A slow drip somewhere in the tunnels echoes throughout the dungeon, tickling at the ears of its pale denizens. This is where people are put to be forgotten, somewhere not unlike a grave…
I asked myself what the most useful one-page dungeon would be, and I came to the idea of a prison. It makes for an ever-entertaining campaign start or plot twist, and can exist under just about any city or castle. Should your players tempt a TPK, why not throw them in here instead?
I spent a long while drafting the layout, and I must thank the folks over on the Patreon Discord for their help fleshing it out! This subterranean prison is equipped with cells of various sizes and furnishings (fit for all levels of criminal), a kitchen, space for a permanent guard posting, and a lovely little torture room.
This one has been very satisfying to put together, and I hope you can find reason to lock your players up inside it. You’re probably thinking of a way already — will you share it in the comments?
Warden Eskus Renkashai
Only a fool would question why Renkashai was chosen as a successor to the previous warden. Her goliath physique stands at over seven feet tall, all of it seemingly comprised of solid muscle. The towering form is often enough to invoke confessions before a question is even asked, coupling with her tenacity and physical prowess to lead a more effective dungeon than any of her predecessors. Though there is a definite limit to what she can do when in charge of a filthy, dejected dungeon.
Yet, unlike her prisoners, the dungeon cannot suffocate Renkashai’s resolve. Her sheer will is a strength even greater than her body and she will do whatever is necessary to fulfill her aspirations. The governor cannot stop her, though he does try. On that front, a recently imprisoned musician might prove useful.
Lieutenant Gerard Farrow
Right-hand to Warden Renkashai and primary interrogator.
A half-orc guardsman that tends toward the greener side of his lineage, Farrow rose to become the Warden’s lieutenant thanks to the strength of his stomach. Where others would shy away from the distasteful or amoral, Farrow found a grim enjoyment in it. That is not to say he would ever step outside of the law to do so, however. Rather, Farrow’s delight comes from wielding the law in a way that grants him power and freedom to do what others cannot.
Farrow was appointed the role of interrogator as a way to make use of his disposition and as an unspoken deal between him and the Warden. Both understand the need for Farrow to be kept close, as well as what might happen if he were to step out of line.
Arrested for the worship of the occult and possession of magical contraband.
Edward Corrigan is the only remaining member of the local Corrigan family. He is the fourth generation and likely the last, owing to his erratic behavior and general infamy among the townsfolk. A lifelong proclivity for conspiracies and agitated reclusion eventually led to Mr. Corrigan becoming obsessed with the occult, particularly that of demons and devils. This earned him his stay in the dungeons.
He now spends his days proselytizing to his guards and fellow prisoners. Corrigan cites the devilish whispers that creep through his cell’s wall at night, speaking of power that might be earned.
Arrested for fraud, perjury, and accused of the enchantment of a noble.
Bisset was a traveling bard who reveled in all the habitual vices that traveling bards are renowned for. His antics had earned him many a noble’s ire, though never his capture, perhaps leading to an underestimation of the local governer’s wrath. News of his jaunt with the governer’s wife spread quicker than Bisset’s exit from the town. Though, that news rarely spoke of the governess’s staunch denial of the claims and a spreading rumor that Bisset had, in fact, liaised with the governor himself.
Not one to be discouraged, Jackson continues creating his own fun while imprisoned. He intermittently whispers to the “mad old coot” in the adjacent cell, stifling his laughter at the man’s belief that Bisset’s voice is actually that of the ethereal.
Guardsman Gerard Braskil
As the newest addition to the dungeon, Braskil is most often consigned to feeding and tending to the prisoners. He is content to do so, which his colleagues often find humorously puzzling. But the answer is quite simple. Braskil possesses kindness and approachability that the others do not, allowing him to form a rapport with those under his care. Despite their differences, he looks up to and supports Warden Rankashai’s ambitions. In turn, she happily accepts him as a necessary balance to both herself and Lieutenant Farrow.
Braskil prides himself on his treatment of the prisoners. He keeps an eye on Bisset and Corrigan, ensuring that the former’s whispering does not get out of hand. It seems ultimately harmless, though Braskil does find it odd that Corrigan continued hearing errant whispers even when Bisset was absent.
– by Troy McConnell
More content by Troy
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