The Hamhock Slaughterhouse is by far the largest node being added to the campaign with the Outer City Murders. As such there will be multiple articles to separate out parts of it for easier reading and reference.
Patron Note: All of the articles on the Hamhock Slaughterhouse will only count as a single article for Patron purposes.
A stinking, although reputable looking slaughterhouse, with a shop front for buying and selling. It is a two-story building (ground floor and first floor) made of wood.
Most meat sold here is done on a larger scale direct to suppliers (local taverns) or wholesale buyers. A small shop is manned at the front of the building, however there is little street trade. The whole building reeks, even from the outside, of meat, blood, and death which mostly emanates from the slaughter sheds.
The main business is closed during the day, but lights can be seen on upstairs at all hours.
The following map was originally created by Dyson Logos who makes some amazing maps, a number of which are licenced under free for non-commercial use, such as this one. You might recognise his cartography, for he did a lot of the cartography for Descent into Avernus itself, as well as other 5e adventures.
One of my Patrons, Tosh Le recreated the map with Dungeondraft to better fit his prefered map aesthetics. Tosh Le has his own Patron where he has made ‘scaling document’s for all of the hardcover 5e adventures. They give you every single encounter instantly scaled to whatever your party size.
Other than visually these two maps are the same. Feel free to use whichever you prefer.
Various pens surround the back of the building, sparsely filled with peacocks, cows, sheep and goats who are kept here awaiting slaughter.
There are three separate buildings used for slaughtering animals, one for fowl, one for cattle and one for bovids. The sheds are large and workers are constantly slaughtering animals and hanging them to bleed here throughout the day.
H1 Shop Front
Comprises a long service counter with tables on either side of it which contain a small selection of meats. A curtain behind the service counter leads into the Workroom.
This large workroom has many counters and tables, used for butchery. A fireplace in one corner is lit all day long. At the back of the room a trapdoor leads down to the Basement Halls, the nearby stairs lead up to the First Floor Landing, and a metal door leads into the Back Office.
H3 Back Office
This room is filled with paperwork of purchases, sales, and other business documents.
Letter to Pasque from Yignath: Left in here by Pasque by mistake, under the latest invoices. Its placement in the pile makes it likely to have been sent 5 days ago.
Pasque, One of Remigio's targets is moving out of the city before his group can strike. The idiots dawdled and so I leave this task up to you. Do not bother to involve AV, this need not concern him. I know you will not let me down. KORNELIA ZEEDYK Human female, late teens. Pale skin. Blue eyes. Golden hair tied back in a ponytail. Destination: Said to be leaving the city this morning to find out if her family survived the Fall of Elturel. Relation: Granddaughter She is likely to try and secure a horse once in Outer City. Have your men watch the various stables, as well as Basilisk Gate itself. -- Yignath
H4 First Floor Landing
This long landing runs almost the length of the building. Doors head off to the Common Room, Pasque’s Lounge and a small storeroom converted into a Shrine to the Dead Three.
H5 Common Room
This room has a moth-eaten sofa and a dining table. The windows look out over the fields, away from the city. It has doors connecting it back to the Landing, Officers’ Room, and the Kitchen.
H6 Officers’ Room
This room has two separate single beds with wardrobes opposite. It is Jeamus and Corian’s room, although they sleep at different times and are seldom ever in here together. It connects back to the Common Room and to a small washroom.
This kitchen is well stocked with meat and vegetables. The fireplace connects into Pasque Enrial’s room, although it is lit in the evenings.
H8 Pasque’s Lounge
A table and chairs fill this small neatly arranged room. On the table is a letter detailing the latest assassination target (note this will need to be changed to match the correct latest victim, depending on what day the PCs arrive. See Outer City Murder Victims).
A silver letter opener is deliberately placed on the table, which is engraved with the symbol of Bhaal, Lord of Murder worth 25 gp for its silver or 40 gp to someone interested in such profane items.
This room is separated from Pasque’s Bedroom by a heavy woollen curtain, dyed crimson.
LOR SPRIK Human female. Pale skin. Green eyes. Long red hair. Residence: Refugee camp, single person tent made of hide. Hitches her black horse outside of it. Relation: Direct She is a knight who has been heading up and down the Chionthar road helping refugees. Catch her before she leaves again.
GM Note: Lor’s body (or whichever victim the letter references) is still in the Basement area H13.
H9 Pasque’s Bedroom
A well adorned bedroom, if it was not for the awful smell of the building it might be fit for a lesser Manorborn. There are over 85 gp worth of finery comprising; 2 silver candlestick holders (50gp), a painting of Paque as a child stood by his noble father’s side (25 gp) and expensive bed linens (10 gp).
H10 Shrine to the Dead Three
This small store cupboard has been gutted of shelving, holes and faded areas of paint on the walls indicating the room’s former function. Now it instead has 3 shrines, one to each of the Dead Three.
Shrine to Bhaal: A polished human skull is surrounded by dried blood. Fresh blood is dropped around the skull each night.
Shrine to Bane: A single plate gauntlet clutches a ring set with a small square black obsidian. The gemstone is flecked with white inclusions and chipped, making it worth only 150 gp.
Shrine to Myrkul: A large pottery urn decorated with funeral rights and symbols to Myrkul. It is part of a set created to store the bones of Kramir the Withering Lord, in the mid-14th century. However, it is in poor condition even for its age and Kramir’s remains are long lost. Worth 175 gp or twice that to a collector.
H11 Basement Halls
The roughhewn stone basement stinks of rotting flesh and death and a nose burningly strong acrid smell lingers in the air. The floor is covered with thick sawdust to protect it from ankheg acid, although it is scarred with marks from prior accidents.
H12 The Chained Beast
At the far end of the basement is a giant creature, chained to the wall by a half-dozen chains. It is made of various animal corpses and bears the head of a skeletal giant goat. The monstrosity emits a low growling and braying that can be heard even in the workshop above if the place is silent.
It was created by Jaemus Exheltarion to act as an emergency defence, releasing it into the district to cause chaos and terror while the cultists made good their escape.
Jaemus is the only one able to remove the creature’s chains without fear of attack. Should the creature feel threatened it will use its action attempting to break free from its chains, requiring a DC 15 Strength check and attack.
H13 Ankheg Butchery Cell
The air in this room burns the eyes and throat with its noxious acidic vapours, which emanate from a lead vat of ankheg acid. It could be decanted into 20 vials of acid.
A lead table sits against the wall, numerous tools hanging from chains above it. The floor is covered in thick sawdust, beneath which the floor is uneven due to decades of acid erosion.
The cultists’ victims are brought here by Corian Khee so that Pasque can torture and execute them. Pasque takes great pleasure in this business.
- Pasque interrogates the victim, by strapping them naked to the metal table. He pours ankheg acid upon the table, adding more if they will not answer his questions.
- The residual ankheg acid causes chemical burns on the back of the victims (which serves as a clue on all the bodies).
- The interrogation is centred around trying to gain information on further Elturian Knights or their descendants.
- Once Pasque feels they have no more information, he has Corian slash both of their arms from wrist to elbow (matching the wounds on Fessel’s body).
- Jaemus carves the unholy symbol of Gargauth into the victim’s chest and then dresses the body back in their clothes in a ritual ceremony of Myrkul.
- That night Corian and her Night Blade have darkness cast on them by Jaemus and they take the body to dump it in the alleyways behind the Smilin’ Boar Tavern.
That’s it for all the different areas of the Hamhock Slaughterhouse. Next up we have the Adversary Roster, Observing the Slaughterhouse and Questioning the Cultists.