The Castle of the Chained Laird

A Tombpunk Adventure Location

I’m making an effort to post on this blog once a day. It doesn’t need to be big, long, or heavy on details, but I’m trying to write down and publish one musing, idea, theme, topic, or something each day as a daily warm-up for my writing and creative work.

I’m been running with my engine in the red due to Kickstarter fulfillments and GenCon prep, so this last week was a bit spotty in terms of my daily goal, but I am trying!

Today, I’ve got another Tombpunk adventure site (I find them easy and relaxing to write, and it’s a space I haven’t creatively explored a lot at this point.)

Aside from the map (which was done by Denis McCarthy, and his patreon is linked after the map), all the art on this page was created by the Midjourney AI, using prompts generated by me.

I used these prompts and maps to craft an outline of how I think Tombpunk adventures should be presented, so we’ll see how it goes. This is subject to change. I’m trying various things (procedurally generated, loose, very detailed, etc.) It’s a bit of a weird, but fun exercise. This one varies quite a bit from my previous one.

All my Tombpunk adventures take place in my Tombpunk setting of Aquittany, a pseudo-Franco-Iberian fantasy setting. I take some pretty loose liberties with naming conventions and stealing from real world history in this setting, so if things seem familiar….well. That’s why.

I also just made up names inspired by smashing together the names of existing places or words in French/Spanish that I think sounded cool. I figured, since its a fantasy setting they don’t mean the same thing.

Here’s a rough map of Aquittany, made in Wonderdraft.

The Northern Provincials (map created in Wonderdraft, copyright 2022 Alan Bahr).

The Castle of the Chained Laird

Far into the rocky mountains of the Cairnlands, past the glens and fields, is a strange mountain covered in trees that rises above the mist. Situated somewhere on this mountain, hidden behind pines and brush, is the Castle of the Chained Laird.

Art created by me on Midjourney.

The Castle of the Chained Laird is an old and disregarded castle, with high stone ramparts, conical towers, a gothic façade, littered with statues, moss, and muck. The Castle is about three days ride north of the small town of Mintours.

It is well known that the castle exists, but locals will attempt to turn away any who go looking for it.

Darkness Rating: The darkness rating of this dungeon is 3x the number of adventurers. The normal rules for clearing darkness apply here.

Treasure: This dungeon pays 1d3+X Treasure (X is determined below, so best of luck!)

D6 RollRumors about the Castle
1It holds no wealth, having been long plundered by grave-robbers and scallywags (hey, that sounds like you!) [False]
2It is long uninhabited, and has yet to be truly explored, due to the difficulty of finding it. [Partially false]
3The Castle is ruled by a fair maiden, whose visage hides a cruel manner and black heart. [Partially True]
4The moat is populated with dark beasts, created by foul chaos magicks. [True]
5A magical sword resides within. [True]
6If you woo the maiden, you will become king of the castle. [Wildly false, and will lead to your death.]
You can have the group roll on the table above to see what rumors they recall about the Castle.

In each room, there is a 2-in-3 (1-4 on a d6) chance of there being guards, servants, or minions of the ruler of the castle (generally 2d3 in a room.) [roll a d6, 1-3 servants, 4-5 minions, and 6 for guards.]

The Crypt houses the Chained Lard, and if the treasury can be accessed, the adventurers will find an additional +4 treasure, though accessing the treasury will awaken the Chained Laird.

Use the Cultists of Chaos profile to represent servants and minions. Use Goatfolk to represent guards (simply remove the headbutt attack from the profile.)

Use the Hydras to represent the dark creatures in the moat. They will only attack adventurers who fall in the water.

The Chained Laird

The Chained Laird is a bit of a misleading name, as the historical title Laird tends to refer to males, and the ruler of this castle is a vampire named Lady Isabella le Roy, an ancient and powerful noble. However, she suffers under a curse that has turned her into a vampire, and prevents her from leaving the Castle (hence the Chained in her popular title).

Lifeblood: 20
Attack: Standard
Damage: 1d12
Armor: 2 (reduce all damage the Chained Laird takes by 2.)
Special: Once the Chained Laird is awakened, they will hunt the players. The Chained Laird can teleport through shadows, and will use this to battle in hit and run tactics.

While the Darkness rating is higher than 3, the Chained Lard makes their attacks with Advantage, and may make an attack after teleporting through shadows.

Any enemy killed by the Chained Laird returns as a minion of theirs within 2d3 days (use the Cultist profile if it comes up.)

Anytime the Chained Laird deals damage, they recover 3 Lifeblood.

Notes: If the adventurers are clever they will attempt to create enough light to drive away the shadows to hamper the Chained Laird.

Inside the treasury is a magic sword. This versatile, brutal 3 weapon appears like a basket-hilted longsword. It was the sword of their long-since passed father, and anyone who carries it will draw the full attention and wrath of the Chained Laird.

The Castle upon approach.

The map art (C) 2022 Denis McCarthy, and is licensed under CCLA 0.4. It was commissioned by me for this post. Check out Denis’s Patreon here and commission him for work!

Adventure text, non-map art, rules and Tombpunk is (C) 2022 Northern Lights Foundry / Alan Bahr. Tombpunk is a trademark of Northern Lights Foundry / Alan Bahr.

You can buy Tombpunk here on DriveThruRPG. It’s published under license by Outland Entertainment.