Margon’s mighty palace was also built in preparation for his coronation. When he died in battle against Vardor, his son, Mardain, who was with him on the campaign sent a number of his personal guard back to Taurkiev to slaughter the women of Margon’s harem, in order to prevent potential challenges to his rule. Mardain did not survive the ongoing campaign and no king ever dwelt again in the palace at Taurkiev. With the kingdom splintering, the servants left the palace, the dungeons flooded, their occupants forgotten, and the royal city emptied.
Below ground accommodations existed for both Margon’s alcohol and his prisoners. A stair from the storeroom provides access to the cellar where spoiled beer and ale rests in aged barrels. His limited wine collection is very aged and probably of great worth. The Southeast corner of the cellar is muddy and some of the shelves are sinking. Closer observation reveals water leaking into the cellar through the wall stones. Further investigation may reveal a hidden crawl space from the dungeons on the other side of the wall. If the crawl space is opened, water from the dungeons will be able to flow freely into the cellar.
The water level in the dungeons is approximately 4 feet, with several leaks along the Eastern wall from the river flowing there. A number of prisoners were still locked there when the flooding occurred. The water level never got high enough to drown the majority of the prisoners. They died cold and water logged, becoming Water Phasms, and remain there still.
The Ground Floor
The main floor of the palace is built of stone. While during Margon’s life it was the primary space for entertaining his guests, his great hall, dining hall, and other places are now occupied by wolves and dire wolves.
There are 4 hidden doors on the ground floor, all leading to stairways up to Margon’s chambers on the 3rd floor. These doors are well hidden from a casual observer, requiring a perception of 18 to notice. If searching the wall, however, the doors are fairly noticeable, requiring a perception of 10 to find. Those to the guest quarters on the Southeast are barred, as they were never meant to be accessed from the outside without first being opened from the inside. Those connecting the council hall and the library each have a 75% chance of be barred, as they were sometimes used to move between the two rooms as well as to appear surreptitiously on the ground floor from his chambers.
The Second Floor
The second floor was reserved for special guests. Built of wood, it was a cozy abode for these special guests, but now the wood has begun to rot. And while it is more stable than the floors above, there are some dangerous floors and fallen walls. Some wolves gather near stairs, including the alpha wolf, who favors heavily the corridor between and above the gardens, from which he can observe many of his pack.
There are a number of hidden doors on this floor, some intended for use by household staff and others well hidden.
- Hidden windows around the Great Hall intended to allow servants and guards to observe the goings on there. They are better hidden from the great hall than inside.
- Casual Inside/Outside: 6/16
- Looking Inside/Outside: -1/8
- Hidden doors from the servant quarters allowing servant access to the sitting room and guest quarters on this floor. The sitting room side is somewhat disguised in a mural, but the servant side is easily visible.
- Casual Inside/Outside: 3/15
- Looking Inside/Outside: -8/7
- Hidden doors accessing the stairs on this floor are hidden as well as those on the floor below. Those accessing guest rooms are barred. Those accessing the western stairs again have a 75% chance of being barred. The double doors from the dungeon stairs were sometimes used for one-way transport. The doors have a 75% chance of being barred, but barred or unbarred, the outer door is locked with a 16 difficulty lock hidden in a knot in the wood, findable with a casual perception of 24 and a search of 16. Between these doors is a space where some treasure may be hidden.
- A secret door to a special observation room from the captain’s chamber is well hidden from his room (16/8) and obvious from inside (7/-8).
- A final hidden door to a small closet off the drawing room is quite well hidden at 20/12. It is locked with the same lock and key as the dungeon stairs with a 16 difficulty lock, findable with a casual perception of 24 and a search of 16.
Drawing Room Closet: +4 Heavy Dwarven Crossbow, +4 Mithril Two-Handed Haft Axe, Several Crossbow Bolts, Various Bottles of Liquid, a snuff box, and a small syringe
- A decanter of golden liquid, slightly off brandy
- A metal pitcher of rancid water
- A small flask of fluorescent blue liquid (slight glow)
- It is unicorn blood, when drunk it heals and extends youth
- A flask of a white liquid with a strong stench and chunks in it. Was once unicorn milk, which offers wild magical buffs, but spoiled it is now debilitating even with just a sip.
- A flask of aged cockatrice yolks, a sip of it cures even the most exotic of ailments. At its current age, even anointing with a thin film on a dipped finger is enough to cure petrification. The color is a dark green and it is thick and putrid smelling.
- A small vial of an injectable hallucinogen solution (4 ounces, Duration: 5 minutes, Potency: 30, Acting Speed: 3)
- A small vial of an injectable strength solution (4 ounces, Duration: 10 minutes, Potency: +4 Strength, Acting Speed: 5)
Spiral Stair Passage: Small Table with an ornate bowl on it. Under the table is a folded blanket.
- Peace Bowl: The bowl is full of powder that it creates magically (enchanted). The powder emits silence. Silver bowl with fine metalwork around it.
- Kidnapper’s Blanket: A heavy wool blanket enchanted to sap the strength of a person wrapped in the blanket using their own SP.
The Third Floor
The third floor housed only Margon himself, his two harems (werewolf and non-werewolf), and his personal guard. This floor is now highly unstable in places. Fortunately, the banshees risen from Margon’s slaughtered harem members do not need to step on the ground, since they can levitate.
A banshee rises from a woman killed in a helpless state, such as an unarmed woman being killed by an armed man, and not buried. They arise in an incorporeal state, eager to attack anything that at all resembles those who killed them. They attack with debilitating screams and draining touches, attempting to disable the foe in order to suck the life from them.
Special Attack: Forlorn Scream, usable once per minute, -50 morale to all who hear it in at 60 dB or higher. Will checks against sobbing uncontrollably must be made against the level of the sound above 60 dB. The sound is at 90 dB at the source.
Special Attack 2: Empathetic Touch, the touch deals 2d6 damage, healing the banshee for ¼ of the damage dealt. Wounds matching those that slew the banshee begin to appear on the target.
Special Defense: Immune to physical damage
Special: Swoop, move at 32 speed at least a 30 degree angle downward for 2 seconds, usable once per minute.
Speed: 18 (levitation)
Binding Maintenance: 50 SP
Margon’s rooms has secret access to his stairways to lower levels as well as a secret passage connecting his rooms to the royal guard barracks on that floor. There is one additional hidden door in Margon’s rooms concealing a secret closet in which he kept things precious to him. It is very well hidden at 24/16 and contains:
- The key to the Drawing Room secret closet and the stairs to the dungeon, among other things
- A crown he did not take to war that was a gift from the elves and used at his coronation
- It is heavily bejeweled and has a street value of 6000 gc, though the ancient elven workmanship and its history may make it a higher value to someone with a sense of sentimentality toward it.
- Margon’s ceremonial armor, made for him for his coronation. It is decorative plate mail made of valuable materials and not very effective as armor.
- It has a street value of 10k gc, but may have a higher sentimental value among worshippers of Margon.
- Ceremonial sword, street value of 2k gc, but not worth much in a fight
- Six symbolic rings of the tribes that swore fealty to Margon, worth maybe 5 gc each, but perhaps of symbolic value. In a small chest on a shelf.
- A chest at the feet of the manikin.
- A rich velvety cloak
- Fine minotaur shoes
- Very intricate artwork on a firesilk sash
Two towers form the top floor. They are well supported, especially the entirely stone tower by the harems, but Margon’s tower also has two walls of stone most of the way up and is still solid. The Harem Tower is completely empty on top, but Margon’s tower is still claimed by the deity as his own. Any intrusion on his tower will incite the appearance of Margon himself. His reaction to the intruder will have a negative predisposition unless the intruder is a well regarded worshipper who can reasonably be seen as bold rather than forward when seeking an audience.
Most of the spaces in Margon’s Palace have been populated with trinkets and other items not unlike the flavorful loot found in Who Would Just Leave This Stuff. For more information about the water phasms in the basement and how they can fit into any world, see Whispers of the Dead, a compendium of undead that tell a story about the history of their surroundings by their nature.