4. The Dark Water Church of Narag Narg

This ordinary, if somewhat ramshackle, single-story wooden house sits on the edge of a small rocky cliff and is the home to Sheradin Erwest. To nearly everyone that knows him, he is an old seadog who works on the ships of Black Lake and is something of an aloof figure.

Behind this façade, however, Sheradin is in fact a Dark Water priest of Narag Narg and under his home can be found a series of caves where he resides over the Dark Water Church. Although not widely supported, there is a small and dedicated following in Blackfen, especially amongst the criminal fraternity, who gather regularly to pay homage to their dark, watery master. Amongst the pirates who live in the swamps around Black Lake, however, he is exceptionally popular and Sheradin is well known by them.

Although Sheradin prefers to keep his presence within Blackfen low key - for obvious reasons - he nonetheless works tirelessly to increase the followers of Narag Narg through the Dark Water Chucrh, the evil nemesis and brother to the Aslah Azerond, as well as constantly working against the interests of the local Church of Azerond, spreading vicious rumors and lies whenever possible. He also works closely with the local pirates who live amongst the swamps and bogs that surround much of Black Lake, supplying them with shipping information and ship details that help them make more accurate and successful raids against the shipping on the lake and as it travels to and from Ghendenbur.

Sheradin is ably served by his two faithful acolytes, Grenda Arasmor, a sailor who spends much of her time helping to recruit and spy, and Urin Thorand, son of Myar Thorand (see 2. The Dragon's Claw). Urin is young and a recent recruit to the Dark Water Church. When Sheradin and Grenda are away on ship, Urin keeps an eye of things. He spends much of his time in Old Palisade Port with sailors in the inns and taverns, gathering information about ships, cargoes, crew, defenses and anything else he thinks might be useful to Sheradin and the Dark Church.

Adventure Hook
Sheradin and his two acolyte aids have been spying on local shipping and passing that information onto the pirates who live around the lake, helping them to pick vulnerable targets and make precise attacks. Stopping the flow of information would seriously dent the pirate's capability of selecting easy targets and help save the lives of many merchants and sailors, as well as increasing the flow of supplies to the beleaguered city of Ghendenbur.

The Caves
This small complex of caves is completely natural, with rough floors, lichen covered walls and small puddles that have collected on the floor from the constant dripping of water. The ceiling height is 10 feet and light is supplied by torches set into brackets along the walls. These caves give access (via keyed area 9) to Black Lake, which Sheradin uses to pass into and out of Blackfen unnoticed.

From the outside, the cave exit is barely noticeable and only those who know the way can easily navigate their way to the main cave (see keyed area 2). For those unfortunate enough to stumble across that area, however, they are either eaten by the crocodiles that guard there or are taken prisoner to be used as sacrifices during religious ceremonies.

1. Spiral Stairs
A rusty old set of spiral stairs ascend over twenty feet to Sheradin's house above. A set of rough cut steps, hewn out of the stone, lead to the main church area (see keyed area 2).

2. Church
This large, natural cave acts as the main church area, where the vile services to Narag Narg are held. Rough cut stones act as seats and in an alcove near where the water laps against the stony floor (see keyed area 9) is a large statue of Narag Narg himself. Not too far away is a smooth, blood stained stone altar, on which sits an aquamarine chalice and four aquamarine candlesticks. There is also a silver holy symbol of Narg Narg. Although these items hold some value, trying to sell the holy symbol in Blackfen, however, is very likely to be fruitless and in some instances will lead to a very unfavorable response.

This cave also gives access to Black Lake (see keyed area 9) and the water laps against the stony floor. A small rowing boat, which can hold up to two passengers, is set out of the water in on the rocky shore. Sheradin uses this boat to access Black Lake in secret, from where he can rendezvous with smugglers, pirates and other unsavory types.

There is always a chance that any (or all) of Sheradin, Grenda or Urin will be here, as will be 2 crocodiles, which permanently guard this area. These are often lying partially submerged in the water, where they are difficult to spot. They will wait until any targets are close before attacking, hoping to catch them by surprise and pull them into the water. They do not attack Sheradin or his cohorts.

Creatures: 2 crocodiles

3. Torture Chamber
A roughly cut raised stone with a flat surface sits in the middle of this cavern. Chains with hand and feet manacles attached to them have been bolted into the stone, which itself is covered in the dark blood stains. More chained manacles have been bolted into the walls - enough for five people in total - and various instruments of torture and entrapment are scattered around.

This is the torture chamber, primarily where sacrificial victims are prepared for the religious ceremonies. It is also where Sheradin will torture those who have either betrayed him or have become too much of a thorn in his side.

A thorough search will reveal a beautiful whip made of the highest quality, a number of different locks, 3 pairs of manacles, a flask of acid, 2 flasks of unholy water and a scroll case made from bone that contains a magic scroll that inflicts a small amount of damage on a victim - enough to hurt them, but not to kill them.

4. Cell
A locked and rusty iron-barred door bars entrance to the cave beyond. The cave is where prisoners and sacrificial victims (usually one and the same) are kept. Conditions are poor, as there are no blankets or protection from the cold stone.

There is always a 20% chance that the cell will contain some poor soul, usually a beggar or a drunk, who will later become a sacrifice to Narag Narg. Such individuals are typically ordinary commoners, though usually those whose disappearance goes unnoticed.

5. Store Room
These caves are often used to store illicit goods smuggled into Blackfen and sold on the black market. When not in use they are usually empty except a number of sacks, smashed crates and barrels. An iron crowbar can always be found here, along with rope.

6. Grenda's Quarters
A number of tapestries, showing scenes of violent storms, sinking ships, drowning sailors and terrible sea creatures, adorn the walls and furs cover much of the floor. A rough wooden cot is sat against one wall, with a large wooden chest at one end. A cloak and several robes hang from a wooden coat stand.

This is the private quarters of Grenda Arasmor, where she stays when not onboard a ship. The cloak and robes are her ceremonial garb and the chest is unlocked. It primarily contains clothes and personal effects, but also pouches containing a small amount of money, plus a silver necklace with a aquamarine stone, 2 pearls of small value, a potion used to cure light injuries, and another which aids the user to swim.

7. Preparation Room
Ceremonial robes hang from hooks in the wall, where dark blue drapes cover much of the stone and a large wooden holy symbol of Narag Narg hangs on the wall. A rough wooden chest is located near a small pool of water.

This is where Sheradin prepares himself prior to religious ceremonies. The chest is unlocked and contains more religious items, including a silver chalice and 4 flasks of unholy water.

The pool of water contains a crocodile that is lying partially submerged, where it is very difficult to spot. It will attack anyone who approaches the chest, other than Sheradin and his cohorts, hoping to gain surprise and pull them into the water.

Creatures: 1 crocodile

8. Sheradin's Quarters
Lush tapestries showing scenes of sinking ships, drowning sailors and other such images line the walls of this cave and furs cover the floor. A simple wooden cot with a rough blanket is next to one wall and a large wooden chest against another. A number of cloaks and ceremonial robes hang from wall hooks.

This is Sheradin's personal quarters, where he stays when he is not on ship or out meeting smugglers and pirates and doing the will of Narag Narg. The chest is unlocked and contains an assortment of personal items, including clothes, dice, combs and other such worthless personal effects. It also contains a pouch which holds a large amount of money, 2 polished bloodstones, an aquamarine cameo, 2 potions that cures small wounds and a magic scroll that assits the caster and his allies to fight better.

A small mephit-like creature seemingly made entirely from water guards this chamber and will attack anyone that is not Sheradin.

Creatures: 1 water-like mephit

9. Lake Exit
This small complex of tunnels gives access to Black Lake and allows Sheradin and his cohorts to easily and secretly go about their business undetected from prying eyes. The water is generally clam and around 10 feet deep and wide enough for a narrow boat.

There are a whole number of tunnels, which lead to dead-ends or small caves, and only those who know the way can easily exit and access the main church area (see keyed area 2), as there is only one route. Where the tunnel meets with the main church area, there are usually 2 crocodiles located in the water, waiting for the unwary (see keyed area 2 for details).

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