great cathedral decorated with grotesque frog-like gargoyles. The water of the swamp pours underneath its stones. Its doors are shut, but a ruined highway leads from Two Fang Castle to the church. The inhabitants of the castle can tell you the church is one of the oldest structures in the city, and that for a time, Vellisex was worshipped there. But now the gates are shut, and no one goes within.