Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Minidungeon: The Lighthouse on the Spur.

Blake Rottinger


A lighthouse on a spur of rock. Clean. Whitewashed. Attached to land by a sliver of beach that goes under when the tide comes in. The old trading post sits on the land side of the sand bridge. The village is over the hill to the north.


Pouring rain, cold and driving. The trading post bears dark windows. A pole with distances and directions to faraway lands leans crookedly out in front. There is a standing bear carved of a single piece of wood. The door is locked.

What's unusual about the Trading Post?

  1. Nothing. Bare boards and empty cupboards. It looks like nothing has ever been stocked here.
  2. A foreigner in the cellar, chained to a support beam. Beside him is chained a corpse.
  3. A hastily-abandoned campsite. Military, by the look of the gear they left behind.
  4. Bricks of contraband tea. Many, many, many bricks of contraband tea.
  5. A hexagram burnt into the floor, surrounded by goat skulls.
  6. Misshapen blobs of flesh and hair, pulsating, humming.
  7. Forests of nails have been driven into every flat surface.
  8. It is a tropical jungle inside, centered on an embryo in amber.

The Keeper

A young, bespectacled man. Arrived only a few months back. Educated, solitary. Has admirers among the young women in town. Has been dead 1-2 days.

What happened to the Keeper?

  1. Hanging from the stairwell (F1)
  2. Collapsed at his desk, starved (F2)
  3. A nibbled and worried corpse, has lantern and rope with him (Cellar)
  4. Gone. Large bloodstain on floor (F1)
  5. Fried to a crisp. There is a crack in the lamp (Roof)
  6. Mangled in the rocks, impaled. Visible only at low tide (Spur)
  7. Died in his bed (F2, save vs contagious disease)
  8. Head smashed in (Cave)

Something Special

  1. Letters from his lover in the city, hidden in a book (F2 bookcase) 
  2. Dabbles in photography (Equipment in cellar)
  3. A clutch of salamander eggs in the hearth (F1)
  4. Taxidermied fish: large, fanged tropical, contains random spell (F2)
  5. Collection of tent revival pamphlets (F1)
  6. Ivory-handled pistol. "RG" carved in grip. (F1)
  7. Scrimshaw chess set, white demons and black angels. White is one move from reaching checkmate. (F1) 
  8. A map of the Eclipsed Sea (F2)

The Caves beneath the Cellar

Tight and coiling passages carved away by the drip drip drip of seawater. Lined with flesh-tearing cave-barnacles.

What is found in the Caves?

  1. A corroded skeleton, clutching a rusting heirloom sword.
  2. A locked treasure chest, too big to squeeze through the gaps.
  3. Glass bottles, all filled with messages.
  4. Sigils of chaos, carved into the walls, screaming back the sins of passersby.
  5. Carpets of red velvet worms.
  6. An oil lamp on a hook, burning bright violet.
  7. Distant, chittering laughter. High-pitched mutters of "Bebbyzyx is looking for shinies."
  8. Explosive glow-worms.

The Oracle

Something akin to a mermaid, living in the pool at the center of the caves. Slippery skin and wide eyes, gaping mouth and bloodred gills. She desires blood and fresh meat. She was not fond of the Keeper and his prying questions.

What does she say?

  1. Nothing at all - she readies to speak, but no sound comes out.
  2. A king is born, a mighty king come to reclaim his throne - but shall he be a tyrant?
  3. A year of interesting times, of fortunes reversed, the poor made rich and the rich made poor.
  4. The world will become cold and chrome, tubes and wires.
  5. Mild weather, light chance of precipitation in the afternoon, there is a coup afoot.
  6. I'm afraid your bones are filled with ghosts; give them to me and I can fix that for you.
  7. Bet on 53. Do not bet on anything else.
  8. Fuck that guy upstairs and all the noise he makes, I'm trying to sleep.


  1. An old, old, old draft. Missed OPD for this year, but hey, them's breaks.

  2. This is very tight and very variable at the same time. Really like it.
    Got immediate flashbacks for one of the earliest (and still one of my favourite) maps-of-the-week from WotC: (http://archive.wizards.com/dnd/images/mapofweek/Jan_9x4L3c.jpg)

  3. Bebbyzyzx loves the shinies, the clankies, the pretties. No have to fight for them here. The place before was so dirty, so dirty. Just ashes and junkies and meanies. They steal Bebbyzyx's shinies and junkies. Make Bebbyzyx cry!