This supplement is a submission to the 2021 RPG Geek 24-hour RPG supplement contest.

Some artwork © 2015 Dean Spencer, used with permission. All rights reserved. Some artwork used under license of Tortoise & Hare Creations. Art by Indi Martin © 2017. All rights reserved. Maps are used with permission of The Forge Studios. All rights reserved.

This product was created under license. Forbidden Lands and its logo, are trademarks of Fria Ligan AB. This work contains material that is copyright Fria Ligan AB and/or other authors. Such material is used with permission under the Com- Samplemunity Content Agreement for Free League Workshop. file All other original material in this work is copyright 2021 by Simone Matzanke and published under the Community Content Agreement for Free League Workshop.


Black Rose Keep

Like crooked fingers the old towers of the Fortress try to to read the girl's fortune. Unbeknownst to Fredrik and his grasp the sky, an imposing sight from afar. But on drawing wife, Medea was in truth the demon Gagmonor. closer it becomes clear that the hand no longer grasps for any- „Medea“ made a big show of things and ended the for- thing: Blackened and broken lie the once proud towers. But the tune telling with a sinister prophesy: On her eighteenth air does not smell of soot, but – roses? Come closer still and you birthday, Dimia would die in the flames of a fire. will find the old walls gripped in a thorny grasp and dark red roses are in full bloom even in thickest winter. Come closer still Horrorstruck and furious at the careless way the witch and you will find the smell is the sweetest scent in all the wide was frightening his wife and household (and himself), world. And is that a lone figure beckoning from a broken win- Fredrik had the witch thrown into a hole that was soon to dow high above? Come closer still, weary wanderer, smell the be the fortress well, but Gagmonor turned into a rat and roses and meet the Lady of Black Rose Keep. escaped unharmed. Years went by and the prophesy was forgotten by all ex- cept for the most superstitious souls in the area. But Gag- monor, of course, still remembered it well. And so, on the night of Dimia's eighteenth birthday, it snuck back into the and set fire to the stables, the barracks and the living quarters of the noble family. When the alarm sounded to rouse everyone and evacuation of the fortress was in full swing, Fredrik could not find his daughter anywhere. In horror, he remembered the sinister prophecy and in his an- ger he cursed the witch. Who promptly appeared at his side and offered her assistance in his plight. He offered her any reward she claimed, if she only saved his daughter from the flames. An offer that was too good for Gagmonor to refuse: So it turned into its true form, killed Fredrik's wife in grue- some fashion to devour her life's essence and delighted in her husband's terror. It then set out for the tower, where Dimia was surrounded by flames, It tore her soul from her dying body and shoved it into one of the corpses on the cemetery. The girl reawakened to a dark grave in a decaying body and clawed her way out into

the light. When Fredrik realized what sort of rescue the demon BACKGROUND had bestowed upon his daughter, he fell to madness and took his own life by running into the flaming inferno. Oh, Black Rose Keep was constructed during the Alder what a feast this day was for Gagmonor. Wars, which puts the age of the fortress at something a bit The undead creature Dimia had become still retained over 300 years. Its original name is lost today. Construc- her consciousness, but her new existence also meant she tion was planned and conducted by Fredrik of Summer- needed living flesh for sustenance and she was driven quite garde, a nobleman from Alderland, who was tasked with mad by all that had happened to her. In the coming years, setting up defenses during the Quelling. The fortress was Gagmonor and Dimia forged an unholy alliance: The de- finished in 850 AS, soon after the first demons came to the mon would lure wanderers to the fortress with cunning and Ravenlands. magic, where Dimia would satisfy two of her most dire Fredrik came to the Ravenlands with his pregnant wife, needs. For once, she longed for company other than the who soon after their arrival gave birth to their firstborn demon's, so she would try to talk to her „guests“, put them Sampledaughter Dimia. A witch, who called herself Medea Thorn- at ease and offer what succor she cofileuld in the burnt out ru- heart, came to the Fortress under construction and asked ins. Only at some point, when her hunger grew beyond


Black Rose Keep

what she could bear, or guests turned violent or something Lady of the Rose and that morning just up and left. They disturbed her otherwise – she would kill and devour the un- are worried he might be on his way to Black Rose Keep, de- happy men that had the misfortune to meet her. spite the tales people tell about the place. The young men Gagmonor in turn could feast on Dimia's despair and know the cautionary tale version of the legend and can re- the terror of her victims. The roses Gagmonor uses to lure count it to the adventurers. and faze hapless men grew thicker and thicker throughout the centuries and nowadays the fortress is completely over- grown with them. The thorny vines are tough as steel and the rose petals cut like razors and pour poison into the wound. So this wall of roses doubles as an effective defense LEGEND mechanism. The legend for this site comes in two varieties, depending The legend as told by the demon in its various roles (the on who tells it: favourite being the witch) is a somewhat romanticized ver- sion of the events above and is obviously almost entirely TOLD BY MEDEA THORNHEART: false. While the cautionary tale told around the fires of vil- lages across the land strikes a lot closer to the truth. A long time ago, before the Blood Mist came, there was a noble- man, renowned for his wisdom. When his first daughter was born, he sent for all the wise men and women of the land to give

her their blessing. And the wise people came, from all peoples of the land and they blessed her and each gave her a word of ad- GETTING HERE vice. One of the last ones to come was of the smallfolk, a goblin crone. And she resented the way the tallfolk all looked down on Apart from just stumbling into the site these are the two her and so she did not give her blessing and instead cursed the most common ways to get here: child thusly: On her eighteenth birthday, she would perish in a terrible fire. The parents were horrified, but a kind witch came up to them and said: „I cannot take back the curse, but I THE WITCH can at least diminish it: The fire will not kill her, but she will Gagmonor is ever on the hunt for new visitors for the lady. be marked and she will not be able to live among people any- In its favourite disguise as Medea Thornheart, it can tell more. But roses will protect her from the world, until someone the legend below to the adventurers and put one of them can finally lift her curse.“ And thus goes the story of Black Rose under its alluring spell. It mainly hunts male of any kin. Its Keep. spell is a variation of the ENTICE spell, cast with a Power Level of 5. The symbol the victim is drawn to is the rose. If the spell is successful, they will feel compelled to seek out TOLD AS A CAUTIONARY TALE: Black Rose Keep (even if they do not know where it is lo- A long time ago, before the Blood Mist came, the master of cated or that it even exists, they will be drawn to the loca- Black Rose Keep resorted to the help of a demon to save his tion). If the spell fails, they will still know about the loca- daughter from a fire. The demon took his wife's soul as a pay- tion, but no longer be compelled (magically) to seek it out. ment and laughed at the torment this caused the Lord of the

Keep. But he also fulfilled his end of the bargain: As the body of the young girl could no longer be repaired, he put her soul into THE VICTIM another woman's corpse. The vile creation and the demon to- The adventurers happen upon a group of young men from gether slaughtered the rest of the family and ever since does the a nearby village. They are worried about a friend of theirs, dark Lady of Black Rose Keep dwell behind the briar wall Samplewho spoke to a mysterious woman that came to visit their made from roses of the darkest red andfile she still feeds on men village. After that conversation, the young man Thorleif coming to visit her. seemed absent and preoccupied. He kept talking about the


Black Rose Keep


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Sample file


Black Rose Keep

3. PARADE GROUNDS LOCATIONS The space must have been impressive back in the day when the Fortress was still in use. You can imagine soldiers parading, of- ficers inspecting weapons, swords clashing, servants bustling. Today, all is quiet here and only rubble, dust and blackened re- 1. GATE mains bear witness to your arrival.

The old main entrance to the castle is almost completely over- The main yard and former parade grounds are a large open grown by the black rose vines. Their enticing scent enters your space between the outer wall and the in the mid- nostrils and addles your brain. Best stay away as long as you still retain your senses. dle. There have been many more facilities here once, like the stables, kitchen, smithy, quartermaster's office etc. All The bridge over the filled with muddy water ends at these remain only as burnt-out husks, but in most cases, an almost solid wall of black roses and thorny vines. The enough is retained that adventurers are at least able to guess vines are hard and resilient and cannot be cut through with at the former function and a few trinkets and valuables may swords or axes. The roses give off a heady scent, which by still be found, as the Fortress has never been looted. The itself has no effect, but will lure everyone under Gagmon- smell of the roses is still strong here. or's ENTICE spell into the castle proper. For those victims, ✥ CREATURES: G the wall of roses will open briefly to admit them. Everyone agmonor may wander the grounds disguised as a dog or bird. Its disguise will always come with bright red else will have to find another way in. Cutting yourself on eyes, fur or plumage. the razor-sharp rose petals will apply a Sleeping Poison (Po- tency 3). Each additional cut increases Potency by 1. In addition to that, the demon Gagmonor will sense if 4. someone is touching the roses and come investigating. An old, but strangely well-preserved staircase leads down into ✥ CREATURES: None the darkness. This part of the Fortress seems to have been saved from the flames that destroyed everything else. The air smells damp and foul. Probably no worse than 300 years ago.

2. SEWAGE OUTLET The dungeon was indeed not destroyed in the fire and its The walls look impregnable, even in their ruined state. The for- inhabitants survived. Which means they ended up as Dim- bidding impression is enhanced by the black roses covering al- ia's first victims after her transformation. Their bones are most every inch of the fire blackened stonework. But over there, still where she devoured them and dropped the remains just above the waterline of the moat – does that look like an ac- tual opening? where she stood. Horrified, she had fled the dungeon and has not been back ever since. If you are in need of transfer- The old water outlet of the fortress provides a possible entry ring some info to the adventurers, here would be a good point. One can swim through the moat, the water is a bit place to set up a ghost of one of the victims that may be able disgusting, but harmless (unless ingested in large quanti- to relate some facts he dimly remembers (see Events). ties). The sewers are not in use anymore, as the Fortress is CREATURES: The Ghost of a Thief no longer lived in and the drainage pipes lead into the For- tress' former parade ground. The exit is covered by rubble that must be removed before being able to leave the sewers. 5. BERGFRIED (LIVING QUARTERS) ✥ CREATURES: A swarm of Rats The massive tower once stood tall and proud in the middle of the parade grounds. Now it lies crooked and broken, its top fallen to the side, the outside blackened. More roses grow here, Sample but less thick than on the outer walls,file more caressing, less


Black Rose Keep

choking, or so it feels to you. People once lived here, is there still names „Mira and Fredrik of Summersgarde“ laid out in someone home? Do you even want to know? pebble stones upon it. They were Dimia's mother and fa- ther, who were never actually buried, so the grave is empty. The upper levels of the tower have collapsed in the fire and all the interior has burnt up. However, over the centuries, CREATURES: None Gagmonor has collected things for Dimia to make the lower levels look like habitable quarters again. There's a bedroom with a fourposter, a dining room with a table, 7. OLD WELL chairs, chandeliers and cutlery. A sitting room with a rock- The roof and winch system of the well have long collapsed and ing chair and sewing kit. No two items fit each other; it is rotted away. But the stonework is still visible and there is fresh obviously cobbled together without any sense for taste. But water deep below. What else may be down there? Best not ask. it does at least look civilized. It is highly doubtful that the demon does this out of care or pity for Dimia, it is more The well indeed carries potable water suitable for drinking. likely that it is part of its elaborate scheme to trap her in It is deep and cold, but can be a good hiding spot, as Gag- this eternal nightmare between life and death, hope and monor will not follow here. If they have learned that the despair. demon is vulnerable to water, the adventurers will have If the adventurers are looking for Dimia, the most likely easy access to water here, should they want to build a trap, place to find her is somewhere in the Bergfried. This is also water bombs, what have you. where she will keep her „guests“ for an indefinite amount Adventurers may also happen upon Thorleif here and offer of time. their help or enlist his. For example, he may have already The interior of the tower shows the distinct marks of the noticed that the demon never comes near the well. fire and parts have collapsed, so care must be taken not to CREATURES: Thorleif fall through a sudden gap in the ground, a missing wall or similar dangers of a partly collapsed building.

Different from those on the main walls and , the roses around the bergfried will not bar entry to or exit from the tower.

CREATURES: Dimia, Thorleif


The old gravestones are weathered and overgrown with lichen and moss. Except for one, which is instead covered in the ever present black roses. The name on the stone has been scratched out and a new name was crudely carved instead: Dimia of Sum- mergarde.

The tombstones are mostly people of the household who died in the few short years that the castle was an active for- tress in a warzone. It is therefore small and all the people buried here died within a few years of each other. The grave where the woman lay buried that is now Dimia's body was covered in roses due to Gagmonor's crude sense of humour and Dimia carved her own name onto it instead of its orig- Sampleinal occupant. If the adventurers are looking around for file more, they can also find a grave without a stone, but the


Black Rose Keep